Softball: Burlington Central wins wild game over Marengo
No panic and no quit. That philosophy served Burlington Central well Thursday against defending Kishwaukee River Conference champion Marengo.
On the verge of blowing an 8-run lead, the Rockets regrouped, rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and left Rocket Hill with a wild 13-11 victory.
It didn't seem early like Burlington Central (10-1, 4-0) would need those late heroics while building a 9-1 lead.
But Marengo (10-10, 2-2) didn't go down without a fight, scoring nine runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to leave the Rockets down 11-9.
"It was a tough game," Rockets junior Katie Snow said. "We definitely fought in that game and came back. We kept going."
Snow ignited the comeback by leading off the sixth inning with a home run to center.
"I like to attack the first pitch," Snow said. "Usually they are right down the middle which that one was. I took it and gave it a ride."
Reili Gardner followed with a single and scored the tying run on Alisyn Catenacci's double.
Marengo reinserted starting pitcher Brooke Behrens, who had been replaced by Kiley Christopher in the third inning. Lindsay Jamrozek greeted her with her fourth hit of the game to put two runners on. After a groundout, Maissie Rabe lined a double to right-center to score two and put Burlington Central back up, 13-11.
"The girls were really confident even down two we weren't out of this game," Rockets coach Scott Richman said.
Marengo didn't go quietly in the seventh, putting runners at second and third with two outs. Abby Sanders, who got the win in relief of Catenacci, retired McKenna Skow on a line drive right at Snow at second base.
The Rockets played four innings of near-perfect softball, building what looked like a commanding 9-1 lead.
It all fell apart in the fifth, however. Marengo sent 15 batters to the plate, had eight straight hitters reach with two outs, and scored nine runs to wipe the 8-run deficit.
Marengo capitalized on three errors. Catenacci allowed nine runs before Richman went to Sanders, but only one run was earned.
"A couple girls had some struggles and they have to know they are going out there the next inning and we support them," Richman said. "We are always positive. And you can tell the results are really good because we are always being positive and we know what we can do and do well. We practice it every day."
After the teams traded runs in the first, the Rockets took a 2-1 lead in the second when Jamrozek stole home on a double steal. That's also how the Rockets scored their first run with Peyton Curtis coming in after a leadoff double.
The fireworks really began in the third. Curtis again started a rally reaching on a walk. Snow, Gardner, Catenacci, Jamrozek, Sanders and Rylie Duval all singled as the Rockets put 7 runs on the board. Curtis came up a second time in the inning and capped it with an RBI single.
Burlington Central finished with 17 hits including three from Snow and two each by Curtis, Gardner, Catenacci and Duval.
"We better get used to those because that's just the way it's going to be with the pitching we're throwing out there," Marengo coach Dwain Nance said. "Right now it's all about scoring more. Down 9-1 our kids fought hard. I'm proud of that."