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updated: 5/19/2014 9:41 PM

St. Charles East overwhelms Batavia in 5th inning

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

The fifth inning started innocently enough for the Batavia softball team when St. Charles East starting pitcher Haley Beno grounded out to third.

But it would be the final batter the Bulldogs would retire.

Ten consecutive batters reached base for the Saints, and pinch-runner MacKenzie Meadows terminated the schools' Upstate Eight Conference River matchup by scoring the ninth run of the inning on a wild pitch.

The defending Class 4A state runner-up Saints improved to 26-5 overall and 16-2 in league play with their 11-1 victory Monday afternoon in St. Charles.

It was the final tuneup for the Saints before their trip to St. Charles North on Tuesday with the conference title on the line.

Five of the Saints' 9 hits went for extra-bases as Kate Peterburs' tape-measure blast accounted for one-third of the Saints' 9-run outburst.

"It was a high pitch," said Peterburs, who scored behind Sarah Collalti and Olivia Cheatham to give St. Charles East a 6-1 cushion.

"I was upset with the way I was hitting at the start of the game. I just went for the first strike I could get. It was just a perfect inning for us."

"We came out ready to attack," said St. Charles East senior Tess Hupe, who scored the Saints' first run after tripling with two outs in the third. "We caught up to (the) timing (of the Batavia starter)."

Hupe scored courtesy runner Kelly Rinker after the latter replaced freshman backstop Rylee Stout, who plated a pair of runners with a double, for the Saints' penultimate run.

Cheatham also had a run-scoring double in the inning to precede Peterburs' home run.

The teams exchanged unearned runs in the Saints' third and the Bulldogs' fourth.

Batavia (8-18, 6-11) had its lone hit of the game to tie the contest at 1-1 when Rachael Lovestrand singled up the middle to score Toni Galas, who reached on a one-out error and swiped second base.

Beno improved to 16-4 on the season with her 1-hitter; the senior retired the first 10 batters she faced.

St. Charles East took the lead for good in its half of the fourth inning.

Peterburs' bloop single down the right-field line was followed by another ringing double, this time by Alex Latoria.

"I was trying to keep the ball down on the ground and not pop up like I did in my previous at-bat," Latoria said of her one-out shot to the left-center gap.

The game began as a pitchers' duel between Beno and Alyssa Klemm as neither squad had a hit for the first combined 18 batters.

"St. Charles East is a good hitting team," Batavia coach Lupe Castellanos said. "They just got the timing down. They hit the ball hard."

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