Touching All the Bases: The wind turned completely around. The temperature dropped 20 degrees. And by the time Lincoln-Way East put the finishing touches on a 12-4 softball victory over Andrew, Griffins coach Elizabeth Pawlicki said she was freezing. Her team’s bats remained red hot on Tuesday in Tinley Park. East pounded around two Andrew pitchers—Brooke Hofer and Katie Christner—for 13 hits and took advantage of some uncharacteristic fielding lapses by the Thunderbolts to pull away in the late innings. Sam Stewart and Nicolle Miskowicz each had three hits to top the East batting barrage. Alexis Huss blasted a three-run homer into the teeth of the wind in straightaway center, and the Griffins scored eight or more runs for the seventh time in eight games, all victories. Chris Mizera (3-0) and Kacyee Hart combined to pitch the win. Hart tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Patch’s MVP: Sam Stewart, junior catcher, Lincoln-Way East. Stewart had a single, double and triple in a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. She also threw out a runner attempting to steal and ran halfway down the first base line to field a swinging bunt and start a 2-3 putout.
Cloud Nine? Lincoln-Way East scored three runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Lincoln-Way East Leaders: Sam Stewart (3-for-4, double, triple), Nicolle Miskowicz (3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Nikki Jarrell (2-for-4, double, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Alexis Huss (1-for-5, 3-run homer, 3 RBIs).
Andrew Leaders: Shannon Rust (3-for-4, double, 1 run), Kelly Christner (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 stolen base), Dani Bestwina (1-for-3, double, 2 RBIs, 1 run).
Quotable I: “The first couple of innings I feel like we struggled a little bit, but we talked to the girls,” Lincoln-Way East coach Elizabeth Pawlicki said. “We made adjustments, and that’s what this season’s been about. We’ve told them, ‘Every time you get up to the plate, where’s the ball been? Can you see where the ball is when you make contact? What can we do better the next time?’ The adjustments we made at the plate proved beneficial during this game.”
Quotable II: “You can’t give good teams that many outs in an inning,” Andrew coach Jim Holba said after the T-Bolts were charged with four errors and came unglued in the top of the fourth. “And those innings where we just couldn’t pick it up and throw it—not hitting our cutoffs—that’s not what we’re about.”
Quotable III: “We knew our hitting had to be on top of our game,” Lincoln-Way East junior catcher Sam Stewart said. “We had to be solid defensively. Kacyee (Hart) and Chrissy (Mizera) came out nicely. And Kacyee finished the game well. Chrissy started phenomenally. It was a good effort on all sides.”
Team Records: Lincoln-Way East is 7-1. The Griffins’ lone loss was 4-0 to Minooka. Andrew slipped to 5-3. The Thunderbolts have dropped three of their last four games.
What’s Next: Lincoln-Way East plays at Marist at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 4). Andrew plays at Lincoln-Way Central at 4:30 p.m. Thursday (April 5).