Highlights from the North Central College vs. University of Chicago softball game at Shanower Field.
Difficult conditions could stifle bats at the newly renovated Shanower Field. Jim Kulawiak has his young bunch of Cardinals soaring in the early season, already 14-2 and looking to take down the university of Chicago. Freshman Breanna Adams on the mound, entering with a 4-1 record.
Opening up with a scoreless game in the top of the second and Adams having already recorded two outs… but Maddy Mudrick beats out an infield single… and then takes second base on a wild pitch.
Skye Collins up next… and sends a rope that somehow finds the back of Adams’ mitt… third out, threat eliminated.
Bottom half of the frame and Samantha Gadomski trying to spark a Cardinal rally by slashing one right side for a single… she also advances to second on a pass ball with one away in the frame. But Maroon pitcher Bethany Regnerus gets a strike out and ground out to end the inning.
Top of the third now and Adams is continuing to deal… uses the change up to get Colleen Bennett out in front. Such a nasty pitch, it’s a drop third… but still gets the out.
And to finish the inning, how about a nifty play at second base by Gadomski, who uses the basket catch for the putout.
Moving to the bottom of the third and Adams at the dish with a runner aboard. The pitcher slices one to right… puts Rachel Belletini on third… so runners on the corner with 2 outs.
But, both pitchers moving in and out of danger… as Regnerus snags the chopper and gets the easy out at first. We’re scoreless through three innings.
Top of the fifth and the Maroons are thinking about a two out rally. Bennett pulls one left side and beats out the throw from Taylor Clugston… one aboard.
Next up, Samantha Lauro… and she takes an outside pitch and deposits it into left field.
After Lauro swipes second base, Katie O’Connell steps in and shoots a liner to right, clearing the bases and giving the Maroons a 2-0 lead after 4 and a half innings. O’Connell 2 for 2 in the game.
Shifting to the bottom of the sixth and the Cardinals getting shutout. Once again, it’s Adams providing the spark – sending a base hit to the opposite field. A one-out single.
Next up is .458 hitter Molly Cann… and she sends a shot left side – picked up by the shortstop, but everyone is safe… Cardinals have a rally brewing.
And sure enough, Gadomski coming up big with a single over the shortstop’s out-stretched glove to knock in Adams… 2-1, U of Chicago leads.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals inning comes to an end with a bouncer to second, and we go to the seventh with North Central trailing by a run.
Last chance now for North Central… and the senior, Clugston, sends a floater into left center to reach base with a leadoff single.
Next up is Emily Miller – who’s hitting .450 this season… and she sends an awkward chopper to the shortstop… and then beats out the throw to put the first two runners aboard.
But… the excitement ends there with the Cardinals ending the game by going strikeout, fielders choice, walk and then ground out… North Central lose 2-1, but bounce back to win game two 7-2.