Softball: Emily Larsen, Emily Naegele pace Oak Forest past Reavis
As a sophomore, Oak Forest pitcher Emily Larsen had an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks on the varsity with senior ace Emily Norton during last season’s playoffs.
“I literally admired her,” Larsen said. “I would love to be just like her. Confidence is a key.”
Norton would be proud of what she’s done so far as the Bengals’ new No. 1.
In seven innings over two outings Larsen, a left-hander, has struck out 18.
Tuesday, she went four frames in Oak Forest’s 11-2 South Suburban crossover victory over visiting Reavis, fanning nine while allowing a lone infield single.
At the plate, the Bengals (2-0, 2-0) did some serious bashing.
Emily Naegele went 3-for-4, crushing one home run over the left-field fence and smacking a double off the top of the fence in right. Jourdan Skirha had two doubles, while Calie Delisi, Gianna Kuras and Taylor Dazzo also had two hits.
For Reavis (1-3, 1-1), Ally Balandis poked a two-run double.
Naegele is picking up where she left off during a 2011 season in which she hit .634, with 12 homers. Through two games, the senior is 6-for-8. Tuesday’s blast was a line drive into a wind that was blowing in.
“I’m wasn’t trying to go out there and get the big hit,” Naegele said. “Actually, before the home run I was like, ‘I’d better get a single, I’d better put it on the ground,’ because the wind was crazy today.
“I’m just focusing on singles right now and taking the pressure off myself. If I put it on myself I’ll be too nervous and tense in the box.”
New Bengals coach Katy Dammer didn’t wait for good things to happen. She had the Bengals stealing and going for the extra base at every opportunity.
“I love it,” Skirha said. “A lot of people are underestimating Katy, but she’s a really good coach. She’s been really open to what we’ve been doing (in the past), and then she’s helping us.
“Following (Paige Stryczek) is hard, but what she’s been doing with us is really great.”