Softball: Tinley Park doubles up Evergreen ParkTinley Park's Liz Brezenski starts to head to third base after Evergreen Park's Megan Beckon misses the play at second base during their softball game in Tinley Park Monday, April 2, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 2, 2012 8:59PM
There’s just no quit in Maranda Stroz.
The Tinley Park sophomore left-hander didn’t quit after having surgery last summer to repair her pitching shoulder.
She didn’t quit Monday, either, after being pulled from the pitching circle in the sixth inning of what would be a 10-5 South Suburban crossover victory over visiting Evergreen Park.
First things first.
Evergreen had peppered Stroz with three straight hits and had closed what had been a 5-0 deficit to 6-4 when Titans coach Wendy Podbielniak made the switch to junior Sarah Gillespie, who got the next two outs.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Titans had runners on second and third with one out when Podbielniak re-entered Stroz as a hitter. She responded with a rope to center field that scored both runners and set in motion a knockout four-run frame.
Then she went back to the bench — without complaint.
“I was starting to float the ball,” Stroz said. “I was bummed that I wasn’t able to finish, but I think it was the right decision to take me out.”
Stroz finished the day 3-for-4, including her second home run of the season. The three-run shot in the bottom of the third, off Mustangs starter Michelle Putlak, broke a scoreless tie. Other offensive heroes for Tinley Park (8-5, 5-1) were Cosette Tomita (2-for-4, solo HR) and Danielle Graca (2-for-4).
Jenna Haase had two hits, and Putlak a two-run double for the Mustangs (7-4, 5-2), who scored twice each in the fifth and sixth to make things interesting.
On the medical front, Stroz is in comeback mode after a torn labrum initially incurred two years ago became too painful to bear during summer ball. She went under the knife in August.
“I didn’t have any doubts that I’d come back, but I’d have those dreams I never could pitch again, those nightmares. That was prety bad,” she said.
The dreams were wrong.
“My legs still aren’t up to speed yet, but I feel great,” Stroz said, smiling. “It feels real good to be out here.”