Softball: Katie Kirker pitches Jacobs to sectional crown
By Erik Jacobsen firstname.lastname@example.org June 2, 2012 9:14PM
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:14AM
Jacobs continued to ride one of the hottest pitching arms in the state Saturday as it claimed its first-ever sectional softball title.
Senior ace Katie Kirker once again had it on cruise control as she posted her third consecutive shutout to help lead the Golden Eagles to a 7-0 victory against Carmel in the championship game of the Class 4A Cary-Grove Sectional.
Jacobs (25-14) pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first and three more in the bottom of the second, which was more than enough support for Kirker. Next up for the Eagles is a showdown against Elk Grove in the Elgin Supersectional at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Judson University.
“It was the boost we needed and I felt relaxed the rest of the game,” Kirker said of the early offensive outburst. “Getting runs early takes pressure off and then we had the momentum the whole game.”
Kirker (6-1) struck out eight, walked none, hit two batters and scattered five hits as she extended her scoreless streak to 25 innings.
It was another dominant performance for Kirker, who has come on strong when it matters most after battling injuries throughout her high school career.
“We’ve known this was a possibility for a long time and we’ve been waiting to get to this point for so long,” Jacobs coach Jeremy Bauer said. “Now it’s finally here and it’s sweet to see (Kirker) do what we’ve known she could do for three years. Now she’s finally getting her chance and we’re real proud of her.”
Alyssa Lach went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Courtney Cotugno was 2-for-4 with three runs scored for Jacobs. Kirker helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first and Maggie Hansen chipped in with two RBI.
Erin Pauly went 2-for-3 for Carmel (19-19) while Nicole Bitter was tagged with the loss.
“Usually at this time of year the hot pitcher and the hot team advances,” Carmel coach Jason Raymond said. “(Jacobs) seems to have both right now. They definitely have the hot pitcher, that’s for sure.”