Softball: St. Charles North takes out rival St. Charles East
By Scott Miller For Sun-Times Media May 23, 2012 8:56PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 10:03AM
St. Charles North and St. Charles East fans were treated to another nail biter on Wednesday.
It wasn’t quite the 13-inning extravaganza the two sides endured last week, but it did go eight innings with the host North Stars coming out on top 7-6 in a Class 4A St. Charles North regional semifinal.
St. Charles North North (23-12) won all three games against its crosstown rival this season by a combined four runs.
“Everybody says how hard it is to beat a team three times,” said North coach Tom Poulin. “Well, it’s especially difficult when you are playing a team as tough as East. Every game with them has been hard. This one was no exception. We just feel fortunate to have got the W.”
Shannon Caliri reached on an infield single to start the top of the eighth inning. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sabrina Rabin and took third on an East throwing error. She then scored what proved to be the winning run when Kaitlyn Waslawski grounded out to short.
Caliri (10-7) also came on in relief of Rabin to start the fifth inning with the score tied and pitched four shutout innings to earn the victory.
“There was a little bit of pressure,” said Caliri. “But you have to stay calm and do what it takes to win. I was just doing my best to hit my spots. Everyone on the team did a great job of supporting one another and we pulled through.”
Caliri yielded just two hits. She didn’t strike out a batter but was helped out by some stellar defense. Center fielder Courtney Smith and right fielder Delaney Olinger both had running catches in the gap. Third baseman Sara Hausl mad a nice back-handed stab on a ground ball for an out and Waslawski had a lunging grab at second base on a liner up the middle.
“The defense was tremendous,” said Poulin. “If any one of those balls fall in or get through it’s a whole different ballgame. I thought Shannon did a great job for us. We have used her as both a starter and a reliever lately and I’m real pleased with the way she has contributed and done whatever we have asked her to do.”
After a slow start, the North Stars have now won eight straight and 13 of their last 14.
“One thing I can definitely say about our kids is they are resilient,” said Poulin. “We took our lumps early in the season, but they never stopped believing in themselves. And even in individual games they have shown you can’t keep them down. We have fallen behind to some really good teams lately and have battled back to win. We draw a lot of confidence from that.”
St. Charles East (20-13) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer over the center-field fence by Casey Basic. However, the Saints were plagued by nine errors in the game, including six in the third inning that led to six unearned runs for the North Stars. Mickey Goetz and Abby Howlett had RBI singles in the inning for North.
The Saints managed to rally and tie the game at 6-6 with three runs in the third and one more in the fourth. Basic had the game-tying hit with an RBI single. However, the Saints could not push home another run after that. Shannon Pederson had a two-out double in the eighth but was left stranded.
“We hit the ball very well and I thought our pitchers did as nice job,” said East coach Kelly Horan. “What it came down to was the defense and ours was terrible today. It’s one thing to lose but to play as bad as we did is very disappointing.”