GLEN ELLYN – Montini pitcher Lauren Trojnar had a hand in both the first and the last pitch in Tuesday’s IHSA Class 3A sectional semifinal against St. Francis at Glenbard South.
As the starting pitcher for the home team, Trojnar threw the first pitch of the game.
And it was her two-run single in the bottom of the fifth that gave Montini the 10-run lead needed to win the game by the mercy rule, 11-1.
Tuesday’s contest was the third time St. Francis lost to its Suburban Christian Conference rival this year.
The Broncos will play the winner of today’s game between Glenbard South and Lemont for the sectional title on Saturday.
“They’re a good team. Every time we made a mistake, they capitalized on it. That’s what a good team does so I have to give them credit for that,” St. Francis coach Ralph Remus said. “I don’t like it, but I’ll have to give them credit for it.”
Montini (26-10) took the lead early by scoring five runs in the second inning – four were unearned.
With one run already in and the bases loaded, Isabell Alexander hit a grounder to Spartan third baseman Emma Davis, who threw home for the force out. Catcher Fiona Summers was unable to field the throw, allowing the runner to score. The runner on second also crossed the plate as the ball rolled to the backstop. Cristina Barrett followed with a misplayed fly ball to right field that scored two more runs.
“We had some issues with defense this year. It hasn’t been as consistent as we have had in the past,” Remus said.
Montini added three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
St. Francis (24-6) was unable to capitalize on the scoring opportunities it had.
After Carley Pasquale grounded out to start the game, Summers hit a triple to right field. She was unable to advance as Trojnar struck out Ali Dittrich and induced Janie Smith to pop out to the first baseman.
“They showed us our weaknesses. We should have had a run in the first with that triple but then we had a strike out and a popout with our 3 and 4 hitters,” Remus said. “Something should of happened. We should of put the ball in play.”
Dittrich, of Batavia, opened the fourth with a home run to right field.
“In the at-bat before, I struck out looking at a pitch outside so I was thinking she [Trojnar] was going to come back outside again,” Dittrich said. “She did and I took it over the right field fence.”
Smith, the next batter, popped out. Starting pitcher and St. Charles resident Maggie Remus, daughter of the Spartans coach, and Bailey Zydek followed with singles. Second baseman Emma Chapman popped out for the second out. Ali Murphy, who was running for Remus, was picked off second base to end the inning.
Trojnar (19-5), the winning pitcher, allowed only five hits in the five innings she pitched.
“Lauren pitched a great game. She hit her spots,” said Rich Constante, Montini’s coach.
“Playing them twice helped and we scouted them on Saturday. We saw some tendencies that they did that we could take advantage of.”
Remus, who was replaced in the circle after two batters in the fifth by Amanda Imbrogno, took the loss. The senior right-hander finished the year with a 17-3 record.