Just remember that just one softball season ago, tall Lake Zurich catcher Amanda Guercio was playing softball for Lake Zurich Middle School South's team.
And actually, that team was pretty good, only falling in the end to Prairie School.
The Bears (15-4, 5-2) also have a senior pitcher in 5-foot-1 Olivia Schneider. And a considerably taller freshman catcher in Guercio.
Schneider did her job on Monday, limiting visiting Zion-Benton to 2 runs in 7 innings. And Guercio provided the offense for her new Bears with a 2-run homer and 2-run double.
Lake Zurich avenged an earlier loss to the Zee-Bees with this 4-2 win.
And for a freshman, Guercio, has a pretty good idea of what to do with a bat in her hands. She noted that her double past third base was hit harder than her first-inning homer that cleared the right field fence. And she might just be right. That bullet line drive glanced off the Zion-Benton infielder's glove and frankly it didn't slow down the ball one bit. That ball was positively scalded.
"I tend to get down on myself a lot,'' Guercio said. "So now I set my mind that I know I'm going to hit a pitch. Not that I think I'm going to hit it."
Despite the great age difference between pitcher and catcher, there seems to be little disagreement between them.
"We have a solid team,'' Schneider said. "It's mainly seniors. But Amanda and I have a great bond. I'm really comfortable with her catching for me."
Heading to the second inning, winner Schneider had 2 runs to work with. Guercio's fifth homer took care of any run concerns. Schneider celebrated her good fortune by striking out the side in the second inning.
The visiting Zee-Bees made a few adjustments the second time through the order and knotted it up at 2-2 in their half of the third inning.
Catcher and leadoff hitter Meg Crosswhite took a page out of Guercio's book when she cracked a run-scoring double into the right-center field alley. Teammate Cindy Garces' second hit tied this game at 2-2.
Maria Schroeder ignited the third inning rally with a single up the middle. She moved up a base on the second walk to Maddie Minneci. That set the stage for Guercio's 2-run double.
Obviously, first-year head coach, Amanda Rodriguez, is glad to have this freshman up on varsity.
"I'm really excited about having a catcher who is a freshman,'' Rodriguez said. "In her first game, she hit a home run. She's really held her own."
Zion-Benton (9-12, 4-3) also has a new head coach. Tina Meyer guided a very successful Warren club last year before taking on the reins of the Zee-Bees.
"We didn't have the key hits today,'' Meyer said. "In four out of the six innings we had runners on and we couldn't score them."
Some of the credit for this problem went to the left-hander Schneider. She walked three and struck out seven.
"I like being a left-handed pitcher,'' Schneider said. "It helps with my curve and riser. When we lost at Zion, we threw it high and inside. Today, we kept it outside."
Oh, and what other sport does the freshman, Guercio, play at the school?
"I'm in dance,'' she said. "But I like softball better."