Softball: Early power leads Trinity past Lyons Township
Lyons Township senior Lauren Huebner waits for the ball, while Trinity's Gabby Smart steals second. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:10AM
Trinity smacked two first-inning home runs and Chase Machain pitched her third straight shutout as the Blazers opened their own Class 4A Sectional with a 4-0 victory over Lyons Township Wednesday.
Trinity leadoff hitter Abby Ramirez (3-for-3, 3 RBI) led off the bottom of the first with a blast to left-center field on a 2-0 pitch. One batter later, Nicole Evans went deep to left on an 0-2 offering to stake the Blazers (30-7) to an early 2-0 lead.
Trinity pitcher Chase Machain hurled her third straight shutout in the state tournament, but it wasn’t without some scary moments. LT threatened in every inning but the first and last, but Machain came away unscathed each time.
“I was just trying to throw to spots because they were on the plate covering the outside corner, and was just trying to do anything I could to stop them from getting runs,” Machain said. “When I needed to I was hitting my spots and it paid off pretty well with some outs when they had runners on base.”
Machain also said she was overjoyed when her teammates hit the two homers in the first.
“It was amazing. Starting off like that just sets the momentum for the game — that gave us so much energy,” she said.
The Blazers added two more unearned runs, while the Lions (19-15-1) threatened repeatedly but could not score, leaving 10 runners on base, eight in scoring position.
“Chase just battles,” Trinity coach Bob Osborne said. “That’s the difference between her as a sophomore and a junior — she just thrives on those situations. She makes the right pitches in those situations and doesn’t miss her spot with two strikes.”
LT had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth after a single by Alyssa Koziol and a sacrifice bunt followed by a throwing error by Lauren Huebner. But and infield pop-up and liner to second ended the threat.
The Lions, who outhit the Blazers 7-6, loaded the bases in the next inning with one out, but again Machain wriggled out of the jam.
“They’re a very good team,” LT coach Dawn Schabacker said. “We rattled them a little bit and they made some errors with our small-ball game, but every time we threatened they would come up with a great play or the pitcher would throw a good pitch. That has kind of been the story of our season, leaving a lot of runners on base.”
LT center fielder Becky Ryckman led the offense with three hits.