Softball: Leyden ousts Lane in sectional semifinal

Updated: June 1, 2012 8:29PM

Leyden shortstop April Markowski loves to make great defensive plays. She isn’t a bad hitter either, batting in the two-hole for the Eagles.

Friday afternoon she put her entire arsenal on display against Public League champion Lane in a Class 4A Trinity sectional semifinal at Triton College. Her hitting and her defense helped her team to a 9-2 win and a berth in Saturday’s final against Trinity.

‘‘I like my catch the best,” said Markowski, who was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. “No kidding, I was thinking in my head (before the last inning) that I wanted to make a great catch.”

She did. With one out in the top of the seventh Alyssa Santana hit a blooper over second base. Markowski, in a full diving stretch, pulled it in. She was helped up by teammates and heard the approval of the huge turnout that has become normal for the Eagles this season.

DePaul-bound Morgan Maize got the last hitter to strikeout to end the game. Maize recovered nicely after being tagged for a two-run home run by Hailey Peiruccini. From there she surrendered three more hits and no runs.

Meanwhile, her teammates pounded out 13 hits against Indians ace Kaleigh Ambrose. The Eagles (29-7) answered with three runs in the bottom of the first, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three more in the sixth.

Denise Moran joined Markowski with three hits, while Kelly Bjorvik, Jen Hall, and Michelle Sansone each added a pair. Hall added a two-run triple in the first, and Dana Sullivan contributed an RBI double in the sixth. Contributing defensively was Jessica DuBrock, who had three putouts in right.

“I had confidence that we were going to come back and everybody was really confident when we came back in the dugout,” Maize said. “My teammates came out and hit well. I didn’t, but they sure did.”

Ambrose will go down as one of the best players to ever go through the Public League, winning the Public League title all four years she was on varsity.

“She is one of the best kids I’ve ever had,” Lane coach George Stavrakis said. “We shut down their big hitter and when Maize goes 0-for-4 you’re not supposed to lose game 9-2. I’m still very proud of the girls but not very proud of the game today.”

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