Addison Trail softball coach Mark Olson said to his team, which was trailing 4-0 against host Willowbrook on Monday as the top of the seventh was beginning, that a comeback was in the cards.
And he was right.
Contact information ( * required )
The Blazers (18-15, 6-5 West Suburban Gold) scored 7 runs on 8 hits in the top of the seventh to win 7-4.
"These girls have battled all year," Olson said. "I'm happy for them to put in the work and effort and see that you can persevere."
It all started in the seventh with Kelly Dalawder's ground-rule double. Next Rachel Baumgartner reached on a fielding error and that set the stage for junior Alex DiSilvio. Her afternoon had been uneventful up until then. She had struck out in the second and made a sacrifice bunt in the fifth that moved Baumgartner to second after she had singled to left. But Baumgartner was left stranded.
With a 1-0 count DiSilvio hit a line drive-like home run over the left field fence to pull the Blazers to within 4-3.
"It was a great way to pick myself up, but more importantly it was a great way to pick up the team," she said.
Next Cori Cooney singled to right and moved around the bases on Nicolette Napoli's sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch.
Then with two outs Ari Renc's single to center scored Cooney and tied the game. Renc moved into scoring position on Danielle Ciaglia's single to left. Carla Muell's single to left scored Renc for a 5-4 lead and the Blazers never trailed again.
RBI basehits from Delawder and Baumgartner wrapped up the inning and gave Addison Trail some needed breathing room.
The Warriors (16-8, 6-3) weren't done in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Zoe Dannenberg singled to center and moved to third on Alyssa Ressinger's well-placed double down the right-field line. But winning pitcher Crystal Marinelli and the Blazers' defense closed out the inning for the win.
"This was a great team win. Everyone contributed," Marinelli said.
Addison Trail opens the Class 4A postseason by hosting its own regional. The Blazers are seeded 13th in the Bartlett sectional and take on 20th-seeded Larkin in a regional quarterfinal game Monday.
Willowbrook scored twice in the third and twice in the fifth. Early in the game, a strong wind blew in across the infield going from the first base side to the third base side. But as the game progressed, it eased up and eventually quit.
In the third Jordan Marczewski led off by getting hit by a pitch. Zoe Dannenberg's sacrifice bunt moved her over as did Cheyenne Brunig's groundball out before a wild pitch brought her home for the Warriors' first run. Then with two out Sam Schmidt walked and scored on Ressinger's single to right.
Ressinger's day continued in the fifth when with Brunig on base after a walk, Ressinger homered over the left-field fence to make it 4-0. Ressinger finished 3-for-4.
Willowbrook coach Rachel Karos said Monday was about not giving the other team opportunity.
"This is such a game of confidence. If you let the other team have opportunities and get confidence, they are going to take it and win," she said.
Obviously, Monday was a bad day for the Warriors. But Karos is confident about her team as it prepares for the postseason.
"I'm just pushing to increase consistency in the regional, where I think we can do some good and continue to try and to get better," she said.
Willowbrook opens play May 27 in the Class 4A Rolling Meadows regional against Fremd. The Warriors are seeded ninth in the Bartlett sectional. Fremd is eighth.