DeKALB – The DeKalb softball team had no trouble getting runners on base, but until the last two innings of Friday’s contest against Hinsdale Central, the Barbs couldn’t get anyone across home plate.
When the innings left in the game ran short, clutch hitting propelled DeKalb over Hinsdale, 3-2.
Down 2-0 after the second inning, the home team connected against Red Devils pitcher Anne Marie Tracey continuously, racking up 11 hits, and DeKalb (8-0) had at least one hit in each of its six innings at bat. However, 12 base runners were stranded on base.
“It just wasn’t working out for us. We struggled a little bit, but in the end, we pulled together and went through with it,” DeKalb senior second baseman Hannah Walter said. “I think talking, keeping our composure and staying positive about it helped us take the win.”
The Barbs scored one run in the fifth on three straight singles, culminating with first baseman Haley Tadd driving shortstop Lindsey Costlion.
“Holding a good team like DeKalb to three runs is pretty good. Our pitcher used the strike zone very well, pitched very well,” Hinsdale coach Lee Maciejewski said. “We made some base-running gaffes that could have got us at least five runs.”
The tying and go-ahead runs came in the sixth inning when Walter and center fielder Sabrina Killeen began the comeback with two singles. A Costlion walk loaded the bases for DeKalb and Townsend hit a dribbler toward Hinsdale second baseman Lauren Excel that scored Killeen, tying the score at 2.
Freshman Morgan Newport fouled off a pitch and then watched as four balls missed the plate to score Walter.
Newport forced all three Hinsdale batters she faced in the top of the seventh to hit to her fielders for easy outs. Freshman Danika Thibault pitched four innings as the starter on the circle, striking out three Red Devils (0-3).
Newport struck out three of the four batters she faced in the fifth and two in the sixth. She improved to 5-0 on the season, getting the win in relief.
“I told the girls at the end, ‘That’s what I think makes this game so great is some days you’re going to get the big hit and other days you are not,’” Barbs coach Jeff Davis said. “You can’t let it bug you. Just go out, take what’s given to you and that’s the way this game is played.”