It's that magical tarp. That's the reason why softball was played on a cold and rainy Monday.
Grayslake Central's newest softball coach, Jason Schaal, got the call around 2 p.m. He could save the team bus some gas if his team hosted the rivalry game between North and Central. Of course, he'd have to surrender homefield advantage and be the visitors.
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North's field was not ready for this game, but Central's was as the Rams have a big and helpful tarp.
"We put it down every day,'' Schaal said. "The grass was a little sloppy but the girls do what they are supposed to and get the tarp on the field."
As one would expect in cold and rainy conditions, there wasn't much scoring in this rivalry game.
And then all of sudden, with the help of some poor fielding by the Knights, the Rams (14-7, 5-1) put this game to sleep -- and just in time, before the rains came down hard. The Rams scored 8 runs in the fourth inning and coasted to an 11-0, six-inning victory.
What the heck happened in that fourth inning? Eleven hitters batted in that frame. There were 6 hits, 3 errors and a hits-batsman.
Leading the Rams' attack in this game was eighth-place hitter, Teegan Truskowski. The sophomore had a pair of doubles and a single.
"I'm the designated hitter so I only bat,'' Truskowski said. "That 8-run inning got it going. I was just looking for the right pitch."
Truskowski has put in her time playing this sport.
"I've been playing this sport from in-house to travel,'' she said. "My goal was to be on the varsity."
The big fourth inning was also highlighted by an RBI double from Julie Frusolone and an RBI hit from Skyler Long. The contest ended early when the Rams tallied 3 more runs in the sixth. Cleanup hitter Brandi Heraty ripped an RBI double, and Truskowski's 2-run double gave the Rams an 11-0 lead.
Neither team budged in the first three frames. Truskowski's double was the first hit for the Rams in the top of the third. Jessica Vaughn had North's first hit with two outs in the second, a roped double to right field.
The Knights put two hits together in the third inning. Ninth-place hitter Danielle Runyan and leadoff hitter Kayla Switalla reached on singles.
Winning pitcher, Brittany Brown, retired the next two hitters. The senior allowed only Sarah Littleton's two-out single in the sixth.
"It was nice to get that cushion with those runs,'' Brown said. "We really dominated."
Brown earned the victory using her vast supply of pitches. She throws a fastball, curve, change-up, drop and rise.
Brown helped herself when she produced an RBI hit in the 8-run fourth.
Jamie Brew scored a pair of runs for the Rams and delivered an RBI hit.
Leadoff hitter Shelby White singled and was hit by a pitch twice.