Stevenson swats its way into sectional final
On May 11, the Lake Zurich softball team visited Stevenson and blasted out an unheard-of 20 hits against the Patriots en route to a win by the 10-run rule.
Talk about turning the tables.
No, the Pats did not get 20 hits on Wednesday in the Class 4A Glenbrook South sectional. But Stevenson had 14 hits -- and six of them went for extra bases.
An 8-run sixth inning was the knockout blow in another 10-run victory. Winning pitcher Myra Peterson fired a 4-hitter as Stevenson ended Lake Zurich's season with a 12-1 romp.
"Myra threw the ball well,'' said Stevenson coach Alex Vikartofsky. "And our offense has been on fire. And defensively we are playing well."
Leadoff hitter Vera Pflugradt set the tone with 3 hits, including a double. She scored 3 runs. Also joining the 3-hit parade for the Pats was Taylor Koenigs, who had a triple to go with two singles. Trish Porzycki had 3 singles, and Hannah Epstein tripled twice.
"In the playoffs, we are stepping up,'' Porzycki said. "We are really pumped up."
Pflugradt opened the game with a two-bagger and scored the game's first run.
Koenigs tripled and scored in the third. However, the Bears cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third. McKenna Zobel started the rally with a two-bagger. Brittney Pettinger's sacrifice fly made it a 2-1 game. And that's all the Bears would get off of Peterson.
"I threw a lot of riseballs,'' Peterson said. "Also, my curveball. Everyone played well for us today."
From here on in, it was all Pats. In the Stevenson fourth, the first of Epstein's triples began a 2-run rally. Alyssa Pauly's double also highlighted the frame.
While it was still a competitive game, Zobel cracked a two-out triple off of Peterson but she was stranded at third.
And then the Pats' batted around to put this game out of reach. Two Lake Zurich errors opened the nightmare inning for the Bears. And then there was 4 straight hits by the Pats. Pflugradt drove in a run and stole a bag. Pauly's bloop single fell in. Koenigs dropped a bunt and beat it out for a hit. Kayleigh McGovern's first hit of the game was a booming RBI double.
Porzycki kept the rally going with yet another single. Epstein's second triple brought in 2 more runs. All in all, it was an 8-run frame with 6 clean hits.
So the 10-run rule reared its head.
"I don't think we've had the 10-run rule against a good team like Lake Zurich,'' Porzycki said.
Peterson needed three more outs to end the game in six innings. She nailed two of them, and then Lake Zurich catcher Amanda Guercio, in her final at-bat of the season, nearly cleared the fence in left field. She ended up with a double.
Peterson ended the game on the next batter, and the win was in the bag for the Pats (17-15).
Stevenson will return to Glenbrook South to battle New Trier for a sectional crown at 11 a.m. Saturday.