Winning rehearsal for Buffalo Grove
Buffalo Grove got one final tune-up on Tuesday for Thursday's 40th annual Mid-Suburban League softball championship game.
And the Bison got one final win in the Mid-Suburban League East, where they are champions for the first time since 1999.
Trailing 2-1 going into the top of fifth inning, senior right fielder Kristina Dakas drove a one-out double to the right-center field fence to ignite a 2-run inning that gave the Bison the lead for good.
BG added 4 more runs in the sixth to post a 7-2 victory behind sophomore ace Julia Camardo (14-7), who tossed a 5-hitter with 7 strikeouts.
BG finished at 11-5 in the MSL East (three games ahead of runner-up Elk Grove) and is 15-8 overall.
Sophomore Caitlyn Catino's single to center drove home Dakas to tie the game at 2-2.
Two batters later, senior third baseman Erin Barton (2-for-2, 2 RBI, triple, double) doubled to left-center to score her sister Dea (2-for-4, 2 RBI), who had reached on a fielder's choice.
"That was a great hit by Kristina (Dakas)," said Buffalo Grove coach Jamie Paul. "She got all of it and jump-started that rally."
"It was a big win for us, especially since we lost them (9-4) at home the last time we played," said Dakas, who also made a nice running catch on Cassie Poulos' flyball in the second inning. "We wanted to show that we were a different team than we were in that first game."
The Bison showed their bats again in the sixth when Amanda Salzman led off with a single to center.
"We were more positive this time," said the Bison receiver. "And we attacked the ball better at the plate."
Katie Conley (2-for-3), Michelle Dublin (RBI) and Megan Fu (RBI) all followed with singles before the Bison had an out. Catino (2-for-2, walk) was hit by a pitch with one out and Dea Barton followed with a 2-run single to left to make it 7-2.
"We only had 1 strikeout so we knew if we kept at it, the ball would fall," Paul added. "It was important to get momentum going into Thursday's game. We wanted to get a good solid game under our belt."
BG took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Erin Barton tripled down the right field line to score her sister Dea.
Prospect answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs.
Maggie Pancini singled to center with one out and Michele Molini reached on an error.
Both came home on Casey Lenski's single and outfield error.
Camardo escaped further damaging by striking out the next two batters.
"In our last game against them, when we hit the ball, it didn't go right at them," said Prospect coach Jim Adair. "This time, we hit it right at them.
"Im not terribly unhappy with how we played. It was senior day so we had to play with some distractions, but I thought Jill (Sadowski) pitched well."
Pancini was the only multiple hitter for Prospect (8-18, 6-11), going 2-for-4.
"Buffalo Grove is a good team," Adair added. "You don't win the MSL East championship by not being a good team.
"But we were right in the game with them. We started out well. We made 1 error. We've just had to get some hitting. But we can't be discouraged when we don't hit well in one game."
Paul said one key to this game was the Bison staying positive.
"This time we kept their hitters more under control," she said. "Julia was getting ahead in the count so we were able to control their bats.
"And we didn't get down on ourselves when we fell behind. We kept talking about doing all the little things. We stayed relaxed and focused."
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