Bartlett rally shocks Moline
BY BILL HARRISON For Sun-Times Media June 8, 2012 9:46PM
The Bartlett bench greets Kayla Haberstich at home plate after her three-run homer against Moline at the Class 4A softball semifinals on Friday. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 10, 2012 6:08AM
EAST PEORIA — It’s been a wild ride for Bartlett during the Class 4A state softball playoffs.
Down to its last strike Friday against defending state champion Moline, the Hawks not only tied the game, but put up five runs in the top of the seventh for a come-from-behind 7-3 win.
A three-run home run by sophomore Kayla Haberstich capped the rally and propelled Bartlett to a berth in Saturday’s state final against Marist at the EastSide Centre.
“I thought I hit it but if Kaylyn [Zierke] didn’t get her hit to tie it and Alex [Morales] didn’t get her hit I wouldn’t have been able to get mine,” Haberstich said.
The Hawks (32-8) trailed 3-2 entering the seventh when pinch-hitter Steph Tomazin was hit by a pitch with one out. After a strikeout and a walk to Andreana Taormina, Zierke singled to center on a 3-2 count to tie the game.
Morales (2-for-3) followed with an RBI single to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead before Haberstich launched a no-doubter to left-center to send her teammates and fans into a frenzy.
From there, pitcher Tori Burke retired the side in order and the celebration started.
“Hitting has been huge all year,” Burke said. “For our sophomore to step up, that really shows our depth.”
Maroons shortstop Brittny Drish was the star early, hitting home runs in her first two at bats. Her solo shot in the first started the scoring before she smashed a two-run drive in the third that gave her team a 3-0 lead.
Zierke (2-for-3, three RBI) pulled the Hawks within one on a two-run double that scored Tomazin (single) and Taormina (walk).
“We just beat the second-best hitting team in the state,” Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said.
The best hitting team? “You seen the scoreboard,” Wolfsmith said.
The Hawks have never played in a softball state-title game. The Maroons (30-11) were seeking their seventh state championship.
† Bartlett advances to face Marist, a 2-0 winner over Elk Grove in the other semifinal.
The RedHawks (26-15), who have won 11 in a row, will play in their first softball state-title game. Meanwhile, the Grenadiers (31-9) will settle for the third-place game, which they won in 2010.
Maggie Gorman supplied the winning runs for Marist when she hit a two-out, two-run homer to left-center in the top of the fifth. Kaitlin Kenny (3-for-3) singled to save Gorman’s at bat.
“I still can’t believe it happened,” Gorman said. “Whenever I [almost] hit [home runs] they go foul. I’m just glad this one wasn’t foul.”
Marist senior pitcher Kristin Klutcharch was perfect through 5 1/3 innings before giving up a single in the sixth on a pinch-hit bloop single to center by senior Tori Liewergen.
After a fielder’s choice, pitcher Dani Goranson doubled but was stranded along with Liewergen after Devan Parkison grounded out to end the inning.
The Grenadiers started the bottom of the seventh with a single by Becca Maher, their third and final hit of the game. After Megan Keegan struck out, Klutcharch got Carly Danek to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game and continue the RedHawks’ Cinderella run.