Softball: Mother McAuley tops Tinley ParkTinley Park's Sam Alberto (left) puts the tag on Mother McAuley's Mady Ruppert at third base during their softball game in Tinley Park Thursday, March 15, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 15, 2012 9:04PM
When Mother McAuley second baseman Emily Marousek has six ground balls hit in her direction, that’s good news for the Mighty Macs.
“That means she’s hitting all of her corners and all of her pitches, and she’s doing a great job on the mound,” Marousek said, pointing at pitcher Ashley Rogers.
It’s even better news when Marousek makes the plays. To that end, she converted five of the grounders into outs during No. 5 McAuley’s 6-1 victory Thursday over host Tinley Park.
The Loyola-bound Rogers was very effective in her first game of 2012, allowing just four hits while striking out eight. Emily Powers had three hits, including a run-scoring double, to pace the Mighty Macs offense.
Alyssa Gunther was 2-for-3 with an RBI for No. 10 Tinley Park (1-2).
The real story of the game was fundamentals. McAuley bunted well and in general put the ball in play, save one strikeout by Tinley Park reliever Sarah Gillespie.
The Titans didn’t respond well to the challenge defensively, committing eight errors, which led to five of McAuley’s runs.
“Oh, gosh, I don’t know if it was nerves or what,” Tinley coach Wendy Podbielniak said. “Our younger kids held all right. Our experienced kids … as soon as one of our key kids make a mistake, we’ve got to support them and pull them back together. Defensively, we fell apart.”
Tinley made three errors in the first inning, although singles by Powers and Rogers also contributed to the Macs going in front 1-0.
The real damage was done in the fourth, when three more Titans miscues led to four McAuley tallies. The Macs also helped themselves via Powers’ double, an infield single by Marousek, back-to-back successful bunts by Alex Brown and Taylor Moore and an RBI single up the middle by Michelle Dempster.
“Hit the ball and good things will happen,” Powers said. “The first game, I was a little nervous. I’m glad we were successful.”
Tinley got to Rogers just once, when in the third Cosette Tonita doubled with two outs and came in on a base hit by Gunther.
“I’m feeling good,” Rogers said. “I was just trying to work the corners and make sure not to give them too much meat. I like the ball to stay in the infield.”