The girls of Huntley’s Varsity Softball team (12-7) were able to get it done at Cary Grove (7-15) on Monday, defeating the Trojans 7-3, on the back of Megan Larson, who got on base four times, had two RBIs, and a run.
The game started off slowly, with both teams sending only three batters to the plate, but the Red Raiders were able to secure a lead in the top of the second inning.
Hayley O’Mara led off and hit a ball deep into right field, earning a double. Then, Megan Larson pushed a grounder straight up the middle, pulling in O’Mara and the team’s first run. Larson managed to steal second base, but the next two hitters were struck out and she got stranded on second base.
Cary Grove had a second consecutive inning of only three batters, leading into the third inning down 1-0.
In the third, Huntley went three up, three down, and Cary Grove managed their first hit, a single, but stranded the runner on first after a series of solid fielding by the Red Raiders, highlighted by a dive by Haley Spannraft.
The fourth inning was exciting for both teams. The Red Raiders started off strong with a pair of singles, putting runners on first and second base, as Megan Larson came up to bat. Larson pushed another shot straight up the middle bringing in one run and keeping runners on first and second. The Red Raiders then managed to load the bases, still without their first out, but due to solid fielding from Cary Grove, Huntley was unable to bring in any more runs, leaving the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Cary Grove looked to make up their 2-0 deficit. After hitting two doubles to start off the inning, things looked good for the Trojans. They had runners on second and third with no outs, but were unable to capitalize, leaving two runners stranded in scoring position.
Tiffany Giese started the fifth inning strong by poking the ball down the left field line, earning a double. The next batter struck out, but Jessica Shields punched a shot deep into right, scoring the third run and putting herself on second. Then, Cary Grove struck out the next batter, and walked Larson, putting runners on first and second base. Another shot was punched up the middle, pulling in Shields and leaving runners on first and second. the next pitch got away from the catcher and the runners advanced, but Cary Grove was able to get the strikeout, ending the side with a score of 4-0.
The bottom of the fifth inning was hectic. The Trojans, after sustaining one out, got a runner on first base, due to an error by Hayley O’Mara. The runner managed to get to second on a sacrifice bunt, then advanced to third on a wild pitch, but a force out at first, on the next play, left her stranded.
In the sixth, Shannon Walsh hit a single and was sacrificed over to second and then third base on a bunt and a fly out, respectively. Huntley’s fifth run was put on the board after the Red Raiders singled to the gap in right pulling in Walsh, but the inning ended after a pickoff at second base.
The bottom of the sixth was sloppy for the Red Raiders and was the only inning in which Cary Grove managed to score. It began with a single to left field, followed by a double, putting runners on second and third base. Caitlin Moran pulled in the two runners on a single that dropped between the right field gap. Then, the Trojans got an infield single on an error by Megan Larson, putting runners on first and second, and they followed quickly with another single, loading the bases with zero outs and the tying run on first. Cary Grove managed a single, but were forced at home for the first out. Bases still loaded, the next hit drove in one, but the Red Raiders managed to get the forceout at second. Then, Huntley escaped the inning with a nice stop by Spannraft for the force at first.
The seventh inning set out with a Hayley O’Mara double to left followed by an infield hit by Megan Larson, putting runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt advanced both runners to second and third base. A shot up the middle pulled in Larson and O’Mara, but the runner was picked off at second and the following batter was struck out by Cary Grove.
Down 7-3, the Trojans had three more outs to pull off the comeback, but only managed two groundouts and a single before flying out to right field, ending the game.