Softball: Elmwood Park tops Guerin in sectional semifinal
Guerin Prep walk together back to their dugout for their softball sectional semifinal against Elmwood Park on Friday, June 1st. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 5, 2012 1:35PM
Elmwood Park and Guerin met in the playoffs for the third straight year, and the Tigers knocked off the Gators for the second straight year taking a 12-2 decision in six innings in the Class 3A Fenton Sectional semifinal thanks to seven runs in the second and five more in the sixth to end it.
Shortstop Becky Gruber drove in six runs on the day, including an inside-the-park grand slam that just eluded the glove of onrushing Guerin right fielder Nikki Kulach that keyed the big second inning.
“I just saw the ball going, and after it dropped in, I had the feeling (I could score), and Coach sent me home,” Gruber said. “We still had to have tough defense with the big lead.”
Gabby Uvelli and Nicole DiGiovanni split time in the circle to pitch the Tigers (18-15) to victory. Uvelli started and lasted three innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. DiGiovanni came on in the fourth and shut the door, striking out five while allowing just one hit and one walk. Third baseman Morgan Schlanger ended the contest, hitting a bases-loaded single to drive in Catherine Conte and Arianna Kelley with one out in the sixth.
“We’re exactly where we want to be,” said Elmwood Park head coach Brad Reynard. “Our bats came alive, and we swung the bats one through nine as well as we have all year.”
Guerin (12-16) tried to stay in the game, responding to the seven-run second with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Shortstop Cassidy Tarpey singled home center fielder Jessi Catallo, who reached on a one-out single. Third baseman Jessica Holden followed that up with an RBI single of her own scoring first baseman Molly Campbell, who walked, from second base.
Sarah Benavides pitched the entire 5 1/3 innings for the Gators, allowing 10 hits and walking eight while striking out a pair.
“It’s a tough way to go out,” said Guerin head coach Andy DaMato. “I thought we played well. We had a couple of bad innings and bad hops, but they’re a good team. (Benavides) rebounded well and got some big outs. She’s only going to get better.”