Softball: Five home runs power Neuqua Valley past Metea Valley
The wind was blowing out Monday afternoon at the Neuqua Valley softball field, and the Wildcats took full advantage of that.
Neuqua (10-5, 2-0 DuPage Valley Conference) belted 5 home runs, which led to a 15-3 five-inning victory over Metea Valley.
"It was fun. It was a team effort," said Neuqua right fielder Bailey Clarke, who hit a 2-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the third.
The Wildcats finished with 22 hits overall.
"We stressed to keep the hands high on the bat and make good contact," said Neuqua coach Christina Chrencik. "It was nice to see Bailey get back-to-back home runs with the work she has done."
The Wildcats led 1-0 after the first inning. Sophia Remsik hit a two-out single to center, her first of three hits. Abby Meeks followed next with a sharp single to right, scoring Remsik.
The Neuqua bats heated up big time the next inning. Kelsey O'Connor led off with a double to right and Clarke's first homer brought her home. The momentum didn't let up. Abby Stankus singled to center and Kylie Boehmke followed right behind with a shot over the fence to score them both.
Metea (8-5, 0-2) pulled to with 5-3 in the third with the help of two Neuqua errors. Rissa Bajusz, Libby Eichberger and Emily Finger each singled and scored.
The Wildcats blew the game open in the third with 6 runs on 7 hits. O'Connor led off with a homer, her second of 4 hits on the afternoon.
"My approach was to remain calm and smooth out my swing and look for my pitch," she said.
Clarke then followed with her second homer. An RBI single from Chloe Steinhaus and 2-run homer from Remsik, her second of 3 hits in the contest, also powered the inning.
O'Connor said the team kept the same mindset that it had from the start of the game through the big innings.
"We are at the fence (that protects the dugout) and encouraging each other. We have a big lead, but we have to stay up," she said.
Neuqua scored 4 more runs in the fourth. A 2-run single from Remsik and run-scoring singles from O'Connor and Hannah Mestan were the highlights.
Allie Grossman was the winning pitcher for Neuqua. She allowed just 6 hits and struck out two.
The teams battle two more times, May 2 at Metea and May 14 at Neuqua.
"We have to be more aggressive offensively and defensively," Metea's Nevaeh Cruz said.