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updated: 5/7/2014 10:10 PM

Good news for Carmel: A win, and Behan's OK

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  • Carmel Catholic's Dani DeLozier gets hit by a pitch against Nazareth on Wednesday at Carmel.

       Carmel Catholic's Dani DeLozier gets hit by a pitch against Nazareth on Wednesday at Carmel.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Kathleen Felicelli connects for a 3-run homer during their game against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Kathleen Felicelli connects for a 3-run homer during their game against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Kathleen Felicelli, right, is greeted by teammates after connecting for a 3-run homer against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Kathleen Felicelli, right, is greeted by teammates after connecting for a 3-run homer against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Claire Petrus tracks down a foul ball against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Claire Petrus tracks down a foul ball against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Mia Dicara pitches against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Mia Dicara pitches against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Sarah Koesser gets a high five after scoring against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Sarah Koesser gets a high five after scoring against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Anne Poll dives back safely to third as Nazareth's Colleen McGivney makes the play Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Anne Poll dives back safely to third as Nazareth's Colleen McGivney makes the play Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Anne Poll scores against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Anne Poll scores against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Sam Melillo catches a flyball against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.

       Carmel's Sam Melillo catches a flyball against Nazareth on Wednesday in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

She typically trots around the bases. And then came Tuesday's spin and subsequent wipeout.

It appeared a third-base bag might have bagged Carmel Catholic slugging third baseman Jenny Behan for the season.

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"Everybody was freaking out," Corsairs shortstop Kathleen Felicelli said. "We were all trying to guess what (the injury) was. Someone was like, 'What if she broke her elbow?' Someone was like, 'What if she hurt her ACL?' I was like, 'Guys, calm down. We'll just wait and see. Maybe it's not that bad.'

"Thankfully, it's not that bad."

Carmel could breathe a sigh of relief Wednesday. First, the Corsairs learned that Behan suffered "only" what the junior called a left elbow injury during Tuesday's game at Johnsburg. Then, Carmel held on to beat visiting Nazareth Academy 6-5, avenging an 11-4 defeat two days earlier, in East Suburban Catholic Conference action.

Behan, whose 14 home runs this season are a school record, got hurt when she was rounding third base. She fell awkwardly, landing on her hand as she tried to break her fall.

She did not play Wednesday but said she's hoping to be back on the field Friday, when Carmel visits Libertyville.

"My immediate thought was, 'What about my team?' " said Behan, who committed to James Madison before last season. "I don't like sitting on the bench because I feel like I can't do anything for my team."

Felicelli was in the dugout when Behan took her scary spill.

"I wasn't really looking because I was putting my helmet down, and I turned around and saw her on the ground," Felicelli said. "She was crying, and I was like 'Jenny never cries that hard. Why is she crying?' "

Behan lay on the ground for several minutes. In the meantime, Corsairs coach Jason Raymond tried to show the umpires that the base was not secured properly. He kicked the base, which spun. He finally pulled his team off the field and forfeited the game -- despite being up 9-2 in the fifth inning.

A day later, he had no regrets about his decision.

"We would have had to dig that base up to make it playable," Raymond said. "So we would have been there for a long time doing that."

"It's not about wins and losses," he added. "First of all, it's about the safety of the players. I don't care who goes down. Whether Jenny Behan goes down or anybody from their team goes down, it doesn't matter. We got to make sure that we're looking out for the players."

Behan headed into the Johnsburg game hitting an amazing .606 with 41 RBI. Her confidence has been sky-high ever since last summer, when she helped the Beverley Bandits win nationals in California.

"I've just been really zoned in," said Behan, who has five 2-homer games this season. "After my summer with the Bandits, I got a whole new outlook on softball. I've just been a lot more zoned in than I was last year."

Carmel's previous record holder for homers in a season couldn't be happier for Behan.

"She's a beast," said Felicelli, who clubbed a Corsairs record 12 homers in 2012. "She's been crushing it since she was a freshman."

Felicelli's 3-run homer against Nazareth (3-11 ESCC) was her sixth of the season. It highlighted a 5-run third that also included Madi Demarco's RBI single, putting Carmel (14-9, 6-4) up 6-0. Sarah Koesser led off the Carmel second with her fourth home run of the season.

Behan's replacement, sophomore call-up Ann Marie Fujara, acquitted herself quite nicely. She hit the fence on the fly with a shot to left-center in the third, settling for a double.

Then in the Nazareth sixth, after the Roadrunners had closed within a run, Fujara charged a bunt down the third-base line and gunned a strike to first to nip the runner.

"Ann Marie's awesome," Behan said. "I've actually practiced with her a lot. Last year we even practiced a lot together. She's so focused and she's such a good kid."

Besides Behan, Carmel played without sophomore left fielder Emma Bartz (2 home runs, .471 batting average), who's missed the last three weeks with a shoulder separation.

Carmel junior Mia Dicara picked up the win, allowing 2 earned runs. She retired the last seven batters she faced. Center fielder Sam Melillo made a running catch in left-center, robbing Mia Davis of a sure double, to end the game.

"It's rough because there's some mental lapses," Felicelli said after the Corsairs nearly squandered their 6-0 lead. "Then we press on offense, and we don't do as well. We're better when we're relaxed."

Carmel can relax. Behan will be back.

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