SERENA — With all the uncertainty of the weather this spring, one thing has become abundantly clear on the softball diamond: the sheer dominance the Somonauk Lady Bobcats and all-state pitcher Tayler Fall have exhibited against their opponents so far this season.
That was the case again on Friday afternoon, as the Lady Bobcats pounded out 17 hits and Fall threw a three-hit shutout to easily dispatch Serena for the second day in a row with an identical 13-0, five-inning triumph, this time at Serena High School.
The victory, which followed up Thursday's game at Somonauk in which Fall tossed a no-hitter, on Friday upped her record in the circle to 11-0 while the Lady Bobcats (13-0, 8-0 LTC) stayed perfect throughout the current campaign.
During the last 10 days Somonauk — the top-ranked team in this week's Illinois Coaches Association Class 1A poll — has won eight games, outscoring opponents by an awe-inspiring 104-2 margin.
“We've definitely played well lately," Fall said. "It wasn't a no-hitter like yesterday, but today we played a different game and we threw some different pitches which I think kept them guessing a little. I'm not really an overpowering pitcher but I'll take the outs anyway we can get them. I'm pretty happy with the way things have been going."
Fall got some great support at the plate from freshman No. 2 hitter Katy Tripp, who led the way by going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Seniors Jessica Christiansen, Amaya Zimmerman and Avery Sexton chipped in with two hits apiece, as did junior Shelby Peritore and sophomore Claire Lamb.
The Lady Huskers (7-4, 6-3) could manage only three safeties, one each off the bats of Taylor Staton, Kylie Shannon, and Maddi Holdiman, as they fell to Somonauk for the second straight day in lopsided fashion.
“Somonauk is a very good team and they can read a defense extremely well with some very smart ballplayers who hit the ball in spots where there just isn't anybody," said Serena coach Kelly Baker. "That being said, we just didn't bring our 'A' game for the second straight day with too many mental miscues, but I was glad to see we could at least get a few hits off Tayler today. It's been a process for us of trying to improve, but when you play a great ballclub like Somonauk, that makes it tough. Hopefully, we can pick it up from here."
Somonauk got on the board in the top of the first against Serena starting and losing pitcher Brianna Engel (13 R, 10 ER, 17 H, 3 BB, 5 K). Christiansen led off with a single, stole second, and scored after Tripp's run-scoring base hit to center. Two outs later, Tripp tallied on Lamb's RBI single to right that put the Lady Bobcats up 2-0.
Zimmerman led off the second with a double and was replaced on the base paths by courtesy runner Kendall Butler. With two outs, Tripp drove home Butler with another RBI single as Somonauk led 3-0.
Five more runs (two unearned) would follow in the third as Peritore added an RBI single with the other four markers plating on a pair of passed balls, an error and a wild pitch.
In the fourth, Marta Salgado chipped in with an RBI groundout while Christiansen blasted a run-scoring double to left while Tripp produced her third RBI base knock of the game. Tripp would eventually come home on a wild pitch that pushed the lead to 12-0.
Lauren Kawall then completed the day's outburst when she led off the fifth with an infield single and scored on Chloe Kulton's two-out triple to right.
“We've played some very good softball this year but I still think we haven't reached our full potential and how good I believe we can become," said Somonauk skipper Scott Siuda. "We're seeing and hitting the ball well, defensively we're solid and 'T' (Fall) has been great in the circle. We're not where we want to be but we're getting there."
Somonauk 13, Serena 0 (5 inn.)
SOMONAUK (13) — Christiansen cf 3-3-2-1, Tripp 3b 4-2-3-3, Peritore ss 4-0-2-1, Fall p 3-0-1-0, Lamb dp 3-1-2-1, Kawall 2b 1-1-1-0, Sexton lf 3-2-2-0, Hendron ph 1-0-0-0, Frederick 1b 3-1-1-0, Seville ph 1-0-0-0, Zimmerman c 3-0-2-0, Ke. Butler cr 0-3-0-0, Kulton cr/ph 1-0-1-1, Salgado rf 2-0-0-1, Dayhuff ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 33-13-17-8.
SERENA (0) — T. Staton lf 2-0-1-0, Shannon 2b 2-0-1-0, M. Holdiman 2-0-1-0, Hook 3b 2-0-0-0, Harris cf 2-0-0-0, Engel p 2-0-0-0, M. Staton 1b 1-0-0-0, Kaforski ph 1-0-0-0, Bannister c 1-0-0-0, Muffler ph 1-0-0-0, Fuchs rf 2-0-0-0. Totals 18-0-3-0.
Somonauk (13-0, 8-0) 215 41 — 13 17 1
Serena (7-4, 6-3) 000 00 — 0 3 2
LOB – Somonauk 8; Serena 3. 2B – Christiansen, Zimmerman, T. Staton. 3B – Kulton. SB – Christiansen, Tripp, Lamb, Ke. Butler, Salgado.
Somonauk ip r er h bb k
Fall (W, 11-0) 5.0 0 0 3 0 3
Engel (L, 7-4) 5.0 13 10 17 3 5