ST. CHARLES – Off-speed pitchers tend to trip up St. Charles East senior Kate Peterburs.
But on a day when most of her teammates scuffled at the plate against Geneva pitcher Rachel Fanella, Peterburs waited back and unloaded, powering the Saints to a 3-2 Upstate Eight Conference River win on Tuesday.
Peterburs clubbed a two-run home run over the left field scoreboard in the bottom of the first and singled and scored in the top of the fourth on Alex Latoria's double.
"I'm actually really happy with how I performed today just because I rarely ever do that [against a slower pitcher], so I thought that was pretty cool," Peterburs said.
Peterburs, East's cleanup hitter, finished 3 for 3 with a pair of screaming singles supplementing her early long ball.
East coach Kelly Horan said Peterburs looked "dialed in" throughout the afternoon.
"I wouldn't want to play defense in the infield against her, that's for sure," Horan said.
East (24-5, 14-2 UEC River) led, 3-0, after Latoria's RBI double before the Vikings (14-11, 7-8 UEC River) produced a two-run shot of their own in the top of the sixth.
Freshman third baseman Annika Radabaugh crushed a full-count offering from Haley Beno well beyond the fence in left-center field. Geneva coach Greg Dierks said he thought Radabaugh moved within two home runs of former Vikings standout Jen Monaco's single-season home run record (eight).
"I've always been kind of a power hitter," Radabaugh said. "I've never been one of the really fast ones so I can't really hit ground balls and beat it out. I have to kind of just try to hit for power."
The Vikings aren't complaining.
"I'd seen her play plenty before she got here and I told her when we had meetings and she made the team that I knew she was a good player but she looked better in tryouts than what I thought she was going to be," Dierks said. "She definitely earned her way on.
"I didn't have her bookmarked as any kind of automatic deal, and she had a real good tryout, and she's better now than she was in tryouts. She's certainly continuing to exceed everything we can ask for there."
Geneva No. 9 hitter Sarah Baurer blooped a two-out double to left field with two outs in the top of the seventh but Beno induced a flyout to right field from shortstop Anna Geary to end the game as East gained a second narrow win against Geneva within the past week.
"They're going to be good in the future but it's not their time right now," Horan said of the Vikings.
Beno (14-4) yielded five hits, striking out seven and walking three.
Fanella allowed six hits in throwing a complete game for the Vikings, escaping a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth.
"She got a couple days where she didn't have to throw, and it was a good bounce-back day for her, and it was needed," Dierks said.
The Saints learned earlier Tuesday they'll be the No. 3 seed in the 20-team IHSA Class 4A Bartlett Sectional. St. Charles North is the sectional's No. 4 seed while Glenbard North is seeded first and Conant second.