Tag Archives: Ellissa Eckert

060

2014 Softball Preview: A slugger’s chance

Photo: Junior All-State catcher Paige Kuefler drives a ball off the tee during a recent practice indoors.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland softball lineup primed and ready for ’14 season
KANELAND—With a regional rally at Rosary that fell just short last May, it would be easy to be discouraged.

But Kaneland softball brings back a wealth of talent in all aspects of the game.

“It’s impossible to put that feeling in the past, because they’re going to know it when the time comes,” fifth-year head coach Brian Willis said. “It left a bad taste in our mouths. Rosary played well; we didn’t. That’s sports.”

KHS finished 24-4, but still has much to prove after last season’s end. Even with the loss of six seniors from the 2013 squad, the Lady Knights sport two Division I signees in top-of-the-order hitter Lexi Roach (Youngstown State) and middle-order presence Lanie Callaghan, both All-State.

More help is always available for the squad that has lost just 11 games in the last two seasons on the way to back-to-back Northern Illinois Big XII titles.

Seniors include infielders Roach, Allie Miller and Hayley Contorno, and outfielders Callaghan and Caroline Heimerdinger. Juniors are Burlington Central transfer Angie Morrow in the pitchers’ circle, All-State slugger Paige Kuefler at catcher, infielder/pitcher Shannon Herra and pitcher/infielder Anissa Becker. Sophomores include infielder Meg Cohrs, back after an exposure to varsity play a year ago, and catcher Mary Clausen. Two freshmen join the ranks in outfielders Morgan Weber and Rachel Goress.

Becker, off of a commitment to Wisconsin, could serve as the steady presence in the pitchers’ circle.

“If you believe all the hoopla, she’s going to get the ball, but we have to see them pitch live,” Willis said. “Anissa Becker was great last year when Ellissa Eckert wasn’t throwing. We can’t throw Angie every game. We have some good competition with three pitchers.”

Kuefler provides the backstop help, with Contorno supplying the glove at first. Miller mans second base, and shortstop is up for grabs in a position battle. Cohrs gets a chance to take the mantle at third base after driving in a handful of runs a year ago.

“She had a lot more good games than bad games last year. She was a freshman last year, and hopefully she’ll stay away from the sophomore slump,” Willis said.

Manning everyday outfield looks to be Roach, Callaghan and Heimerdinger supplying upper-class experience.

The Lady Knights are looking forward to warmer weather and a spring break trip to Clarksville, Tenn.

“We’ll be playing in the gold division against some upper-echelon competition, and I have confidence in the girls,” Willis said. “We have six before we go to Tennessee, and I don’t expect to play any of them.”

With the tumultuous elements having put a wrinkle in the season opening, and a potentially tough trip in Tennessee ahead, the 2014 beginning could prove interesting.

“I don’t anticipate a big dropoff,” Willis said. “I don’t believe our older girls will lose that edge, even if the younger girls lose that confidence. They’re not going to settle.”

The Northern Illinois Big XII setting is ripe for the taking once again if the KHS lineup plays to its capabilities.

“Our record speaks for itself. The last couple of years, we were picked by coaches and the media to finish in the middle of the pack. That goes back to our pitching, I don’t think we got credit for the staff that we had and what the coaching staff does with these girls. The other teams want to take that conference championship away, and we’re going to give our best effort,” Willis said.

The season was scheduled to begin on Tuesday at home against Marengo, weather permitting. Conference action begins on Tuesday, April 15, in Ogle County against Rochelle.

Kaneland softball will be brandishing cans during the season for its “Change for Cancer” promotion for donation to Delnor’s Cancer Center, while partnering with Rochelle for its traditional cancer awareness game on May 8.

Softball returns to regular action

Following weather delays and road trip, KHS finds consistency
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was good to finally take to the softball diamond on Illinois soil. The experience on Thursday was made even better with a handy win. With Ellissa Eckert’s effort on the mound and key hitting in scoring position, the Lady Knights beat the host Rochelle roster by a 10-4 final on Thursday.

In Rochelle, things escalated quickly for the Kaneland bats, as two of the first three hitters reached on errors. With two runners in scoring position, Lanie Callaghan knocked a single for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Sarah Grams hit a single for two more runs and a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the third and with a 3-1 lead, Haley Contorno was hit by a pitch and came home on an RBI triple from Grams. Eckert then helped her own cause with a squeeze play that ended in a run scored and a 5-1 edge.

In the top of the fifth and with Rochelle closing to within 5-2, Callaghan tripled and Meg Cohrs walked. After a stolen base put runners in scoring position, Grams’ single resulted in her fourth RBI of the day. After a grounder to third by Eckert, the lead increased to 7-1 in the fifth.

A steadfast hitter, Grams was just glad to contribute to the offensive effort on the day.

“I was just happy I put the ball in play and on the ground so my runners could actually score,” Grams said. “That was my main concern, just putting it in play so I could get runners in.”

Paige Kuefler’s RBI double and an RBI single by Cohrs gave Kaneland a 10-2 lead in the sixth to cinch matters.

KHS coach Brian Willis said that any quality at-bat helps the squad after a start-and-stop beginning to 2013.

“Certainly Sarah was seeing the ball well,” Willis said. “I thought we struggled a little bit with our timing today. We did have a few good quality at-bats and that helped us at the right time.”

Against former conference rival Batavia, Kaneland scored 11 runs in the first inning, three more in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth. Eckert improved to 4-0 on the season.

West Aurora failed to hit Lady Knight sophomore Anissa Becker on Monday, and fell in the 1-0 squeaker.

Against Yorkville on Tuesday, the Lady Knights held a 3-1 lead until the top of the seventh, when Yorkville put up three runs to take the lead and steal the victory. KHS suffered from seven errors in the game.

Eckert took the loss on the mound, spreading eight hits over seven innings of work, and surrendering just two unearned runs. Allyson O’Herron led the team from the plate, hitting 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Kaneland now stands at 7-2 overall, 1-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII East Division play.

Future action for KHS has the Lady Knights traveling to Morris for a conference tilt on Thursday, April 11, at 4:30 p.m.

Bowling campaign ends in Schaumburg

Photo: Angela Charhut

Lady Knights collect another dual win in final head-to-head
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—While the pins stopped falling after Saturday’s IHSA Sectional hosted by Schaumburg High School, Kaneland’s senior-laden lineup was able to see hard work pay off on Jan. 30 in the final dual opportunity of the year.

At Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the Lady Knights took it to visiting Lisle by a final of 2,604-2,425.

Ellissa Eckert bowled a team-high series of 509, followed by Morgan Wojciechowski’s 444.

Eckert’s 178 was good for team-high game, followed by a 176 by Wojciechowski.

Kaneland’s 2012-13 dual mark ended at 3-6.

At Schaumburg, Lake Park’s 5,481 pin count was tops, along with fellow advancing team Schaumburg’s 5,478.

Kaneland finished in 13th out of 17 squads with a mark of 4,126, 90 behind Streamwood.

Kaneland says goodbye to seniors Angela Charhut, Ellissa Eckert, Anne Salerno, Amanda Strayve and Morgan Wojciechowski.

Lady Knights drop pair of matches

KANELAND—The KHS bowling team dropped a pair of matches this week, both by narrow margins.

Kaneland hosted fellow Northern Illinois Big XII outfit Ottawa in DeKalb, and after Tuesday’s loss at Rochelle on Tuesday, fell to 1-7 on the dual campaign tour.

Against Ottawa, Kaneland suffered through a slim 2,803-2,757 setback on the lanes.

Ottawa’s best individual series was a 603 total. Kaneland was lifted by Angela Charhut at 508. Amanda Strayve added a 487.

Teammate Morgan Wojciechowski added a 484 series of her own.

Charhut had the team-high game effort of 224, while Wojciechowski supplied a 172 for second-best.

In JV action, Ottawa bested KHS by a 2,437-2,102 score. Dominique Lee had a team-best 393 series.

Kaneland came out with a game-one victory at Rochelle on Tuesday, 938-894, before dropping the next two games and the match overall, 2,715-2,688.

Ellissa Eckert notched the Kaneland high game with a 168 in game two. Wojciechowski put up the team’s high series with a 482.

Kaneland’s JV squad posted a victory at Rochelle, 2,059-1,859. The team swept all three games, led by Karizza Sotelo’s high game of 172 and Dominique Lee’s high series of 419.

On Thursday,. Jan. 17, the Lady Knights face host Illinois Math and Science Academy, with a 4:15 p.m. start.

Bowling sees promising signs at Lisle Invite

Photo: Christie Crews is trying to improve on her standout performance last year. Here she throws against LaSalle Peru High School on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Sometimes a weekend invite is all you need to see what can happen.

On Saturday, Kaneland bowling went to the Lisle Invite and came away with a second-place trophy in the “B” bracket.

Kaneland knocked down 1,308 pins in the morning session and 2,060 pins in the afternoon session for a total of 3,368.

The first matchups were traditional five-on-five formats, with the field divided into A and B brackets in the afternoon.

KHS was ninth out of 16 teams, and was placed in the “B” bracket.

Kaneland came away with wins over Lisle and then Willowbrook before losing to Rock Island in the final match of the day.

“It’s a game we should have won, but tiredness showed, and we just didn’t get the scores we needed,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “Still, we got a nice trophy for taking second place. It was good to bowl against several teams on the same day. As is often the case with us, we just seemed to tire out and lose the competitive spirit late in the day. We’ll have to work on that prior to our next tournament in January. All in all, I’m pleased with our performance, and I think the girls are, too.”

Kaneland played hosts to LaSalle-Peru Tuesday and fell in all three games by a total of 2,908-2,620.

Christie Crews led the Lady Knights with a pair of 181-high games and a 508 series. Ellissa Eckert followed with a 175 high game and 467 series.

Bowling picks up on Jan. 3, 2013, hosting Sycamore High School at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

Softball defense stingy, bats not

KANELAND—A team can only play the games in front of them on the softball diamond, and the playoffs will have to wait.

For now, however, Kaneland is continuing to roll convincingly.

May 16 saw a 10-0, six-inning triumph over visiting Oswego East High School, and Saturday morning saw an 8-0 win over host Rosary.

Kaneland sits at 29-6 with the conference title already wrapped up last week.

KHS scored two in the first, two more in the third before walking off with six in the sixth.

Lanie Callaghan and McKinzie Mangers each went 3-for-4, and Delani Vest solved Wolves hitters with just four hits allowed and eight strikeouts.

Against Rosary, Kaneland’s 2-0 lead grew to four in the fifth inning, and four more runs in the sixth iced it.

Vest earned the win with five innings of work and seven K’s, and Ellissa Eckert came in for the final two innings of work.

Callaghan went 2-for-4 with a homer and three driven in, and Hayley Contorno helped the cause against her former squad with a 2-for-3 morning.

Kaneland was set to place its one-seed against (5) Rosary, Monday winners over IMSA on Wednesday, with one of those three schools meeting Yorkville or Sandwich in the IMSA Regional championship on Saturday, May 26, at 11 a.m.

Softball, with 24 wins, continues season steamroll

Photo: Kaneland catcher McKinzie Mangers gets ready to throw to third base in the seventh inning of their 10-1 home win against Sycamore on Thursday. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Like bills received in the mail, Kaneland softball comes at you whether you like it or not.

Sometimes its a late rally, other times a convincing route, but the Lady Knights softball roster is leaving an imprint on whomever it goes up against.

After a 10-1 rout of the visiting Lady Spartans on Thursday, and a 7-4 comeback win over visiting DeKalb on May 2, the Lady Knights are 24-5, nearly doubling last year’s win total, and caps it with an 8-0 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play. Kaneland holds a three-game edge over DeKalb for the conference crown.

Eight runs in the final three innings of play buoyed Kaneland against Sycamore, with Sarah Grams going 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI in the win. Righty Alexis Villarreal earned the win in five innings, allowing just a run on five hits to go with seven strikeouts. Ellissa Eckert pitched two perfect innings to secure the win.

The win over DeKalb took on a more dramatic and compelling nature, after DeKalb smashed two early homers to take a 4-3 lead after three innings. Down to its next-to-last chance, Kaneland went nuts in a four-run sixth.

KHS coach Brian Willis was happy with the end result, particularly after a rough start.

“It would have been disappointing, no question about it, especially with all the opportunities we would have left out there,” Willis said. “We had some baserunning and defensive gaffes early, but this team is resilient. They don’t quit.”

With the bases juiced and one out, Delani Vest’s grounder to shortstop was thrown away, allowing two runs to score. Allyson O’Herron and Paige Kuefler followed with RBI singles to put the game away.

Kuefler continues to plug away in the middle of the order, carrying an offensive load at times as an underclassman.

“I feel I have improved, but I’ve been in some slumps,” Kuefler said. “I try my best to work out of the slumps. On a game like today it was hard for me to wait to get up to the plate because I was so into it and I wanted to come back.”

Kaneland prepared to host Yorkville on Thursday, May 10, as the Northern Illinois Big XII slate soldiers on.

KHS softball reaches 20-win plateau

Photo: Paige Kuefler gets the runner out trying to steal third base in the fourth inning of Kaneland’s 15-1 home victory over Dixon on Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—Lady Knights softball continues to hit, which may give groans to opponents that see the Kaneland lineup on its upcoming schedule.

In a twinbill with Northern Illinois Big XII West division school Dixon in Maple Park on Saturday, Kaneland brought the aluminum with a 15-1 win in game one and an 11-2 win in game two.

That accompanied a 9-3 win in Streator, Ill., against the Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon.

The Lady Knights are now 20-5 (5-0 NIB-12, and have now emerged victorious in 19 of their last 21 contests—a sharp contrast from the previous immediate stretch in which the KHS crew lost 21 of 28 games.

The Lady Knights were helped by Ellissa Eckert’s five-inning, complete game effort, in which she allowed just an earned run on four hits.

On the hitting side of the spectrum, Paige Kuefler (2-for-2, two BB, two RBI) supplied the hitting charge.

Game two had the Lady Knights put up an eight-spot in the second, two in the third and one in the fifth for all the offense needed.

The winning pitcher line took the form of Alexis Villarreal’s complete-game four hitter with 10 strikeouts to boot.

Vest took care of business on the mound at Streator, with a three-run, three-hit effort in the circle.

Catcher McKinzie Mangers’ 2-for-2 day with two walks helped the winning effort, while Allyson O’Herron went 2-for-3 with and RBI and a run scored.

KHS softball (14-4) swinging a hot bat

KANELAND—After KHS coach Brian Willis wished for the hitting to catch up to the above-average pitching and defense, the Lady Knights softball contingent spent this past week granting that wish in earnest.

With an April 4 win over Hoffman Estates, a successful road jaunt to DeKalb on Thursday, a convincing victory at West Aurora on Monday and a slim win in Sycamore on Tuesday, Kaneland now sits at 14-4 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII), having won 13 of its last 14 contests.

Hosting the Mid-Suburban League’s Lady Hawks, Kaneland used four runs in the first, three in the third and five in the fourth for a 12-0, five-inning win.

Ellissa Eckert went the distance and scattered just two hits. Sarah Kitz homered, while Allyson O’Herron went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

In DeKalb, Kaneland soared behind the strength of a four-run first and a three-run third for a 9-3 win. Delani Vest’s mound victory included giving up three runs on five hits, but also included a productive afternoon at the plate with an RBI double.

Kaneland enjoyed a combined pitching effort from Alexis Villarreal and Eckert in a 10-3 win against W. Aurora, plus a 3-for-3 day from O’Herron and a 4-for-4 day from Paige Kuefler (4-for-4, six RBI).

In a slim 2-0 win in Spartan-land on Tuesday, Kaneland’s single-run effort in the second and fifth was enough, with Lanie Callaghan scoring a run and Vest striking out eight in the win.

The Lady Knights take on the host Rochelle Lady Hubs on Thursday, April 12, and host Maine West on Saturday, April 14.

KHS softball on tear after Tenn. trip

Photo: Shortstop Allyson O’Herron catches up to the runner trying to score and saves a run in the fourth inning of Kaneland’s 1-0 home win over Sandwich on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna

Stellar pitching keys additional wins over Sandwich, Morris
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If you thought the method for getting a softball season out of an early funk was going to the state of Tennessee, then you’re stealing the Lady Knights softball team’s way of doing things.

With a number of handy victories that culminated in a 6-1 trip to the Volunteer State, coupled with a slim and tense victory over the visiting Sandwich Indians on Monday afternoon and a convincing decision over invading Morris on Tuesday, the Lady Knights find themselves at 10-4 (1-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) in 2012.

The fortunate return to the win column as of late reverses a trend that saw the varsity crew on the wrong end 21 of 28 times following last season’s early 8-1 start.

In a 14-0, six-inning win on March 28 on the grounds of Macon County High School, Kaneland saw a solid pitching day from Delani Vest, Alexis Villarreal and Ellissa Eckert. Lexi Roach (three runs), Paige Kuefler (five RBI) and Allie Miller (three runs) all went 3-for-5.

In the Cookeville, Tenn. tournament, Kaneland walloped Clay County in a 16-0 shortened affair. Vest and Villarreal surrendered just two hits total, while Roach had a 2-for-3 day at the plate with three runs scored. Vest also went 2-for-3 with three runs scored to help herself at the plate.

Lewis County then got the best of the Lady Knights in a 9-4 outing, helped by five runs in the first and second innings.

In another tournament battle, Kaneland defeated Fayatte with two runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 4-3 win. Vest earned the win with seven K’s and a two-for-three day at the plate.

Next, the Lady Knights used four runs in the second and six runs in the third to propel themselves to a 12-1 win. With Vest getting the win in the circle, Kuefler helped KHS with two home runs and six driven in. Miller went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI.

The two final games on Saturday both went Kaneland’s way against Franklin County of Tenn., a 10-0 shutout and a 12-2 win over Franklin Co. of Ky. Vest, besides earning the win in both games, also went 6-for-6 at the plate, while Kuefler drove in four RBI.

In the clutch, 1-0 win over Sandwich, the hits were hard to come by for both teams, but the defense and pitching came through.

In the top of the third, Sandwich was caught between third and home and foiled by Kuefler and Allyson O’Herron on the way to the plate. Meanwhile, Villarreal had a stellar day in the pitcher’s circle, fanning 13, including the final batter on a 3-2 pitch with the go-ahead run at first in the top of the seventh.

“Once people starting getting on base, I just had to buckle down,” Villarreal said. “I hoped the defense could pick it up a little bit and I could get my strikeout.”

Roach’s groundball and throw was mishandled in the infield, allowing Kuefler to come home with the lone run from third.

Coach Brian Willis was happy with the effort in the field on a day where the hits came at a premium.

“We’re going to have days like this, where the pitching and defense needs to pick you up. Alexis pitched well, and she kept us in the game the entire time,” Willis said.

In the 5-0 handling of the Lady Redskins, Kaneland scored two in the first, two in the third and one in the fifth.

Vest allowed just three hits and fanned seven. Lanie Callaghan made her way from the injury list with a 3-for-3 day with two doubles.

Ahead for the softball squad is a matchup in DeKalb on Thursday, April 5, followed by a battle at West Aurora High School on Monday, April 9, and a trip to Sycamore to face the squad that eliminated the Knights last year from playoff competition on Tuesday, April 10.

Bowling season comes to an end at DeKalb

by Mike Slodki
DEKALB—Postseason action is ripe to provide unlikely performances leading to a sectional berth.

Unfortunately for the roster of Kaneland High School bowlers, that good fortune went to select other squads.

KHS competed gamely in a 19-team logjam out at its home turf of Mardi Gras Lanes off of Route 23 in DeKalb.

With 4,321 pins dethroned, Kaneland finished 13th overall, with no individuals having a high enough total to advance.

Kaneland outbowled Barrington High School by 58 pins. Meanwhile, DeKalb took the sectional title with 5,830 pins, followed by Marengo with 5,799—both punching their tickets to the State final in Rockford, Ill. Jacobs just missed a berth by 93 pins. Northern Illinois Big XII counterpart Sycamore took eighth with 4,887.

The top three individuals were DeKalb’s Savanna Myers with 1,288 pins, followed by St. Charles East’s Katherine Sulaitis’ 1,281 and Becca Czlapinski of Marengo with 1,267.

Kaneland’s totals were highlighted by Christie Crews’ 896 day total, with series of 413 and 483, as well as Angela Charhut with an 893 day total, thanks to series of 455 and 438.

The top game of the sectional for Kaneland was Crews’ 183 in the p.m. session.

The final regular season clash took place in the form of a matchup on Feb. 1 in Lisle against the host Lady Lions.

The Lady Knights’ 2,400 was short of Lisle’s 2,697.

Kaneland finished with a dual mark of 2-15 for the 2011-12 season.

For KHS, top series were bowled by Seleana Isaacs with a 479 total, followed by a 410 from Ellissa Eckert. Top games were bowled by Isaacs at 170 and Eckert at 157.

With the conclusion of the season, Kaneland bowling says goodbye to seniors Isaacs, and JV members Alex Hornback and Madi Bluml, part of an JV squad that finished 11-7.

Lady Knights rule lanes against Geneva

KANELAND—Geneva bowling is a relatively new program, but one thing is already familiar to the Lady Vikings.

Their fate when it comes to battling KHS.

Kaneland swept the season series, punctuated by the win on Monday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

With a 2,439-2,324 win over Geneva, it took the sting out of earlier losses in Sycamore on Thursday, and Huntley on Jan. 4.

Lady Knights bowling sits at 2-11 in dual competition for the season, thus far.

Defending the lanes on Monday featured a 457 series by Seleana Isaacs and a 424 series by teammate Ellissa Eckert. Top games were bowled by Isaacs with 181 and Anne Salerno with 159.

The JV team also came away with a win by the count of 1,875-1,594.

Kaneland lost to its Spartan counterpart in a road meeting by a final of 3,092-2,447. Top series went to Isaacs at 439 and Christie Crews at 429. Top games were bowled by Crews at 172 and Isaacs at 166.

In JV action, the Lady Knights beat Sycamore, 2,401-2,123.

Last week against visiting Huntley, the Lady Knights fell 2,668-2,466, despite the best efforts of Crews with a 481 series and Salerno with a 458 series.

Ottawa provides the next challenge in the form of a Northern Illinois crossover battle in LaSalle County on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Bowling welcomes influx of new blood

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—While the Lady Knights will miss record book-rewriter Holly Thomas, and the team finished with a dual mark of 3-12, there are reasons to be optimistic.

KHS took its last two regular season clashes of the year, while coach Jim McKnight is excited about the pieces fitting together in the lineup puzzle.

“It looks like our varsity is going to start out with quite a battle for the six positions. At this point, the contenders are: senior co-captains Seleana Isaacs and Madi Bluml, returning senior Kayley Larsen, returning juniors Amanda Strayve and Morgan Wojciechowski, and newcomers like junior Ellissa Eckert, sophomore Christie Crews, and freshman Mandy Felella,” McKnight said.

McKnight knows that it’ll take a team effort to supplant the talented Thomas.

“Fortunately, we do have much of last year’s team back, and we also have some exciting new players to watch. We have lots of girls who can compete.” McKnight said.

The Lady Knights will have to deal with its usual brand of worthy competition.

“Last year, when our varsity was able to win, it was because we had the combined high scores of Holly, Isaacs, Wojciechowski, and others,” McKnight said.

Lady Knights stage comeback

Frosh 3B hits game-winning single
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Maybe this is a truly new beginning for Kaneland softball.

Decked out in black-on-black uniforms and facing the team that ousted them in the 2009 regionals, the Kaneland Lady Knights and first-year coach Brian Willis used a single by freshman Taylor Velasquez to drive home two runs in the sixth inning. The lead held for a dramatic 3-2 win on opening day.

“I don’t even know what to say at this point,” Willis said. “I’m so proud of the girls the way they came back. They easily could have laid down after the big bomb we gave up (two-run HR in third). They kept fighting and scratching, and I think that’s what we’re going to be about.”

Sophomore Delani Vest fanned seven batters for the win.

In the top of the third, Lady Rocket Emily Bell hit a two-run shot to left field for a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, leftfielder Sam Hansen hit a single for the first hit of the afternoon for KHS. Vest reached on an error, and shortstop Allyson O’Herron drove her home with a hit-and-run single.

In the bottom of the sixth, second baseman Brittany Davis walked and went to third after McKinzie Mangers’ bunt was mishandled.

With two runners on, pinch runner Alexis Villarreal stole second. 3B Velasquez hit a single to right-center allowing Davis to come home and Villarreal to slide under the tag.

“That at-bat was a little nerve-wracking at first,” Velasquez said. “But I knew the pitcher was getting a little tired and hit it to right field, and the girls were so supportive.”

In lower-level action, the sophomores lost in the bottom of the eight against BC, 8-7, despite two homers by Katy Dudzinski and 10 K’s on the mound from her.

The freshmen won over BC 18-12 thanks to 14 K’s from Ellissa Eckert and a 3-for-5 day for Kara Leyden.

The varsity roster plays visiting Oswego in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 3.

Photo: LF Sam Hansen maneuvers in the batters box during the Lady Knights’ dramatic 3-2 win over visiting Burlington Central. Hansen walked and eventually scored the first Lady Knight run in the third inning. Photo by Mike Slodki