Softball: Haley Gibbons’ bat, Sydney Battle’s catch help Homewood-Flossmoor hang on
Updated: May 23, 2012 7:32PM
Lincoln-Way North should have had at least seven hits during Wednesday’s Class 4A Homewood-Flossmoor regional against the host team. But a diving play by Sydney Battle to her left at third in the bottom of the seventh prevented that, and possibly a bigger come-from-behind rally by the Phoenix.
The play turned what would have been a Jill Galich three-run homer into a two-runner, and eventually preserved an 8-6 win for the Vikings (18-14).
Homewood-Flosmoor will again be the lower seed on its home field, this time they’ll try and pull out the upset against highly-regard Mother McAuley pitcher Ashley Rogers in Saturday’s title game.
“I just didn’t want it to get into the outfield because I knew the next hitter was their big hitter,” said Battle of Galich, who was 2 for 3 with a walk.
“We watched McAuley play yesterday and we are pretty excited to play them. I’ve never played them the four years I’ve been here. I know No. 20 (Rogers) is good and I look forward to the challenge of facing her.”
Freshman Haley Gibbons answered the challenge of facing Phoenix senior pitcher Kirsten Iversen. Gibbons was 3-for-4 with four RBI, including a bases clearing double in the four-run third to open the scoring.
The Vikings built the lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth before the Phoenix (20-9) answered with three in the bottom of the inning against Sarah Burke (14-14). An RBI single by Emily Cole, who replaced Bridget Stroh in the fifth after she was injured, highlighted the rally.
From there, each team scored one in the sixth and two in the seventh. After Galich’s home run with one out, Burke (2-for-4) got the next two batters to ground out and fly out to second to end the game.
“Our bats showed up today and we’ve been struggling a bit with that,” Vikings coach Katie Rice-Hoger said. “And everybody showed up to play today.
“This has been fun all year. We haven’t had real tough practices because you get to this point of the year the kids get warn out. We just keep it fun.”