Softball: Big second inning propels Carmel past St. Viator

 
 
Updated 5/5/2021 8:41 PM

You can bet Ainsley Rastovac will never forget her varsity softball at-bat for Carmel High School.

Nor will anyone in the program.

 

Corsairs coach Jodi Swiatkowski brought the freshman in as a pinch-hitter in the top of the third inning on Wednesday at St. Viator and she smacked a 2-run homer over the right-field fence, giving the Corsairs their final 2 runs of a 13-2 five-inning East Suburban Catholic triumph in Arlington Heights.

The Corsairs (4-8, 3-5) also had an unforgettable offensive rally one inning earlier.

They scored 11 runs on 7 hits, including a triple by senior Allie Schlitz (3-for-3, RBI) and a pair of 2-run doubles by Austin College-bound third baseman Hailie Swiatkowski (to right field) and junior Julia Shrofe (to center field).

Schlitz missed the cycle by a home run. She had doubled to left just before Rastovac's blast.

"I'm so glad Ainsley hit that home run," Schlitz said. "She was so good. "

Rastovac, who came in and played right field, had been good on the junior varsity team for whom she hit 3 homers this spring.

"I just wanted to hit the ball," she said of her blast. "It was pretty awesome."

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In her next at-bat, Rastovac walked.

"And she worked that at-bat great, too," said Jodi Swiatkowski. "We were very excited for her home run. This is a pretty long fence, too. We are very excited about the future with her. She is most comfortable in the outfield but she can also play first base."

Designated player Brooke Braden went 2-for-3 while sophomore Kaylie McKenna and senior Abby Bonds also had hits for the visitors.

Winning pitcher Caroline Gatchell threw a 3-hitter with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk. The only hits off the junior were by Allison Ardito, Brooke Cwick and freshman Kelly Ferguson, who singled home Viator's first run in the bottom of the fifth and then scored their second one.

"Caroline has done very well for us on a regular basis," said Jodi Swiatkowski. "And on Monday, Madison DeBennette (sophomore) was also fabulous getting the win (10-0 win over St. Viator in Mundelein)."

Freshman catcher Jillian Bollard had a defensive highlight for Viator (3-9, 0-8) when she threw out a runner trying to steal second base in the top of the third.

"I've been really happy with her performance all season," said Lions coach John Scotillo. "She has thrown out nine runners in 12 games. We have had a lot of good catchers but I think for a freshman, Jillian is the most solid at this early stage. Our center fielder (Ferguson) is also a freshman and one of our better defensive players. Our shortstop (Ardito) is a junior and one of our better players so we have another year with her. Our third baseman (Cwick) is a sophomore playing her varsity season and she is only going to get better.

"We are a young team and definitely a work in progress but I am really excited about our team. One of our best hitters is an injured freshman (Hannah Grossman), who is out for the season, but she will be here next season. When she is in the lineup, we are really solid. I'm looking forward to the rest of this season. I wish we had a little more hitting but our future is bright."

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