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updated: 5/31/2014 4:34 PM

Kowalski, DeKalb blank Huntley

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By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent

DeKalb's softball team scored twice in the first inning Saturday.

And with senior standout Katie Kowalski in the pitchers circle that's all the runs the top-seeded Barbs would need.

Striking out six with one walk, Kowalski tossed an impressive 2-hit shutout as DeKalb blanked second-seeded Huntley 3-0 in the championship game of the Class 4A Huntley regional.

The Barbs advance to the Jacobs sectional and will play McHenry Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

"It is certainly a sense of relief when we score in the first inning and I go out there with a lead," said Kowalski. "My location was very good all day long and I had good defense behind me."

DeKalb head coach Jeff Davis was impressed with Kowalski's effort.

"Huntley has a very good hitting team," said Davis. "Katie was awesome and really located all her pitches well. She was in control the whole game."

With a combination of the extra base hit and the short game, DeKalb was able to plate 2 runs in the first off Huntley freshman hurler Kateri Conklin.

Morgan Newport drove in the only run the Barbs needed with a run-scoring triple. Later in the inning, Newport scored on a perfectly executed safety squeeze bunt single by Lindsay Costilow.

DeKalb, which left 11 runners on base, scored an insurance run in the fourth without the benefit of a hit.

The first two hitters in the inning, Claire Koertner and Abby Taylor, were each hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt by Erin Carazewski pushed Koertner and Taylor into scoring position at second and third. Newport was walked to load the bases and

Sarah Friedlund hit into a fielders choice but Koertner was able to score for the Barbs' third run of the game.

Huntley (20-17), which could manage only 3 baserunners in the game, got a double from Megan Baczewski for its first hit of the game in the second.

Leadoff hitter Shannon Walsh, who reached base twice, led off the fourth with a walk, moved to second on a stolen base and third on an error. But Kowalski got tough and got out of the inning without allowing a run.

"Kowalski pitched a great game," said Huntley coach Mark Petryniec. "My hats off to her. Our game plan was to score 3 runs and we thought we had a chance to win. Throughout the whole year the team never lost effort. This is a great lesson learned going into next season."

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