BATAVIA – Two days after Batavia posted six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to complete a comeback victory over West Chicago, the Bulldogs were on the opposite end of a crooked number in the final frame.
For much of Thursday’s softball game against Plainfield North, the Bulldogs were in striking distance, but the Tigers poured on eight runs in the seventh inning to ice the contest, sending Batavia to an 11-0 defeat.
Batavia trailed, 3-0, heading to the seventh, but Plainfield North sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning and scored eight runs on six hits – including five doubles – off a pair of Bulldogs pitchers.
“In the last inning there, I think they hit the ball hard a little bit,” Batavia coach Lupe Castellanos said. “Our pitchers, we need to throw a few more strikes, but for the most part I think Plainfield North did a great job of hitting the ball a little bit hard in that last inning to move some of those runs around the bases.”
The Tigers were a well-oiled machine in all facets, as sophomore pitcher Sydney Schimmel kept the Bulldogs (1-2) off the scoreboard while scattering eight hits. Plainfield North flashed strong defense in the field, turning two double plays that squelched rallies before they got started.
After Plainfield North (2-0) scored its first two runs in the top of the fourth, the Bulldogs had an excellent scoring chance in the bottom of the inning. Trailing, 2-0, Batavia led off the inning with three straight singles, but after a conference on the mound, Schimmel got a strikeout, a forceout at home plate and groundout to second to end the threat.
“We just need to come up with a big hit in those situations,” Castellanos said. “We had the bases loaded there with nobody out, and we couldn’t get that big hit that we needed. I’ve got to give credit to Plainfield North. They kept their composure and played some pretty good defense and got out of that inning. But I think we need to come through with a big hit in that situation to score some of those runs.”
Bulldogs senior third baseman Selena Kweder tallied a hit in all three of her at-bats, including a pair of doubles. Outfielder Lauren Mueller – whose sister, Alicia, allowed two runs in the first four innings on the mound – singled twice.
Kweder also made several solid plays at third base, but she echoed her coach when describing the Bulldogs’ lack of clutch hitting.
“We just need that one person to show up and get a big hit,” Kweder said.