St. Francis’ lineup posted before Monday’s game against Aurora Central.
St. Francis coach Ralph Remus came out to the pitcher’s circle to reassure his players in the midst of a two-run, game-tying rally by Aurora Central Catholic in the sixth inning of Monday’s Suburban Christian Conference game.
“I just told the girls we were still in good shape if we could hold them to three runs,” said Remus. “I knew we were going to score in the seventh. We had the top of the order up and after going through the order three times, I was pretty sure we were going to put the bat on the ball.”
Remus was right. Spartans pitcher Maggie Remus stranded the go-ahead run at third base in the sixth, and catcher Blaine Carragher hit an RBI triple in the seventh as St. Francis held on to beat host Aurora Central 4-3.
“I felt comfortable with her in that spot,” said Remus of Carragher. “She’s the most competitive kid in the world, so I knew she was going to do everything she could to drive the ball.”
Aurora Central (5-7, 2-3) struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mary Kate Gosselin drove in Jenny Alderman with a triple to deep center field.
St. Francis (12-2, 4-1) quickly responded, scoring two runs in the second inning on an RBI double by Jenna Dama and an RBI triple by Aly Germanos.
The Spartans added an insurance run in the fourth inning when Dama picked her second RBI of the game on an infield single that drove in Ali Dittrich.
The Chargers rallied to tie the game at 3-3 with two runs in the sixth inning. Amber Konen scored on a throwing error before Allie Lundquist tied the game by stealing home on the back-end of a double steal.
The Chargers had the possible go-ahead run at third base with two outs in the inning, but Maggie Remus struck out Aurora Central shortstop Gabi Alfaro to end the threat.
Germanos reached first base on infield error to lead off the seventh inning and Carragher followed with an RBI triple to give the Spartans a 4-3 lead.
“The whole game it felt like our bats were dead, but that last inning we definitely came alive,” said Carragher. “We just wanted to take away their momentum and get ourselves back up.”
Remus made quick work of Aurora Central in the seventh inning, retiring the Chargers in order to close out the Spartans’ victory.
Despite Monday’s loss, Aurora Central coach Jim Hallahan feels good about where his team is headed.
“I’m very optimistic of where we’re going to be at the end of the year,” said Hallahan. “We’re putting the pieces of the puzzle together but I’m very excited about where we’ll be in about three weeks.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.