Softball: St. Charles East leads St. Charles North in suspended game
Thanks to a thunderstorm that hit St. Charles at 5:30 p.m. Monday, St. Charles East wasn't able to finish what it started at rival St. Charles North.
But the Saints like the position they put themselves in, scoring a pair of runs in the opening inning and another in the third for a 3-0 lead behind sophomore ace Katie Arrambide.
The game will resume at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning with a 1-0 count on Meghan Nicastro, one of three freshmen in St. Charles North's lineup.
Arrambide only allowed two singles while striking out six.
"She did a nice job of getting outs," Saints coach Jarod Gutesha said. "They haven't moved the ball that hard on her. She was falling behind on the count early on, a lot of first-pitch balls. That was focus after the first six batters was to challenge them."
St. Charles North (4-5, 1-2 in the DuKane Conference) coach Tom Poulin urged his young hitters to lay off the high pitches from Arrambide, the same strategy the North Stars used in beating the Saints in last year's sectional semifinals.
It's easier said than done, however.
"She's very good," Poulin said. "And she's catching you with the off-speed that comes out of her hand looking like it's going to be up in the zone and it stays right at the belly. That's a tough pitch because you are trying to stay off anything that looks like it will be up in the zone and then it sits right there for a strike. She's tough. She also throws real hard and can throw it right by you."
Sophomore Megan DeMeyer started for the North Stars, and St. Charles East (11-6, 2-1) capitalized on a throwing error on Arrambide's comebacker on the first at-bat of the game. Maddy Stout followed with a bunt single, and the runners moved to second and third on Lauren Luna's groundout.
Alex Wooten found the hole between short and third to plate two runs.
Wooten also drove in the only other run of the game in the third. Stout walked, Luna singled and Wooten's groundout made it 3-0.
"We had a couple opportunities to score some runs and we did it," Gutesha said. "When you get runners in scoring position you want to bring them in. That's always the goal. We did that early on."
DeMeyer struck out three and walked just one, allowing four hits.
"Megan has been pitching very, very well the last couple times she's gone out there," Poulin said. "We felt real confident with her starting this one and she's done a great job. She's pitched real well.
"I think this game is a 1-0 game if our mistakes aren't factored in. You've got to be cleaner than we've been in the first five innings. We made a couple mistakes that led to runs. Their pitcher has kept us off-balance and when we get any sort of contact we're popping it up."
Grace Sobieski and Sydney Eby, two of the few returning players for St. Charles North, have the team's only two hits of the game.
Poulin said getting all of his newcomers a chance to play in an East/North game is a valuable experience.
"No matter what this game is (outcome), it's good for us with four freshmen and youth in our lineup," Poulin said. "The crowd, the nerves, the intensity, this is all a step in the right direction for our team this year."