Softball: Late rally propels Palatine over Hersey
Palatine senior third baseman Kaitlyn Reed said the Pirates "were right there" the whole game.
"Our hitters were putting the ball in play," agreed Pirates coach Nicole Capalbo. "It was just a matter of time."
That time came in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Facing a 2-0 deficit to Hersey in the Mid-Suburban League crossover softball game that featured two of the best MSL players of all time as head coaches, Palatine erupted for 5 runs on 5 hits for a 5-2 lead which stood up as the final score.
Payton Westphal, Caitlin Williams and Lauren Detloff began the barrage with singles, then Reed and sophomore Nicole Marceau closed it out with the big blasts.
Reed's one-out double down the left field line tied it at 2-2 before Marceau belted her second homer of the season, a two-out 3-run shot over the center field fence to make to 5-2.
"My teammates did a really good job getting on base ahead of me," said Reed, who will play at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and study exercise science as part of the physical therapy program.
"And then Nicole came through at the end. It was a great, great team effort."
"It started with the people ahead of Nicole and then she executed," said Capalbo, who starred for the Pirates and Northwestern while Hersey coach Molly Freeman did the same at Fremd and Illinois-Chicago.
"Honestly, we've been making adjustments with Nicole, trying to have her hit more line drives and ground balls so she happened to just get a pitch she liked and hit it over the fence. She doesn't get that 3-run homer without the small ball and Payton starting it out with a single followed by Lindsey (Plourde) getting on base (fielder's choice)."
"We just really came together as a team that inning," said Marceau, a sophomore first baseman who went 2-for-3.
One of the hardest hits in the big inning was Kelly Beach's lineout to Huskies third baseman Brooke Sharlau (2-for-3).
But Beach's biggest impact was on the mound, where she tossed a 7-hitter with 2 strikeouts.
"I thought Kelly pitched a really good game and our defense played really well behind her," said Capalbo, whose club is 11-6 and 5-3. "To get that defensively, kept us in the game until our big inning happened."'
Livia Christopher's double to center got Hersey its 1-0 lead in the third inning. Isa Ales had a key sacrifice bunt in the inning.
Hersey (5-8, 5-4) went ahead 2-0 in the fourth on Kate Adamski's single to center that scored Sharlau.
"It was one inning," said Freeman, who got a complete game from Sabrina DiVito. "Their slappers are tough. I thought we did a good job keeping them off the bases. Our infielders were lights out. I thought we did a really good job against really tough speed. But Palatine made plays, too. That home run was a killer. We've got to close out that inning. But overall I think we are playing our best softball, The infield is doing really, really well. We just have to come up with a couple of more hits to put the nail in the coffin. But I think we're playing good softball."