Coaches preach all the time about taking advantage of opportunities the other team gives you.
Huntley's softball team did just that Monday in a 5-2 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win over Jacobs at Huntley.
Trailing 2-0, the Red Raiders (16-7, 4-5) scored 5 runs on 3 hits, 2 errors and 2 hit batters in the bottom of the fifth inning, leaving the rest to sophomore right-hander Haley Spannraft and a solid defense to put away the win.
"We took advantage of our opportunities today and Haley has stepped up this year and she's getting stronger as the year goes on. I'm looking forward to seeing how she finishes," said Huntley coach Mark Petryniec.
Huntley's big inning started when Jacobs' Kelsey Peters, who pitched a credible game, hit the first two batters -- Shannon Walsh and Tamara Funke -- with inside pitches. After an out, leadoff hitter Jessica Shields drew a walk to set up Spannraft for a 2-run single to left field that turned into an error allowing Shields to also score and put the Raiders ahead 3-2. Another error on Brittany Koss' bunt scored courtesy runner Michelle Caputi to make it 4-2 and Randi Peterson (2-for-3) drove in Koss with a single to left.
"That was about the worse defensive softball I've seen in a while," lamented Jacobs coach Jeremy Bauer.
Jacobs had its chances but couldn't take advantage. The Golden Eagles (10-10, 3-5) scored in the first on a Jacquelyn Hengler double and Alyssa Lach single and again in the third when Hengler singled and Lach doubled, but they left 8 runners on base, six of them after the third inning. Jacobs had the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth but Spannraft got Hengler to pop out to Peterson at shortstop to end the inning. Jacobs had only three groundball outs in the game as Spannraft struck out 4 and got 14 pop up or flyball outs.
"That's not a good recipe for a win," Bauer said. "When you've got runners on base if you make an out on the ground fine, but we didn't hit the ball on the ground."
To Spannraft it was just a matter of her team getting some runs.
"Once we got those five runs I was more relaxed," she said. "Once we got those runs we knew we could win."
Peters allowed 7 hits with no strikeouts and 3 walks in absorbing the loss.