Softball: Richards pounds Elk Grove in heavyweight matchup
Updated: April 7, 2012 4:29PM
Richards’ Northwestern-bound pitcher Brianna LeBeau was quick to admit afterward that she deserved the verbal lashing she received from the umpire in the bottom of the sixth inning against No. 2 Elk Grove on Saturday.
LeBeau was animated at times with her displeasure of the strike zone and the umpire finally had enough.
That directive, however, wasn’t nearly as fierce as the offensive lashing the No. 3 Bulldogs put on the host Grenadiers during a highly-anticipated matchup between two of the best teams, and players, in the state.
A surprisingly easy 8-3 win by the Bulldogs against Michigan State-bound Dani Goranson had LeBeau and her teammates feeling pretty good about themselves in the end.
“We never played this team and we did a lot of good stuff in practice,” said LeBeau, who improved to 10-0. “We worked a lot on our hitting and staying off her rise ball. I wouldn’t say I was the greatest pitcher but I have a lot of confidence in my defense.”
What about that verbal lashing? “It’s hard and you have to adjust to the pitch zone, so I have to work on staying mentally strong,” she said.
The Bulldogs (14-0) pounded out 12 hits, put up three runs in the sixth to lead 4-0, and four more in the seventh after the Grenadiers (7-2), who have now lost two in a row, closed to within 4-2 in their half of the sixth on a two-run single by Becca Maher.
Sam Kusta led the hitting barrage with three hits, while LeBeau, Breanna Kamiski, and Molly Pohrebny had two hits each. Pohrebny added three RBI and a double, while LeBeau — who runs for herself — and Kusta scored two runs each.
“We are pleased and we came for a good battle,” Richards coach Julie Folliard said. “We have a lot of respect for their program which is why we wanted to play them. I wanted our team to have a challenge and this seemed like one of the biggest challenges I can give them.”
Devan Parkison and Carly Danek had two hits each for the Grendiers. Goranson, who bats leadoff, was 0-for-4, and fell to 3-2.
“We both came out pumped and excited to play,” Goranson said. “Their hits were together but ours were apart, you have to put them together to get runs.”
The most frustrating part? “At the plate, for me,” she said. “I’ve been hitting every day and it didn’t show today at all. It’s hard to lose back-to-back, but we’ll bounce back, we’re a strong team.”