Softball: Lisle catches up to Wilmington

Lisle had a couple of bad innings Friday against visiting Wilmington. The Lions earned a 7-6 victory because those innings were the first two and the team put together a solid performance after that.

"It's happened at times. We've gotten down, but we've picked ourselves up," said Lisle coach Trent Schalk. "We had some errors early on. But we refocused our frustration from that and made up for it with hits."

Wilmington (15-11, 7-6 Interstate Eight Conference) led 5-0 going into Lisle's half of the fourth inning. The Lions erupted for 5 runs on 3 hits to tie the contest. A 2-run single by Madelyn Smith, an RBI basehit from Erica Krause and a dropped flyball by the Wildcats, which led to 2 runs, were the key plays in the inning.

Wilmington went ahead for the final time, 6-5, in the fifth inning. That same inning, Lisle's Jennifer Cail led off with a single to center and then with two outs, came home on a fielding error to tie the game.

Cail connected on the game-winning hit in the sixth. It scored Megan Carlson who singled to left with two outs and moved to second on a fielding error that put winning pitcher Anna Palicka on base.

"We were not worried. It was super early in the game and we know our skill level and we know that we can hit and play defense," Cail said.

Cail and Smith both finished with 2 hits apiece.

The Wildcats had taken a 5-0 lead after two innings thanks to three Lisle errors and a crushed 2-run homer by starting pitcher Miranda Southall. Wilmington had 3 hits the first two innings and then just 3 hits over the final five innings.

Palicka went the distance for win, striking out nine.

"I trusted what I was doing and what my teammates were doing," Palicka, a junior, said.

The Lions preserved the 6-6 tie in the Wilmington sixth with a couple of key defensive plays. Shortstop Meilissa Ericson grabbed a liner smashed right at her, and left fielder Maria Ortiz-Remigio's running catch saved a sinking flyball from becoming a hit.

Next week is the last week of the regular season for Lisle (10-12, 5-8) and starts Monday at Sandwich. Sandwich comes to Lisle on Tuesday and then the Lions take a trip to Manteno on Friday.

"Coming in we had lost five of our last six. There were a couple of 1-run games, one came down to the last inning. It was nice to get on the right side of things," Schalk said.

Lisle is the top seed of its own regional, which will be played on its home field. Lisle plays host to its own sectional at Benedictine University.

"Everything is set up for us to make a deep run," Schalk said.

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