Softball grabs two victories after tough May stretch
Photo: McKinzie Mangers seems to be safe at home but was called out in the sixth inning of Kaneland’s 3-2 home win against Rochelle on Tuesday. Both Kaneland and Rochelle brandished pink items on their uniforms for a “Pink Out” raising awareness of breast cancer. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Welcome to the dog days of May.
After losses to Morris, Sycamore, Yorkville and non-conference Elk Grove High School, the Lady Knights managed wins against Oswego East and Rochelle, situating themselves at 12-14 (3-6 NIB-12).
The most recent wins were welcome, as the Lady Knights have now suffered 13 losses in their last 18 contests.
Against the visiting Lady Redskins of Morris, Kaneland fell behind early and often in a 13-9 setback on May 4.
Morris plated four runs in the first, followed by two in the third and two in the fourth for an 8-0 lead. Kaneland’s attack finally woke up in the fifth with seven runs, cutting the deficit to 8-7. Morris came back with four in the top of the sixth to go up 12-7 before KHS closed to within 12-9 with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Morris then clinched the deal with another run in the top of the seventh inning.
Kaneland was also plagued by five runs in the loss, and Brittney Miller was the losing pitcher.
Traveling to Sycamore, and down 1-0 in the top of the second inning, right fielder Sarah Kitz’ two-out RBI single scored Rilee Vest to tie the game. Vest had led off matters with a double.
Unfortunately, the Lady Spartans plated one in the bottom of the third, and got a two-run shot by Brittany Huber in the bottom of the fourth to go up 4-1. Kaneland’s Miller surrendered two more runs in the fifth before surrendering a grand slam to Huber to make it 10-1.
“We’re setting those innings up for them by making errors and not making the little plays,” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “(Sycamore) came through, credit to them, but if we make the plays before the home run, she doesn’t even get a chance to bat.”
Kitz drove home the second KHS run on a single with the bases loaded.
In the top of the seventh, freshman Lanie Callaghan belted a two-run shot to make the final 10-4 margin.
On Friday in Maple Park, Yorkville bested Kaneland in a 14-inning marathon by an 8-7 margin. Andrea Potts went 3-for-6 with three doubles. Alexis Villarreal pitched the first two innings, followed by a returning Delani Vest who went eight innings.
In Saturday’s doubleheader at the home of the elite Lady Grenadiers, the Lady Knights lost 10-0 in five innings, and 11-1 in five innings.
Monday saw Kaneland solve the host pack of Wolves by a 9-2 final. Kaneland put up four runs in the second, three in the sixth and two in the seventh to clinch.
Against Rochelle on Tuesday, Villarreal’s complete-game effort, in which she surrendered just two runs on seven hits with six K’s was key in the 3-2 victory.
The win also took place during the Lady Knights’ “Pink Out” to raise awareness of breast cancer.
In underclass action, the sophomores lost 5-1 to Yorkville despite Elyssa Eckert’s triple.
Meanwhile, Allie Miller earned the win on the mound and doubled at the plate, as the sophomores used a 13-run fourth inning en route to a 17-4 win over YHS.
The varsity lineup travels to Yorkville High School for a Thursday, May 12, encounter.