Softball: Quick start keys Elmwood Park to victory

Updated: June 1, 2012 9:28PM

Elmwood Park knocked Guerin out of the state playoffs for the second straight year taking a 12-2 decision in six innings in a Class 3A Fenton Sectional semifinal on Friday.

Shortstop Becky Gruber drove in six runs on the day including an inside-the-park grand slam that keyed a seven-run second inning.

“I just saw the ball going, and after it dropped in, I had the feeling (I could score), and Coach sent me home,” Gruber said. “We still had to have tough defense with the big lead.”

Gabby Uvelli and Nicole DiGiovanni split time in the circle to pitch the Tigers (18-15) to victory. Uvelli started and lasted three innings allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. DiGiovanni came on in the fourth and shut the door striking out five while allowing just one hit and one walk. Third baseman Morgan Schlanger ended the contest hitting a bases loaded single to drive in Catherine Conte and Arianna Kelley with one out in the sixth.

“We’re exactly where we want to be,” Elmwood Park head coach Brad Reynard said. “Our bats came alive, and we swung the bats 1-through-9 as well as we have all year.”

Guerin (12-16) tried to stay in the game responding to the seven-run second with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Shortstop Cassidy Tarpey singled home center fielder Jessi Catallo, who reached on a single. Third baseman Jessica Holden followed with an RBI single scoring first baseman Molly Campbell, who walked, from second base.

Sarah Benavides pitched the entire 5 1/3 innings for Guerin, allowing 10 hits and walking eight while striking out a pair.

“It’s a tough way to go out,” Guerin coach Andy DaMato said. “I thought we played well. We had a couple of bad innings and bad hops, but they’re a good team. (Benavides) rebounded well and got some big outs. She’s only going to get better.”

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