Softball: All-Star extravaganzaPrep softball all-star game action co-sponsored by the Sun-Times and the Chicago Bandits pro softball team is held on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 in Rosemont. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times
In a doubleheader extravaganza featuring the Beverly Bandits 18U Gold against the underclassmen and senior all-stars, the fans at Chicago Bandits Stadium in Rosemont got what they came to see—48 of the the top players in Illinois going head to head.
In the first game the underclassmen won easily 7-1. The winners started pitcher Elaine Hefner (Downers Grove North) against Bandits pitcher Bri Cavin (Conant).
In the nightcap, the Bandits rallied for a 4-2 win over the seniors.
"They are a great team and I didn't expect us to win like this," Heflin said. "this was amazing. To play in huge stadium like this was an honor."
The underclassmen struck first scoring two in the third. An error off the bat of Michelle Mazur (Fremd) that scored pinch runner Marissa Gagliano (Wheaton), running for Jill Galich (Lincoln Way North) who singled, Mazur later scored on a single by Julianna Rurka (Benet).
They added another in the fourth for a 3-0 lead when Loren Krzysko (Barrington) doubled to deep center scoring Alyssa Gunther (Tinley Park), who doubled to start the inning.
Heflin pitched three shutout innings, striking out two and allowing to hits. She was relieved by Lindsay Efflandt ( Cary-Grove) in the fourth.
The Bandits cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth on an RBI single by Emily Naegele (Oak Forest) scoring Amanda Matsumoto (Fremd), who single on a bunt.
Efflandt gave up one run on four hits in two innings before lefty Amanda Wilson (Providence) pitched the sixth and seventh.
Underclassman added three more in the sixth on an RBI single by Megan Sowa (Warren) and a two-run double by Nicole Pihl (Seneca) to lead 6-1.
In the senior game the Bandits pitched Dale Ryndak (Downers Grove North) while the seniors pitched the trio of Lilly Fecho (Glenbard North), Hannah Perryman (Elgin), and Melanie Early (Lisle).
The seniors broke a scoreless tie scoring twice in the sixth on fielders choice RBI by Fecho scoring Kendall Duffy (Benet), who single and reached third on an error to start the game. Kiley Rusen (Riverside-Brookfield) added an RBI single that scored Katelyn Conenna.
The Bandits answered with four in the top of the seventh highlighted by an RBI double by Becky Mantel (Riverside-Brookfield).
Kylie Johnson (Kankakee) had two hits for the seniors while Duffy was 3-for-3.
"it felt good to come back, I knew we had it in us," Mantel said. "I had a blast and this was really cool playing at this Stadium. It's something I will always remember."