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updated: 6/5/2014 10:34 AM

Lake Zurich outslugs Libertyville

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  • Lake Zurich's Carlee Parsons, right, hugs Maria Schroeder after the Bears topped Libertyville in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.

       Lake Zurich's Carlee Parsons, right, hugs Maria Schroeder after the Bears topped Libertyville in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Vanessa DiVincenzo scores on Libertyville catcher Andi Katz in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.

       Lake Zurich's Vanessa DiVincenzo scores on Libertyville catcher Andi Katz in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Vanessa DiVincenzo (1) celebrates with Carlee Parsons, right, and Maria Schroeder after scoring in sectional semifinal play against Libertyville on Wednesday at Stevenson.

       Lake Zurich's Vanessa DiVincenzo (1) celebrates with Carlee Parsons, right, and Maria Schroeder after scoring in sectional semifinal play against Libertyville on Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Sarah Schnecker is out at second base as Libertyville's Jessie Lauret tries to turn a double play in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.

       Lake Zurich's Sarah Schnecker is out at second base as Libertyville's Jessie Lauret tries to turn a double play in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Hannah Herrarty connects in sectional semifinal play against Lake Zurich on Wednesday at Stevenson.

       Libertyville's Hannah Herrarty connects in sectional semifinal play against Lake Zurich on Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Tayler Oberman, right, scores on Lake Zurich's Amanda Guercio in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.

       Libertyville's Tayler Oberman, right, scores on Lake Zurich's Amanda Guercio in sectional semifinal play Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

There were 5 triples. Also two inside-the-park homers by Libertyville's leadoff hitter, Tayler Oberman.

Two girls, Lake Zurich's Maria Schroeder and Libertyville's Madi Dembinski, each drove in 4 runs.

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Five pitchers took part in this sectional semifinal game at Stevenson.

In the end, Lake Zurich used back-to-back triples from cousins Mallory and Carlee Parsons to put across 4 runs in the visitor's seventh inning. And sophomore relief pitcher Katie Malek made those runs stand up in a 12-9 slugfest win over the Wildcats.

Winner Malek surrendered a three-bagger to Libertyville's Taylor Zoellick but got the outs she needed to send her Bears to the sectional title game Saturday morning against North Suburban Conference foe Warren.

Malek knew she was under pressure coming into this battle of heavy hitting.

"I would have let down all the seniors,'' Malek said. "It was intense out there. I was throwing my fastball and my curve ball."

The first hit of the game was a triple as sophomore Jamie Stevens led off the second inning with it. She didn't score.

Schroeder, who had doubled, tripled and homered in a regional title win over Buffalo Grove, settled for three singles. Her 2-run single opened the scoring.

"It was crazy,'' Schroeder said. "But we always fight back. I knew we could come back. This was great."

Libertyville's speedy leadoff hitter, Oberman, put her team on the board when she cracked a liner to right-center and raced around the bases for the first of her two round-trippers.

"It was just a high-energy game,'' Oberman said. "I really wasn't expecting that many runs. I did expect the game to be close."

The Bears and Wildcats split a pair of games this season.

Sophomore Jessie Lauret followed Oberman's blast with a triple. She and Andi Katz both scored on Dembinski's 2-run double.

Lake Zurich (27-4) answered back with a 5-run fourth inning. There were no extra-base hits in the frame, however. McKenna Larson supplied the big hit, a 2-run single, and Lake Zurich led 7-3.

That lead did not hold up for long. Libertyville (28-9) surged ahead with a 4-run frame. Dembinski had the big blow, a 2-run single. This game was tied at 7-7.

"This field is just huge,'' said Lake Zurich coach Amanda Rodriguez. "I'm just glad we kept their composure. Oh, gosh, our offense can really hit."

Libertyville took a 9-7 lead in the fifth. Oberman again raced around the bases for another homer. The Wildcats were six outs away from a berth in the sectional final.

Again Schroeder answered back for Lake Zurich. Her third single cut the Wildcats lead to 6-5. This slugger also announced she is giving up softball for warm weather. She plans to attend college in Florida.

Lake Zurich didn't waste its final at-bat. Freshman catcher Amanda Guercio laced a single to open the frame. She then raced home when Mallory Parsons cracked a triple, and it was tied at 9-9.

Carlee Parsons followed with yet another triple, and the Bears had the lead. Larson had her third hit of the game as the Bears struck for 4 runs.

Oberman was scheduled to bat in the Libertyville seventh. But Malek retired the side in order.

"I'm so proud of this team,'' said Libertyville coach Elissa Wisniewski. "They really laid the foundation. I couldn't have asked for more."

At one point this season, Libertyville won 14 games in a row. And this was the Wildcats' first sectional appearance since the 1988 season.

"Our attitude was a lot different this year,'' Oberman said. "We wanted our team to be known in our school."

Oberman is done as a high school athlete but will take her skills to Winona State University for more softball.

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