Emily York has waited all year to break into the homer column.
She did so Saturday, in grand style. And she had company.
Benet’s sophomore hit a go-ahead grand slam in Game 2 of a doubleheader with Marist — one of 6 homers the two teams slugged in the game — and the No. 3 Redwings went on to sweep the defending state champs in Lisle by scores of 6-2 and 18-13.
York’s slam to straight center gave Benet an 8-4 lead in the third inning of the second game. An inning later she went deep again with a solo shot.
“I’ve been hitting the ball, hitting line drives like I want to but I’ve waiting for it to go over the fence,” York said. “That second game, that was insane.”
It left a weary but satisfied Benet coach Jerry Schilf shaking his head afterward.
Benet (12-2, 6-1 East Suburban Catholic Conference) trailed 4-1, then batted around in a 7-run third and again in a 6-run fourth. Stephanie Abello, who hit a go-ahead homer in Game 1, preceded York’s second shot with a two-run homer in the fourth. Marist’s Loyola-bound shortstop, Brooke Widerski, was one of three players on her team to go deep.
In consecutive Saturday second games of doubleheaders, Benet and its opponents have combined for 55 runs.
“We’ve never had a game where teams hit 6 home runs, scored 31 runs in a game. God, that’s crazy,” Schilf said. “It’s fun when you win, but it’s a long, long day.”
Marissa Panko had 3 hits, scored 3 runs and made a couple sparkling plays at shortstop in Game 2, Maeve McGuire was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and 2 RBI, Julianne Rurka had 3 hits and 4 RBI and Ali Michalik a bases-clearing three-run double in the sixth.
Benet was mostly kept at bay for three innings of Game 1 against soft-tossing Marist starter Lizzie Annerino, Abbie Gerth’s two-run double the lone offense.
Leading off the fourth, Abello lined an 0-2 offering over the fence in right field, breaking a 2-2 tie.
“Coming from travel ball, you get to high school season and you get used to seeing some slower pitching,” said Abello, who now has 9 homers on the year. “I think we all made adjustments. She had been missing up with her changeup. It was about the same speed as the other pitches.”
Benet tacked on 3 in the seventh, Megan Stoppelman’s RBI single scoring Abello and Panko singling in 2 more.
York (9-2), meanwhile, was strong after allowing runs in the second and third. She only struck out 1 batter, but more important coaxed 17 groundball outs and kept speedy Marist leadoff hitter Julie Trellicoso off the bases.
“Emily has really stepped up with Molly (Moran) down. We’re lucky to have her,” said Abello, her catcher. “We try to keep the ball low. If they’re hitting groundballs, our infielders are going to make the plays.”
Benet’s two wins kept the Redwings a game in the loss column behind unbeaten Bishop McNamara, who still has conference doubleheaders remaining against Marist, Providence and at Benet on May 11. Marist, which lost to Providence 8-1 on Friday, dropped to 10-7, 4-4.
“We’re up five runs in the seventh inning of that second game and you’re wondering ‘Is it enough?’ It better be enough,” Schilf said, “but we came out on the right side of it. We really hit the ball. Maybe we’re starting to warm up a little bit.”
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