Softball: Becca Stanton homer ignites Marian Catholic win
Updated: April 27, 2012 8:14PM
Hitting home runs is nothing new for Marian Catholic junior slugger Becca Stanton. She hit 12 last season, and entered Friday’s frigid game against Oak Forest with seven.
In the top of the sixth she was 0-for-3 with her team clinging to a two-run lead. Stanton hit a no doubter to right center — a three-run shot — that helped her team take control of an 8-3 nonconference road win.
It was her eighth of the season, but her reaction was as though it was her first.
“I was just excited that it gave us a bigger lead,” said Stanton, who jumped on first base with both arms up before going into her home run trot. “And I saw how excited our team got.”
The Spartans (18-7) are becoming accustomed to finding a way to win while trailing early. They fell behind 2-0 and then 3-1 after Bengals senior slugger Emily Naegele cracker her ninth of the season, a solo shot well over the right field fence.
Radford-bound Naegele finished 2-for-3, including a double, two RBI, and a stolen base for the Bengals (16-10). Her over aggressiveness at catcher, however, gave the Spartans their first lead of the day after Alex Nickel tied the game in the top of the fifth with a solo blast to center.
In the same inning with the bases loaded, two outs and two strikes on No. 8 hitter Julie Kistner, Naegele tried picking off Haley Earl at first. The low throw got away from Lauren Bal scoring Jenny Labella (1-for-2, 2 HBP, 2B) for a 4-3 Spartans’ lead off starter Emily Larsen.
“We just can’t take these games for granted,” Naegele said. “When something bad happens to us we need to pick up our energy. We can’t let one hit or one bad play change things. I feel we did get down (after the home run by Stanton).”
Meanwhile Spartans freshman pitcher Allison Spence (8-3) settled down after the third, allowing two of the six hits from that point on and not letting a runner past second. Kelly Foley was 2-for-5, with a double, RBI and run scored for the winners.
“It seemed like a playoff atmosphere today and I told the girls I was proud of them,” Spartans coach Kerri Evans said. “This team never gives up ever, no matter what the score is. A lot of teams don’t have that and this team does.”