Softball: Geneva holds off St Charles NorthSt. Charles North shortstop Mickey Goetz catches Geneva's Kirsten Searcy at second Wednesday in Geneva.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2012 10:42PM
Geneva jumped out to a big early lead, and held off a spirited St. Charles North comeback to pull out a 7-6 victory Wednesday in Upstate Eight River action.
The Vikings (7-8, 2-6) struck for seven runs over the first three innings of play, chasing North starter Sabrina Rabin (5-4) with two outs in the third, as they looked to have the game well in hand.
However, North (9-8, 5-3) managed to claw its way back into the game, plating five runs in the middle innings to trim the deficit to 7-5, as reliever Shannon Caliri gave her team a chance, keeping the Vikings off the scoreboard over 3 1/3 innings of work, allowing just one hit.
Kaitlyn Waslawski led off the seventh with a double for North, and a two-out walk by Abby Howlett brought the potential winning run to the plate. Sara Hausl plated Waslawski with an RBI single, but Vikings starter Natalie Erbe (1-3) struck out Delaney Olinger to end the threat and seal the win.
“It was a little nerve-racking at the end there, but this was a good win for us and gives us some confidence moving forward,” said Erbe.
Geneva opened the scoring with a pair of unearned runs in the first innings, then added to that with a three-run, opposite-field home run from Bridget Weitzel in the second inning — the first home run of her career.
“She threw me an outside fastball, and I managed to get the sweet spot of the bat on it and it just felt great as soon as I hit it,” said Weitzel.
Amanda Ebert made the Vikings lead 6-0 with an RBI triple in the third, then scored on a wild pitch to cap the Geneva scoring.
North got on the board with back-to-back doubles from Emily Brodner and Howlett in the fourth innings, and pulled within 7-4 in the fifth on an RBI single from Rabin and an RBI double from Mickey Goetz. They then cashed in on back-to-back errors to lead off the sixth with an RBI ground out from Courtney Smith and an RBI single from Caliri to make it a two-run game.
“I’m really proud of the way the girls fought back today,” said North coach Tom Poulin. “Geneva is a good team, and it’s hard chasing seven runs.”
For Vikings starter Erbe, it was her first win of the season, and while she allowed nine hits and six runs (4 earned) while fanning two, she managed to buckle down at the end when North was threatening.
“Our defense was solid all day,” said Geneva coach Greg Dierks. “Natalie is not going to strike a lot of people out so we have to play solid behind her and we did that today. This was a big win for us, and while I would have liked it to stay 7-0, I think it was good for us to prove we could pull one out at the end.”