Last September, Shannon Felde made a verbal commitment to Illinois State's softball program.
The Schaumburg junior was recruited to be a pitcher on the Redbirds' 2016 roster.
Felde showed why Illinois State was interested in her mound skills on Thursday.
Facing a St. Viator lineup which averaged 9 runs in its first nine games, Felde spun a 1-hitter with 7 strikeouts in an 11-0 five-inning shutout.
"That's one of the best pitchers we've faced all season," said St. Viator coach John Scotillo, whose team is 7-3. "They are a well-coached team and they have some good hitters. Unfortunately, they jumped on us right away."
The Saxons (4-2) put up 5 runs in the first inning, getting hits from junior Elaine Walker, Felde, sophomore Paige Alt and Christina Candotti, a sophomore who caught Felde's gem.
"Her rise ball was working very well and she was hitting her spots," said Candotti, who clubbed one of the Saxons' 2 doubles with a shot off the left center field fence and threw out a runner trying to steal second base in the first inning. "She's (Felde) just a great all-around pitcher and player."
When not pitching, Felde plays shortstop. She is now 2-0 on the mound this spring.
"Either way, I can help my team, so I am fine with pitching or playing short," said Felde, who did not strike out in 99 at-bats last spring and went 2-for-2 with a 2-run single on Thursday.
"All my pitches were working well this game and I had a lot more time to warm up because we were home (Saxons' first home game this spring.). And I know I have a good defense behind me."
With her 7 strikeouts, Felde's defense was required to make only 8 outs for the win.
Only three batters reached base off Felde.
Lions starting pitcher Krystal Harris and third baseman Gina Mastrodomenico each drew walks while relief pitcher Sam Hogan doubled sharply to center with one out in the top of the fourth.
Harris (2-1) and Hogan (5-2) each threw two innings for St. Viator.
"Our kids stayed positive," Scotillo added. "Schaumburg is a good team. They always are."
Lions centerfielder Cameron VanValkenburg, who collected 3 putouts, made a nifty basket catch to rob Sarah Schwind of extra bases in the second inning.
"I liked our outfield play," Scotillo said. "Unfortunately, we got a lot of practice out there but we made some nice running catches and some nice throws to the plate."
Saxons hitters were tough at the plate, led by Walker (2-for-4), Felde (2-for-2), Alt (2-for-3, double), Candotti (2-for-3), freshman Natalie Napier (3 runs) and junior Roxanne Kakareka each had 1 hit. Freshman pinch hitter Micaela Encarnacion contributed a sacrifice fly to left driving in Napier for the 11th run.
"We've got some good bats," said Schaumburg coach Ellen Abreu, who was an all-area pitcher on the same Fremd team in 2002 with St. Viator assistant coach Jen Campobasso (all-area second baseman).
"When they're all firing together , we can put up some good numbers."
That was the case Thursday.
"It was nice to come back and get a good team win after Wednesday (9-1 loss at Lake Zurich). We talked about communicating, getting good quality at-bats, being aggressive at the plate and being confident. And that's what the girls did."