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updated: 5/24/2012 12:31 AM

Kaneland throttles Rosary

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

McKinzie Mangers' first-inning second life was all the Kaneland softball team needed to make quick work of Rosary on Wednesday afternoon.

The Kaneland senior co-captain -- moments after Rosary muffed a foul pop that would have been the third out -- laced a 2-run single up the middle in the Knights' first at-bat in semifinal action of the IMSA Class 3A regional in Aurora.

It was all the offense four-year ace Delani Vest would need as the right-hander allowed a mere hit in improving to 19-3 as Rosary ultimately failed to retire any of the six Kaneland batters in the sixth.

Mangers' bases-loaded push bunt down the first-base line scored Allyson O'Herron to end the contest in the bottom of the inning, 10-0.

Top-seeded Kaneland (30-6) will face conference rival and No. 2 seed Yorkville -- whom the Knights defeated twice in Big Northern Illinois XII East regular-season action -- Saturday morning for a berth in the Belvidere North sectional.

Fourth-seeded Rosary had its season close at 14-23.

"I was hoping to shoot for a gap, and it scored two," Mangers said of her two-out, first-inning single that scored O'Herron and pinch-runner Morgan Newhouse. "We wanted to bring everything we could to the game. We know we can't take any game lightly (in the postseason)."

Vest, meanwhile, fanned five while Victoria Phipps' leadoff single in the third was the lone mistake.

The Knights' senior pitched over 3 errors and did not allow a runner past second base.

"We knew that we had to make a statement," Vest said. "Definitely as a pitcher you don't want any runs (to score). We knew that we had to attack the ball (on offense)."

The Knights collected 12 hits -- all singles -- and capitalized on a series of Royals' defensive miscues to go up 7-0 midway through the game.

In the fateful fourth inning, Rosary had three 2-base miscues that led directly to 4 unearned runs.

O'Herron drove in the only RBI of the inning with a two-out single and later scored, along with Sam Hansen, when the Rosary outfielder misplayed a Paige Kuefler single.

The Royals' season-long nemesis returned at the worst possible time.

"We had 93 errors on the season coming into the game and had five more today," Rosary coach John Kazmierczak said. "You're not going to be in the game if you make 98 errors in a season."

The Knights were extremely aggressive running the bases as Hansen, Vest and O'Herron reached safely and later scored to terminate the game with none out in the sixth.

"We wanted to put pressure on their defense today," Kaneland coach Brian Willis said.

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