Softball: Marist’s dream run rolls into Class 4A title gameMarist's Kaitlin Kenny (left to right), Kristin Klucharch and Katie Caulfield celebrate their win over Elk Grove Village at the Class 4A softball semifinals, Friday, June 8th, 2012 in East Peoria, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 8, 2012 8:42PM
EAST PEORIA — While the Marist players were taking a group picture following their 2-0 Class 4A semifinal win over Elk Grove Friday at the EastSide Centre, they were asked a simple request.
One of the camera-holding parents asked the players to indicate they’re No. 1.
Almost in complete sync they yelled out “Not yet.”
“That’s just the kind of team they are,” Marist Coach Denise Bromberek said. “They are very modest and not one to boast about what has happened and I am so proud of them.
“I can’t wait until tomorrow.”
What tomorrow brings is the first shot at a state softball title for the RedHawks (26-15), who have won 11 in a row. Meanwhile, the Grenadiers (31-9) will settle for the third-place game, which they won in 2010.
Maggie Gorman supplied the winning runs for the RedHawks when she hit a two-out, two-run homer to left-center in the top of the fifth. It was her second home run of the season. Kaitlin Kenny (3-for-3) singled to save Gorman’s at bat.
“I still can’t believe it happened,” Gorman said. “Whenever I hit (home runs) they go foul. I’m just glad this one wasn’t foul.”
“That made me so confident,” Marist senior pitcher Kristin Klutcharch said of the home run. “We always try to live in the moment and that’s what we are still trying to do.”
Klutcharch was perfect through five-and-a-third before giving up a single in the sixth on a pinch-hit bloop single to center by senior Tori Liewergen.
After a fielder’s choice, pitcher Dani Goranson doubled but was stranded along with Liewergen after Devan Parkison grounded out to end the inning and preserve the two-run lead.
The Grenadiers started the bottom of the seventh with a single by Becca Maher, their third and final hit of the game. After Megan Keegan struck out, Klutcharch got Carly Danek to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game and continue the RedHawks’ Cinderella run.
Goranson, a Michigan State recruit, went 1-for-3 while giving up five hits and striking out seven.
“We were a little impatient and never adjusted to the pitching,” Elk Grove coach Ken Grams said.