Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Batting in the nine-hole in Lincoln-Way East’s order, Nikki Jarrell realizes chances to knock in runners may not be as plentiful as they were Friday.
Playing in her first varsity softball game, the sophomore second baseman took advantage at the plate with runners on base, going 2-for-4 with four RBI in East’s 11-1 win over Oak Lawn in Frankfort in six innings.
“I was nervous a little bit being a sophomore coming up for my first varsity at-bat,” Jarrell said. “You’ve just got to let that go and try to get the job done.”
Jarrell’s four RBI led Lincoln-Way East in its season opener. Kacyee Hart earned the win in the circle. The junior threw four innings, striking out six and allowing two hits and two walks with an earned run.
Heading to the dish for her first varsity at-bat, Jarrell could not have asked for a better situation. Her team trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded, she roped an offering that split the outfielders in right field. The ball rolled all the way to the fence for a bases-clearing triple. Jarrell later scored on Jill Reid’s sacrifice bunt.
“Down 1-0 like that, I was just trying to get the job done and put the ball in play,” Jarrell said.
After surrendering a run in the top of the first (an Allison Palhegyi RBI single), Hart went into cruise control over the next three innings. The junior did not allow a hit during that span.
“I just had to focus on what pitches I could and couldn’t throw just based on the batters,” Hart said. “(The first inning) was those first-game jitters, and it’s easier once you get that first run in from your team.”
The Griffins scored four runs in both the second and fourth, and single runs in the third, fifth and sixth.
Palhegyi’s RBI single that scored Tiffanie Triner was the lone offense for Oak Lawn (0-1), which was hitless after the first inning.
Mercedes Leon ended the first just missing out on a three-run home run, a ball Griffins center fielder Reid pulled in at the fence.
“We had a good solid start, and then we’re picking and choosing (the rest of the way),” Oak Lawn coach Kelly Herlihy said. “Opening up the season against a great team like East can be an eye-opener.”
No. 8 Stagg 3, T.F. South 1: Faith Johnson (3-for-3, double) had three RBI and Victoria Dellorto (3-for-3) scored three runs to spark Stagg (2-0) in Palos Hills. Lea LaSota (2-0) allowed six hits and struck out 14 in going the distance for the Chargers. T.F. South fell to 0-1.
No. 10 Richards 11, Oak Park-River Forest 8: Brianna LeBeau and Danielle Kappel each contributed two hits and three RBI for host Richards (1-0). Kailie Tobin added three hits and three runs for the Bulldogs.
Bloom Township 4, Joliet Central 0: Monica Harte pitched a two-hitter and struck out five to lead host Bloom Township in its season opener. Toni Formentini contributed two hits and a run for the Blazing Trojans.
Shepard 5, Chicago Christian 4: Devin Neubauer was the winning pitcher for host Shepard (1-0). Megan Glynn (3-for-4, 2 doubles, triple) had two RBI for Chicago Christian (1-2) and Theresa Kraiss scored twice.
St. Laurence 4, Brooklandville (Md.) St. Paul’s 3: Mike Chimera’s single in the bottom of the seventh scored Kyle Wood with the winning run for St. Laurence (2-0) in Orlando. Mike Kornacker (1-0) pitched 12/3 scoreless innings in relief and also had an RBI single for the Vikings.
Tinley Park 14, Thornton 4: Adam Gunther was 2-for-4 with three RBI for host Tinley Park in the season debut for both squads.
Ag Science 19, Marshall 6: Prince DeMarco (2-for-3) had four RBI to lead host Ag Science (1-1) in the six-inning tilt. DeMarco (1-0) also tossed four scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out eight. Mark Taylor and Imri Adams tacked on three RBI apiece for the Cyclones.
Reavis 9, Morton 6: Matt Javorski went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI for visiting Reavis (2-0). Zack Mackowiak (1-0) pitched 51/3 innings, yielding two earned runs on six hits.
Chicago Christian 8, Lisle 0: Jon Lemmenes smacked a three-run triple and a sacrifice fly in lifting host Chicago Christian (3-0). Luke Coffman (3-for-3) added two runs for the Knights to support Trent Overzet (2-0), who scattered four hits over 52/3 innings.
Coal City 7, Illiana Christian 6: Illiana Christian (1-1) lost the contest in Lansing.
Homewood-Flossmoor 6, Normal West 0: Haley Hruska netted a hat trick and Kelly Lewers (goal) had three assists for host Homewood-Flossmoor (2-0).
Hinsdale Central Invitational: All-around champion Ajani Cargle (53.470) propelled Lincoln-Way co-op (154.420) to a first-place finish in the 10-team meet. Individual event winners for Lincoln-Way co-op were Cargle on the parallel bars (9.300) and Ryan Reif on the still rings (9.100). Mundelein (148.200) was second in the team standings, while Naperville North (144.655) took third. Andrew (90.850) was 10th.
Marian Catholic 11, Nazareth Academy 6: Hannah Conway and Emma Terrazas scored four goals apiece for host Marian Catholic (2-0, 1-0) in the Southwest Suburban match.
Contributing: Josh Krockey