Softball: Savage's stellar pitching leads Lake Park over South Elgin in sectional semifinal

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/31/2023 10:10 PM

Lake Park coach Tom Mazzie realized a change was necessary.

With starting pitcher Mia Giammarse struggling and his Lancers losing to South Elgin 3-1 in the top of the second, Mazzie inserted right fielder Mia Savage in the pitcher's circle.


It turned out to be the right move for the Lancers.

Savage blanked the Storm on 1 hit in 5 1/3 innings of work as the Lancers rallied for a 6-3 win in the Class 4A St. Charles North sectional semifinal Wednesday afternoon.

The Lancers defense didn't commit an error in the game, which was delayed 15 minutes due to lightning.

The Lancers (26-11) will play host and defending state champion St. Charles North for the sectional crown at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

"I can tell something was wrong," said Mazzie. "Mia (Giammarse) wasn't spinning the ball the way she usually does. Mia Savage was unbelievable. She was throwing some incredible pitches and her defense behind her was flashing some leather."

During her stint, Savage struck out 3 and hit a batter and earned the win in relief. The only hit she gave up was a single by Madison Hunt to lead off the sixth.

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"My curve ball was my best pitch," said Savage. "I was mixing my off-speed pitches and got ahead of the hitters. My defense was great behind me. I totally trusted them. I don't think the delay bothered us. We knew there was plenty of game left. We came back after the delay ready to play and with plenty of energy."

Savage also drove in the winning run with a single in the decisive 3-run sixth.

The Storm (24-6-1) seized control early as Hannah Harms led off the game with a homer. The Lancers answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on a run-scoring single by Kylie Pytlak.

South Elgin answered with 2 in the second on an RBI double by Harms and a run-scoring single by Mia Speidel.

Lake Park scored 2 in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Michela Barbanente and Pytlak executed a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt which scored Barbanente with the tying run.

"We had a great season," said South Elgin coach Brad Reynard. "We won a regional for the first time in 10 years.

"This is a special group that truly loved each other. These seniors put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this program."

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