Photo by Jeff Vorva
Marist coach Colleen Biebel gets doused with water after her team won the Class 4A Sandburg Supersectional with a 4-1 victory over West Aurora on Monday.
Marist freshman center fielder Brianna Brown dropped a routine fly ball in what thus far was the most important softball game of the year for the RedHawks.
It happened in the second inning of the Class 4A Sandburg Supersectional on Monday and it allowed West Aurora to take a 1-0 lead.
But the Tinley Park resident more than made up for it the rest of the way. She reached base on a high hopper in the third and a chopper in the fifth and scored both times. She also hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth and the RedHawks are still alive to try to win their third state championship in six years with a 4-1 victory.
Marist (25-7) takes on Lincoln-Way East (27-3) in the state semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Eastside Centre in East Peoria. Marist beat East, 7-3, April 11. The RedHawks also beat the Griffins, 1-0, to win the state championship in 2015.
Brown was happy she could make up for the rare error.
“I just lost my balance and was on my heels,” she said. “After something like that, you have to keep your head up.’’
Sophomore winning pitcher Angela Zedak drove in a run and sophomore shortstop Alexis Voss drove in a pair. Senior third baseman Alexis Rogers threw out a runner at home plate in the third inning to prevent West Aurora (32-7) from taking a 2-0 lead in the third.
Rogers was on the 2015 squad and is thrilled to be back.
“That was the most exciting thing in my four years at Marist,” she said. “This is awesome. We’ve played Lincoln-Way East this year and we will have to play great defense to beat them because they can hit the ball. We just have to play great softball.’’
To get to the supersectional, the RedHawks picked up some revenge on the team that shocked them out of the playoff in 2016.
Lyons Township, which knocked off the RedHawks, 5-1 in the Lyons Regional championship game, met up with the RedHawks on Saturday in the Hinsdale South Sectional championship and in perfect synergy, Marist came up with the 5-1 victory.
Voss drove in a pair of first-inning runs to get the offense started and then homered two innings later.
Zedak picked up her 18th win of the season threw a two-hitter and struck out five.
It was Marist’s fourth sectional title.
In the sectional semifinals on May 31, Lyons ended Richards’ season with a 3-0 victory. Seventh-seeded Richards had stunned second-seeded Sandburg in the Hinsdale Central Regional title game on May 27.