MORRIS – Last year when the Morris softball team played Willowbrook, things did not go well for the Redskins.
“We got 10-run ruled,” Morris senior third baseman Lauren Severson recalled.
What a difference a year makes.
Led by a nine-hit effort at the plate, good pitching by Laurel Harper and a solid defense, the locals were able to record a 6-4 win against the Warriors on Friday.
“This year, we came out strong and were hitting, and we never got down on ourselves,” Severson said. “I think last year they got nine or 10 runs in the first inning, and we got down on ourselves. But this time, they got two runs, and we never gave up.”
Willowbrook took a 2-0 lead right out of the box, but the Redskins made a quick recovery in scoring four times in the bottom half of the first.
“We talked about it before the game. [Willowbrook] is good, and they have great hitters who are going to put the ball in play. We knew it was going to be a good game. We came out and answered with our bats,” Morris coach Jen Lowery said. “We bounced back. Last year, if a team would score on us, we’d get down, but this year when a team scores on us, we come right back. We seem to get them back right away.”
In the Morris first inning, Kellen Bernickus reached on an error, and Severson doubled her home. Taya Torkelson then singled to put runners on the corners before she stole second base. One out later, Emily Moore collected an RBI double, and Abby Burns followed with an RBI single to score courtesy runner Taylor Cole.
In the second inning, Morris concluded all of its scoring when Maddy Feeney singled. Bernickus reached on an error, and Severson had an RBI single. Bernickus then scored on the play when the Willowbrook left fielder made an error.
After that, it was all up to Harper. She went the complete game, allowing eight hits while and striking out one.
“We knew that they were going to put the ball in play more today, and the defense stepped up,” Lowery said. “The girls got some hard hit balls off the bat and got some action. They played great defensively and backed Laurel up great.”
Severson said that the one nice thing about the team this year is that is doesn’t matter so much who is pitching.
“We have a great team chemistry this year. Everyone is positive, and nobody is getting down,” she said. “I mean, if someone is getting down, we’re picking them right back up. It’s just a good team dynamic this year.
“It doesn’t matter who is pitching for us. We have a great defense, and all we need is for the pitcher to give us a chance. Put the ball over the plate, and throw some strikes.”