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updated: 4/11/2014 9:36 PM

Fremd accelerates, tops Lake Zurich in 8

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When the game was on the line, Fremd brought its game in Friday's dramatic 2-1 triumph over visiting Lake Zurich.

First, it was senior Kayla Kaufman delivering a two-out single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh to score pinch runner Katie Niersbach.

That tied the game at 1-1 and the Vikes still had a runner on second base.

After a clutch play by Lake Zurich center fielder Vivian Jaurez to throw out the potential game-winning run at the plate, the game went to extra innings.

But the Vikings proved clutch again with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.

This time, it was sophomore Abbi Iuorio slapping a dribbler in the infield.

Junior Lauren Vanhavermaet read it perfectly as she stepped on the gas pedal from third base and slid safely at home for the game-winning.

"Coach (Jim Weaver) just told me if I thought I could make it, I should go (home)," Vanhavermaet said. "I trusted myself, so I went."

Iuorio's contact came on a 2-0 count.

"Coach told me I could do whatever I wanted (slap or bunt)," Iuorio said. "It was a lot better when the count got to 2-0. It was scary but I loved it. It's the reason I play the game."

And this was a terrific game, start to finish.

The 90-minute contest featured a stellar pitcher's duel between Fremd senior Joanna Josten (4-0) and the Bears' Katie Malek (3-1).

The only hit Malek gave up in the first six innings was a double to right by Vikings shortstop Leigh Farina.

Malek struck out three and walked two, allowing 5 hits.

"Katie threw well against a Fremd team (5-0) that is always one of best around," said Lake Zurich coach Amanda Rodriguez, whose team is 8-2.

"I was happy with how our girls stayed strong the whole game. I was worried that with the 1-run lead our girls might relax but they stayed aggressive to the end."

The Bears got their run in the top of the fourth when Mallory Parsons doubled to center to drive home Maria Schroeder, who had reached on an error and advanced a base on Rachel Dawson's sacrifice.

Josten scattered 6 hits while striking out two and walking three.

The Vikes' defense pulled off an outstanding 5-4-2 double play in the top of the seventh.

Third baseman Julie Josten fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt and threw to second baseman Tracy Welninski who was covering first.

Welninski then fired a strike to catcher Holly Straup, who was covering third base and made the tag on the runner who was trying to go from first to third on the play.

Julie Josten came up with another defensive gem in the top of the eighth when she raced in and made a diving catch in foul territory on a sacrifice bunt attempt with one out.

Three of Fremd's 5 hits came in the seventh off the bats of Julie Josten (one-out single to center), Kaufman (the game-tying RBI) and Molly Muhs.

"We knew Lake Zurich was a tough team to beat,' Kaufman said. "We were really pumped up and ready. . I wanted to make all the work I've been doing upstairs (in the gym) in the batting cages pay off. I knew we would finally pull it out."

"Kayla had good at-bats the whole game," Weaver said. "She was right on it that last at-bat. I was very confident for her to come through."

Fremd's final hit was Vanhavermaet's single to left to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Straup's sacrifice bunt got her to second.

Vanhavermaet advanced to third on Alyssa Garcia's groundout to second, setting up Iurio's game-winning infield slap.

"We just told Lauren (Vanhavermaet) to read the play," Weaver said. "She beat the throw home, so she must have made a good read."

"We hit the ball well all day. I was pleased with out at-bats. Jo (Josten) pitched well against a very good lineup. We have a lot of respect for Lake Zurich. You've got to tip your cap to their pitcher, too. (She did a really nice job."

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