EARLVILLE — After suffering their first loss of the season in the second game of a doubleheader against Sterling Newman on Saturday afternoon, the Somonauk Lady Bobcats were looking to bounce back in Monday's Little Ten Conference matchup with Earlville-Leland.
Bounce back they did.
Somonauk, the top-ranked team in Class 1A according to this week's Illinois Coaches Association poll, saw its first seven batters reach base in a three-run first inning against the ICA No. 20 Raiders. The Lady Bobcats then added on two more in the second, three in the fourth and tallied one more time in the fifth to improve to 15-1 overall and 9-0 in the LTC with a 9-0 triumph here on Harold Wold Memorial Field at Earlville High School.
The win puts the Somonauk winning streak in LTC league games to an eye-popping 78, with its last loss in the loop coming against E-L on April 25, 2013.
Winning pitcher Tayler Fall earned the complete-game shutout after scattering four hits, walking one and striking out six. Somonauk leadoff hitter Jessica Christiansen reached base four times, including a single and triple, scored three runs and stole a pair of bases. No. 2 hitter Shelby Peritore, Fall and Claire Lamb all recorded two hits each in the Lady Bobcats' 11-hit attack, with Peritore collecting a trio of RBIs.
"Jessica had a really nice game for us in the leadoff spot, and up and down the lineup we did a lot of nice things today," said Somonauk coach Scott Siuda.
"I'm really happy how we played defensively. On Saturday in our doubleheader against Sterling Newman was the first time this season that a team has really put the ball in play a bunch against Tayler, and today E-L did a good job of that as well. I guess after Saturday the girls weren't caught so off-guard defensively.
"E-L is always so well-prepared, and kudos for them finally being recognized in the ICA rankings this week."
E-L (9-2, 5-1) received singles each from Skyler Brue, Emily Cook, Haley Michael and losing pitcher Kennedy Meloy.
"We were able to scatter six strikeouts against Tayler ... we only came up with four hits, but we made a lot of contact," said E-L coach Shannon Cook. "I was happy with the amount we put the bat on the ball."
Somonauk plated the aforementioned three runs in the first, starting with Peritore's RBI single which scored Christiansen had reached on an error and stolen second. After a double by Fall and single by Zimmerman, Lamb singled to center, but Julia Niles threw out courtesy runner Chole Kulton at home plate. However, Sydni Frederick lined a two-out base hit to right, scoring two, to make it 3-0. The Lady Bobcats added a two-run, opposite-field double by Peritore in the second, RBIs from Zimmerman and Avery Sexton in a three-run fourth, and tallied their final run in the fifth when Christiansen tripled and later scored on a wild pitch.
"I am not at all unhappy with how the girls played today from start to finish," Coach Cook said. "(Somonauk) got off to a great start and had some timely hits all day long. You know, we are down 9-0, but they were still playing like it was 0-0. The girls never stopped playing, and I can't ask anymore of that from them. We played some pretty good defense all-around, but (Somonauk) just hit the ball better today."
Fall allowed just a pair of runners to get as far as third base on the day, but in each instance she was able to induce a fly ball for the third out.
"She waited behind Bailee (Krantz) and Nicole (Krupp) the last couple of seasons, and now it's her time," said Siuda of Fall. "I'm getting more confident with Zimmerman behind the plate too, she ran things calling pitches the last two innings today and did a good job. I'd like to see Tayler get a little more surgical in the circle and not rush things — but when she does settle in, she's as tough as they get."
At Wold Memorial Field, Earlville
Somonauk 9, Earlville-Leland 0
SOMONAUK (9) — Christiansen cf 4-3-2-0, Peritore ss 4-1-2-3, Fall p 3-0-2-0, Kulton cr 0-1-0-0, Zimmerman c 4-0-1-1, Stadler cr 0-2-0-0, Lamb 3b 4-1-2-0, Sexton lf 2-0-0-1, Frederick 1b 3-0-1-2, Kawall 2b 4-0-1-0, Salgado rf 3-1-0-0. Totals 31-9-11-7.
EARLVILLE-LELAND (0) — Brue ss 3-0-1-0, Myers lf 2-0-0-0, Cook 3b 3-0-1-0, Pickert 1b 3-0-0-0, Meloy p 3-0-1-0, Niles cf 2-0-0-0, Michael dp 2-0-1-0, Farley pr 0-0-0-0, Harness rf 0-0-0-0, Weymouth c 3-0-0-0, Fries 2b 3-0-0-0. Totals 24-0-4-0.
Somonauk (15-1, 9-0) 320 310 0 — 9 11 1
E-L (9-2, 5-1) 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
LOB — Somonauk 8, E-L 6. 2B — Peritore, Fall. 3B — Christiansen. SB — Christiansen 2, Kawall. CS — Peritore. SAC — Myers, Michael. SF — Sexton.
Somonauk ip r er h bb k
Fall (W) 7.0 0 0 4 1 6
Meloy 7.0 9 6 11 6 2