Heraty personally powers a big Libertyville win
What happened to that pitching duel, anyway?
The one where Libertyville held a 2-1 lead heading to its fourth-inning bats.
That's the Wildcats strung together 3 singles and a pair of 3-run homers. Yes, that's six runs -- and the end of the pitchers' duel.
In this NSC softball battle with visiting Stevenson on Tuesday, both eighth-place hitters cracked fence-clearing homers. Winning pitcher Hannah Heraty spun a 4-hitter at the Pats in hurling a complete game.
At the plate, she had a ringing RBI single in the first inning. After lining out to short in the third inning, she had one of those 3-run homers in the fourth. And in her final at-bat of the game, she powered a solo homer.
Libertyville (13-6, 2-5) avenged an earlier loss to the Pats with a convincing 11-2 romp.
"She did very well,'' said Libertyville coach, Elissa Wisniewski. "She had struggled a little in our loss to Zion-Benton. But she came back today and attacked the strike zone."
Heraty lost her no-hitter to the game's first hitter, Vera Pflugradt. The next hitter, Alyssa Pauly, singled Pflugradt home with the game's first run. After that, Heraty allowed just another hit to Pauly and a fifth-inning homer by Stevenson's eighth-place hitter, Hannah Epstein.
Like the bulk of her teammates, Heraty is just a sophomore. However, that hasn't curtailed her power stroke. The two long balls brought her total to 6 homers this season.
On her 3-run effort that broke the game open, Heraty cracked an opposite-field job.
"I got a high pitch and drove it to right field,'' she said.
Her solo shot went the other way.
"It was an inside pitch, so I drove it to left field,'' Heraty said.
Heraty played JV ball a year ago as a freshman and earned a late promotion to the varsity for the playoffs. Now, she's a talented pitcher who bats third for the Wildcats.
Libertyville took the lead for good in the second inning. Another sophomore, Sam Hilldale, blistered a slap hit to left and stood on second base after her double. Catcher Sarah Hoyer, a freshman, brought Hilldale home with a single.
Again, the fourth inning decided this contest. Hilldale and another freshman, Franny Quenan stood on base when Hoyer cracked the first 3-run homer of the frame. After leadoff hitter Jesse Lauret singled, third baseman Jamie Stevens bunted for a hit, setting up Heraty's 3-run homer.
Stevenson coach Alex Vikartofsky knew the Wildcats would be up for avenging the earlier loss to her Pats.
"They were ready for us,'' Vikartofsky said. "The last time we played them, we held them to 3 runs. And we hit much better."
The Cats weren't ready to surrender their bats after the 6-run frame. A pair of seniors had the doubles in the fifth and sixth inning. Center fielder Michaela Mooney doubled and scored on another hit from Hilldale (3 hits). Madi Dembinski doubled following the second Heraty blast.
Heraty drove in 5 runs, and Hoyer added 4 RBI to her season total.