Softball: Calie Delisi, Priscilla Rios come through in clutch for Oak ForestCalie Delisi, of Oak Forest, watches the ball clear the fence for a game winning 2 run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning against Tinley Park at Oak Forest, Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 in Oak Forest, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 17, 2012 7:39PM
Oak Forest sophomore Calie Delisi said that hitting a home run was the last thing on her mind when she stepped to the plate with teammate Lauren Bal on second base and two outs in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s South Suburban Blue battle against visiting Tinley Park.
“I just knew I had to put it in play because a little hit would have scored a run,” said Delisi, who had never hit a high school roundtripper. “But the energy was there.”
It looked like an Emily Naegele bomb that went soaring over the fence in left field to give the Bengals a 4-2 victory.
“It felt awesome,” Delisi said, laughing. “I definitely look up to her because she helps me a lot.”
Priscilla Rios was also clutch for Oak Forest (13-9, 10-2), hitting a two-out, game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. Rios was 2-for-4, along with teammates Jourdan Skirha, Lauren Bal and Ashley Benninger.
Bengals lefty Emily Larsen, meanwhile, went the distance, striking out 14 while allowing just four hits.
Amber Buss had an RBI single and Liz Brezenski a pair of hits for Tinley Park (11-8, 8-3).
The Titans, while not making contact often, did it enough times in the top of the sixth inning to break through for two runs. Two Bengals errors and a walk by Maranda Stroz preceded a base hit by Amber Buss that made it 2-0.
A third Tinley run would have scored had not a perfect relay from Bengals center fielder Gianna Kuras to shortstop Skirha to Naegele at the plate cut down pinch-runner Mary Psaltakis.
Oak Forest rallied to within 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Skirha, a base hit by Benninger and a fielder’s choice grounder by Rios. The Bengals would load the bases with nobody out, only to have Gillespie pitch out of the jam thanks to two good defensive plays by second baseman Alyssa Gunther and one by first baseman Alyssa Williams.
Oak Forest’s last stand began with two outs in the seventh when Skirha stroked a single to right field and Benninger poked another single up the middle. Rios was next, and ripped a line single to right-center to tie it up.
“Oh, God, I was trying so hard not to pop up,” Rios said. “When I get runners in scoring position I just try to do to my job at the plate and get my runners across.”
Williams speared a sharp line drive by Naegele to end the inning. The Bengals, however, went back to work in the bottom of the eighth when with one out Bal singled to left and was sacrificed to second by Shannon Cayle to set up Delisi’s heroics.