Softball: New Trier ousts Loyola

Updated: May 30, 2012 8:59PM

With the quality of New Trier starting pitcher Brigit Ieuter, along with a May 14 defeat to the Trevians and its status as an underdog, Loyola understood the importance of seizing an early lead against New Trier entering Wednesday’s Niles West Sectional semifinal.

An early lead would, among other things, allow the Ramblers to relax and provide a margin of error.

Ieuter retired Loyola in order to start the game. In the bottom of the first, New Trier leadoff hitter Mimi Morris pulled in Loyola’s defense by showing a slap hit early in her at bat before swinging away and driving the ball to the fence for a triple.

Morris scored one batter later and New Trier, who beat Loyola 5-1 Wednesday, immediately had a vital advantage.

“I think it (scoring first) gives us more confidence,” said Morris, who reached base in all four of her plate appearances. “We beat Loyola before, so I think that kind of scared them that we were scoring in the first inning.”

Loyola pitcher Jamie Kiefer, who only allowed one hit before New Trier (31-5) broke the game open with three runs in the sixth inning, struck out 11 Trevians. While Kiefer (17-4) pitched well, the Ramblers’ defense struggled to deal with the pressure New Trier’s offense applied throughout the game.

Loyola (27-8) committed four errors against the Trevians. Morris reached on an error to start the third inning, stole a base and then gave New Trier a 2-0 lead when catcher Brooke Kehoe’s attempt to throw out Morris at third bounced away from third baseman Maddie Hahn.

“When you’re the underdog in a game, you want to get up,” Loyola coach Marty Jennings said. “You want to get up right away and we weren’t able to do that. What I like about them (New Trier) compared to the other teams we’ve played is they put a lot of pressure on you. They force you to be really, really strong defensively and if you make mistakes they’re going to capitalize on them. We made a few early and give them credit. Their best ballplayers had great games today.”

With Wednesday’s win, New Trier advances to the Niles West Sectional final. The Trevians will play the winner of Thursday’s sectional semifinal between Maine West and Glenbrook North at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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