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Softball: Marian Catholic drops two to Benet

Benet Academy second baseman Megan Stoppelman tags out Susie Baranski Marian Catholic as Baranski tries return bag. | JCunningham/For Sun-Times

Benet Academy second baseman Megan Stoppelman tags out Susie Baranski of Marian Catholic as Baranski tries to return to the bag. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 12, 2014 6:59AM



Benet junior catcher Steph Abello gets a big smile on her face when she talks about her approach in the batter’s box.

“It’s special place and you have to go into it focused — it’s a total zone,” Abello said. “It’s you against the pitcher.”

Abello has been winning that battle all season just like she did in a 6-4, 9-6 sweep over Marian Catholic in East Suburban Catholic action Saturday. The Illinois recruit was 3-for-7 on the day, and all three hits were home runs (No’s 15, 16, and 17), including eight very important RBI.

She got her team going in the opener with a three-run drive to right center to give the Redwings (23-1, 12-0) a 3-2 lead over the Spartans (13-10, 9-5).

She did it twice in Game 2 — a two-run shot to left by the lefty in the fifth to make it 5-2. The next inning, she hit a towering three-run bomb to right to increase the lead to 9-3.

“We talked before her last home run since the wind had shifted to right and she followed orders nicely,” said Benet coach Jerry Schilf, whose team now has 47 total home runs — 13 shy of the state record set by Trinity last season. “It’s nice I’ll have her back next year, too.”

Not to be outdone at the plate was Julianne Rurka, who was 5-for-8 on the day, including four doubles and four RBI.

She was robbed of a home run in the second inning of Game 1 when Spartans centerfielder Susie Baranski made a leaping over-the-shoulder grab, bringing it back into the ballpark.

The Southern Illinois recruit Baranski led off the game with a solo home run to center and finished the day going 5-for-7 with a walk. She came out of the game in the top of the seventh when she collided with left fielder Carlee Wisniewski. Baranski got the worst of it.

“That was very scary to see two kids collide like that but we are very lucky both came out with minor injuries,” Marian Catholic coach Kerri Evans said.

Marissa Panko hit her eighth home run of the year for the Redwings in Game 1 and Molly Moran got the win in the circle. Shannon Mills was 3-for-3 in Game 2, including a double while Megan Stoppelman added a two-run double.

Allison Spence (6-6), despite striking out 10 in six innings, got the loss. She pounded her 10th home run of the season in Game 2 against pitcher Emily York to pull her team within 4-2 in the third inning. Gabriela Angellotti had two hits in the opener and Hailey Earl suffered the loss in the night cap but had two hits on the day.

“I just do what I can to help my team and my team believes in me,” Abello said. “All that matters now is Carmel on Monday.”



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