Return-trip reward

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Vikings rally on second day to beat Irish

One visit to Kankakee was all Pete Lotus had originally planned for St. Laurence last week.
When Monday’s Chicago Catholic League crossover contest between host Bishop McNamara and the Vikings was halted by rain in the third inning, however, Lotus was left with no choice but to plan a return trip down Interstate 57 for Thursday. And considering St. Laurence was trailing 2-1 when the game was suspended, another southern journey was an easy sell to his athletes, particularly since a better weather day was forecast.
“It was raining the entire game [on Monday] and it was tough,” Lotus said. “It was pouring and it was very difficult to score without benefit of some walks.”
The Fightin’ Irish had used two of those, plus a couple hit batsmen to collect their pair of runs in the first inning, but they were unable to score after that. While pitcher Alex Hitney settled down and held Bishop Mac’s offense in check, his Vikings teammates quickly gave him a lead to protect once action resumed.
Five runs in the fourth and seven in the fifth gave St. Laurence an unexpectedly lopsided 13-2 triumph and kept prospects for a perfect week intact. And on Saturday, the Vikings completed the task by shutting out Providence Catholic 8-0 in their CCL Blue opener.

Tightening their grip

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Knights increase divisional lead with wins

Winning a tight contest enabled Chicago Christian to tighten its grip on the Suburban Christian Conference Gold lead.
And then the Knights dealt Immaculate Conception an even bigger blow, both literally and figuratively, in the second game of a divisional doubleheader last Tuesday at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. After suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat in the opener, IC basically fell apart in Game 2.
Five Chicago Christian runs in the bottom of the second gave it an edge it would never relinquish. IC did close to within 6-3 after scoring twice in the top of the fourth, but the Knights responded right away with their own deuce to maintain a comfortable advantage.

An imperfect 11

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Caravan stop Crusaders’ streak

  The 10th was perfect, the 11th not so much.
  Brother Rice rode a 10-game win streak into its Chicago Catholic League Blue opener on Saturday against Mt. Carmel. Six of the victories were rung up in league crossovers, and many of those were realized by wide margins, thanks to the Crusaders’ increasingly effective offense. That included a 12-2 demolition of St. Ignatius in five innings last Wednesday.
  But in the Blue, it’s often a matter of “O’s” being shunned by overpowering pitching, which was exactly what occurred between Rice and the Caravan. Neither team, in fact, generated much in the way of noise, but three Crusaders errors proved costly to the locals.


Hurts so dumb, take 2

(Reprinted from March 12, 2009)

  Once again, it’s time to be amused by other people’s misery.
  Now before everyone starts thinking I’m some sort of sadistic creep, let me remind you that I have no intention of laughing at genuine misfortune. Real folks with real problems deserve sympathy, assistance or whatever else we can offer that will make their plight a bit more bearable.
  However, professional athletes are a different story altogether. Sure, there are ones who’ve dealt with serious family matters involving their children — Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and Bears defensive back Peanut Tillman immediately come to mind — and they, too, should be treated with compassion.
  What I’m referencing is those jocks who, through their own carelessness or stupidity, have brought physical injury upon themselves.
  About two months ago, I chronicled the tales of roughly a dozen highly paid sports-world individuals who got hurt not during competition, but because of some bizarre maneuver they pulled off the field of play. The list was by no means a complete one, and after some dogged research done by others, I’ve compiled an update.
  One thing I noticed is that golf is a very dangerous undertaking. It’s always been physically taxing, particularly for those 120-pound teenaged caddies toting 100 pounds’ worth of golf bags for businessmen whose post-round tips consist of stock-purchasing advice for the youngsters, who have no money to invest because they’ve just been stiffed.
  But in the case of athletes, I’m talking real injuries. Amazingly, none was suffered during actual play.

Softball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Lady Spartans hitting their stride

There are many intangibles Oak Lawn coach Brian Frangella can attribute to his team’s 6-1 effort last week that lifted the Lady Spartans over .500 for the season.
But perhaps the most telling is that the 14 players who make up the roster are gaining confidence with each game.
During the week, Oak Lawn (10-9) registered victories over Queen of Peace, Hillcrest, Argo and Bloom Township before posting a 2-1 record and third-place finish at the Elgin Larkin Slugfest.
“We had a really good week, and I think it’s because the girls started believing in themselves,” Frangella said. “It’s made a difference, especially at the plate. We’ve been hitting the ball really well. We’re also getting much better at-bats.
“We’ve been talking a lot about that this season -- the girls taking control of the at-bat and swinging at their pitch and not the pitcher’s pitch. It’s making a big difference.”
The Lady Spartans opened with a 17-5 romp past the Pride on Monday, a win largely made possible by Reily McTeague, who finished with five RBI runs. Morgan Josza then drove in two to spur Oak Lawn's offense in its 13-2 conquest of Hillcrest in a South Suburban Conference crossover game two days later.
Argo presented a much tougher obstacle on Thursday, but the Lady Spartans cleared it when Kaleigh Hayes drove in the deciding run in a 7-6 triumph. On Friday, it was Marissa Loya's turn to star as she homered and totaled four RBI to lead Oak Lawn past the Lady Blazing Trojans 6-4.
At the Larkin Slugfest, the Lady Spartans opened with a 14-0 whitewash of the host school. Josza handcuffed Larkin with a two-hitter, and she got plenty of offensive support from Mia Loya and Heyden Landingham, each of whom delivered three hits and three RBI.