Softball: Lincoln-Way East breaks through against Sandburg
Updated: April 25, 2012 7:19PM
Tuesday’s upcoming SouthWest Suburban Blue rematch against Lockport is something that Lincoln-Way East has been looking forward to since an 8-1 loss on April 11.
Wednesday, the Griffins took a big step toward making it matter, riding the bat of Sam Stewart and arm of Kacyee Hart to a 4-1 victory over visiting Sandburg.
It was East’s first win over Sandburg since 2007.
“Yeah, actually the past couple of years we haven’t really beaten them, so this win was really big today,” Hart said. “Now we definitely have to keep focused (Friday against Lincoln-Way Central) and then come back and play well against Lockport.”
Stewart, a junior catcher, had the key blow of the day, smacking a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Hart went six innings in the circle and contributed two hits of her own as No. 5 East improved to 15-4, 5-1.
No. 10 Sandburg (13-10, 2-4) scored its lone run on a sacrifice fly by Ellie Forkin that plated Amanda Barna (double).
The Griffins had just four hits against Barna, but made them count — with a little help from Sandburg’s defense.
The Eagles made two errors, while Nikki Jarrell stroked a two-out hit to give East a run in the second inning. In the fourth, Barna bounced in a changeup that glanced off of leadoff hitter Alexis Huss. Stewart was next, and clubbed a 1-0 pitch over the fence in dead center field to make it 3-0.
“It was pretty much right down the middle of the plate,” Stewart said. “She was throwing me outside the whole time, and was really great on hitting her spots. But she made one mistake, and I guess I found it.”
East added a fourth run when the following hitter, Hart, singled, stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Jarrell.
In the circle, meanwhile, Hart was clutch, stranding two Eagles runners on third and two more on second through five innings.
Sandburg finally broke through with a run in the sixth, but Hart stranded yet another baserunner. Chrisi Mizera retired the side in order in the seventh to register the save.