Softball: Dundee-Crown ends conference losing streakHuntley's Haley Spannraft (5) pitches during the first inning at Dundee Crown High School in Carpentersville, Ill., on Monday, April 16, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: April 16, 2012 10:10PM
The big smiles and all the hollering on Dundee-Crown’s side Monday after an 11-7 softball victory over Huntley were understandable.
The Chargers had broken through in the Fox Valley Conferences’ Valley Division. They hadn’t won a game in conference play against a division opponent since the Fox Valley broke into divisions in 2006-07.
“This is big for us,” winning pitcher Melany Love said. “It feels great to get this.”
Love’s relief pitching for starter Amanda Eissler, and three-run home run bombs by Eissler and No. 8 hitter Abby Perillo made all the difference as the Chargers improved to 1-1 in the Fox Valley Valley and 5-9 overall.
“It’s really big for us to win this over a school that’s been good in the conference and for coach (Tracy) Beatty,” said Eissler.
The Chargers pounded out 12 hits and made the most of virtually every scoring opportunity as they left just two on base. Love went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, Eissler 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, and Mallory Schilf 2-for-2 with two RBI and a triple.
“We have been struggling with the bats the last few days,” Beatty said. “So today we kind of put it together. And Melany Love did a great job coming in that third inning and that kind of pulled us together.”
Love (3-1) relieved Eissler after Huntley had rallied for three runs in the top of the third on a two-run Miranda Peterson double and Ashley Laxner’s single. She came on with the bases full and two out after Huntley had gained a 3-2 advantage and struck out losing pitcher Haley Spannraft. Then she held Huntley in check until three errors in the sixth led to four unearned runs.
The Chargers had regained a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the third with three runs, one on a wild pitch, another on Mandy Moore’s RBI infield grounder, and the last on Schilf’s sacrifice fly to left. Then Eissler came up with two out and two on in the fourth against Spannraft and made it an 8-3 lead with a homer high over the 8-foot fence in left.
“We were in the lead so I was just trying to get on base,” Eissler said. “The wind maybe helped, but that kind of works for both teams.”
When Perillo launched her first high school home run ever to almost the same location — this off Laxner in relief — the Chargers went wild on the bench.
“She really came around today,” Eissler said. “She’s been working on her swing. We’re proud of her.”
Love struck out eight and walked none while giving up four hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“We’re a young team with a freshman pitcher and catcher out there today,” Huntley coach Mark Petryniec said. “It’s a matter of learning and growing as players.
“We had a couple bad innings and that (the homers) is what happens when you have the ball up over the strike zone.”
Huntley (3-11, 0-3) had two hits from Tara Lycos, and two from Peterson.