Lisle can’t beat rain, Marquette
Updated: June 4, 2011 9:22PM
EAST PEORIA – Lisle’s softball season ended prematurely on Saturday, as the Lions lost 5-1 to Alton Marquette in a game stopped because of rain and lightning in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Class 2A third-place game at EastSide Centre was called with one out and Lisle batting in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“This is obviously not the way we wanted to end the season, but you can’t control the weather and I just told the girls how many other teams were never even in the position that we are,” Lisle coach Jen Pomatto said.
The start of the game was delayed nearly two hours. The game was shifted to an adjacent field in order for IHSA officials to prepare for the 2A state championship game. After the Explorers batted in their half of the first, another rain delay occasioned a 40-minute delay.
“We were ready to play at the start,” Lisle junior third baseman Mackenzie Buchelt said. “It was tough to go back and fourth, get on the field and then come off.
“We really had just one bad inning, and I really believe we were the better team and we could have beat them had the game (gone the duration),” she said.
After the third delay, the game was formally called. “Here it was three and a half hours after the game was supposed to start, and we still don’t have a complete game,” Pomatto said, “but you have to give the IHSA credit. They could have just cancelled the third-place game, but they didn’t do that. They gave us a chance to play.”
Buchelt maintained her torrid hitting by accounting for the Lions’ only run in the fourth inning. Her single into left field scored Stephanie Petkovsek with one out. She was one of the few bright spots against Marquette sophomore pitcher Alexis Silkwood, who set a single-season state record with 501 strikeouts.
“I don’t really think about numbers or things like that when I’m pitching,” Silkwood said. “I just worry about playing ball.”
Third baseman Mia Stack blasted a two-run home run into left center that punctuated a three-run third for the Explorers (34-5).
Lisle senior ace Bekka Houda (21-4) could not find the magic of her one-hit Supersectional performance earlier this week against Momence. After throwing 117 pitches against Morrison in the semifinal Friday, she experienced lack of feeling on two fingers on her right throwing hand.
“I told her that she was going to get the ball to start, but all that stopping and starting was really hard on her and even in a shortened game, she already reached 100 pitches,” Pomatto said.
Houda struck out six, but she gave up four runs, four hits and four walks. “She hasn’t done that the whole year,” Pomatto said. Melanie Early pitched an inning of relief for the Lions (28-6), who won a state trophy after losing in the supersectional the past two seasons.
“Nobody expected us to be where we were this year,” Buchelt said. “I’m very proud to be part of this group. I can’t really talk about the last two years, but we had great chemistry, everybody got along and we really cared about each other.”
Pomatto returns a strong nucleus. The ending, though disappointing, proved a stark contrast to her first year as coach three years ago. “When this group of seniors were freshmen, we were 5-20,” Pomatto said. “We graduated eight seniors from the  team that went Downstate.
“Bekka transferred in from Lockport and Buchelt and the other talented juniors came into the program, and that meant all the difference. One of our goals this year was to prove that there’s good softball north of 1-80 and I think we showed there is.”
In the Class 1A title game, Monmouth United stunned favorite Schlarman 6-0.