After the first three innings Saturday, St. Viator senior Julie Sweeney and Indians sophomore Bethany Hart were in a solid pitchers' duel at the Schaumburg Sports Complex.
"Julie Sweeney is a really good pitcher," said Marengo coach Dwain Nance. "She dominated us the first time through our order."
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But the Indians got a little jump in the third inning, taking a 2-0 lead on cleanup batter Chloe Montgomery's triple down the left-field line.
The 2010 sectional finalists then erupted for 16 runs in the final four innings (9 in the top of the seventh) to blank the Lions 18-0.
Montgomery never made it home after the triple, thanks to a terrific diving catch by shortstop Alex Flasch to rob designated hitter Taylor Schoenfeld of an RBI single to shallow center field.
Flasch also took away a base hit from Schoenfeld in the fifth inning with another eye-popping play.
The junior shortstop made a great backhand stop in the hole and then threw a bullet to first baseman Kristen Cozzi.
"Oh my God, she's a stud," Nance said of Flasch's defensive prowess. "She made about three plays you don't normally see from a shortstop."
"Alex is a player," added St. Viator coach Dan Twarog. "She was great for us last season and we expect even greater things this year. She's been in Italy all week for spring break. She just got off the plane Friday night at 11 p.m."
Hart was making her first varsity start for Marengo (2-1), which has a win over Elmwood Park and loss to Prairie Ridge. The sophomore right-hander went 20-0 while pitching for the Indians' freshman and sophomore teams a year ago.
The only hit she gave up was to the Lions' first batter of the game. Freshman right fielder Tess Kaiser singled down the right-field line.
Hart (7 strikeouts) allowed only two more baserunners -- senior Angela Dickey was hit by a pitch with one out in the third and Flasch reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
"We've just got to start playing as a team," Flasch said. "They were a better team than us today. We've got to be more focused."
"The fact is, 1 hit is not going to win games for you," Twarog added. "We are better batters. We just have to prove it the next time we play (Thursday at Prospect).
"I thought we competed well the first three innings. We had a couple of errors but we still got out of the first three innings down only 2-0."