Trzaska, Raiders capture third placeGlenbard South's Jenny Wittenberg lays down a sacrifice bunt against Civic Memorial. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 11, 2011 5:56PM
EAST PEORIA--Jane Trzaska was never so happy to see a suicide attempt go foul.
Two pitches after failing to execute the suicide squeeze, the Glenbard South left fielder drilled three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning that provided the Raiders the go-ahead lead they never relinquished in the 8-4 victory over Civic Memorial in the Class 3A third-place game Saturday at EastSide Centre.
The hard-hitting sophomore (2-for-4) drove in four runs for the Raiders (29-6). The sixth inning blast marked the game’s third and final lead change. Civic Memorial took its only lead at 4-3 on pitcher Kayla Kirkpatrick’s two-run blast off of Glenbard South starter Jessica Wilkes in the bottom of the fifth.
Centerfielder Hannah Davey (2-for-2, 2 R), who led off the inning with a walk, was at third and shortstop Jennifer Wittenberg (2-for-3, 3 RBI), who reached on a base hit, singled into left field.
With one out, the two executed a perfect double steal to advance to second and third. Trzaska looked over to her coach, Julie Fonda and saw the bunt sign.
“After the first strike, I fouled off the second pitch and I was kind of bummed with myself,” she said. “I just knew I had to do something to keep the ball on the ground and make contact. She gave me that pitch and soon as I hit it, it felt so good and I knew I hit it well.”
Fonda said the original squeeze call was the right one, given the circumstances.
“That’s how we’ve played all year, and I was trying to win the game,” Fonda said. “In order to win the game, first you have to tie it. She’s just become a tremendous hitter, the key to our season.”
Wittenberg’s two-run single in the seventh provided the needed insurance.
“I knew this was my final high school game,” Wittenberg said. “I wanted to end it right and go out in style.”
Wilkes (21-4) settled down and pitched two scoreless innings to put the game away. She maintained her composure after giving up the two-run home run. Wilkes gave up a home run against LaSalle-Peru the day before that proved crucial in the Raiders’ 7-5 semifinal loss.
“It was a character building game,” Wilkes said. “The unity of this team has been so strong the whole year, and I had a lot of people behind me who gave me support. I knew even when we got behind that we’d come back and we did.
“Mostly I wanted to have a smooth ride home and not a sad one. We got that.”