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Softball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella and Frank Gogola

Four local teams still alive in playoffs

  When Oak Lawn loaded the bases in the first inning of Saturday’s Class 4A Mother McAuley Regional championship game, the casual onlooker might have concluded something unsettling was brewing for the host Mighty Macs.
  But a closer examination would have revealed that McAuley starting pitcher, freshman Holly Marousek, was in the circle for the first time in almost two weeks after recovering from a chest infection. And she was throwing to Emily Rux, who was filling in for an injured Alex Brown behind the plate.
  Marousek pitched out of that jam and shut down the Lady Spartans the rest of the way, giving up just five hits while striking out 11 batters. Meanwhile, the Macs’ own bats came alive just enough for them to capture a 3-0 victory in the title clash.
  Jennifer Crowley got McAuley (23-4) on the board with an RBI in the third inning and Rux added insurance runs in the fifth by clubbing a two-RBI double. That was plenty of support for Marousek, who was also aided by solid defense.

Community sports news

Mt. Assisi athletes honored

Four Mt. Assisi soccer players who earned All-Girls Catholic Athletic Conference honors for their sport were also recognized for their scholastic exploits.
Monica Tadros (Orland Park), Bridget Melody, Kathy Sojka and Madilyn Peters were among 27 Screeching Eagles student-athletes named to the Underclass GCAC All-Academic team. To be eligible, individuals must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average while their sport is in season.
Feted along with the above-mentioned quartet were Abby Maloy, Molly Murphy, Maddie Cahue, Taylor Coughlin, Samantha Pakula, Katie O'Leary (Oak Lawn), Alexandra Cipriani, Amber Andersen, Kelly Tomaskovic (Oak Lawn), Molly Williams (Orland Park), Tori White, Catherine Spencer, Sarah Spencer, Emma Gontarek, Miranda Donnelly, Addie McGuire, Shyann Koenig, Nicole Pratl (Chicago Ridge), Jorie Pudil, Jessica Moriarty, Kylie McGivney, Juliana Layman and Kylie Maloy.
Other tabbed for the All-GCAC soccer team were Danielle Mascorro and Mary Kate Wetzel (Palos Heights), the latter of whom was selected as the White Division Player of the Year.

Class 4A Homewood-Flossmoor Regional

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Crown fits Chargers fine

Stagg wins three times to gain championship

  Richards coach Brian Wujcik gave his players adequate warning before last Wednesday’s Class 4A Homewood-Flossmoor Regional semifinal got underway.
  “We told them two things: Things are just different in the playoffs and Stagg’s not the same team they were when we played them in the second week [of the regular season],” he said.
  Wujcik couldn’t have been more correct. Not only did the Chargers avenge an earlier 14-4 setback with a spirit-crushing 4-1 triumph over the favored Bulldogs, but they carried the momentum of that unexpected conquest forward.
  Stagg, which blasted Eisenhower 13-0 in a play-in game to earn its berth opposite Richards, completed a stunning run to a regional championship by edging Lincoln-Way East 3-2 on Saturday. The Chargers last won a postseason title in 2008, although they have played in six regional finals during Matt O’Neill’s eight coaching seasons.
  Next up for Stagg (16-18) was a date with top-seeded Lincoln-Way North this past Wednesday in an Andrew Sectional semifinal. The Phoenix advanced by beating Marist 4-3 in the latter’s own regional on Saturday.

Class 4A Marist Regional

  • Written by Ken Karrson

RedHawks down — barely

Phoenix escape Marist upset bid to claim crown

  Had Marist beaten top-seeded Lincoln-Way North on Saturday, RedHawks coach Tom Fabrizio wouldn’t have considered the outcome an upset.
  And because his team played well enough to keep the championship of its own Class 4A regional squarely within its sights until the very end, Fabrizio wasn’t upset, either.
  Sure, he would have preferred to play on in the postseason, particularly since the Phoenix earned a sectional semifinal date with Stagg. Fabrizio considers the Chargers’ coaches some of his best friends in baseball and would have enjoyed matching wits with them at tournament time.
  He had nothing but praise, however, for his guys in the aftermath of a 4-3 final, which didn’t tilt in Lincoln-Way North’s direction until Nick Garcia belted a two-RBI double in the bottom of the seventh to expunge Marist’s one-run lead.

Class 4A Lincoln-Way Central Regional

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Back where they belong

Eagles end two-year championship drought

  Two years without any sort of postseason title doesn’t constitute a drought — at most schools anyway.
  For some others, championships are an expected occurrence every spring. When they aren’t collected annually, players, coaches and even fans are left with an empty feeling.
  So it was with Sandburg. While the Eagles certainly hadn’t tumbled into the abyss — 69 victories since the start of the 2012 campaign provided proof of that — something was still missing.
  Now, it’s not. Behind the combined pitching efforts of Bryan Pall and Matthias Dietz, Sandburg defeated host Lincoln-Way Central 5-1 on Saturday to claim its first Class 4A regional crown since 2011 and the first under coach Jim Morsovillo.