Softball: Smigielski, Grayslake Central come up big
Her coach called her "a tiny little thing."
The description may be accurate in one sense, but that little thing, Morgan Smigielski, did some mighty big things Wednesday afternoon in the Class 3A sectional semifinal softball game at Antioch High School.
For one thing, she walked twice in latter part of the game. That's because the Richmond-Burton pitching staff had seen enough of the Grayslake Central second baseman.
In her first at-bat, the ball left the yard over the right-center field fence. Her second at-bat repeated the feat, only this one might have gone even further.
Smigielski's 2 solo homers set the tone, and 19-game winner Reagen Radke took it from there.
This game went only six innings as the Rams won by the 10-run rule. The Rams (26-11) cruised 11-1 and head back to Antioch at 4:30 p.m. Friday to meet St. Viator for the sectional title.
"I know I'm one of the small kids,'' Smigielski noted. "But I put in a lot of hard work in the off-season."
Smigielski's homers were her second and third of the spring.
"I've been hitting doubles this years,'' she said. "I think I have 13, 14 doubles. They find the alleys."
This contest was close early. Richmond-Burton scored an unearned run in the second to tie it at 1-1. Smigielski's second dinger put her club up for good in the third. First baseman Elisa Koshy supplied an RBI double and Radke shut the door from there.
Radke struck out 10 and walked none in a complete-game effort.
"My screwball was working," Radke said. "It both rises and jumps. I'm an inside and outside pitcher. This team is insanely good this spring. We couldn't ask for better teammates."
The fourth inning settled it as Central put up a 7-spot.
Yes, the Rams got help from some wild pitches. There was also an RBI double from Nicole Buerger, along with one of shortstop Kaci Snyder's 3 singles. Central hitters were also patient on this day, settling for 11 walks.
Radke allowed only 2 hits, both to designated player Racheal Hayden. As one of the few seniors on the Richmond-Burton team, Hayden also finished up the mound in her final game.
The Rams worked 3 walks and had four base-runners in the fifth but were unable to tally. In the meantime, Radke was breezing on the mound.
"I'm really proud of this team," said Grayslake Central coach Jason Schaal. "Reagen was getting her ground-outs. And last year, Morgan hit more homers but she's getting more doubles this year."
Snyder singled in the sixth and the Rams scored the run they needed to end the game early.
So now it's get ready for St. Viator.
"I will get on the phone and learn about St. Viator," Schaal said.