Tuesday afternoon's 4-0 Montini softball victory over Lake Park first looked like one of those games where the team wins 1-0 on one play or one hit.
The Broncos, though, found their groove in the fourth inning of the contest held indoors at The Rosemont Dome, scoring all four of their runs on five hits. Montini had just one hit during the first three innings and just one hit after its big inning.
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"It was the only inning that we got the lead-off runner on," said Broncos coach Richie Costante. "We have some pretty good hitters and we're returning some players from last year."
It was the season opener for both teams and the offenses were pretty calm during the first three innings with Tacia Mesina's infield hit for Montini being the only hit during that timespan.
The fourth-innings fireworks for Montini started off with Ashley Lentine's double to the center field fence. She moved to third on Mesina's base-hit bunt. Mesina would steal second and that set the stage for winning pitcher Lauren Trojnar, whose single just got into the outfield and which plated Lentine.
With two outs, Cristina Barrett's triple was a perfectly-placed ball that hugged the right-field line and that brought Mesina and Trojnar home. Barrett would be the final run of the inning when she scored on a Alyssa Sclafani single to left.
Trojnar, a three-year varsity starter, threw a four-hit, complete game shutout and finished with three strikeouts and walked just one.
"We practiced hard in the offseason. This is a good team that loves to win so today was a good day," Trojnar said.
As for Lake Park, leadoff hitter Ashlyn Worcester started the game with a walk and that would be it for the Lancers on offense until the fourth inning. With two outs Dena Guthrie hit a ball hard and just to the right of the infielder that grabbed it, but Guthrie beat out the throw. She moved to scoring postition on Jordan Dallmann's basehit to left field that immediately followed. But the two were left on base.
Dina Falk reached base on a perfectly placed bunt in the fifth.
Guthrie again singled in the sixth and Dallman reached on a fielder's choice when Montini got a runner out heading to third, but Lake Park couldn't bring them home.
"Their pitcher kept us off-balance and a couple of bounces went Montini's way," said Lake Park coach James Chellson. "Our hitters need to take a better mental approach against a pitcher with good motion. It was opening day, and I hope we got the nerves out of the way."
Obviously, playing in a facility like The Rosemont Dome provides perfect playing conditions, and Chellson said it can benefit left-handed hitters.
"Runners are faster on turf than on dirt, and that's an advantage to players that can put a bunt down," he said.
Chellson added his team will have to be ready when the Lancers return Wednesday to The Rosemont Dome for a 2 p.m. game against St. Charles East as the Saints field a lineup with several left-handed hitters.
Chellson praised the efforts of starting pitcher Julie Baumgart and Elisabeth Brown, who came in relief. Baumgart allowed just one hit during the first three innings and struck out seven in 3⅔ innings of work. Brown allowed just one hit.
Each team made a memorable defensive play. In the second Lake Park third baseman Julia Caesar stood firm on a line drive right at her, and Montini center fielder Alexander saved a sure extra-base hit with a sprinting flyball catch in the fifth.