GENEVA – Giving the opposition lots of extra outs is usually not a successful softball strategy, and it didn’t work too well for Geneva Tuesday in an Upstate Eight Conference River Division clash with St. Charles East.
The Saints (22-4, 11-3) took advantage of numerous errors by the Vikings (8-13, 4-9) to come away with an easy 13-1 victory.
“I counted 10 errors for us today,” Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. “That’s just too much. You can’t win doing that. They made us pay for them. They hit some nice balls off us.”
East banged out 12 hits. Lexi Perez had a pair of doubles and two RBIs, Olivia Cheatham drove in three runs with a single and double and catcher Shelby Holtz singled and doubled to plate a pair.
“Recently I’ve been making a lot of contact,” said Holtz, the No. 9 hitter in East’s lineup. “Today I was really relaxed. It was a new game and a new day, so I just had a lot of confidence going in.”
Holtz also had a busy day behind the plate, tagging out a runner trying to score on a strong throw from right fielder Olivia Lorenzini and throwing from her knees to gun down a runner trying to steal second.
“That was one of the first times I’ve done that,” Holtz said of throwing from the ground. “I just stopped thinking. I saw her going, so I just threw it. I just let it go. It was crazy.”
East hurler Haley Beno (13-3) was the beneficiary of those outstanding defensive plays. She went the distance to pick up the win, striking out six, including five in a row from the first to third innings. She walked three and allowed six hits in bouncing back from a rough outing Monday against St. Charles North, a 10-0 East loss that snapped the Saints’ 18-game winning streak.
“She did really awesome today,” Holtz said. “She was on and she knew what she was doing. We talked a lot before the game about strategy – what she was wanting to throw, what was looking good and what wasn’t.”
Beno also helped her own cause at the plate with an RBI single. Her performance was good news for East coach Kelly Horan, who had only 11 players available for the Geneva game.
“That’s all I have healthy right now,” Horan said. “I’m not even sure all 11 of those are really that healthy. I’ve got some tough kids. There’s no doubt about it.”
Lorenzini and Katie Kolb also drove in runs for the Saints, who return home today for another league game against Elgin.
Anna Geary and Kelly Gordon each singled and doubled for the Vikings, who also got hits from newcomers sophomore Sara Silvestri and freshman Sarah Baurer. Haley Orwig (5-8) took the loss for Geneva, which travels to Larkin today.