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Hits, runs and errors : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Hits, runs and errors
Oswego softball team takes 5-0 lead, defeats Wolves 6-1

by Kristin Sharp


The Oswego softball team staked a 5-0 lead on Oswego East's home field, which proved insurmountable in the first Southwest Prairie Conference meeting between the crosstown teams.

The Panthers' lead was never in jeopardy as they clinched a 6-1 victory last Thursday. Oswego (5-8, 3-2 SPC) started swinging from the opening pitch, with junior left fielder Diamond Owens and senior right fielder Abby Etheridge singling to put two on base for senior second baseman Brooke Riess. Oswego East committed a fielding error on Riess' hit.

"When there were two people on and I got up to bat, I knew I had to do something and I knew I had to hit the ball," Riess said. "I didn't care if I got out; I just had to get those RBIs in."

Oswego's 2-0 lead expanded in the second when senior pitcher Stephanie Prentice hit a one-out single and eventually scored. Owens (2-for-4) crossed home plate on Riess' hard hit to right field, but Riess was tagged out as she tried to stretch the play into a double.

With two outs, junior Savanna Brady knocked the ball out to left field to drive in Etheridge, who singled, but Brady was tagged out as she approached third base to spoil the triple and end the inning with a 5-0 Oswego lead.

Oswego East (7-6, 2-2 SPC) loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning after junior second baseman Emily Thorson reached on a fielder's choice, senior pitcher Alex Wagner walked and senior right fielder Shannon Hale singled with two outs. Oswego junior Kirsty Tracy roped in a pop up in center field to end the inning and leave three runners stranded for the Wolves.

Wagner faced just three batters in the third thanks to a running catch by Hale and a pair of infield ground outs. Oswego East put another running in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning when senior shortstop Jessie Ippolito walked to start the inning and stole second and third, but a ground out to third base ended the inning with two left on base.

Oswego East finally jumped onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Prentice struck out her fourth batter of the game to start the frame, but walked Wagner to put one on base with two outs after a infield ground out. Senior center fielder Jordyn Klingbeil (2-for-4) sent the ball into left center field for the RBI triple and a 5-1 score.

After two quiet innings, Oswego was rounding the bases once again in the top of the fifth. Etheridge (2-for-4) started with an infield hit and she advanced on a single by Riess, but was eventually out at third. Riess stole second and scored when junior shortstop Jessica Lofthouse singled to left field, expanding Oswego's lead to 6-1.

Oswego East opened the bottom of the fifth with a pair of singles by junior first baseman Rachel Vander Wagen and senior left fielder Tiffani Palmatier, but Owens made a catch in left field and Ippolito made the next play in shallow left before junior catcher McKayla Nila caught the pop up behind the plate to leave both Wolves stranded.

"We didn't start hitting until the fifth, sixth inning and when you leave 11 people on base, it's going to be hard to score more than one run," Oswego East head coach Laura Nussle said. "Anything we got into the outfield was hit right to them. We've got to make them work."

Oswego left one runner on base in the bottom of the sixth after senior Lauren Gerstung singled in her debut at the plate. She eventually advanced to third with two outs, but a pop up to left field ended the frame.

McCance sent junior Taylor Foy to the mound in relief of Prentice to start the bottom of the sixth. Oswego East had some early success as Wagner led off with a single, but was tagged out at second base on Hale's fielder's choice. Klingbeil singled to move Hale, but Hale was tagged out at third on the next fielder's choice. Klingbeil was left stranded at second after an outfield fly ball was caught to end the inning.

"I was a little worried because I know they can hit, so switching Taylor was a good decision," McCance said. "Stephanie just pitched (Wednesday) and she's probably a little tired. They're a good hitting team and I knew a home run could open the game right up because they had runners on base. I didn't want to do that. We were trying to pitch outside and off-speed. I thought we played a good, complete game and I thought our defense looked pretty good. We did a really good job starting and our slappers - Diamond and Abby - just came out awesome right from the start. They were aggressive and fast and placed the ball really nice. It's great when you can start like that."

Wagner allowed one hit and struck out one to keep Oswego scoreless in the seventh, but Foy faced just three batters in the bottom half to end the game.

"It was a heckuva game from everyone," Riess said. "We did not have a good year last year. My sophomore year we got two wins (over Oswego East) and last year we just got our feet taken out from under us. It was good to win.

Prentice earned the win over five innings of work, scattering four hits and allowing one earned run while walking four and striking out three. Foy allowed two hits in the final two innings.

Wagner allowed nine hits and four earned runs while walking two and striking out one. Behind her, the Oswego East defense committed eight errors.

Oswego Notes: The Fox Valley Tournament was rained out in 2013, so Oswego entered as the defending champions after clinching the 2012 trophy, but turned the trophy over to Yorkville this year. The Foxes went 3-0 to win the championship, defeating Batavia 10-0 in six innings last Saturday.

Oswego opened the tournament with a 10-6 loss to Batavia on Friday afternoon. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off an RBI single from Riess, but the Bulldogs scored three in the second and three in the third to pull away. Batavia pitcher Rachael Lovestrand limited the Panthers to just three hits in a complete game effort.

On Saturday, Oswego faced Rosary and Prentice had a strong performance on the mound, striking out seven while allowing just two hits. Rosary struck early with a two-run triple in the first inning, and held on for the 2-1 lead. Lofthouse hit a home run in the second inning while Tracy hit 2-for-3.

In the crossover game, Oswego defeated Metea Valley 2-1 in nine innings as sophomore third baseman Allyson Miller drove in both runs for the Panthers. Miller batted 2-for-3 with a triple in the second inning before her hit in the ninth.

In the bottom of the second inning, Lofthouse singled before Miller hit an RBI triple to score Lofthouse.

On Tuesday, the bats were swinging in a 13-10 victory over Romeoville to give Oswego its fourth win in six games. The teams combined for 23 runs and 22 hits, including nine extra base hits.

With the game tied at 3, Oswego scored three more runs in the bottom of the second and stretched to a 12-3 lead in the fifth before Romeoville scored five runs in the sixth and two more in the top of the seventh before Prentice struck out the final batter to end the inning.

Brady hit 2-for-4 with three RBIs after hitting two home runs in the game. Lofthouse hit a home run in the first inning, and Riess hit a home run in the second inning. Owens hit 3-for-4, Riess hit 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Lofthouse earned three RBIs.

Prentice struck out nine batters in six innings before senior Julianne Nation pitched the final inning in relief, allowing two hits and two earned runs.

Oswego East Notes: The Wolves lost their third straight game on Saturday, dropping a 9-0 game to DeKalb in a home non-conference game. Oswego East also lost an 11-0 game to Naperville Central in five innings on April 16.

The Wolves entered a new week, hosting Plainfield North on Tuesday, and snapped the three-game skid with a 17-4 win over the Tigers in five innings. Freshman Shannon Gaul hit 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs along with one run scored. Vander Wagen went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. Thorson hit a grand slam for the Wolves, and senior Julia Johnson hit a home run, earned two RBIs and scored twice.

Oswego East was slated to host Romeoville on Wednesday in a rescheduled game, but results were unavailable at press time. The Wolves visit Plainfield South today, Thursday, at 4:15 p.m. before traveling to Naperville North on Saturday for a 10 a.m. doubleheader. Oswego East will close out the first half of SPC play next Tuesday at Minooka at 4:15 p.m.

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