Hailee Massie's pitching plan was simple. Throw strikes and let her defense make plays.
Aided by some spectacular plays by left-handed senior shortstop Sam McLean, Massie's tactics were effective.
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Allowing 2 runs while scattering 6 hits, Massie struck out 4 with 1 walk as the Gators scored all of their 4 runs in the fifth inning of a 4-2 win over Cary-Grove in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division softball action in Cary Thursday afternoon.
"With my defense and the way Sam plays shortstop I can just throw strikes," said Massie. "I have total faith in my defense. They were outstanding today. My curve was really moving and I was able to hit the inside corner.''
McLean doesn't look at being left-handed at a position you rarely see lefties as a detriment.
"I try to use it to my advantage," she said. "I just try to read the ball off the bat and get a good jump."
With Cary-Grove (12-9, 5-3) leading 1-0 on an RBI double by Caroline Zasadil in the fourth, the Gators won the game in the fifth with 4 runs.
Aided by 2 Cary-Grove errors and 2 walks, the Gators (11-9, 3-4) got an RBI double by Jenica Terry, a run-scoring single from Caitlin Fater and a sacrifice fly by Taylor Kassel.
The Trojans sliced the lead to 4-2 with a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Brianne Prank.
But Massie got tough and retired the final 6 batters she faced in the sixth and seventh to earn the win.
"Hailee was outstanding," said Crystal Lake South coach Scott Busam. "She really mixed her pitches well and kept the batters off stride. Samantha was outstanding at shortstop. She is outstanding to her glove side and she is a freak athlete. She makes all the plays."
Kim Woods and Terry led the Gators with 2 hits each.
'We didn't make the mental mistakes which has cost us," said Busam. "We did the little things necessary to win along with great defense and pitching by Hailee."
The Trojans were led by a 3-for-3 effort by Grace Pilz.
"South really played well today," said Cary-Grove coach Tammy Olson. "We had the one bad inning defensively. Our outfield had some misplays and didn't execute. On offense, we didn't get the clutch hits or get multiple hits in an inning."