Softball: Morton holds off Lake StationGovernors assistant coach Penny Bensinger calls a timeout in the top of the 4th inning to have a talk with the team at Morton High School on April 24, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 24, 2012 9:56PM
HAMMOND — It took quite a bit of maneuvering, but Morton coach Matt Barno needed to replace two starters who were out and change a few other players’ positions around.
Despite the makeshift lineup, the Governors (12-1) performed like nothing had changed in their 6-3 non-conference win over Lake Station on Tuesday.
With shortstop Jessica Chorak and center fielder Megan Rogers out, Barno moved Vivian Peterson from third base to shortstop and put freshman Justine Ramirez at third base in place of Peterson. Regular left fielder, Lindsay Welch, filled Rogers’ spot in center, Jackie Vega, the team’s second baseman, played left field, while Cynthia Campos spelled Vega at second.
“I’d say everyone performed beyond my expectations,” Barno said. “I’m really proud of all of them.”
Ramirez perhaps made the biggest contribution — smashing a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to turn a slim 4-3 lead into a 6-3 advantage.
“It made me feel good — like I actually have a part on the team,” Ramirez said.
As Ramirez came up to bat in the sixth, Barno looked at her, biting his shirt.
“We call her turtle neck, because she has a tendency to pull her head out when she swings and that gets her off-balance,” Barno said.
“Ya, it helps,” Ramirez smiled.
Morton catcher Cierra Charbonneau went 3 for 4, including a two-run double in the fifth.
“It feels really, really good,” Charbonneau smiled. “I’m finally getting out of my slump. I was being too impatient before, so I started to relax and wait for my pitch.”
Charbonneau also told herself she needed to do a few other key things.
“I wanted to help my team out, hit the ball and be a leader,” she said.
Morton pitcher Angelica Justiniano went the distance, allowing only three hits, while striking out six. She also went 2 for 3 with two RBI.
“My goal today was: I didn’t want them to touch me more than five times,” Justiniano said. “When they did, it just gave me more motivation.”
Eagles’ coach Linda Lewellyn felt her team missed an opportunity.
“We should have won that game,” she said. “We had some key errors at critical times. We didn’t hit like we should at all. We have to hit better than that. Our hitting has cost us some games. We just didn’t bring the bats around at all tonight.”