Softball: Waubonsie Valley hands Bartlett first league loss
By Scott Miller For Sun-Times Meida May 14, 2012 10:31PM
Updated: May 14, 2012 11:57PM
Bartlett will have to put off celebrating an Upstate Eight Valley Division title at least one more day.
Visiting Waubonsie Valley crashed the party plans and kept its slim title hopes alive by dealing the Hawks their first conference loss 3-0 on Monday. Bartlett (25-4, 15-1) still remains two games ahead of the Warriors with three conference games to play.
The Hawks get another chance to clinch the title Tuesday when they travel to play Waubonsie Valley (22-6, 13-3). The Warriors could pull to within one game of the lead with a win.
Waubonsie freshman Shannon Hohman fired a complete-game shutout to improve to 17-4. Senior Katie Benson provided all the offense the Warriors would need with a two-run homer in the first inning.
“I was a little worried because we just had prom over the weekend and I thought we might be dragging a little bit not having played since last Thursday,” said Waubonsie coach Aly Kelley. “But we asked the kids who were not at practice over the weekend to make sure they fit in something softball oriented, and I thought they did a great job of coming out here and being ready to play.”
Benson’s home run in the first inning came on an 0-2 pitch with two outs.
“It was a really big game and we wanted to set the tone early,” said Benson. “The first two pitches she worked the outside corner on me, so I crowded the plate. Then she tried to jam me inside but I was able to turn on it.”
The Warriors added an unearned run in the fourth. That was more than enough for Hohman as the freshman didn’t seem at all phased by the pressure of the game. She scattered just four hits while striking out six and walking four.
“I was so pumped up because Bartlett is the team to beat this year, said Hohman. “I had all my pitches working in my favor today and my teammates had my back and played great defense.”
Twice Hohman got off the hook on nice two-out running catches by rightfielder Mel Koulas. The first came in the second inning and left a runner stranded at third. The second thwarted Bartlett’s best scoring opportunity in the fourth inning when the Hawks left the bases loaded.
“We played really good defense today,” said Kelley. “Especially Mel out there in right field. She’s a second-year starter in the outfield and she has really worked hard on learning to read the direction of the ball and pickup the tailspin on it. Those were two really big plays for us.”
Bartlett left eight runners stranded on base. Tori Burke (14-4) took the loss.
“Give (Waubonsie Valley) credit, they played a great game,” said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. “Their pitcher did a nice job and they played really good defense. But we didn’t help ourselves any either. We did not do a good job at the plate. We were getting behind in the counts and swinging at some bad pitches.
“Maybe we were suffering from some post prom lethargy, but we need to pull it together because this is a tough week with another game against Waubonsie and games against Lake Park and Neuqua. If we want to win the division we are going to have to go out and earn it.”