Sam Acosta started off her 18th birthday celebration in style on Thursday morning.
Playing in an 8 a.m. softball game against Elgin, the Hoffman Estates senior began her day by going 3-for-4 with 4 RBI to help lead her Hawks softball team to an 11-0 six-inning victory at The Dome in Rosemont.
The fine-fielding senior shortstop also had a putout and assist as the Hawks evened their record at 1-1.
"Absolutely a great way for Sam to start her birthday," said Hoffman Estates coach Lindsey Hamma, who starred as a shortstop at Illinois, the same school where Acosta plans to study engineering. "We came out swinging the bats and gave her (Acosta) a present."
In all, the Hawks had 8 hits including the game-winning RBI by winning pitcher Tracy Osimowicz (1-0) in the first inning.
Osimowicz (2-for-4) grounded a single past the infield with the bases loaded to score Acosta, who had led off the game with a single.
Freshman Brynn Connelly followed by reaching on an error and sophomore Jordyn Fera walked to load the bases and set up Osimowicz' RBI single.
The Hawks went on to score 7 runs in the inning.
"Obviously when you score 7 runs in the first inning it's a good pickup of momentum," Hamma said. "And I think we did a good job playing defense (no errors) behind our pitchers and playing hard from the beginning of the game."
Osimowicz, a sophomore, notched the win by throwing the first 4 innings, striking out five and giving up only 1 hit.
Junior Charlotte Allan went the final 2 innings, striking out six of the nine batters she faced to get the save.
Connelly tripled for Hoffman while Acosta had a double. Also getting base hits for the winners were Fera and senior Kaileen Hendle, who each also drew walks.
"We had a solid defensive practice on Wednesday and worked on some things that we struggled with Tuesday (in a 10-5 loss to Lake Zurich at the dome)," Hamma said. "And I think they carried those things from Wednesday's practice into this game."