Burlington Central stymies Prairie Ridge

  • Burlington Central's Hannah Rindner runs to home to score a run as head coach Scott Richman cheers her on during their game against Prairie Ridge on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

    Burlington Central's Hannah Rindner runs to home to score a run as head coach Scott Richman cheers her on during their game against Prairie Ridge on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

  • Burlington Central's Lauren Knief, right, congratulates Alyssa Becker after she scored a run during their game against Prairie Ridge on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

    Burlington Central's Lauren Knief, right, congratulates Alyssa Becker after she scored a run during their game against Prairie Ridge on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

  • Burlington Central's Alyssa Becker slides in safe to 2nd base under the tag of Prairie Ridge's Adysen Kiddy during their game on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

    Burlington Central's Alyssa Becker slides in safe to 2nd base under the tag of Prairie Ridge's Adysen Kiddy during their game on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

  • Burlington Central's Savannah L'Huillier slides in safe to home base to score a run as Prairie Ridge's Elena Smith attempts a tag during their game on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

    Burlington Central's Savannah L'Huillier slides in safe to home base to score a run as Prairie Ridge's Elena Smith attempts a tag during their game on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Burlington Central High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

 
By Alex Kantecki
Shaw Media
Updated 4/27/2022 10:39 PM

Burlington Central softball coach Scott Richman guesses his team has played in one or two "warm weather" games all season.

Wednesday was not one of those days.

 

Although the weather was cold, the Rockets' bats stayed red hot.

Burlington pounded out 18 hits and got a walk-off, line drive smash in the gap from shortstop Rylie DuVal to beat Prairie Ridge 16-6 in six innings in their Fox Valley Conference game.

The Rockets (8-3, 5-3 FVC) have won seven of their past eight games after a 1-2 start to the season. Burlington coaches and players believe the team is capable of going deep into the playoffs. Wins like Wednesday's, in which the Rockets peppered the outfield with hit after hit, help fuel their confidence.

"We haven't had a good-condition game all season, so they're getting used to it," Richman said. "They know every game if we play better and execute more in the conditions than the other team, they'll make less errors and we'll put more pressure on them.

"We're a good team, but if we want to play and win a regional and sectional, we have to stay more competitive with a team like Huntley [the FVC leader at 10-0]. Even though they're [Class 4A] and we're [3A], we still have to be in the game with them. When you get to that part of the season, you're going to see better pitching."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Burlington kept the pressure on Prairie Ridge, scoring seven runs in the second inning, four in the third, three in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth. All nine batters in the Rockets' lineup collected at least one hit.

Junior first baseman McKayla McEwen was 2 for 3 with four RBIs, getting double and triple in her first two at-bats and an RBI groundout in her third. Hannah Rindner was 3 for 4 with a triple, three runs and an RBI.

Alyssa Becker (2 for 4, double, two runs, RBI), Lauren Knief (2 for 4), Savannah L'Huillier (2 for 4, double, two runs) and MaKayla Larson (2 for 4, two runs) each had multiple hits for the Rockets. Duval had three RBIs, and Danielle Durckel scored twice and knocked in two runs.

Players tried their best to stay warm, whether it was huddling in the dugout with blankets or being tossed hand warmers by coaches on the bases.

"As soon as you get warm, you get cold instantly," said McEwen, who had the 16th and final run. You've got to have a mental factor to stay warm and to stay loose, which is really hard when everything around you is not going your way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"All I look for is contact. Get runners moving on the bases, get them in, do my job. That's all I look for. If I get on base, it's just a bonus."

Durckel battled the conditions in the circle and held the Wolves to six runs on seven hits, striking out 12 and walking two for the win. Only three of the runs charged to her were earned. The sophomore pitcher said she was having trouble throwing her fastball, so she went to her curveball more.

"Typically I'd be a little better, but with the wind and everything and with my body stiffening, it was tough," Durckel said. "It's not difficult to grip [the ball in the cold]. I'd say it's more moving my hand in the way I need to get it to move was the biggest challenge. I was throwing a lot of curveballs, which some of them would curve more than others depending on how my hand felt, or how warm or cold it was."

Prairie Ridge (7-6, 6-5) took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning but was in come-from-behind mode after the Rockets' seven-run bottom half.

Kendra Carroll finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Adysen Kiddy was 2 for 3 with a triple, and Elena Smith (1 for 4, two runs), Kayla Davis (1 for 3, double) and Rory Bounds all had an RBI.

Hope McHugh (two runs) and Kaylee Jarrard both added doubles.

Despite the loss, Prairie Ridge coach Jim Summaria was proud of his team for battling. The Wolves already have matched their win total from last spring and have a young team, with more than half of its roster underclassmen.

"They battled, and they always battle," Summaria said. "They always give it 110%. "They're a great group of kids, and we're going to keep battling. I think we're going to do something in the regional. We're really coming together, especially for such a young team."

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.