Softball: Brooke Hofer delivers in the clutch for AndrewBrooke Hofer, of Andrew, connects against Lockport at Andrew, Monday, April 9th, 2012 in Tinley Park, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 9, 2012 10:49PM
Saturday, Andrew coach Jim Holba gave pitcher Brooke Hofer a chance to hit for herself for just the second time this season.
She passed the audition, going 2-for-4 against Plainfield East.
Monday, Hofer was back in the lineup for a SouthWest Suburban crossover against visiting Lockport, and again went 2-for-4.
This time, she was good to the last at-bat.
Hofer’s line-drive single to the gap in right-center with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning gave No. 19 Andrew a 5-4 victory.
It was the capper in a back-and-forth battle in which No. 16 Lockport appeared to seize control with a three-run fifth, only to have Andrew’s Katie Christner rally the T-bolts from a 4-1 deficit with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Katie Christner finished the day 3-for-3 for Andrew (8-3), while Hofer went the distance in the circle, allowing seven hits while striking out two.
Lockport (10-3) was led by Melissa Stoch (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI).
“I like to contribute other than just pitching,” Hofer said after her RBI single scored Bobbi Gotschammer, who was pinch running for designated player Caitlyn Migawa (hit by pitch). “I’m glad I got a chance to help the team.”
For Christner, it was an equally satisfying day. Struggling at the plate early in the season, the Wisconsin-bound senior had been dropped to sixth in the order.
In the second, Christner doubled and eventually scored on a squeeze bunt by Katie Burke to put Andrew in front, 1-0. She also doubled in the fourth before whacking a 1-and-1 pitch from Taylor Weissenhofer over the fence in right with sister Kelly Christner (single) and Jenna Lenza (walk) on base.
“It was coach Holba’s decision to move me down and he should have,” Katie Christner said. “Actually, I worked with my dad last night for an hour, hour-and-a-half.
“(In the sixth) I was just excited when Caitlyn (Migawa) got the bunt down and moved the runners over (with a bunt). I was like, ‘You know, I need to come through for my team right here.’”
The blow erased the momentum Lockport had built via a solo homer by Stoch that tied the game at 1 in the fourth, and a three-run outburst in the fifth that was highlighted by a two-run double by Kelly Pattison and an RBI single by Stoch.
Hofer would retire nine of the final 11 batters she faced.
“Two good teams battling to the end,” Lockport coach Marissa Chovanec said. “Good for Andrew. (Christner) got us to every field —left, center and right.
“I think we’re just trying to keep working on the little things and utilizing the entire 19 kids and finding all of their strengths.”