Tyler's first homer helps Glenbard East complete sweep
Kelli Tyler admitted to being a little nervous at the challenge put to her.
Given a second crack, she didn't miss.
After Addison Trail intentionally walked Kara Tadda in front of her for the second straight at-bat, the Glenbard East sophomore crushed a go-ahead 3-run homer, and the Rams went on to win the second game 7-6 to sweep the Saturday doubleheader in Lombard.
Glenbard East took the opener 4-2.
"When I got up there I just wanted to pound it out," Tyler said. "You have to just trust your skills."
Tyler popped up with two on and two out in the fourth after Tadda was given a free pass.
Addison Trail surged ahead 5-4 in the top of the sixth, but in the bottom half Brittany Plimmer singled, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. With two outs Tadda was walked, then Tyler hit a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left for her first homer of the year.
"She was nervous about it the first time," Glenbard East coach Val Pinzker said. "I told her these are the situations you want to be in."
Tyler didn't play in the first game but got the start at catcher in Game 2.
"We got her the first time," Addison Trail coach Mark Olson said, "and we were talking and second-guessing afterward -- but you got to tip your hat to her. She came through, and that's a great memory. I just wish it came against someone else."
Addison Trail came back with a run in the seventh, but with the tying and go-ahead runs on Glenbard East's Grace Miller got a strikeout and a hard liner to second base to end it.
It's the second time in as many days Glenbard East (9-14) won on its last at-bat after beating West Chicago 5-4 on Friday.
"We're really starting to come on," Pinzker said. "Now that we're playing consistently we just keep getting better and better."
Addison Trail (10-15), which has made a huge jump in wins in Olson's first year, showed its grit in coming back from an early Game 2 deficit. Crystal Marinelli had 2 hits, scoring the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to go ahead 5-4 in the top of the sixth. Ari Renc, Alex DeSilvio and Kelly Baumgartner also had 2 hits in the second game.
"They battle and they always give me effort," Olson said. "It's a great group. We're making strides. Sometimes it's baby steps, sometimes they have to take a step back before stepping forward but you can't knock their effort."
Glenbard East jumped out to a 3-0 lead after an inning of Game 1 on the strength of 3 singles and 3 Blazers errors, and Tadda was strong on the mound. She scattered 6 hits and 2 walks, and received a couple big defensive plays behind her. Carissa Slobodecki threw out a runner at the plate from left field in the first, and shortstop Donibrooke Ross doubled off a runner at third on a liner to end the fifth.
"I have total confidence in my infield and outfield," Tadda said. "I know they'll back me up."
Plimmer enjoyed a huge day at the plate for the Rams, going 6-for-7 with 5 runs scored.
"She's amazing. She's been with me for four years, and she's just solid," Pinzker said. "She's the best catcher I've ever coached."
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