Schaumburg junior right-hander Shannon Felde has seen a lot of lineups this spring while putting together an 11-4 record.
But Wednesday was her first look at the Hoffman Estates batting order.
Contact information ( * required )
She looked like she was right on her game.
Felde fired a 2-hitter with 9 strikeouts as the Saxons stopped No. 10-seeded Hoffman Estates for the third time this season, 5-1 in the semifinal of the Hawks Class 4A regional.
No. 7 Schaumburg (26-8) advanced to Saturday's 11 a.m. championship against No. 2 Conant (26-5).
"Shannon pitched real well," said sophomore catcher Elaine Walker, who hit real well with a leadoff homer run to right center in the third inning to give the Saxons a 3-1 lead. "She was hitting her spots."
And the Saxons were hitting the softball, especially Christina Candotti.
After Hoffman took 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a RBI groundout by Jordyn Fera that scored Sam Acosta (1-for-3 walk), the Saxons got the lead in the bottom of the inning on Candotti's game-winning RBI double.
The sophomore shortstop (2-for-3) drove the ball to the right-center gap and it scored Paige Alt (2-for-3) and Felde (1-for-2) for a 2-1 lead.
But Candotti wasn't through.
After Walker's homer to lead off the third, Candotti sent a two-out, 2-run blast in the same inning over the left-center fence to make it 5-1.
"We were patient at the plate, and the defense and pitching were very good," said Ellen Abreu, whose team has produced the most wins in her four years as head coach. "That's kind of been our philosophy all season."
The only hits off Felde were a single to right by Acosta to lead off the third and an infield hit by Charlotte Allan with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
"My screwball was working real well," said Felde, an Illinois State recruit. "We knew we had to come out hitting. We knew we couldn't get down when they got that first run. Those home runs really helped us out."
"You can't defend the long ball," said Hawks coach Lindsey Hamma, who directed her winningest team (15-15) in nine seasons. "But every opportunity we had for a groundball or flyball, we handled."
Left fielder Charlotte Allen threw a perfect strike to catcher Kaileen Hendle, who made the tag on a runner trying to score from second base in the first inning. Second baseman Caitlyn Farina made a nifty backhanded stab of a grounder and threw to first baseman Alexus Venegas for the final out of the second inning.
"We made the routine plays and the big plays." Hamma said. "We put ourselves in a position to compete."
Hawks sophomore pitcher Tracy Osimowicz (11-5) retired the side in order in three innings and threw a 6-hitter.
"It was out third matchup with Schaumburg and they keep taking it to you," Hamma said. "I'm really proud of my kids. They came out and got the first run on the board to take some momentum away. But you're not going to beat a good team like Schaumburg with 1 run."