Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/9/2018 6:25 PM

Softball: Montini's 7th-inning comeback stuns Kaneland

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran, left, and Lauren Latoria, right celebrate their epic 15-8 victory against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran, left, and Lauren Latoria, right celebrate their epic 15-8 victory against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Allyson Dilday, left, watches the final out during the Bronco's comeback win against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic's Allyson Dilday, left, watches the final out during the Bronco's comeback win against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran rounds third base against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran rounds third base against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Madalyn Rawski (13) celebrates scoring a run during the Bronco's epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Madalyn Rawski (13) celebrates scoring a run during the Bronco's epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Else Spaccapaniccia (29) is greeted at home plate against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Else Spaccapaniccia (29) is greeted at home plate against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Else Spaccapaniccia (29) is greeted at home plate by Alyssa Filkowski (18) against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Else Spaccapaniccia (29) is greeted at home plate by Alyssa Filkowski (18) against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic pitcher Allyson Dilday throws to the plate in the seventh inning against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic pitcher Allyson Dilday throws to the plate in the seventh inning against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic pitcher Brianna Clifton encourages her team during a 12-run seventh inning against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic pitcher Brianna Clifton encourages her team during a 12-run seventh inning against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran is congratulated after hitting a home run against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran is congratulated after hitting a home run against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Alyssa Filkowski (18) cheers her team after she hit a single during the 12-run seventh inning against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic's Alyssa Filkowski (18) cheers her team after she hit a single during the 12-run seventh inning against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Donatela Sommesi rounds third base and is congratulated for hitting a home run against Montini Catholic.

      Kaneland's Donatela Sommesi rounds third base and is congratulated for hitting a home run against Montini Catholic.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic pitcher Brianna Clifton throws to the plate against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic pitcher Brianna Clifton throws to the plate against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's McKenna Ryan (18) celebrates her team's offense early in the game against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland's McKenna Ryan (18) celebrates her team's offense early in the game against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Olivia Ortegel (11) cheers after scoring due to an error by the Montini Catholic defense at the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship. Montini's Brianna Clifton, right, holds the ball.

      Kaneland's Olivia Ortegel (11) cheers after scoring due to an error by the Montini Catholic defense at the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship. Montini's Brianna Clifton, right, holds the ball.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Emillee Erickson delivers a pitch against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland's Emillee Erickson delivers a pitch against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Donatela Sommesi slides back into third base and watches an errant throw fly down the left field line against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland's Donatela Sommesi slides back into third base and watches an errant throw fly down the left field line against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Donatela Sommesi slides safely into third base under the tag of Montini Catholic's Lauren Latoria   during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland's Donatela Sommesi slides safely into third base under the tag of Montini Catholic's Lauren Latoria during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Natalie Kraemer is all smiles in the dugout against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland's Natalie Kraemer is all smiles in the dugout against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland's Rose Roach (99) gets a high-five after scoring a run against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland's Rose Roach (99) gets a high-five after scoring a run against Montini Catholic during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland center fielder Maddy Wheatley (3) leaps but is unable to catch a Montini Catholic home run during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland center fielder Maddy Wheatley (3) leaps but is unable to catch a Montini Catholic home run during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran (31) rounds first base after hitting a home run against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Nicole Cuchran (31) rounds first base after hitting a home run against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Alyssa Filkowski (18) is greeted at home plate after hitting a home run against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic's Alyssa Filkowski (18) is greeted at home plate after hitting a home run against Kaneland during the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland players pose with the second place trophy following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Kaneland players pose with the second place trophy following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players and coaches celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players and coaches celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland players hug each other following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship game.

      Kaneland players hug each other following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship game.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland players hug each other following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship game.

      Kaneland players hug each other following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship game.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland players pose with the second place trophy following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship game.

      Kaneland players pose with the second place trophy following the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship game.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic coach Mike Bukovsky talks to his players after their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic coach Mike Bukovsky talks to his players after their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic's Brianna Clifton, right, celebrates the Bronco's win against Kaneland.

      Montini Catholic's Brianna Clifton, right, celebrates the Bronco's win against Kaneland.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.

      Montini Catholic players celebrate their epic 15-8 seventh inning comeback against Kaneland to win the IHSA Class 3A state softball championship.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
By Kevin Capie
Special to the Daily Herald

EAST PEORIA -- The words were hard to come by for Montini on Saturday. State softball championships can do that to players.

But the way the Broncos rallied, with 12 runs in the top of the seventh, for a 15-8 victory over Kaneland in the IHSA Class 3A finals championship game, made it especially hard to describe.

The Broncos trailed 7-0 through three innings and were down to their final three outs. But before they even had made one of those, the first nine batters had come around to score. The final three runs came with one out.

"I wasn't expecting this," said senior pitcher Allyson Dilday, who picked up the win in relief. "There are no words."

Said Montini coach Mike Bukovsky: "A state championship is a state championship, they are just so special. But to deal with this, something I haven't seen before in 34 years. It's unbelievable."

Kaneland did all it could do but just had no way to stop Montini in the seventh.

"Our girls performed great and we put pressure on them early," Kaneland coach Mike Kuefler said. "They were able to turn the tables on us at the end."

The game was a reversal of an 11-10 Kaneland victory on May 4. In that contest the Knights trailed 10-2 entering the sixth. The Montini players remembered that game.

"I told the girls, remember what they did to us last time. We could do that back," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. "I'm not going to take a lie-detector test and tell you it was going to happen that way, but I told our girls anything can happen."

Montini (30-9) strung together single after single, with three walks interspersed, including a pair of intentional walks to Nikki Cuchran.

Lauren Latoria, batting fifth, two spots after Cuchran in the lineup, made Kaneland pay with a pair of 2-run singles.

Latoria's 4 RBI, along with the 4 put up by Alyssa Filkowski, set the Class 3A title game record.

Filkowski's 2-run homer in the fifth broke the shutout. It was followed by a solo homer by Cuchran to cut Montini's deficit to 7-3.

Dilday allowed just one hit, a Donatela Sommesi homer in the bottom of the fifth, to keep Montini within what turned out to be striking distance, no matter how unlikely.

Despite the way the season ended, there was little disappointment for the Knights (27-10).

"We're not going to win all of our games. We know that," said Sommesi, whose 4 runs tied the all-class individual title game record. "I kept my head up that last inning. I knew that win or lose I had my girls beside me. I'm grateful to have a medal around my neck and a trophy in my hands."

While the second-place finish was Kaneland's highest in the program's history, Montini took home its second state title in three years.

"To win state twice, I never thought it would happen, craziest thing that could happen to me," said Latoria, a junior shortstop. "Montini is the best decision I ever made in my life. The opportunities you get here to do this. You surround yourself with successful people and you'll do successful things."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.