Updated: July 5, 2014 6:31AM
Richards coach Julie Folliard couldn’t have put it more eloquently after Marist beat her Bulldogs 8-1 in Tuesday’s Class 4A Reavis Sectional semifinal.
“You know, you stop the engine ... but they have a pretty strong train.”
Marist’s “engine,” Brooke Wyderski, was 0-for-3 for one of the few times in her illustrious high school career.
Seven other RedHawks, however, had at least one hit, four of them contributing two.
“Our team chemistry is unbelievable,” Brooke Wilson said. “From the top of the lineup to the bottom, everybody can hit. We have faith all throughout the lineup.”
The win vaults Marist (29-8-1) into Saturday’s sectional title game against the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Sandburg and Mother McAuley. Richards’ season ends at 22-9.
Even with the 0-for, Wyderski contributed offensively for Marist with a walk, a run and an RBI groundout. Her walk, in the first inning, followed back-to-back singles by Madison Naujokas and Julie Trellicoso. Wilson was next up and drilled a shot to the fence in center for a three-run double.
“I just went in relaxed,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to make contact with the ball and hit it to the green, whether it be a sac fly or hitting it through the infield. I just wanted to score a run.”
The jump-start was more than enough for RedHawks pitcher Zariya Gonzalez. The right-hander twirled a two-hitter, striking out five and allowing just four balls to leave the infield.
One of them left the park, a solo home run by Sara Tobin in the top of the third that closed to the gap to 3-1.
Only one other Bulldog would reach base the rest of the way.
“(The early runs) just made me want to hold them,” Gonzalez said. “I just made sure I hit my spots and the defense was solid behind me.”
Marist got the run back in the bottom of the third when Wilson and Vanessa Villansenor singled, were sacrificed along by Gonzalez before Wilson scored on a grounder by Alexis Rogers.
From there it was a steady pullaway. Hits by Amanda McIlhany and Naujokas keying a two-run fourth, and a triple by Gonzalez and singles by McIlhany and Trellicoso the big blows in a two-run fifth.
For one day, they could let the engine rest. This was the little train that could.
“We work in practice every day,” Naujokas said. “That’s our main focus. We need to come out here strong and be prepared, because if someone is not hitting then we need to pick them up and be ready to help them out.”
Class 3A Manteno Sectional
Morris 2, Tinley Park 1: Kelly Kolotka’s single in the top of the seventh scored Leah Lines with the winning run for Morris (21-8) in the semifinal. Abby Burns pitched a complete game (5-hitter, 7 strikeouts) for the Redskins in addition to contributing a run-scoring double in the fourth. Annalisse Scott had a sixth-inning single for Tinley Park (22-6) that brought in Sam Alberto. Scott also gave up six hits and struck out five in going the distance.