Not too many softball teams in the state can say they have four different pitchers with wins this season.
But that’s the case for Schaumburg, which has featured senior Hannah Kerr, sophomore Roxanne Kakareka, sophomore Shannon Felde and freshman Paige Alt on the mound.
Kerr is the winningest girl on the staff, and the senior added another impressive win to her ledger by throwing a 2-hitter on Tuesday to edge visiting Palatine 2-1.
Pirates ace Megan Hedstrom (8-6) was also effective, giving up only 5 hits while striking out five.
“It was a well-pitched game both ways,” said Pirates coach Jeff Manz. “They both did a good job getting ahead in the count.”
Kerr ran her count to 5 wins and no losses, striking out seven and giving up only an infield single to Jamie Haze in the second inning and a single down the first base line by Hedstrom in the sixth.
“I just try to focus and concentrate,” said Kerr, who had only 3 decisions as a junior but worked hard in the offseason to be a key member of the rotation. “We knew Palatine would be one of the better teams we’d face so I stayed to stay focused and confident.”
Haze’s hit led to the Pirates’ only run off Kerr.
The junior third baseman advanced to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Courtney English. Haze took third on a wild pitch and scooted home on a passed ball to give her team a 1-0 cushion.
The Saxons, though, struck twice in the top of third and those 2 runs proved enough for Kerr.
Julia Bellinger started the decisive inning by reaching on an error.
Kerr got on base with a fielder’s choice when Bellinger was forced at second.
Senior center fielder Dana Giannelli then got the run home with a double to center field, tying the game at 1-1.
After a walk to freshman Paige Alt, shortstop Felde singled to right to score Giannelli for the go-ahead run.
Felde went 2-for-3 and made a terrific diving stop to her left on Haze’s infield hit and then threw a perfect strike from her knee to first baseman Alt.
The victory gave Schaumburg a 14-3 overall record and 6-2 mark in the tough MSL West where Palatine (10-7) is 4-2.
“Hannah pitched stellar, that’s why we only needed those 2 runs,” Giannelli said. “She really stepped up. I got the chills from her pitching. She was outstanding.
“We knew this would be a tough game with Palatine but we buckled down. Everything we talked about came together in this game.”
This game came down to the half inning where Schaumburg got the hits by Giannelli and Felde.
“They put 2 hits together in an inning and we didn’t,” Manz said. “That was the difference. And we made some mistakes in that inning. The team that made the least amount of mistakes won.”
The Saxons also had back-to-back hits with two outs in the bottom of the fifth by Alt (single to center and Felde (single to right).
But Hedstrom escaped the jam with a groundout to second baseman Grace Rohrwasser.
Hedstrom had a two-out single down the first base line in the sixth but Kerr got a groundout to Felde to end the inning.
Kerr wrapped up the win with a 1-2-3- seventh, capped by a popout to her freshman catcher Christina Candotti to end the game.
“Hannah pitched real well,” said Saxons coach Ellen Stoddard. “She did a good job getting ahead of hitters. Then we got those 2 runs on the big hits and played good defense behind her.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.