Softball: Lauren Cairo’s blast powers Hornets past Downers South
Updated: April 16, 2012 10:42PM
Jessica Andree had been looking forward to Monday’s game since the beginning of the school year.
The former ace of Hinsdale South’s pitching staff is now the starting second baseman and lead-off batter for Downers Grove South. Her family moved from Darien to Downers Grove after her older brother Ryan graduated from Hinsdale South last year.
Andree went 2-for-4 with a run scored in her first game against her old team, but it was former teammate Lauren Cairo who provided the game’s biggest highlight with a two-run home run over the left field fence to end a four-run first inning. Andree’s former teammates beat her new teammates 7-3 in the opening game of the West Suburban Gold for both teams in Downers Grove.
“I’ve definitely been looking forward to it,” said Andree, a sophomore. “I love Downers Grove. It has been great. We put our house on the market toward the end of the school year. [The DGS] girls made me a part of the team since Day 1. It has been awesome here.”
Cairo has homered in back-to-back games after hitting her first homer of the season in the second game of a doubleheader sweep against Lyons Saturday. The Hornets (10-7, 1-0) won 7-6 and 5-0. Cairo has hit 17 home runs during her career.
Her blast went well beyond the left field fence and scored Dana Capocci, who hit an RBI double. Lindsey Schwarz scored the game’s first run when the leadoff hitter singled, went to second on a hit by pitch, reached third on a wild pitch and then scored on Sabrina Kuchta’s sacrifice fly.
Hinsdale South scored seven runs on nine hits off Kelly Schmitt (5-1), who lasted just 3 2/3 innings. The Hornets managed one hit off reliever Aleisha Bozek. Winning pitcher Jess Buckridge, who replaced Andree from last season, picked up the victory despite allowing 13 hits. The Mustangs (8-6, 0-1) stranded eight runners in scoring position in the game.
“I think [Schmitt] meant to throw a screw ball, but she brought a lot of it over the plate,” Cairo said of her home-run pitch on a 0-1 count.
DGS had the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth inning while trailing 7-1, but scored only one run. With Andree batting, Hinsdale turned a double play when Kuchta fielded Andree’s sharp grounder at third, stepped on the bag and then threw across the diamond to get Andree. The next batter, Danielle Trezzo, flied out.
The Hornets essentially traded one sophomore (Andree) for another (Kuchta) when Kuchta transferred in to Hinsdale South from Lockport. Kuchta bats third for the Hornets and went 1-for-3 Monday with two RBI and the team’s final run.
“I like it. I feel like I’ve been playing with them so long,” Kuchta said.
Hinsdale beat the Mustangs for the second time in three meetings for second-year coach Kelly Van Hout. The Hornets handed defending Gold champion DGS its only conference loss last season, 7-2, on May 11. The Mustangs will host preseason No. 1-ranked Leyden at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Hinsdale South plays two more conference games this week playing at Willowbrook Wednesday and hosting Proviso East Thursday.