Softball: Thayer pitches Batavia over Naperville North
Batavia senior Betsy Thayer only made one mistake in the Bulldogs' regional semifinal Wednesday at Naperville North.
Unfortunately for Thayer, it came with two outs in the bottom of the seventh with Batavia one out from advancing.
Leading 2-0 and in command all day, Thayer induced a slow comebacker. But the ball hit in the hole where Thayer had been striding, took a bad hop, and bounced off her glove for an error.
A wild pitch and a walk followed, and that brought the potential winning run to the plate. But Thayer reared back and fired one more fastball, getting her eighth strikeout in the game and the final out in Batavia's 2-0 victory.
"I let it get too deep," Thayer said of the error. "You just have to stay positive and work through things like that. My changeup was on today and it was good to keep them off-balance and my fastball was good, they weren't timing me well."
Thayer finished with a 2-hitter and walked just one.
No. 9 seed Batavia (8-13) will play No. 1 seed Yorkville, a 7-0 winner over No. 16 Geneva, for the regional title at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Yorkville.
"I've played postseason varsity all my years and each year and we lose by a lot in the first postseason game," Thayer said. "We won finally and we get a chance to go on and win regionals."
No. 8 Naperville North (16-14) also got an excellent performance from its pitcher, Shayna Woolwine. She retired the first 13 batters she faced until Lauren Cole's single in the fifth, and was locked in a 0-0 duel heading to the sixth.
Batavia's No. 8 hitter Sarah Stasell started the winning rally with a bunt that she popped up just over the charging third baseman's glove. Stasell took second on a passed ball and scored when leadoff hitter Alex Klein lined a clean single up the middle on a 2-strike pitch.
"I just had to focus," Klein said. "It wasn't a huge hit, I wasn't swinging for the fences, just trying to help my team anyway I can. I scooted up in the box and focused on hitting down on it and watching the pitch to the bat and making contact."
Leah Puttin followed by slapping a ball down the left-field line for an RBI double to score Klein -- the two runs proving plenty for Thayer.
"Betsy has been pitching well all season," Batavia coach Torry Pryor said. "She has just run into some bad luck the last few innings of a few games. She closed it out, great job. Just a little luck to get us going (in the sixth). Both pitchers were pitching great games."
Woolwine struck out 14 and didn't walk a batter in the tough-luck loss.
Kendall Kedziora and Kristina Donaldson had the Huskies' only 2 hits.
"She (Woolwine) threw well, had another good game," Huskies coach Jerry Kedziora said. "It's high school softball and you make a mistake and it ends up killing you. Our defense played well. We just didn't hit like we had been. Hats off to Thayer."
The Huskies closed the year strong, winning 10 of their final 13.
"Hopefully it's a lesson learned and we will be better prepared for next year," Kedziora said. "The girls bought into what we wanted to do. I'm happy moving forward."