Softball: McCarthy helps Fremd speed past Elk Grove
Talking before the game, Fremd softball coach Josh Teschner and his assistant Russ Anderson agreed upon one thing.
"We both said that if Kalyn McCarthy gets on base three times, we win this game," said Teschner, whose Vikings were facing Elk Grove.
McCarthy, the Fremd junior leadoff batter and one of the fastest runners the Mid-Suburban League has seen, actually outperformed her coaches' wishes on Wednesday in Palatine.
She reached base four times (3-for-4 with 2 RBI) to help ignite a 9-3 triumph for the Vikings (8-2, 2-0) that snapped an eight-game winning streak by the Grens (8-2, 0-1) in the conference crossover game in Palatine.
McCarthy's quickness was put on display immediately when she lined a shot to center field and slid safely into third base with a triple.
On the very next play, Anna Poss' RBI bunt easily scored McCarthy for a quick 1-0 lead.
"Kalyn's speed is an absolute weapon and no doubt puts us in a good position when she is playing the way she is now," Teschner said. "She did get on base three times and we won the game. That's what we knew we had to do. And Anna Poss executes an excellent bunt, a selfless act to start the game, and give us a run."
Winning pitcher Grace HiIler struck out nine, tossing a 5-hitter. Three of those hits came off the bat of Grens cleanup hitter AJ Trausch, who doubled to center to lead off the second and scored on Megan Malartsik's single to right to tie the game at 1-1.
"We talked over our game plan with Grace on Tuesday and then again before the game and she executed exactly the way we wanted," Teschner said. "We knew with as powerful as the Elk Grove lineup was, we had to respect that and we had to put ourselves in a position to be up in counts and she did it all day."
Fremd took the lead for good in the third when Madison Johnson (2-for-3), Ava Jordan and McCarthy led off with consecutive singles. McCarthy's infield hit brought home Johnson and Jordan scored on Elaina Kraus' two-out groundout to short to make it 3-1.
"It's just the whole team doing it," McCarthy said. "It's everybody's laughter and everyone cheering in the dugout and basically helping each other out. I love everyone on this team and it's so much fun."
The Vikings were having fun in the bottom of the sixth when they put across 5 runs, taking advantage of 3 errors, an RBI groundout by Jordan, an RBI single by McCarthy and a 2-run single to center by Poss (3 RBI) that made it 9-2.
Grenadiers first baseman Julia Masnica (1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly), whose sister Olivia was on the mound for the Grens, singled sharply to right to drive home Trausch with two outs in the top of the seventh before Hill got her third strikeout of the inning.
"There were a couple of innings where we compounded mistakes," said Elk Grove hall of fame coach Ken Grams. "That 5-run inning should not have happened. With a good team like Fremd, you just can't allow that. They are going to take advantage. That's a good team with a good pitcher. You have to keep the runs to a minimum and we helped them a bit."