Softball: Hampshire runs away with win over Dundee-Crown
Hampshire struggled early to make good contact against Dundee-Crown junior McKayla Anderson, but kept its same approach at the plate.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Whip-Purs offense finally broke through and strung together four straight hits.
With two outs, junior third baseman Kayla Valdez provided the biggest hit of the day, smacking an opposite-field single to right field and scoring the tying and go-ahead runs.
The Whips sent 17 batters to the plate in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring nine runs, and ran away with a 10-4 win against the Chargers in their Fox Valley Conference game on Wednesday -- giving Hampshire its fourth consecutive victory.
Valdez prefers to pull the ball, but her approach against Anderson was to go the other way.
The Whips focused simply on making contact to put pressure on D-C's defense.
"I was expecting outside all day, I was just hoping to get a hit," Valdez said. "I wasn't expecting anything big. 'Just don't strike out' was kind of my mindset. Don't mess up, I don't need to be perfect or anything. I just wanted to help my team in any way."
Valdez's two-run single in the fifth scored Ali Sondergaard, who had a single, and Carissa Schuman, who reached on a fielder's choice. Shortstop Bria Riebel started the rally with a hard hit to center field with one out, followed by hits from Mia Robinson, Sondergaard and Elyse Garcia.
All five hits in the inning were singles.
"We were hitting the ball hard and putting it in play" Whips coach Jeremy Bauer said. "I thought they did a great job of getting timely hits and RBIs in clutch situations. I'm really proud of how they are hitting the ball. They continued to put the pressure on."
Riebel was 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBIs for Hampshire (8-7, 4-5 FVC), Valdez was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Abby Lentz (two runs) and Sondergaard (two runs, RBI) had two hits apiece. Robinson scored twice and drove in one.
Lindmark also started for the Whips in last week's 13-8 win against Huntley that ended the Red Raiders' 50-game winning streak in the FVC.
She said the season has been filled with many ups and downs.
"It's been a roller coaster," said Lindmark, who was called up to varsity late last year. "I've never played with this kind of pressure to perform. Sometimes it gets the best of me, but I've been working hard and learning how to channel my anger and perform better rather than letting it eat at me."
Bauer was proud of how Lindmark responded after the Chargers scored four runs in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead.
"It was good to see that she came back and was attacking the hitters," Bauer said. "She did exactly what we needed."
For D-C (10-8, 3-5), Annabelle Pederson was 1 for 3 with a two-run triple in the second. Brianna Hamblen was 2 for 2 with an RBI.
Anderson allowed 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits in seven innings. She struck out nine and walked two. Anderson was hit on the knee by a line in the fifth, but stayed in the game.
Dundee-Crown coach Matt Goetz felt his team was one big hit or defensive play away from turning Wednesday's game around. The Chargers made three errors combined in the fifth and sixth innings.
"From top to bottom, they can really hit," Goetz said of Hampshire. "They kind of just got the bat out there and put the pressure on our defense. We just have to correct the small stuff ... the little errors here and there because it's biting us right now."