MORRIS – A three-run second inning put Minooka ahead, and a five-run fifth ensured the Indians stayed there Friday in an 11-3 win at Morris in nonconference softball.
With Morris having cut its deficit to 3-2 three innings in, the Indians scratched out a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth to restore their three-run cushion. They more than doubled their lead one inning later.
“Awesome. Big crowd. They knew it was gonna be on the radio. We knew Morris’ fans and team were gonna be fired up to play us,” Minooka coach Mark Brown said, “Especially since the last couple years we’ve come out on top, so we knew we were going to see their best, and we came out and we jumped on them early.”
Of Minooka’s 12 hits, the only one that drove in multiple runs was a Geri Westerhoff two-run double during that fifth.
Alyssa Hajduk hit an RBI triple for the Indians (15-8), who got an RBI double from Erin Rossetto, two RBIs from Marissa Burns and RBI without the benefit of a base hit from Caty Bell and Emily Wielbik.
“I got [a pitch] high and outside. Those are my favorite, so it was just kind of a no-brainer. Just swung and hoped for the best,” Westerhoff said. “I’ve been kind of off lately. I’ve been seeing a hitting instructor. He’s been helping me out a lot lately, boosting my confidence. That definitely hit it right there.”
All of the runs Morris (17-6) produced against Minooka pitcher Meghan Quirk in seven innings came on home runs. Lauren Severson’s two-run blast to left-center made it a 3-2 game for a short time in the bottom of the third. Madi Feeney added a solo homer in the seventh.
“I was just hoping to not strike out, honestly, because I was like, ‘I gotta keep this inning going,’ ” Severson said. “I was just hoping for a base hit, and it ended up going out.”
Apart from that, Quirk (8-3) held the Redskins to three other hits, all singles, and made it into the bottom of the seventh before issuing her first walk.
“We were definitely using her riseball,” Rossetto, the Minooka catcher, said of Quirk. “Those two [the home runs], she actually missed it, and I yelled at her for it, but she’ll be all right. She misses on the inside corner, so we were working inside and high, and they just couldn’t touch her.”
Morris freshman Abby Burns allowed 10 hits, walked three and hit a batter in six innings.
The Redskins made three errors behind her.
“She got down a little bit on herself,” Morris coach Jen Lowery said of Burns. “It’s good for her to see at this young of an age. She’s a good pitcher, and it’s good for her to see some good hitters, good competition, see what she really needs to be working on.”