Softball: Sandburg knocks out Andrew
Updated: May 26, 2012 8:23PM
Forget the regular season.
Sandburg is back to being ... well, Sandburg.
At least the Eagles looked like the vintage version in an 11-6 stunner over Andrew in Saturday’s Class 4A Andrew Regional title contest.
Candice Koch had three hits (2 doubles) and drove in three runs, while Karli McLaughlin and Sarah Herold also had key extra-base hits as the Eagles (21-15) advanced to their own sectional semifinals and a match-up Thursday against Marist.
Shannon Rust had four hits and Dani Bestwina, Katie Christner and Rachel Kilcoyne three each for Andrew (30-6).
The victory helped put in the past an up-and-down regular season in which the Eagles often struggled on offense and had defensive lapses.
Saturday, they put it together in both aspects.
“This is unbelievable,” Sandburg pitcher Amanda Barna said. “This was the game I have looked forward to all season. To beat them 11-6 is huge.”
Two half innings stood out among the rest.
In the bottom of the second Andrew produced five singles to go in front 3-2, but the outburst was only good for one run. Sandburg center fielder Karissa Kouchis came up big on a base hit by Kelly Christner, nailing Rust at the plate with a perfect on-the-fly throw.
“When the ball was hit I really didn’t think about anything, just to get the ball home,” Kouchis said. “I don’t really power lift, but I feel like my cannon is pretty strong.”
Katie Guska was an offensive catalyst for the Eagles in the top of the fourth, bunting for a single with one out. After Kouchis flied to center, Koch smacked an RBI double. Ellie Forkin then walked, and McLaughlin and Herold went back-to-back with two-baggers to make it a 6-3 proposition.
Sandburg went on to score two in the fifth on hits by Jessie Pesavento and Koch, and three more in the sixth, the highlight a two-run triple by Pesavento.
In all, Sandburg pounded out 11 hits against the pitching duo of Brooke Hofer and Christner.
“Brooke is a really good pitcher,” Koch said. “She works that outside, so all week we were hitting outside and really focusing on their pitching because we needed it today.”
Andrew had 16 hits, but Barna was key in blanking the T-Bolts from the third through sixth innings. Andrew scored three runs on four hits in the seventh, but it was too little, too late.