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updated: 4/11/2014 10:41 PM

Crystal Lake Central catches up with Huntley

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By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent

If only high school girls softball games were 6 innings, Huntley would have earned a 5-1 win and freshman pitcher Kateri Conklin would have earned a victory.

Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, games are 7 innings.

Visiting Crystal Lake Central rallied for 5 runs in the seventh and 1 in the eighth for a come-from-behind 7-6 win in Fox Valley Conference crossover action in Huntley on Friday afternoon.

"Kateri pitched a great game, but it is hard to win a varsity game against a good team like Crystal Lake Central with 5 errors," said Huntley coach Mark Petryniec. "You should be able to win with 6 runs."

The Red Raiders had total control of the game for 6 innings. Huntley struck first against Central pitcher Megan Mahaffey, who pitched in her first game of the season after off-season ACL surgery with 3 in the fourth. The Raiders used a RBI groundout by Tamara Funke and a long 2-run homer by Megan Baczewski to take the lead.

Conklin, who allowed only a leadoff single to Tigers leadoff hitter Maddie Helm through 6 innings, gave up an unearned run in the fifth.

The Raiders responded with 2 in the bottom of the inning on a 2-run triple by Megan Larson to take a 5-1 lead into the seventh.

Central was finally able to rough up the Huntley freshman hurler in the seventh.

The key hits in the inning were RBI singles by Kelly Iwamoto and Amy Walsh and an RBI double from Mahaffey. An infield grounder by Shannon Ellman scored Mahaffey with the tying run to make the score 5-5.

But the next batter, Savanah Frank, launched a long homer over the left-field fence to give Central a 6-5 lead.

Huntley bounced back from adversity and tied the game at 6 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Koss to send the game into extra innings.

The Tigers scored the game-winner in the eighth on a RBI single by Walsh.

The Raiders, who were haunted by 5 errors, couldn't push across a run in the eighth and fell a run short.

"We have a very spirited bunch of kids who never give up," said Central coach Brian Strombon. "We had good swings the whole game and over time we thought we could get some hits and score some runs. It took awhile, but we came through in the seventh. It is always good to get a win against a quality program like Huntley."

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