Softball: Hampshire’s Sippel silences Lake Zurich’s bats

After battling injuries over the last two years, Hampshire's Lily Sippel is healthier now and hoping to reach her ceiling as a pitcher for the Whip-Purs.

On Saturday morning at the Rosemont Dome, it was a ball that hit the ceiling and fell for a base hit in shallow left field that prevented the junior right-hander from registering her first high school no-hitter.

But Sippel still tossed a shutout with 9 strikeouts as Hampshire raised its record to 4-2 with a 3-0 nonconference triumph over Lake Zurich.

“My freshman year I had bicep tendonitis through my shoulder and a part in my elbow, last year,” Sippel said. “I had pinched nerves up and down my spinal cord and into my hips. I did pitch but it wasn't good pitching. This is my first year healthy so I am happy.”

Hampshire coach Jeremy Bauer was happy to see Sippel get things done in the circle and give her offense a chance to win the game.

That offense came through in the bottom of the fourth when the Whip-Purs scored twice on 3 hits.

A one-out single and stolen base by Chloe VanHorn led to No. 7 hitter Alexa Schuring's RBI line drive double down the left-field line. Schuring then came home on No. 9 hitter Abby Lentz' two-out triple to right field.

Sippel got an insurance run in the fifth inning when Bria Riebel tripled sharply to the right-center gap one out and scored on cleanup hitter Mia Robinson's single to left.

“We are happy to see some people contributing who were not just in the big part of our lineup but in all parts,” Bauer said. 'That was a good thing to see.”

And Sippel took care of the rest catching four batters looking at a third strike.

But she was a tough critic of her performance.

“I didn't have my speed,” she said. “And a couple of my pitches were not working. Usually my change is super efficient but it wasn't working. I kind of had to scratch through a game with what I had. I can do better, 100 percent.”

“Lily pitched well enough to get a win and keep us in the game,” Baier said. “We scratched a few runs across and that's all we needed. It's good we were indoors. Lily likes the warm weather a lot more than the cold. I think she looks a lot better. She had some injuries that held her back a little and now we are seeing her healthy and working with a good pitching coach. I think it's going to give her a lot of confidence and help improve her game.”

Saturday's game would have been a no-hitter if not for Alli Koelper's leadoff single in the top of the fourth which hit off the ceiling.

“In our brains, that was a no-hitter,” Bauer said.

“I don't (like) that rule with the ball hitting the ceiling,” Sippel said with a laugh.

Carissa Schuman and Ally LeBlanc also had hits for Hampshire.

In addition to a pair of doubles by Schuring, the South Dakota bound Riebel also had a pair of hits, going 2-for-3 from the No. 3 spot. Riebel, a junior, also had 5 assists at shortstop, including three in a row to retire the side in the top half of the sixth.

“Bria's a great player and also a good team leader with a good attitude,” Bauer said. “Those are the type of players you want to keep around a long time.”

Freshman Aliana Kiezminski made her starting debut for the Bears (1-2). The right-hander struck out five and walked one.

“She pitched very well,” said first-year Bears coach Fred Valdez. “She has come in at the end of our other two games. What affected us most was our offense. We just couldn't get hits. The defense was there. We're just going to keep battling.”

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 "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.