Andrew rallies past H-F into sectional championshipAndrew's Kelly Christner (right) runs to her teammates after scoring the tying run against Homewood-Flossmoor. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 2, 2011 8:45PM
Andrew sophomore Kelly Christner’s way of preparing for Thursday’s Class 4A Lockport Sectional semifinal against Homewood-Flossmoor was to hit out in the back yard earlier in the day with her sister, Katie.
It didn’t go so well.
“I hit really bad,” Kelly said. “She told me in the house, ‘You know, Kelly, even though you hit bad out in the yard you’re going to go out there and go 3-for-3 today.’ ”
She did better than that, going 4-for-4.
“After the game (Katie) was like, ‘I hate you! You know, I told you you were going to do good,’ ” a laughing Kelly Christner said after Andrew’s come-from-behind 6-3 win.
Jenna Lenza added two hits while Brooke Hofer blanked H-F over the final four innings for the T-bolts (28-9), who advanced to Saturday’s sectional championship game against No. 2 Sandburg (27-6).
Moochie Werner and Kaitlyn Shereyk both were 2-for-3 for the Vikings (18-17).
It wasn’t until Christner’s fourth hit that the T-bolts were in a position to win. The hit, an RBI single in the top of the sixth, sent home Shannon Rust (hit by pitch) and tied the game at 3.
Lenza and Jessie Tucker later added singles during a four-run outburst that gave Hofer some breathing room.
“They (teammates) were putting the ball in play the entire time,” Hofer said. “I knew that we were going to score some runs in the end.”
Hofer recovered nicely from a rocky start in which she struggled to find a tight strike zone, retiring 15 of the final 16 batters she faced.
“I wasn’t getting the pitches that I wanted to so I had to adjust,” Hofer said. “Once I adjusted the defense stepped up and we were fine.”
H-F scored twice in the top of the second, the highlights a double by A.J. Contreras, a base hit by Werner and a bases-loaded walk by Melanie Hamilton. Shereyk led off the third with a two-bagger before Werner made it 3-0 with an RBI single.
Vikings pitcher Sarah Burke worked out of jams in both the first and second innings before Andrew broke through with a two-spot in the third. Kelly Christner was the igniter with a leadoff bunt single, while Lenza provided the clout with an RBI double to dead center and Katie Burke an RBI groundout.
Burke stranded three more runners in the fourth and fifth, but couldn’t escape the sixth, which began with Rust not exactly spinning away from a slow, inside changeup. H-F coach Katie Rice-Hoger approached the umpires looking for a non-effort call on Rust, to no avail.
Dani Bestwina followed with a sacrifice bunt, after which hits by Kelly Christner, Lenza and Tucker sent Andrew on its way.
“It was a good season and we’re really happy with where we’re at,” Rice-Hoger said. “We just kind of let this game get away from us.
“(Burke’s) defense was behind her 110 percent today. It probably wasn’t her best game ever, but she pushed her way through. Everybody gave 110 percent.”