WHEATON – It took the St. Francis softball team nine innings to wear down Rosary starting pitcher Elayne Young on Wednesday afternoon.
Spartans shortstop Janie Smith hit the junior right-hander’s 160th pitch of the game into left field, allowing Emma Davis to score the winning run, giving St. Francis a 2-1 extra inning win over its Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division rival. The game-winner was only the third hit Young gave up.
“I knew we were going to get to her sooner or later. She threw a lot of pitches,” St. Francis coach Ralph Remus said. “She was having more trouble with the strike zone at the end, obviously, because of being tired.”
“I didn’t realize I threw that many pitchers,” Young said when she found out her pitch total for the day. “Our defense was solid for the first five innings. Then when they started to hit me we had a couple of flukes here and there.”
Rosary coach John Kazmierczak saluted what he called a “great” performance from Young, one that was hampered by six Rosary errors.
Spartans batters were patient at the plate, working full counts seven times and drawing six walks. Except for the sixth and ninth innings, Young ended the innings without St. Francis scoring. The Spartans (8-2, 3-0 SCC Blue) left nine runners on base.
The junior also batted in Rosary’s only run of the game in the second. Her double to right field scored Lauren Murray, who opened the inning with a double to left.
Rosary’s 1-0 lead stood until the sixth inning. Spartans catcher Fiona Summers reached second base on a Rosary error. She advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on starting pitcher Maggie Remus’ groundout.
“I have to say that we got lucky to get a run in the sixth inning. It wasn’t an earned run but we will take it,” coach Remus said. “Young shut us down for the most of the game when we had runners in scoring position.”
“We should of been out of the sixth without giving up the tying run,” Kazmierczak said. “We could of easily left here with a 1-0 win. That’s the way we’ve playing all year.”
Davis led off the ninth inning with a walk, advance to second on a sacrifice bunt and reached third on a misplayed fly ball before Smith ended it.
“It felt pretty good,” Smith said. “I was struggling a little bit at the plate.”
Maggie Remus kept the Spartans in the game by scattering six hits over seven innings and allowing only one walk. Rosary (1-8, 1-3) also could not capitalize on its baserunners, leaving seven runners on base. Emma Chapman pitched the last two innings for St. Francis and was credited with the win.