The Herscher softball team brought something extra with it Friday that was crucial to beating host Lisle 5-3.
Chicago-area teams have had their schedules messed up because of weather. But the Tigers (3-3) went into the contest having played five times. Lisle (1-1) was playing just its second game, and coach Jen Pomatto said it showed.
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"We have to have some more at-bats. We struck out 17 times and it shouldn't have been this close. But we took advantage of some dropped third strikes," she said. "It stayed close."
The Interstate Eight Conference crossover game, like the weather, was cold the first three innings with Lisle starting pitcher Summer Stitt and Herscher starting pitcher Mackenzie Marquis giving up one hit each during that time span. Stitt racked up four of her 10 strikeouts then as well.
Lisle finally made a move in the fourth with three runs. Jessica Calaway reached base on a dropped third strike with one out. Then with two outs Hayley Belina put a 1-2 pitch into center field for the Lions' second and final hit of the afternoon and that scored Calaway. Leadoff hitter Abby Tarasewicz reached on another dropped third strike and both she and Belina scored on a passed ball.
The Tigers took a 4-3 lead with a 4-run, 4-hit sixth inning and added an insurance run in the seventh.
"I thought both pitchers pitched well," said Herscher coach Kristin Siebring. "You have to take advantage of every opportunity in a game like this because there might not be many of them."
Stitt, a junior who gave up six hits and walked just four, is new to the pitcher's circle.
"This was just her second game pitching in high school. It's going to take some time for her to adjust, but she's doing a good job," Pomatto said.
Lisle is scheduled to play games three of the next four days, beginning Saturday with a trip to Timothy Christian in Elmhurst. The Lions begin their defense of their IEC North Division title with two games against Plano, one Monday in Lisle and Tuesday in Plano. Both games begin at 4:30 p.m.