Softball: Guerin slugs its way to a regional championship
Updated: May 26, 2012 6:51PM
In seeking their fifth straight regional championship, the Guerin Gators would not be denied as they bested Payton 9-2 in the Class 3A Regional game at Guerin in River Grove. Cassidy Tarpey led the offensive onslaught with a pair of home runs, a double, a triple, and four RBI’s.
Guerin (12-10) recovered from an early 2-0 deficit as Tarpey doubled home Natalie Lezama, who bunted her way on, to cut the lead in half. She then cranked a two-run home run in the third to give the Gators the lead for good. Jessica Holden drove in Tarpey with a two-run homer of her own in the sixth to put it out of reach.
“It just feels good that even though we struggled a little this season that we could keep the tradition and win our fifth straight,” Tarpey said. “It had been a while since I hit a home run, and it felt really good to get a hit. I got all of that first home run, and then the runs started coming after that.”
Payton (12-10) got on the board first thanks to a two-run double by starting pitcher Maya Rodriguez. Yliana Velazquez led off the game with a walk, and Aileena Gray drew a free pass with one out to set up Rodriguez. She threw six innings allowing 13 hits, striking out four, and walking four in taking the loss.
Sarah Benavides went the distances striking out six Grizzlies and allowing eight hits and four walks. She singled home a run in the fourth, and her defense helped out a great deal. Lezama recovered from an errant pitch to get the ball back to Benavides and get a runner out at home to preserve the one-run lead in the third. Anna D’Alessandro started a triple play to end a sixth-inning threat catching a liner, stepping on second, and throwing to Molly Campbell at first to end the frame.
“I think all of them were really nervous, and Sarah started out kind of nervous,” Guerin head coach Andy DaMato said. “Actually, everything came together nicely. Anna and Natalie played great defensively. We had 13 hits and no errors, so it was kind of what we need in the playoffs, and playoffs is a new season. If we play like this, we have chance at sectional title.”