Softball: Naperville Central shuts down West AuroraNaperville Central's Maddi Doane gets a pat on the back from Coach Andy Nussbaum after she it a home-run against West Aurora High School on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at West Aurora High School. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2012 9:07PM
Lefty Kristina Vizza had the right stuff in the circle and sophomore Maddi Doane had it in the batter’s box.
They proved to be a winning combination for the Naperville Central softball team Wednesday in its 9-0 DuPage Valley Conference win over West Aurora.
“It was really funky,” Blackhawk third baseman Ally Wayzer said of Vizza’s delivery to the plate. “It was hard to figure out at first when she was going to release the ball. It took a couple of pitches. She had real good speed and then had a drop curve that was really good.”
The lanky southpaw stretches both arms high overhead to start her delivery before coming down and bending at the waist, where she pauses for a good second or more before uncoiling and driving to the plate.
“She didn’t learn it from us, she has her own pitching coach,” Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum said. “She has those long arms and legs and hides (the ball) well. And, she’s left-handed besides, making for a pretty nice package. She’s done a good job.”
Vizza, a Loyola recruit, scattered six Blackhawks’ hits, struck out seven, walked two and stranded eight runners in recording her fourth shutout of the season and lifting her record to 6-1.
“She came in with a 0.88 ERA and has now pitched 47 innings and given up just 10 runs,” said Nussbaum, whose team won its ninth straight to climb to 11-3 and 2-0.
LaRi Mitchell had two hits and Desi Faxon ripped a seventh-inning double, but was one of only two West runners to reach third base.
“We just need to get that stinking break, we’re knocking at the door,” said West coach Sara Nagy, no doubt thinking about the stranded runners and the fifth-inning double play turned by Central second baseman Katie Lamich.
She fielded a grounder with Mitchell on first and waved a phantom tag at the West runner motoring to second, then scrambled to throw to first to retire Wayzer. The screened field umpire, stationed between second and third, gave the fielder the benefit of the doubt and called “out” on the tag play.
West sophomore starter Gianna Drager, struggled, giving up 11 of the Redhawks’ 13 hits. Only four of the eight runs she allowed, however, were earned.
Doane belted a two-run home run over the right field fence in the first inning, then added a two-run double to the right-center gap to highlight a four-run second. Laura Dierking added a solo shot over the fence in left center to lead off the third.
Doane, who has verbally committed to St. Louis University, would add a single, walk and ground out to short to finish a triple shy of the cycle.
West falls to 5-15 overall and 0-2 in the league.