Paige Alt's main goal was to get ahead in the count on Saturday morning at Rolling Meadows.
"Stodds (Schaumburg coach Ellen Stoddard Abreu) just tells me to believe in myself and every pitch I throw," said the Schaumburg sophomore right-handed hurler.
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Alt was sure believing, as she threw a 2-hitter with a career-high 13 strikeouts in a 7-0 Mid-Suburban League crossover victory.
"My drop curve was working, it's my favorite pitch," said Alt, who recorded her fifth shutout this spring.
"Paige pitched really well," said junior Elaine Walker, who serves as Alt's regular catcher.
Walker did plenty to help her batterymate at the plate as well, going 3-for-3 with a home run, double, sacrifice fly and 4 RBI.
"Paige and Elaine work well together," Abreu said after her team improved to 17-7 and 9-3. "Elaine does an awesome job behind the plate for us. She moves well back there. And she is a solid leadoff batter for us."
It was Walker's solo home run over the left field fence on the first pitch of the third inning that gave Alt the only run she would need.
Alt did not give up a walk and struck out the last five batters she faced.
Earlier this season, Alt had a stretch of four games where she did not allow a hit in 20 innings with 3 no-hitters.
"We knew coming in what kind of success she has had," said Meadows coach Tony Wolanski. "She's a really good pitcher. She was on today."
The only hits for Meadows (4-21, 1-11) were a line drive double to center by catcher Lane Winkler with one out in the fourth inning and a one-out infield hit down the first base line by Chloe Prodanovic in the sixth inning.
After Walker's home run, the Saxons added 2 more runs in the inning on a 2-run single to center by Christina Candotti. The shot drove home Alt and Shannon Felde (3-for-4), who had reached by hitting her first of 3 doubles in the game.
Schaumburg added 3 more runs in the fourth inning.
Walker belted a 2-run double to center scoring Kelly Poplar (2-for-3) and Kelly Loughman. Then with two outs, Felde doubled down the left field line to score Walker for the 6-0 cushion.
Schaumburg's final run came in the sixth when Loughman and Micaela Encarnación began the inning with hits.
They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch and Walker collected her fourth RBI with a sacrifice fly to right scoring Loughman.
Loughman, batting in the No. 8 spot, followed up her 3-for-4 game on Friday at Hoffman Estates with a 3-for-3 effort on Saturday.
"They're a terrific team," Wolanski said. "She (Abreu) does a good job there."
Both teams did a good job defensively with no errors in the contest.
"I thought our defense was great," said Wolanski who was without his power-hitting leadoff batter Maddie Morgan who was attending her brother's graduation service. "Jenny Watson was excellent at short for us and Elizabeth Vasilogambros was great at second base. And I thought Lauren (Hattory, Mustangs pitcher) pitched well most of the game."
Alt, who also notched the win with a 2-hitter and 10 strikeouts at Hoffman on Friday, improved to 8-2.
"She said she felt good," Abreu said. "Things were working for her and she was confident. And the defense was there to back her up.
"We have been working a lot with on the mental side of things, and she keeps improving every day."