Softball: St. Charles East heats up, beats Burlington C.
St. Charles East suffered its first loss Saturday to Oak Park-River Forest, largely because it couldn't come up with the timely hit.
That wasn't a problem when the Saints returned home on a sunny but frigid Monday morning against Burlington Central.
Six starters banged out 2 hits apiece, combining for 12 of the Saints' 14 in a 12-2 win over the Rockets.
St. Charles East (3-1) did its damage against Alisyn Catenacci who was coming off a perfect game against Elgin in the season opener for Burlington Central (1-1).
Catenacci held the Saints scoreless the first two innings before St. Charles East scored twice in the third, once in the fourth and nine times in the fifth to break the game open.
"She kept pitching inside on us so I just had to get up in the box and get the bat through," senior Alex Wooten said. "It all started when we started cheering and being a team and the bats started rolling."
Wooten finished 2-for-3 with 4 RBI. Katie Arrambide, Lauren Luna, Maddy Stout, Krista Sbarra and Izzy Howe also had 2 hits. Luna drove in three runs and Howe two.
Howe, a freshman, also did the pitching. She held the Rockets to 3 hits while striking out nine.
"I had to go strong because being a freshman on the team I was nervous," said Howe who previously had thrown one inning in a win over Schaumburg. "I just wanted to throw strikes."
Kati Gheorghe singled with one out in the third inning and took third base when the Rockets couldn't haul down Arrambide's long drive to center. Wooten drove in the first run with a bunt, then Luna made it 2-0 when Burlington again couldn't snag her shot to right field.
Catenacci pitched the first 4 1/3 innings before Abigail Sanders got the final two outs.
"She's (Catenacci) an incredible competitor," Rockets' first-year coach Scott Richman said. "This was a good, good opportunity for her and she pitched well. She needed a little more defense behind her. If she doesn't have those errors she throws 30 less pitches, we don't turn the lineup over as much and we have a chance."
Howe helped herself in the fourth with a 2-out RBI single up the middle after Stout had led off the inning with a double.
The Saints sent 14 hitters to the plate in the fifth, combining some solid hits with a few shaky defensive sequences.
"Small ball can get the defense on its toes and gets you moving in the right direction. Obviously got us some runs early," said Saints coach Jarod Gutesha, who liked what he saw from yet another young and talented pitcher in Howe.
"Growing up as a young kid I've seen her come out to camps and she's just a good pitcher. She's got good velocity. She doesn't let too many things go between the ears. She goes out there and puts her skills on display. It was a great day to pitch because the wind was blowing nasty in. Even if you made a mistake it wasn't going to go far."
The Rockets return to action Friday when they play twice at the Rosemont Dome, first at 8 a.m. against Mundelein and then noon vs. Metamora. Burlington Central hosts Geneva in a doubleheader Saturday.
Kate Snow led the offense with 2 hits. Catenacci drove in both runs with a 2-run double in the fifth.
"This is an amazing group of girls," Richman said. "They love to play softball together. We are going to go ahead and learn from this and get much better from this game."