The Maine West girls softball players lived up to words of their coach on Tuesday at Buffalo Grove.
"Like our coach (Amy Gonzales) says, 'Hitting is contagious,' " said Warriors senior center fielder Abbey Herling, who went 3-for-5, with an RBI double in the third inning. "She always tells us that in practice."
Trailing 6-2 to start the top of the seventh, guess what the Warriors did?
They strung together five consecutive hits to start the inning, tying the game at 6-6 and then went on to pull out a dramatic nine-inning 7-6 triumph over the defending Mid-Suburban East champs.
Left fielder Erin Ross (2-for-3, 2 walks) began the seventh-inning rally by smacking a leadoff double to right center.
Freshman leadoff batter Grace Feldkamp (2-for-5) followed with an RBI single to right center.
Monica Liwag (3-for-5) singled to left and Herling's single to center cut the margin in half (6-4) when Feldkamp crossed the plate.
The fifth straight hit then came from sophomore catcher Kayla Pociejewski (2-for-4, walk), whose single got home Liwag and Herling to tie the game with the help of an error on the play.
With Pociejewski on third base, Bison senior pitcher Breann Steady entered the game and stranded the runner by getting 2 strikeouts and a popup to second baseman Maddi Morini.
"We just kept our composure when we were down," said Ross, who also led off the Warrior's scoreless eighth inning with a single.
Maine West (2-0) won its second game in two days with its run in the top of the ninth.
Pociejewski led off with a single to center and eventually came home on Alyssa Pegoraro's one-out bunt single and error on the play.
"We had some timely hitting," Gonzales said. "And we had some great pitching (from starter Anna Wileko and Feldkamp, who went the final four innings, retiring six of the final seven batters she faced). "It's a nice combination to have with one who can start and the other to finish."
BG (0-2) took its 6-2 lead by scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the sixth as Dea Barton (3-for-5), Katie Conley (3-for-5, double), Michelle Dublin each had hits. Katie Fontanetta, Barton and starting pitcher Julia Camardo (RBI double in the first inning) crossed the plate and Jasmine Avalos also drew a walk.
"I was pleased by the way we executed a lot of things," said BG coach Jamie Paul. "With that said, we had a lot of opportunities that we didn't capitalize on.
"We had a lot of runners on base who we couldn't push across. Those are things we must do as you move forward in the season."