Softball: Plainfield East edges Naperville Central in seventh
Updated: May 26, 2012 5:01PM
Plainfield East played an aggressive game and got the job done to defeat Naperville Central, 5-4, in the Class 4A Romeoville Regional final on Saturday. Annie Molek pitched a complete game and knocked in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to center in the top of the seventh inning.
“We played how we know how to play,” Molek said. “I had to keep moving the ball in and out. I knew I had my defense behind me and we just had to hit.”
Molek (21-10), who was hit in the leg by a line drive off the bat of Laura Dierking in the fifth inning, settled down and retired nine of the last ten batters she faced.
The Redhawks opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning. However, the Bengals (22-11) came back with three runs in the third on a strange play. With runners on first and second, Bengals’ Fran Giovanini faked a bunt and Redhawks catcher Juliet Tassi threw to third attempting to cut down lead runner Jessica Rio’s attempt to steal third. Rio’s hard slide knocked the ball out of third baseman Courtney Giebel’s glove as she scored. On the same play, Nina Maggio also scored when Giebel’s throw to Tassi hit her in the back of the head.
Messer followed with a single that scored Molek to give the Bengals a 3-2 lead. The Redhawks (26-10) tied the game in the bottom of the inning and took the lead at 4-3 in the fifth. But relief pitcher Keegan Hayes (13-7), who took over for starter Kristina Vizza, allowed the Bengals to score two runs in the seventh for the loss.
“It’s a great win. I knew we were capable of it,” Bengals coach Chris Morris said. “We just needed to play the right way and put things together. We did that today.”
The Bengals advance to play Naperville North or Lockport in the Aurora East Sectional semifinal on Wednesday.
“We left more runs on third than we wanted too,” said Redhawks Coach Andy Nussbaum. “We had a lot of opportunities offensively. It’s very disappointing.