Softball: Burlington Central rolls to Slugfest championship

  • Central's Olivia Sutton (5) just beats the throw to Elgin's first baseman (12) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Central's Olivia Sutton (5) just beats the throw to Elgin's first baseman (12) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Chelsea Herrick (10) delivers a pitch to St. Edward during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Larkin's Chelsea Herrick (10) delivers a pitch to St. Edward during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Streamwood's Hailey Dworak (9) rifles a ball to first for an out against Jacobs during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Streamwood's Hailey Dworak (9) rifles a ball to first for an out against Jacobs during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Central's Rylie Duval (10) handles a popup by Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Central's Rylie Duval (10) handles a popup by Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Central's Savannah L'Huillier (3) reels in a long shot by Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Central's Savannah L'Huillier (3) reels in a long shot by Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Burlington Central's Olivia Sutton tries to get a handle on an errant throw during the Larkin Slugfest softball tournament Saturday in Elgin. The Rockets defeated Larkin 18-4 in the title game to win the tournament.

      Burlington Central's Olivia Sutton tries to get a handle on an errant throw during the Larkin Slugfest softball tournament Saturday in Elgin. The Rockets defeated Larkin 18-4 in the title game to win the tournament. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Braedyn Tetrev (10) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Elgin's Braedyn Tetrev (10) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Makayla Rosado (3) prepares to throw to first against Central during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Elgin's Makayla Rosado (3) prepares to throw to first against Central during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Madison Gschwend (2) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Elgin's Madison Gschwend (2) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Dundee-Crown's (10) delivers a pitch to Bartlett during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Dundee-Crown's (10) delivers a pitch to Bartlett during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Dundee-Crown's (8) picks up a grounder during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Dundee-Crown's (8) picks up a grounder during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Edward's Olivia Salazar (10) delivers a pitch to Larkin during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      St. Edward's Olivia Salazar (10) delivers a pitch to Larkin during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Baylei Johnson (32) slides safely into home past the tag by St. Edward's Maddy Freeman (12) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Larkin's Baylei Johnson (32) slides safely into home past the tag by St. Edward's Maddy Freeman (12) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Mya Bermudez slides safely into second base under the tag of St. Edward's Delaney Nolan.

      Larkin's Mya Bermudez slides safely into second base under the tag of St. Edward's Delaney Nolan. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Jacobs' Caitlin Cook (11) delivers a pitch to Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Jacobs' Caitlin Cook (11) delivers a pitch to Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Streamwood's Sophie Saflarski (24) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Streamwood's Sophie Saflarski (24) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Streamwood's Kailey Pawlikowski (12) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Streamwood's Kailey Pawlikowski (12) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comStreamwood's Megan Burton (20) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

    Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comStreamwood's Megan Burton (20) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

  • Jacobs' Arya Patel (13) is greeted at home by her teammate Kaitlyn Wysong (16) after scoring against Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Jacobs' Arya Patel (13) is greeted at home by her teammate Kaitlyn Wysong (16) after scoring against Streamwood during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Dundee-Crown's (3) tosses to first base during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Dundee-Crown's (3) tosses to first base during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Dundee-Crown's (3) prepares to throw to first base during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Dundee-Crown's (3) prepares to throw to first base during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Bartlett's (8) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Bartlett's (8) during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Bartlett's (22) reels in a long Dundee-Crown shot during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      Bartlett's (22) reels in a long Dundee-Crown shot during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Edward's Alexandra Genz (2) watches her hit during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin.

      St. Edward's Alexandra Genz (2) watches her hit during the Larkin Slugfest Softball Tournament Saturday April 16, 2022 in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Jared Birchfield
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/16/2022 8:16 PM

Burlington Central exploded for 51 runs on Saturday to win first place in the Larkin Slugfest softball tournament held at the Elgin Sports Complex.

The Rockets overwhelmed Elgin 22-1 in the tournament opener, rallied to beat Bartlett 11-9 in the semifinal and rapped out 18 hits in two innings to beat Larkin, 18-4 in the championship game.

 

Jacobs also staged a comeback to edge Bartlett in the third-place game, 10-9 with a bottom of the seventh walk-off hit.

Central coach Scott Richman was just happy to play.

"It's been a rough year. The first game this morning was our fourth game of the year. We've had so many rainouts. Other teams have had upwards of 10 games already," said the Central coach. "It's about time we're we got some games in."

"They got to our pitchers. They started hitting the ball," Larkin coach Anne Vogt said. "Unfortunately, we didn't respond with our bats. That was the bottom line."

The Royals (7-2) jumped out to an early lead in the game, scoring runs in the first and second innings. Freshman Kaitlyn Neubert's 2-run home run over the right field fence put Larkin up 3-0 when Central (4-2) came up to bat in the bottom of the second.

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"I want to say she hit .750 on the day if not more," Vogt said about Neubert, who was one of Larkin's three picks for the all-tournament team. "Her bat is just hot and she's also playing great defense."

Thirteen Rockets went to the plate in their half of the inning. Capped by Lauren Knief's 2-run blast over the center field fence, Central scored nine runs on 10 hits and an error.

Knief, a senior, went to the plate just hoping to end a hitting drought.

"My hitting has been in a slump today, so I switched to my old bat -- my almost broken, completely cracked bat -- and it actually worked in my favor," Knief said. "I just needed a complete change. I wanted to do anything I could to get out of my slump and it worked."

Larkin got one run back in its half of the third.

Central had another big inning in the bottom of the third, scoring nine more runs on eight hits and a Larkin miscue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Everyone in the Rockets starting lineup got a hit and scored in the title game.

In addition to offensive output, Richman was pleased with defensive play of second baseman Anna Sanders and shortstop Rylie Duval,

"You can't go wrong with the middle of our infield. Anna and Rylie are the rock of our defense," he said. "They play shortstop just as good as anybody as I have seen."

Freshman call-up Allie Botkin also made a favorable impression on Richman.

"She pitched in game one and she came out here and started the championship game and she gave a phenomenal effort," said the Central coach.

Sanders, Duval and Botkin were all named to the all-tournament team.

Larkin had a similar path as Central to the title contest. The Royals downed St. Edward 13-3 in their first game and edged Jacobs 3-2 in the semifinal.

"Kailey Cronin pitched a heck of a game against Jacobs and drove in the winning run," said Vogt.

Cronin along with teammate Mya Bermudez were also named to the all-tournament team.

At one point, Jacobs (5-5) trailed Bartlett (5-6) by seven in the third-place game but battled back.

"We threw three different pitchers to throw their hitters off balance." said Jacobs coach Katie O'Brien. "Our hitters then just started hitting and hitting is contagious."

Golden Eagle Aria Patel, who had the walk-off hit, and pitcher Caitlin Cook represented Jacobs on the all- tournament team.

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