“We knew we had two outs,” Swedberg said. “We knew we just needed that last out. I knew we could do it. I feel we weren’t too scared. We stayed pretty loose even though they had two runners on. We had insurance runs.”
Caesar entered the tournament hitting .547 with 11 home runs, including a four-homer game against St. Edward earlier in the year. She got all of Reynolds’ pitch, but Swedberg tracked it down.
“I saw it off her bat, and I knew I had to go back as hard as I could,” Swedberg said. “I didn’t know if it was over or not, so I just sprinted back as hard as I could. At the last second I reached and caught it. It was an amazing feeling to catch that ball since it was such a good hit.”
Sycamore coach Jill Carpenter said Swedberg was mad at herself for not making a catch in the semifinal, on a ball that carried into deep right-center field and under most circumstances would seem uncatchable.
“Oh my gosh I hope that’s legit on TV. What a web gem,” Carpenter said. “I’m going to tell you, she was disappointed she didn’t catch that ball yesterday. She was upset about it. She thought she could have caught it. So for her to get the, I wouldn’t say exact same chance ’cause this was a bigger moment and a harder play, but for her to make that play is so fitting. She’s been a rock out in center field for us all season long. That would have given St. Francis a ton of momentum even if it’s 3-0. It’s something she’ll have on film and be able to look back on forever.”
For Reynolds, it was a big turnaround from the Friday semifinal, in which she lasted 22/3 innings and gave up nine earned runs.
On Saturday, she struck out seven and walked two in the one-hit complete game.
“I think I just had more confidence,” Reynolds said. “I just found my groove. Yesterday, I felt shaky. We found the pitches that worked, Coach knew that, and we just stuck with what worked. … I’m glad I was able to push it behind me but still use it today.”
Carpenter said she was glad to see Reynolds turn it around.
“She really wanted the chance to redeem herself from the day before,” Carpenter said. “She put the team on her back, we played good defense for her, and we scored a few runs when we needed to. Any pitcher will tell you, you’re going to feel a little better when you have insurance.”
By the numbers: Trela, Gabriel, Simmons and Polly had Sycamore’s four hits.
Beyond the stats: It’s the third team championship in school history and first in a bracketed sport. Girls bowling won the 2003 crown and boys cross country won in 2007.
They said it: “There’s no better way I’d want to end this season here at Sycamore,” Reynolds said. “It’s amazing.”