It was an inning that proved to be fatal for Huntley and freshman pitcher Kateri Conklin.
After Conklin blanked McHenry for four innings, the Warriors scored 3 in the fifth which was enough to produce a 3-1 win over the visiting Red Raiders in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division softball action in McHenry Monday.
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The Warriors (16-6 overall) forged into first place alone in the division with an 8-2 record while Huntley (14-11, 5-3) falls into a second-place tie in the loss column with Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge.
"Kateri had the one bad inning but pitched great," said Huntley coach Mark Petryniec. "They have a great lineup 1 through 9 and the bottom of the lineup hurt us today. It was just one of those days. I am very proud of
the way the girls played and their effort."
It was the long ball by the Warriors that accounted for all 3 runs in the pivotal fifth.
Amanda Manssen led off the inning with a long blast which easily cleared the left field fence to give McHenry a 1-0 advantage.
After a one-out single by Katelyn Sena, No. 9 hitter Rachel Ford hammered a shot over the left field fence for a 2-run homer to give McHenry a 3-0 lead.
"I bat third for my travel team, so it is nice to bat ninth," said Ford. "I see much better pitches and get better pitches to hit. I think I have some power and got all of it. "
McHenry coach John DiFrancesca realizes he has a potent lineup top to bottom.
"I love the fact that we honestly don't have any holes in the lineup," said the McHenry coach. "When you can get homers from your 6 and 9 hitters that says a lot about your lineup."
The Raiders, who managed only 1 run on 9 hits, left 9 runners on base.
In the second, Huntley collected 3 hits but was unable to score. Hayley Spannraft and Angela Tribuzio singled to put runners on first and second. The next hitter, Tamara Funke, singled sharply up the middle, but Spannraft was thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw by center fielder Dana Walsh to catcher Carly Mattson, who applied the tag for the out.
In the fifth, Huntley loaded the bases on hits by Funke and Taylor Stone and a walk to Brittany Koss. But McHenry pitcher Kristin Koepke struck out Megan Larson to end the inning.
Huntley's lone run came in the seventh on an infield RBI groundout by Stone.