It was a freshman duo Cary-Grove just couldn't contain.
Carly Mattson delivered the game-winning single in the seventh inning while Kristen Koepke hurled a 7-hit shutout as McHenry edged Cary-Grove 1-0 in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division softball action in Cary Monday afternoon.
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"I was really nervous at the plate," said Mattson. "I just wanted to make contact and hit the ball where it was pitched. It's awesome to get a game-winning hit and beat a very good Cary-Grove team."
The game was originally scheduled to be played at McHenry, but the Warriors' field was unplayable.
McHenry (18-3, 8-2) was finally able to score a run in the seventh after Cary-Grove junior Lindsay Efflandt blanked the Warriors for 6 innings on 1 hit.
In the pivotal inning, McHenry's first three hitters -- Koepke, Mikaela Mitsch and Kelsea Cichocki -- reached on singles to load the bases with nobody out. Efflandt buckled down and retired the next two hitters before Mattson's dramatic hit.
"This is a team from freshmen to senior," said McHenry coach John DiFrancesca, whose team beat Cary-Grove for the second time this season. "The team chemistry is good. Everybody contributed, but our freshmen Kristen and Carly were huge today. Lindsay was awesome today. She is a great pitcher. We were finally able to string some hits together and score a run."
Efflandt, who gave up a run on 5 hits, struck out 8 without allowing a walk. She also hit a McHenry batter.
"Lindsay was awesome," said Cary-Grove coach Tammy Olson, whose team dropped a game behind division-leading Prairie Ridge in the loss column. "She mixed her pitches well and did a great job against a very good hitting team. We hit the ball hard at times, but we couldn't string enough hits together,"
The Trojans (22-6, 7-2), who had runners on base in all seven innings, had their best chance to score against Koepke in the seventh inning.
Sarah Kendeigh, who led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Ellen Celske and went to third on an infield single by Lisa Semro. Sara Markelonis then lined to right field to end the inning.
Semro, Markelonis and Taylor Dunne collected 2 hits each for the Trojans. Dunne drilled a double to right-center in the sixth for the game's lone extra base hit.
In seven innings, Koepke struck out 5 with out allowing a walk in earning the win.