This time, the big inning worked in Larkin's favor.
The Royals broke open a tie game with 3 runs in the fourth inning and held on to beat Dundee-Crown, 5-4, in nonconference softball action in Elgin Monday.
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"We've consistently had one bad inning that's hurt us so far this year," said Larkin coach Anne Vogt. "We're thankful that the bad inning didn't crop up on us in this one."
Instead it was the Chargers, who were playing their season opener, who fell victim to the bad inning. With one out in the fourth and the game tied at 2, Maria Rojo grounded a single just inside the third-base bag. After errors on back-to-back plays, a passed ball, and a wild pitch, the Royals led 5-2.
The Chargers made things interesting in the seventh. Losing pitcher Lauren Girard singled with one out. One out later, Mallory Schilf drilled a line shot over the left-field fence, cutting the Royals' lead to 1. But Sarah Hansen got the final out to nail down the victory.
Hansen walked 2, struck out 6 and hit 3 batters in the complete-game win. Her counterpart, Girard, deserved a better fate. She allowed just 4 hits and 4 of the 5 runs against her were unearned.
"We didn't play great defense behind (Girard)," said D-C coach Tracy Beatty. "We didn't support her on the mound. The routine plays were not routine for us."
Beatty acknowledged some first-game jitters, but said that the Chargers will have to clean up the defensive lapses soon.
The Chargers' offense looked sharp early, scoring in each of the first two innings. Girard and battery mate Rachel Chlopek each drove in a run. Schilf also had a double and scored the Chargers' second run.
The Royals answered each time, however. Holly Zdroik singled in a run in the first, and back-to-back doubles by Rebekah Harrington and Sophia Young led to a third-inning run that tied the game again.