Evergreen Park blows by Rich EastAlyssa Langevin of Evergreen Park watches as her hit drops in for a RBI against Rich East. l Gary Middendorf~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 24, 2011 8:52PM
If the players’ abilities match their expectations, Evergreen Park still has a lot of softball yet to play this season.
Junior pitcher Michelle Putlack didn’t mince any words after the Mustangs defeated Rich East 10-0 in five inning in Tuesday’s Class 3A regional opener.
“I’m really excited to go downstate,” said Putlack, who fired a no-hitter. “Our team is so good. We have the confidence.”
Downstate? How about it, Tori Senerchia.
“I am almost positive,” the junior third baseman said, smiling. “We have a good group of girls here.”
All nine batters reached base at least once for Evergreen Park (19-10) on Tuesday, with Senerchia (double, 3 RBI), Erin Crane (2-for-3) and Alyssa Langevin (3 RBI) leading the way.
Putlack, meanwhile, struck out nine and retired all but one of the 15 batters she faced.
All in all, it was a day of positives for a Mustangs team that didn’t win any titles during the regular season but made things difficult with the toughest foes on their calendar.
“We played Oak Forest to a 4-1 game and lost to Richards 3-0 and 5-0, but we beat a lot of quality teams, some of them in Class 4A (including Reavis),” Evergreen Park coach John O’Connor said.
“With us in Class 3A right now, I know we’re good enough to compete with anybody. But we’re taking it one game at a time.”
The Mustangs went right at Rich East pitcher Heather Adney, reaching her for five runs on three hits in the first inning. The key blows were singles by Crane and Langevin. Rich East (6-13) also made two actual errors and a couple of more fundamental ones.
Adney — and the defenders behind her — got better.
Evergreen Park, in fact, was blanked on three hits over the next three innings. Second baseman Gelina Webb made a spectacular on a pop fly that looked about to drop for a single, and shortstop Alexis Givhan snared one hot grounder headed for the outfield and made a nice throw to first for the out.
The Mustangs finished the Rockets off, though, with a five-spot in the fifth that included back-to-back singles by Kym Farmer and Crane, and a game-ending bases-loaded double to right by Senerchia.
“I hadn’t been doing too well earlier in the game and I was a little frustrated,” Senerchia said. “I just had to come through there at the end.”
The only baserunner Putlak allowed was Adney, whose third-inning bunt back to the mound was bobbled and thrown late to first base. Adney later was retired trying to steal third, on a throw from Langevin to Senerchia.