With a seemingly effortless flick of the forearm, Alyssa Sclafani sent a ball soaring over the fence in right.
It was the cherry on quite a Montini power display.
Freshman Sclafani hit a pair of homers, Sara Ross and Shaylee Lewis each went deep once and Montini beat IC Catholic Prep 12-2 in six innings in the Suburban Christian Conference Blue opener on Wednesday in Lombard.
“We’ve been practicing a lot on hitting,” Sclafani said. “We have the ability to break some records, I think.”
They’re well on their way.
Sclafani’s 2 homers give her 4 on the season, tying Tori Shipbaugh’s single-season school record, and the 10 for the team in seven games also ties a single-season record.
“It’s not something we want to rely on,” Montini coach Richie Costante said, “but it’s nice to have.”
Costante is more a disciple of the traditional aggressive, speed-first softball game, and he has some wheels with Lauren Trojnar and Isabell Alexander. He won’t argue with the long ball, though.
“Speed kills, but home runs take the emotion out of the game,” Costante said. “When you can hit a 2-run homer or a 3-run homer, it changes the game fast.”
Costante has touted freshman catcher Sclafani, and she showed why Wednesday.
After a Morganne Evans single scored Alexander with the game’s first run in the third inning, Sclafani hit the first pitch she saw for a 2-run homer to right field. Sclafani was robbed of a sure double in the fourth, IC center fielder Lindsey Montoya laying out for a diving grab. Nobody, though, was bringing back Sclafani’s opposite-field laser well over the fence in right in the sixth.
“She has some good hands and she’s seeing the ball well. The sky’s the limit for her,” Costante said. “As a team, this is the best approach to hitting we’ve had.”
“I just tried to hit the ball where it was pitched,” Sclafani said. “I guess I do think of myself as a power hitter. I’m not a lefty, so I can’t slap.”
Gabby Curran’s 2-run homer in the fourth pulled IC (3-2, 0-1) within 6-2, but Montini (5-2, 1-0) answered with 3 runs each in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Lewis hooked a solo homer down the line in the fifth, and after a walk Ross lined her second homer of the year.
“(Jessica) Conenna wasn’t hitting her spots, but it happens,” IC coach Frank Reaber said. “They hit it hard. Montini has some very good hitters.”
IC wasn’t in action at all last week during spring break, and Reaber felt the layoff hurt his club.
“I think we were a little tentative in some things that we did,” Reaber said. “We made a couple errors, and when they get runners on base you’re kind of at their mercy.”
It is Costante’s first win over IC in his fourth try, and his team will look to snap another 0-fer today against Glenbard East before taking aim at Glenbard South for the first time Friday.
“These are measuring stick games,” he said.
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