Jarrell sparks Griffins in varsity debutLincoln-Way East's Carissa Ernat connects for a hit against Oak Lawn.
Updated: March 23, 2011 3:52PM
Batting in the nine-hole in Lincoln-Way East's lineup, Nikki Jarrell realizes chances to knock runners in may not be as plentiful as they were Friday.
But playing in her first varsity game, the sophomore second baseman took advantage at the plate with runners on base, going 2-for-4 with four RBI in East's 11-1 nonconference win over Oak Lawn in Frankfort in six innings.
"I was nervous a little bit being a sophomore coming up for my first varsity at-bat," Jarrell said. "You've just got to let that go and try to get the job done."
Jarrell's four RBI led Lincoln-Way East (1-0) in its season opener while Kacyee Hart earned the win in the circle. The junior threw four innings, striking out six and allowing two hits and two walks with an earned run.
Heading to the dish for her first varsity at-bat, Jarrell could not have asked for a better situation. With her team trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded, she roped an offering that split the outfielders in right field.
The ball rolled all the way to the fence for a bases-clearing triple, and Jarrell later scored on Jill Reid's sacrifice bunt.
"Down 1-0 like that, I was just trying to get the job done and put the ball in play," Jarrell said.
After surrendering a run in the top of the first (an Allison Palhegyi RBI single), Hart went into cruise control over the next three innings. The junior did not allow a hit over the next three innings.
"I just had to focus on what pitches I could and couldn't throw just based on the batters," Hart said. "(The first inning) was those first-game jitters, and it's easier once you get that first run in from your team."
The Griffins scored four runs apiece in the second and fourth, adding a run each in the third, fifth and sixth.
Palhegyi's RBI single that plated Tiffanie Triner was the lone offense for Oak Lawn (0-1), which went hitless after the first inning.
Mercedes Leon ended the first just missing out on a three-run home run that Griffins center fielder Reid pulled in at the fence.
"We had a good solid start, and then we're picking and choosing (the rest of the way)," Oak Lawn coach Kelly Herlihy said. "Opening up the season against a great team like East can be an eye-opener."