Softball: Stewart, L-W East Blast Past Sandburg
Lincoln-Way East 4, Sandburg 1: Junior catcher Sam Stewart slugged a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning to power the Griffins in a battle between neighborhood rivals Thursday in Frankfort.
Touching All the Bases: The question of which ball was hit harder drew a smile from Lincoln-Way East softball coach Elizabeth Pawlicki. Pawlicki said she was OK after taking a hot smash off the bat of Sam Stewart in the right leg while standing in the third base coach’s box in the sixth inning of the Griffins’ 4-1 victory over Sandburg Wednesday in Frankfort. The Eagles were all but knocked out when Stewart connected earlier for a two-run homer. Her fourth-inning blast was her sixth of the season and put East on top 3-0 in the Southwest Suburban Blue Conference showdown between neighborhood rivals. The Griffins’ Kacyee Hart and Chrisi Mizera made the cushion stand up on the mound. Hart (9-3) allowed one run on five hits over six innings to gain the pitching win. Mizera tossed a 1-2-3 seventh to notch the save.
Patch’s MVP: Sam Stewart, junior catcher, Lincoln-Way East.
Sandburg Leaders: Candice Koch (1-for-3), Amanda Barna (1-for-3, double, 6 innings pitched, 4 runs allowed, 3 earned, 5 strikeouts), Karli McLaughlin (1-for-3), Sarah Herold (1-for-2, double).
Lincoln-Way East Leaders: Sam Stewart (2-for-3, homer, 2 RBIs), Kacyee Hart (2-for-3, double, 6 innings pitched, 1 run, 5 hits, 2 strikeouts), Nikki Jarrell (1-for-2, 1 RBI), Chrisi Mizera (1 scoreless inning, 1 strikeout, save).
Quotable I: “Yes, it was Sam (Stewart) that hit me off the leg,” Lincoln-Way East coach Elizabeth Pawlicki said. “Either way, she hit the ball hard. That’s all I care about, which is fine. She put it in play, which is what we’re looking for right now.”
Quotable II: “It felt good,” Lincoln-Way East’s Sam Stewart said of her two-run homer in the fourth. “The pitch was pretty much right down the middle of the plate. It was just one of those ones when (Sandburg’s Amanda Barna) was throwing them on the outside the whole time. She was doing really great hitting her spots. She knows to throw me outside, obviously. It was just one mistake. I found it. And it hit it the way I needed to.”
Quotable III: “This group just needs a little spark,” Sandburg coach Jim Fabianski said. “They need a couple of timely hits, and we’re going to be back in business.”
Team Records: Lincoln-Way East is 15-4 and 5-1 in the Southwest Suburban Blue. Sandburg is 13-10 and 2-4.
What’s Next: Sandburg plays host to Homewood-Flossmoor at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26. Lincoln-Way East takes on district rival Lincoln-Way Central at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Frankfort.