Written by Jason Maholy
By Jason Maholy
Chicago Christian advanced to the Class 2A Seneca Regional title game virtue of a 5-4 win over Wilmington on May 15.
The Knights, the No. 4 seed in the Beecher Sectional, will face host Seneca for the regional crown on Saturday, May 19. Seneca, the No. 2 seed, topped Peotone, 5-4. The victor will play the either Prairie Central or Bishop McNamara in the sectional semifinal on May 23.
Heading into the postseason, Chicago Christian won 20 of its last 21 games, including 19 in a row. The winning streak ended when the Knights fell to Burlington Central to lose for first time in more than 40 days.
The Rockets topped the Knights, 5-3, on May 12. Knigths junior center fielder Brooke Veldman clubbed a two-run home run and scored a run. Bethany Regnerus struck out six and allowed two earned runs, and took the loss.
Christian promptly started a new winning streak with an 11-1 victory over Momence in the third-place game. Senior ace Hannah Dieck went the distance, striking out nine and allowing no earned runs. While improving her record to 16-0. Dieck helped her own cause with three hits, including a triple, and four RBI and a run scored.
Dieck led the Knights to victory in the first round with an 11-strikeout performance in a 1-0 win over Aurora Central Catholic.
Christian opened the week by beating Reavis, 13-1, on May 7. Dieck threw a complete game one-hitter and struck out 10 Rams. Junior third baseman Abby Sytsma had two hits, including a double, and four RBI.
The Knights defeated Elmwood Park, 6-4, the following night. Regnerus pitched four innings to earn her seventh win, and Dieck recorded the final 12 outs for her second save of the season. Dieck also had two hits, including a triple, and three RBI and a run scored.
The Knights entered Tuesday's IHSA Class 2A Seneca Regional against Wilmington at 22-4.
An offense that had been rolling to the tune of more than 11 runs a game found the going get tough last week, as the Astros dropped two games to conference rivals, and another in a South Suburban Conference crossover. Shepard enters Tuesday's game with Richards at 17-7 overall and 13-4 in the South Suburban Red.
Oak Lawn defeated Shepard, 5-2 in eight innings, on May 11, for just the Astros second home loss of the season.
With the game knotted at two and Oak Lawn batting in the top of the eighth, a Shepard errorallowed the go-ahead run to score for Spartans.
Junior Angelica Rafacz earned with the victory for Spartans. She surrendered two runs on six hits over eight innings, striking out six and walking none. Bridget McDermott took the loss for Shepard. The junior ace surrendered five runs on eight hits over eight innings, striking out 11 and walking one.
Katie Justin led Shepard with two hits. Rafacz and senior infielder Hailey Melvin each had two hits for Oak Lawn.
The Astros had beaten Argo, 4-3, on May 10. Shepard junior Emily Edmiston had two hits, inclusing a double, and two RBI, and senior Cassidy McCarthy had two hits and an RBI.
Argo got on the board in the second inning when Brooke Palmer singled in a run, but Shepard took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth inning. In the fourth, Edmiston doubled on a 1-1 count, scoring two runs.
McDermott got the win, going three innings while allowing four hits and no runs while striking out three and walking one.
Mackenzie Serefono took the loss for Argo. She lasted six innings, allowing nine hits and four runs while striking out two and walking none.
Mariah Martinez started the game in the circle for Shepard. Shethrew four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking none.
The Astros' first home loss of the season came against Evergreen Park on May 8. Both teams were strong in the circle, but Evergreen Park was just a little bit stronger at the plate.
Hailey Getz shut out the Astros, allowing six hits and while striking out eight and walking none. The blanking was the second time Shepard has been shut out this season.
McDermott struck out six and walked none, and surrendered two runs while also going the distance.
McDermott, Katie Justin, Brooke Becker, Jessica Coyle, Becca Harkala and Edmiston each had one hit for the Astros.
Haley Ortell went 2-for-3 at the plate for Evergreen Park in hits.