North Stars’ title-game rally falls shortMoline short stop Brittny Drish takes the throw from the catcher and tags out St. Charles North's Sabrina Rabin. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 11, 2011 11:16PM
EAST PEORIA — In a magical year, Amanda Ciran was virtually without peer.
Even when she found herself in trouble, she continuously uncovered ways to escape and prosper.
In the biggest game of her school’s history, Ciran and her St. Charles North teammates fell into a huge hole they fought to recover from, but fell just short.
Despite several historic performances, the North Stars lost 9-8 to Moline in the Class 4A state championship Saturday night at EastSide Centre.
In winning its sixth career state title, Moline (28-8-1) scored all of its runs in the first two innings to take a 9-3 lead in the top of the second inning. “They came out guns blazing,” St. Charles North third baseman Taylor Russell said.
The 17 combined runs is a record for a state championship game.
“Moline is a great team, and what they did a is a great accomplishment to be able to do the things they did, on this stage and in this environment tonight,” Ciran said. “We were so pumped and so anxious at the start of the game, it almost had a negative impact to how we came out and started tonight.”
The Maroons were also the beneficiaries of a controversial call. Trailing 9-8 with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, North Stars catcher Annie Korth hit a slow roller toward shortstop Brittny Dish.
“When I get to first base, I was celebrating because I knew I was safe by a foot and a half,’’ Korth said. “I was so happy because I thought the game was tied, and then [the umpire] called me out.’’
Moline starter Jordan Kasbohm (26-5) retired the side in the seventh inning for the only time in the evening. Kasbohm picked up the victory despite allowing 15 hits and seven earned runs.
Dish’s first-inning grand slam staked the Maroons to a 4-0 lead.
Keyed by Russell’s run-scoring double, St. Charles North (32-4) responded with three runs in the bottom of the third.
Jordan de los Reyes and Jenna Winthurst hit two-run doubles in the second during a three-hit, five-run frame.
Russell and right fielder Ashley Seering, who both equaled the state title record of four hits, orchestrated the North Stars’ comeback. Russell’s three-run homer over the left-center wall narrowed the deficit to 9-6.
“We were in the dugout, and we just talked about the fact that even though we were down we were going to leave everything on the field,” Russell said.
Russell’s infield RBI and Seering’s run-scoring triple in the fifth completed the scoring. Both seniors finished 4-for-4, and Russell’s five runs batted in is a state record.
Ciran, the Sun-Times Player of the Year, finished her senior season with a 24-2 mark.
In the third-place game, Benet defeated New Trier 7-4 behind Allyson Staats school-record 29th win.