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posted: 4/17/2012 9:35 PM

Bartlett downs Geneva for 9th straight win

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Bartlett's softball team played the old bend but don't break game against Geneva Tuesday afternoon.

The Hawks spotted Geneva a run in the first inning, then scored all of theirs in the bottom of the fourth and used the crafty pitching of senior Tori Burke to beat the Vikings 4-1 in Upstate Eight Conference action at Bartlett.

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And with the win -- and one today over lowly East Aurora -- Bartlett will take a 10-game winning streak to the Wendy's Spring Classic in Ashland, Ohio this weekend.

"We're excited," said Burke of the Ohio trip. "We're going to face some really good competition out there."

Which is exactly what Geneva was on Tuesday, sans one inning when the Vikes struggled defensively.

Geneva (6-8, 1-6) jumped ahead 1-0 in the first as Bridget Weitzel reached on a one-out error, moved to second on Kirsten Searcy's single and then scored on a single up the middle from Elena Wright.

Burke settled down after that and even though Geneva had runners on base in every inning except one, she and the Bartlett defense only allowed one other runner as far as third base, and that one was picked off in the fifth inning by Bartlett junior catcher Kaylyn Zierke. Burke allowed 8 hits on the day while striking out 7 and walking 2.

"I got them to hit my pitches and I knew my fielders would be there for me," said Burke, who will play volleyball and softball at Cardinal Stritch in Milwaukee next year.

Geneva's Natalie Erbe held the Hawks (12-2, 7-0) in check for the first three innings but then 2 errors and some timely hitting by Bartlett led to the Hawks taking a 4-1 lead in the fourth.

Zierke opened the inning with a single up the middle and courtesy runner Dana Paul was sacrificed to second by Alex Morales. Burke (2-for-3) singled up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home, which held Paul at third. Senior Steph Tomazin then belted a 2-run triple to right field scoring Paul and courtesy runner Julia Smith, When Geneva made an error on Kayla Haberstich's squeeze bunt, Tomazin scored and Haberstich went to second. Amanda Montbriand's fielder's choice that resulted in another Geneva error allowed Haberstich to score and give Bartlett a 4-1 lead.

"We came out kind of lax and after they scored we had to light the fire," said Burke. "It was hard to adjust to (Erbe's) speed but we got on base with small ball and then the big hit came."

The Hawks also played an errorless game after the first inning.

"I know Geneva has been struggling through the Valley (division) but they do a nice job of putting the ball in play and making you play defense," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "They're well-coached and they play disciplined softball. We did a good job of putting some pressure on them with the small ballgame and then Steph got the big hit when we needed it.

Erbe allowed 7 hits with 1 strikeout and 1 walk for the Vikings, who lost the services of Wright, their shortstop, who suffered a jaw injury on a steal play at second base in the third inning. Searcy had 2 hits for Geneva.

"We did a lot of things well today but we missed signs and every one we missed led to an out," said Geneva coach Greg Dierks. "We couldn't get off the field in the (fourth) inning and to their credit they took advantage. Natalie pitched well and we let some opportunities get away but (Burke) is good. She's a handful out there."

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