Sophomore Alex Masnica capped off Elk Grove's trio of home runs in a big way Saturday afternoon.
After Becca Maher and Brooke Barges had already cleared the fence earlier in the game with solo blasts, Masnica walloped a 2-run walk-off homer to left center with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Grens a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader with visiting Loyola.
Gina Cirrincione doubled to set up Masnica's blast, which gave pitcher Mary Hirschauer (2-0) a complete-game win that included 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.
The Grenadiers went on to sweep the twin bill with a 13-2, five-inning victory as freshman Taylor Leach (4-1) fired a 4-hitter with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk. She also belted a triple.
"Taylor pitched a terrific game," said Elk Grove coach Ken Grams, whose team improved to 23-5.
Becca Maher (3-for-3) and Aleece Duffy (3-for-3) each had 2 doubles in game 2 while Brianna leach had one.
Sarah Pauscher (2-for-3) hit her second homer in two days while Megan Eul (2-for-2) and Melissa Picchi (2-for-3) were also multiple hitters for the Grens.
In Game 1, Maher (2-for-4), Barges (2-for-4), Marjorie Sloan (2-for-3), Cirrincione (2-for-4) and Masnica (2-for-4) were multiple hitters for the Grens. Brianna Leach added a double.
Conant sweeps: Conant improved to 19-1 with 14-0 (five innings) and 8-4 victories over Niles West in Skokie.
Sara Neuman (9-0) notched the win in Game 1 by tossing a 3-hitter with 7 strikeouts and no walks. The sophomore also belted a home run while going 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and 2 runs.
Other multiple hitters for the Cougars were Elisa Ambrose (2-for-4, 2 runs), DeeDee Durr (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs), Rachel O'Malley (2-for-4, 2 runs), Dream Aaron (3-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI) an Hailey Rothstein (2-for-2, RBI, 1 run).
Kim Zaucha (5-1) tossed a 4-hitter in Game 2, striking out three and walking none. She also went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored a run.
O'Malley (3-for-4, 4 RBI, 2 runs) belted 2 more homers to highlight an offense that also received multiple hits from Telly Hunter (2-for-4, 2 runs) and Lauren Grzelak (2-for-4). Rothstein added a double for the Cougars who host Hoffman Estates Monday at 4:30 p.m.
Maine West 11, Hersey 1 (5 inn.): Freshman Grace Feldkamp tossed a 3-hitter for host Maine West while Monica Liwag went 3-for-3 with a 3-run homer and 3 runs.
Teammates Kayla Pociejewski also went 3-for-3 with 2 runs and 2 RBI while Annemarie Weber (1-for-3) belted a 3-run double. Alyssa Pegoraro also had a double for West (12-11).
Michelle Helminski doubled for the Huskies (8-16-1).
Wheeling sweeps: Visiting Wheeling swept a doubleheader at Lake Forest, winning 21-5 and 16-6, both in five innings.
In Game 1, the Wildcats (5-20) were led on offense by Christie Ambrose (3-for-4), Nikki Mikosz (3-for-4, double), Katie Quagliano (3-for-5, double, triple, RBI), Megan Olsen (3-for-5, double, 4 RBI), Lauren Hart (3-for-5, 2 RBI), Anne Janulis (2-for-5, 3 RBI), Michaela Vasey (3-for-4, 2 RBI), Karlie Orlando (3-for-4, double, 3 RBI), who belted an inside-the-park home run.
Quagliano earned the win, striking out six.
Ambrose got the win in Game 2 and also went 3-for-4 with a double.
Other key hitters were Vasey (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Mikosz (3-for-4, 3 RBI, double), Olsen (3-for-4, 2 triples, double, RBI), Janulis (2 RBI), Karlie Orlando (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Alexa Orlando (1-for-3, 2 RBI).
St. Viator sweeps: lt was a 'tribute day' at St. Viator on Saturday when the Lions defeated Joliet Catholic 6-2 and 5-4 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference twin bill.
The school honored the women of Sacred Heart Academy and Judy Amberg in particular for her years of service to both schools.
ln addition, the Lions softball team made a donation to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation in memory of longtime supporter and mother of two softball alumnae, Deborah Lenart.
The Lions wore Sacred Heart Academy retro uniforms.
Sam Hogan threw a complete game in the opener, allowing 4 hits and striking out eight.
She also had 3 RBI with a 2-run homer and a double.
The game was tied at 2-2 in the sixth when the Lions broke it open with two outs.
Four straight doubles by Cam VanValkenburg, Krystal Harris (4 hits, 2 doubles), Hogan and Kristen Hackel (3 hits) followed by Tess Kaiser's single gave the Lions (15-10, 5-5) the 6-2 lead.
In Game 2, the Lions scored in the first when Tess Kaiser doubled home 2 runs.
They extended the lead in the third on Grace Kaiser's 2-run double.
Krystal Harris drove in a run with her 6th hit of the day to make it 5-0 in the fourth.
Joliet fought back to within 5-4 and had the tying run on base with no outs in the seventh.
Hogan fired a perfect strike to second base to catch the runner off base who had taken an aggressive turn after reaching the base on a sacrifice bunt.
Hogan (11-6), who pitched both games, then retired the side.
"It was a great day for St. Viator, Sacred Heart alumna, for Judy Amberg and for Lions softball," said St. Viator coach John Scotillo. "The girls battled and came through in the clutch. As happy as I am for them, I am equally proud of how the honored the memory of Mrs. Lenart."