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Prep Sports

Lady Irish edge Somonauk in state-ranked clash

But both fall to 3A Morris in Saturday round robin

SENECA – High school softball doesn't get much better than what the Seneca Lady Irish and the Somonauk Lady Bobcats provided their fans Saturday at Seneca High School.

In the round-robin opener between the two highly-ranked small school programs, the Lady Irish rallied late and then held off a last-inning push by the Lady Bobcats to win a spine-tingling 8-7 classic.

But quite possibly all the thrill and excitement of the first game took some starch out of the locals sails as both clubs dropped lopsided decisions to a very skilled 3A Morris program. The Redskins defeated Somonauk in game two 11-1 in six innings and bested Seneca 8-1 in game three to capture the tourney title.

Seneca 8, Somonauk 7

The No. 1 ranked Class 1A Lady Bobcats, according to last week's Illinois Coaches Association poll, led the No. 5 rated Class 2A Lady Irish 4-1 entering the bottom of the fifth. That's where the two ballclubs fought tooth and nail down the stretch each never giving in.

Seneca (24-2) rallied with seven runs on nine hits in the fifth and sixth frames to take an 8-5 lead only to see Somonauk (19-2) cut the gap to 8-7 in its last at bat and put the tying run on second with two outs in the seventh.

But Lady Irish freshman hurler Maggie Carpenter (13-2) closed the door with a strikeout to finish off the exciting battle of powerhouses.

"This game definitely had a post-season feel of two solid teams battling until the end that's for sure," said Seneca coach Dan Stecken. "Somonauk showed me a lot today and I think they're very capable of doing some great things during the next couple of weeks in 1A. They hit up and down the lineup against us pretty well and impressed me offensively, but I was so proud of our girls for rallying against a great ballclub to pull this one out."

The contest saw five home runs, including a couple of two-run dingers from Lady Bobcat all-stater Tayler Fall (2-for-3, 4 RBIs), a solo shot from teammate Amaya Zimmerman, and an unlikely pair of solo blasts from Lady Irish No. 9 hitter Gillian Culbreth, her first two homers ever in a Seneca uniform back-to-back to pace the Lady Irish late rally.

After Culbreth, all-staters Taylor Bushman (3-for-4) and Lyda Robinson (2-for-4) followed Culbreth's lead continuing Seneca's resurgence by playing small-ball with their tremendous speed and bat-handling ability to help spark the Lady Irish dynamic victory.

"It was amazing ballgame between two excellent teams and credit their girls (Culbreth) for hitting a couple of homers in the nine spot," said veteran Somonauk coach Scott Siuda, "but (Bushman and Robinson) are a dynamic duo, an amazing force no matter what happens, and both are intelligent with what they do. I think they made the difference today."

Seneca touched Somonauk starting and losing pitcher Fall (18-2) with a single run in the bottom of the first after a Cassidy Draves (2-for-4) double and an RBI single from Carpenter (3-for-3). The Lady Bobcats answered with three in the fourth after Fall's first two-run bomb to center and a sacrifice run-scoring bunt from Sydni Frederick for a 3-1 lead.

They'd add another tally in the fourth on a Shelby Peritore (3-for-4) RBI triple.

However, the Lady Irish marked three in the fifth to draw even. Culbreth led off with her first homer to left. Bushman and Robinson then reached on infield bunt singles before Bushman tallied on an error and Robinson scored after an RBI single from Draves.

The Lady Bobcats countered with a solo homer from Zimmerman to lead off the top of the sixth to go back in front 5-4, but with one out in the last half of the frame, Culbreth rifled her second solo blast off the top of the yellow fence protector in left-center to tie the score at 5-5.

"Just like the pitch I hit earlier for a homer it was one that I wanted and I took it again," Culbreth said. "I was astonished after it bounced over and coach (Don) Brown had to tell me it really went out."

Seneca added three more courtesy of an RBI single from Carpenter and a two run double from Helms which turned out to be the game winning hit. Fall added her second two-run homer of the game for Somonauk in the top of the seventh with nobody out, but Carpenter shut things down with the visitors on the brink of tying things up.

At Seneca

Seneca 8, Somonauk 7

(Key: AB-R-H-RBI)

SOMONAUK (7) – Christiansen cf 4-1-1-0, Peritore ss 4-2-3-1, Fall p 3-2-2-4, Ke. Butler cr 0-0-0-0, Tripp 3b 4-1-1-0, Lamb 2b 3-0-1-0, Zimmerman c 2-1-1-1, Stadler cr 0-0-0-0, Frederick 1b 2-0-0-1, Kawall dp 2-0-0-0, Salgado rf 3-0-0-0, Sexton lf 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-7-9-7.

SENECA (8) – Bushman cf 4-2-3-0, Robinson ss 4-2-2-0, Draves c 4-1-2-1, M. Carpenter p 3-0-3-2, Jashari cr 0-1-0-0, Helms lf 3-0-1-2, Wilson 2b 4-0-1-0, Morris 3b 3-0-0-0, Flatness dp 2-0-0-0, Neimann pr 0-0-0-0, Culbreth rf 3-2-2-2, Maloney 1b 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-8-14-7.

Somonauk (19-2) 000 311 2 – 7 9 2

Seneca (24-2) 100 034 x – 8 14 0

LOB – Somonauk 6; Seneca 7. 2B – Peritore, Tripp, Draves, Helms. 3B – Peritore. HR – Fall 2, Culbreth 2, Zimmerman. SB – Bushman 2, Jashari 2, Christiansen, Ke. Butler, Lamb, Kawall. CS – Stadler, Wilson. SAC – Zimmerman, Frederick, Helms. HBP – Flatness and M. Carpenter (by Fall), Frederick (by M. Carpenter).

Somonauk ip r er h bb k

Fall (L, 18-2) 6.0 8 7 14 0 3

Seneca

M. Carpenter (W, 13-2) 7.0 7 7 9 4 8

Morris 11, Somonauk 1 (6 inn.)

After the heartbreaking loss to Seneca, the Lady Bobcats (19-3) just couldn't get on track offensively against the Redskins (14-12), registering seven hits but stranding eight runners, six in scoring position. Shelby Peritore went 2-for-3 as Somonauk scored its only run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Amaya Zimmerman, plating Marta Salgado. The Lady Bobcats also committed four errors that led to four unearned runs.

Mary Seville (5 IP, 9 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 2 K) took the loss in the circle while Gigi Corbin (6 IP, 1 R, 7 H, 0 BB, 2 K) got the win. Kennedy Dransfeldt went 5-for-5 with three runs scored for the Redskins while Claire Gugerty was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs.

Morris 8, Seneca 1

The Lady Irish led 1-0 after a one-out triple from Lyda Robinson (2-for-3) and an RBI single from Kylie Winsor in the third. However, the roof caved in on Seneca (24-3) in the top of the sixth as the Redskins (15-12) notched all eight of their runs on nine hits against starting and losing pitcher Anne Krull (5 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 K) and reliever Grace Flatness (2 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 0 BB, 3 K).

In all, Morris recorded 15 hits, three coming from Ashley Hood and two each from Kennedy Dransfeldt, Abbey Moore, Ashley Phelps, and Rachel Trader.

Seneca also struck out 11 times against Corbin (7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 11 K), who recorded her second win of the day allowing just five hits.

Morris 11, Somonauk 1 (6 inn.)

(Key: AB-R-H-RBI)

SOMONAUK (1) – Peritore ss 3-0-2-0, Tripp cf 3-0-1-0, Fall 3b/p 3-0-0-0, Zimmerman c 2-0-0-1, Sexton lf 3-0-1-0, Lamb 2b/3b 3-0-1-0, Frederick 1b 3-0-1-0, Kawall dp/2b 3-0-0-0, Salgado rf 3-1-1-1, Seville p 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-1-7-1.

MORRIS (11) – Dransfeldt ss 5-3-5-1, Moore rf 3-2-1-1, Phelps 1b 4-0-2-1, Less pr 0-0-0-0, Trader c 4-0-1-1, Gerischer cr/ph 1-2-0-0, Gugerty cf 3-2-2-3, Schultz 2b 3-0-1-1, Hood 3b 3-0-0-1, Corbin p 3-0-1-0, Thorson ph 1-0-0-0, Hughes cr 0-1-0-0, Nelson dp 2-1-0-0, Machietto ph 1-0-0-0, Doss lf 0-0-0-0. Totals 32-11-13-9.

Somonauk (19-3) 000 010 – 1 7 4

Morris (14-12) 202 511 – 11 13 2

LOB – Somonauk 8; Morris 7. HR – Gugerty. SB – Lamb, Frederick, Dransfeldt. SAC – Hood. SF – Zimmerman. HBP – Gugerty and Schultz (by Seville).

Somonauk ip r er h bb k

Seville (L, 1-1) 3.1 9 6 9 0 2

Fall 2.1 2 1 4 0 1

Morris

Corbin (W, 14-11) 6.0 1 1 7 0 2

Morris 8, Seneca 1

(Key: AB-R-H-RBI)

MORRIS (8) – Dransfeldt ss 5-1-2-2, Moore rf 4-1-2-0, Phelps 1b 4-1-2-2, Trader c 4-0-2-1, Gerischer cr/pr 0-2-0-0, Gugerty cf 3-0-1-0, Schultz 2b 2-1-1-0, Hood 3b 3-1-3-2, Nelson dp 4-1-1-1, Corbin p 3-0-1-0, Hughes cr/ph 1-0-0-0, Doss 0-0-0-0. Totals 33-8-15-8.

SENECA (1) – Bushman cf 3-0-1-0, Robinson ss 3-1-2-0, Winsor 1b 3-0-1-1, Jashari pr 0-0-0-0, Draves c 3-0-0-0, M. Carpenter dp 3-0-0-0, Helms lf 3-0-1-0, Culbreth rf 3-0-0-0, Wilson 2b 2-0-0-0, P. Carpenter ph 0-0-0-0, Morris 3b 2-0-0-0, Krull p 0-0-0-0, Flatness p 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-1-5-1.

Morris (15-12) 000 008 0 – 8 15 0

Seneca (24-3) 001 000 0 – 1 5 0

LOB – Morris 10; Seneca 5. 2B – Moore, Helms. 3B – Robinson. SB – Bushman, Robinson, Helms, Morris. CS – Jashari. SAC – Moore, Schultz.

Morris ip r er h bb k

Corbin (W, 15-11) 7.0 1 1 5 2 11

Seneca

Krull (L, 3-1) 5.0 4 4 8 2 4

Flatness 2.0 4 4 7 0 3

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