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updated: 4/21/2014 8:35 PM

Parsons, Lake Zurich have a blast

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  • Lake Zurich hitter Mallory Parsons (13) celebrates with teammates after a hitting grand slam in the first inning against visiting Warren.

       Lake Zurich hitter Mallory Parsons (13) celebrates with teammates after a hitting grand slam in the first inning against visiting Warren.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Warren hitter Megan Scott celebrates with coach Bryan McNulty after hitting a home run in the first inning against host at Lake Zurich.

       Warren hitter Megan Scott celebrates with coach Bryan McNulty after hitting a home run in the first inning against host at Lake Zurich.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich Batter Amanda Guercio gets another hit in the third inning after earlier hitting a homer against visiting Warren on Monday.

       Lake Zurich Batter Amanda Guercio gets another hit in the third inning after earlier hitting a homer against visiting Warren on Monday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Warren first baseman Rachele Belletini tags out Lake Zurich runner McKenna Larson in the third inning on Monday at LZ.

       Warren first baseman Rachele Belletini tags out Lake Zurich runner McKenna Larson in the third inning on Monday at LZ.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

In between the small raindrops, a softball game at Lake Zurich featured some big blasts and some quality pitching.

And for those late-arriving guests, missing the first inning was not a good move.

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That's when Warren slugger Megan Scott launched a two-out, 2-run homer to center field.

And in the bottom half of the frame, both LZ's Mallory Parsons and freshman Amanda Guercio answered with blasts of their own.

Seven runs scored in the first inning -- and then both hurlers, Olivia Schneider for Lake Zurich and Jana Wagner for Warren, settled down.

Parsons' blast came with the sacks loaded and set the tone for Lake Zurich's 8-3 NSC Lake Division win on Monday.

"We've had a rivalry with Warren,'' Parsons said. "I just wanted to stay strong. I got so much encouragement from my teammates. And as soon as I made contact, I knew it was gone."

And the so-called pitching after both teams combined for a 7-run first inning? In the sixth inning, both Schneider and Wagner struck out the side.

Trailing 5-2 after the first inning, Warren (9-5) answered back with two outs. Shortstop Katie McKeon singled and stole second base. She took her time scoring as Scott roped an RBI double to left field.

"Megan is one of those all-in players,'' said Warren first-year head coach Bryan McNulty. "I'd like to have eight players like her."

McNulty was also impressed with the hitting of the hometown Bears.

"They really hit the ball well with two strikes on them,'' he said. "They put the ball in play."

While the Blue Devils closed their deficit to 5-3 in the third, Lake Zurich (11-3) answered via the extra-base hit. Veteran Maria Schroeder opened the third with a ringing double. And Guercio, a freshman, roped a two-bagger of her own, making it a 6-3 lead.

Now, the Bears also have a new head coach. Amanda Rodriguez has waited her turn coaching at Lake Zurich.

"I've coached here for 12 years,'' Rodriguez said. "This is my first year as head coach but I've known these girls since the third grade."

Lake Zurich didn't have another hit after the Guercio double in the third. A 2-run fifth inning was achieved with the help of 2 walks, 1 hit-by-a-pitch and 2 errors.

Parsons will play volleyball next year at Carthage College. In the meantime, she's quite content to hit and play first base for the winning Bears. She also supplied a dazzling defensive play after Jazmin Bonke hit a rope at her in the third inning.

"We are really good friends,'' Parsons said. "We really support each other."

McNulty inherited a Warren team that finished one game short of a state trip last spring.

"I really like the resiliency of this team,'' he said. "They can really compete."

Schneider fanned 11 Blue Devils. Parsons finished with 5 RBI and drove in a run by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning.

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