Hoffman Estates had a hit in four different innings when it came to bat in the top of the eighth on Monday at Prospect.
When it counted the most, the Hawks put together their first multiple-hit inning of the game and came away with a 3-2 victory in the Mid-Suburban League softball crossover.
Three juniors got on base with hits in the decisive eighth inning.
Sam Acosta led off with an infield single.
After a groundout to third baseman Michele Molini and line out to second baseman Rachel Trebswether, Hoffman was down to its final out of the inning with Acosta standing at second base (after a stolen base).
That’s when Kaileen Hendle doubled to left center to give the Hawks the 2-1 lead.
Andrea Wolinski followed with an RBI single to center for a 3-1 advantage.
“We just had to dig deep in our hearts,” Wolinski said. “We had to back up our pitcher (freshman Tracy Osimowicz). She was pitching well and we were trying to back her up on defense.”
Osimowicz got backed into in a hole in the bottom of the eighth when back-to-back errors gave Prospect (3-12, 1-5) runners at first and third with no outs.
After a groundout to third, Meghan Doyle had an RBI to score Molini cutting the deficit in half at 3-2.
But the rookie pitcher got the final batter on a popup to senior second baseman Nicole LaBeck, enabling the Hawks (3-11-1) to even their record at 3-3 in the MSL West.
“We had some opportunities early in the game and didn’t take advantage,” said Hoffman Estates coach Lindsey Hamma.
“But when the pressure was on with two outs in the eighth inning, we hit the ball. Kaileen came up with the big double and Andrea gave us that big insurance run.”
Hendle, who caught Osimowicz’ first varsity win, and Wolinski each ended up 2-for 4 for the Hawks.
“We’re used to the pressure,” Hendle said of the Hawks’ clutch hitting in the top of the eighth. “It’s just natural for us now. We are a confident team. Tracy did very well. She was really hitting her spots.”
Maggie Pancini and Molini had back-to-back one out-singles in the first inning but Osimowicz (1-5) got out of the jam with a pair of ground ball outs.
The Hawks got on the board first in the top of the sixth. Hendle singled home Jordyn Fera, who had begun the inning by being hit by a pitch.
Hoffman tried to add another run but Knights left fielder Ally Schuldt made a terrific shoestring catch in left and then threw home to catcher Cassie Poulos, who put the tag on the runner who had tagged up at third base.
The double play was the second out of the inning and pitcher Michelle Korf (3-6) got the final out on a grounder to shortstop Emma Riordan.
Prospect tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when Pancini reached on a fielder’s choice and came home on an error.
Trebswether caught line drives by LaBeck and Heather Bartoszewski in each of the last 2 innings.
“Rachel played great at second,” said Prospect coach Jim Adair. “We gave them some extra bases with some fielding misplays but I was not unhappy with how we played.”
Sophomore Casey Lenski threw the first four scoreless innings for Prospect and Korf went the final four.
“Casey and Michelle both looked good,” Adair said. “We didn’t pick up some balls cleanly, but they put the ball in play.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.