The St. Edward softball team walked a tightrope on Friday, but managed to keep its balance and hold on for a 4-3 Suburban Christian Conference win over visiting Chicago Christian at the Elgin Sports Complex.
The Green Wave's fourth straight victory and fifth in their last six games, didn't come without some last inning dramatics.
St. Edward (12-8, 6-4) led 4-2 heading into the top of the seventh inning when things got real interesting. A leadoff single by the Knights' Kaycee Pittman followed by a St. Edward error led to a run for Chicago Christian to make it a 1-run game at 4-3. It also put Sam Kubik at third base, representing the tying run, with no outs.
However the next batter, Bre Vollan, attempted a safety squeeze, but popped out to St. Edward sophomore pitcher Lindsay Zdroik, who fired to third base to double off Kubik. Zdroik then struck out the final batter to end the game.
'When I came out to the mound just before that play I told them whatever we do we can't let that run score," said St. Edward coach Jaci Corn. "I'm just glad we were able to crack down and get it done. It was a nice play by Lindsay and real quick reaction by our third baseman (Rachel Lesh) to get back and cover the bag."
Zdroik, who pitched 4 innings of relief to earn her ninth win against six losses, also worked out of a one-out jam in the fourth inning and left runners stranded at second and third by getting the final two batters to ground out and strikeout. Zdroik fanned 8 batters and gave up 5 hits.
"There were some pretty nervous moments," Zdroik said. "Especially that last inning. We just knew we had to keep our composure."
Chicago Christian (7-14, 2-7) scored 2 runs in the top of the third inning with the help of 2 St. Edward errors. However, the Green Wave answered right back with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-2 lead.
Zdroik's opposite field 2-run double to the right field corner put the Green Wave ahead 3-2. Kelly Theriault added an RBI single.
"We were able to bounce right back," Corn said. "We came out aggressive at the plate."
Allison Stratman had a leadoff solo home run to left field against a stiff wind in the second inning for the Green Wave's first run. It was Stratman's second home run of the season and both have come off Chicago Christian pitcher Davina Gutierrez. She also tripled and scored in the third-inning rally.
" I was trying not to jinx myself thinking about the last home run I hit off her," Stratman said. "I just got an inside pitch and that's my favorite. I was able to turn on it."
Freshman Emily Stapay pitched the first 3 innings for St. Edward.
Chicago Christian outhit the Green Wave 11-7, but could not capitalize. The Knights left 9 runners stranded.
Guiterrez (6-14) went the distance, but took the loss for the Knights. Vollan was 2-for-4 with an RBI.