McHenry blasts past Cary-Grove
Fox Valley Conference softball coaches won't get a lot of sleep knowing that McHenry's super sophomores, Kristin Koepke and Carly Mattson, will be around the conference for two more years to terrorize them.
Koepke, who allowed Cary-Grove just 6 hits, also hit a 2-run homer while Mattson crushed a 3-run homer as the Warriors overwhelmed the Trojans 7-1 in FVC Valley action in Cary Monday afternoon.
The loss dropped Cary-Grove (15-3, 6-2) into a second-place tie with McHenry (15-8, 6-2) in the division. By beating Crystal Lake South 7-1 on Monday, Prairie Ridge (8-1) took over sole possession of first place.
"I feel like (former Baltimore Orioles manager) Earl Weaver," joked McHenry coach John DiFrancesca. "I coach for the 3-run and 2-run homer. Both Kristin and Carly are awesome players and awesome kids. They are mature beyond their years. We are a young team but have a lot of experience."
The Warriors (15-8, 6-2) made life for Cary-Grove junior pitcher Lauren Stanley miserable early.
In the top of the first, Dana Walsh drew a one-out walk and scored on a long 2-run homer by Koepke that easily cleared the left-field fence.
Cary-Grove ((15-3, 6-2) cut the McHenry lead in half with a run in the bottom of the inning. Lisa Semro led off with a single. The next hitter, Amy Clemment, executed a perfect sacrifice bunt and Semro was able to score from first base on a Warrior error.
The Warriors, who benefited from 7 walks and 3 Trojan errors, seized control of the game with 4 runs in the third led by Mattson's 3-run blast. McHenry added an insurance run in the fourth on am RBI single by Lindsay Cannon.
Koepke struck out 7 Trojans with 1 walk and a hit batter in the complete-game effort.
"Kristin had awesome location with her pitches," said DiFrancesca. "Her ball was really moving and Cary-Grove didn't get a lot of good swings. She got out of some jams and was tough when she had to be."
Sarah Leudo paced the Trojans' attack with 2 hits.
"The homers early hurt us," said Cary-Grove coach Tammy Olson. "They have a great hitting team up and down and the lineup. They played a great game today. My hats off to McHenry. But, we helped them. We made a lot of mistakes. We made a lot of mental errors. Our defense really hurt us all day. It just wasn't our day."
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