Two of the hottest teams in the DVC facing on the softball diamond with Naperville Central visiting Neuqua Valley on a cloudy afternoon. Hannah Meeks on the mound for the Wildcats hoping to hand the Redhawks their first conference loss.
Meeks rolling early on, she strikes out the side in the first inning.
But the second inning is a different story. Riley Pavelka splits the gap in right center for a double.
Following a walk, pitcher Tela Meech singles through the left side and that brings in Julia Nicholson from third as Central leads 1-0.
After a wild pitch scores Pavelka, Sydney Hurst bunts and beats the throw to first. Courtesy runner Kendall Lenz comes in to score and the red and white take a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Kaitlyn Wagner hits a sharp ground ball the other way. It’s bobbled and then thrown away, allowing Kayla Shymkewich to come around to score as Wagner gets all the way to third. She would later score on a passed ball.
Bottom three, Central still leads 3-2. But Hannah Meeks decides to help her own cause by launching a screaming line drive over the fence in left center. A two run homer that scores Stephanie Hause as Neuqua Valley takes a 4-3 lead.
Top of the fourth and Meeks gets a little defensive help. Bethany Wilkins at 2nd base makes a nice over the shoulder grab to steal a hit.
Bottom of the 4th, Meeks up with two outs and a runner on third. She drops a single in to center field as Maia Clifford comes in to score. 5-3 Neuqua Valley.
Bottom of the 5th, Alexa Carozza heads to third, the throw is high and gets away. Carozza comes around to score. Nine errors in the game for Central as the Wildcats lead 7-3.
Redhawks looking to claw back and with two outs, Tela Meech hits a line drive to left with a ton of back spin, the ball hops over the head of Stephanie Hause and Riley Pavelka motors around from first base to score. Central down 7-4.
Neuqua still swinging the bats well in the sixth, catcher Sonja Kristianson singles into center field to score Hause. Neuqua leads 9-4 heading to the final frame.
Redhawks down to their final out, Katie Gutsell rips one into the gap. The throw to the plate is in time, but Kristianson can’t hold on to the ball. Central still alive after the Gutsell double.
But Hannah Meeks closes the game out with her 14th strikeout of the game. Neuqua Valley softball takes the well earned 9-5 victory over Naperville Central.
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