Taylor, Glenbard South on the money
Hannah Taylor was waiting on the "money pitch" during her last at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Glenbard South senior third baseman waited in the batter's box as Lemont's Carly Jaworski threw a first pitch fastball that Taylor knocked up the middle for a single.
The two-out hit drove in teammate Jane Trzaska from second, giving the defending state champion a 6-5 comeback victory and the Class 3A Nazareth sectional title. With the win the Raiders move on to Monday's Nazareth supersectional where they will face Fenwick at 4:30 p.m.
"I was just looking for the pitch that said money all over it," Taylor said. "It was a fastball and I was looking for it all the way."
Glenbard South coach Julie Fonda said afterward that the situation couldn't have been scripted better.
"Last year at state, she was the kid in that scenario," Fonda said. "If I could have drawn it up any better, there wouldn't have been another kid I would want in that situation."
Trzaska pitched the first inning and a third before staking Lemont to a 3-1 lead. Tuesday's winner Stephanie Chitkowski took over midway through the second inning and was charged with just one earned run and seven strikeouts the rest of the way.
"The game plan was to pitch Jane (Trzaska) the first three innings and then go to Stephanie (Chitkowski)," Fonda said. "We are a better team with Jane (Trzaska) behind the plate, and that's the bottom line. She didn't want to leave her teammate in a scenario where there was one out and runners on first and second, but I told her that Stephanie's been doing that for her sister all her life and she's going to do the same for you because you're like a sister."
Down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth, Glenbard South began the comeback with two runs in that inning. Taylor started off the scoring with a triple to center field that drove in Danielle Scarpiniti from first. One batter later, Tarah Valdez laid down a bunt and Scarpiniti beat out the play at the plate, cutting the Lemont lead to 4-3.
The next inning Scarpiniti tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field that drove in Trzaska from third.
Chitkowski held the Indians scoreless until the top of the seventh when leadoff hitter Rachel Hall hit a line drive to right field that drove in Alyssa Molaro from second to put her team up 5-4.
However, the inning ended when Molaro was thrown out at second trying to stretch her single into a double, which also saved an additional Indians' run from scoring.
"We practice just about every day picking off runners," Fonda said. "The practice paid off."
Aimee Gerhardt led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk before Trzaska followed with a double that drove in Gerhardt from first to tie the game 5-5.
Ashton Cattenhead sent Trzaska to third on a sacrifice bunt two batters before Taylor's single sent home the winning run.
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