Oswego’s Kristy Tracy faces Oswego East’s Alex Wagner on Thursday.
More than just a win was on the line Thursday when crosstown rivals Oswego and Oswego East squared off for the second time this season.
“It was just about pride. Pride over who owns Oswego softball,” said Panthers pitcher Stephanie Prentice.
Prentice had three hits, including a home run, as host Oswego overcame an early five-run deficit to defeat Oswego East 7-6 in a Southwest Prairie Conference matchup.
The Panthers completed a season sweep of the Wolves and earned the right to call themselves the queens of Oswego softball.
“That’s a big deal for the girls. I know they’re excited about it,” said Panthers coach John Carlson. “That will definitely be a high point of this year for sure.”
The Wolves got things going early, scoring five runs in the first inning. Brittany Warnecke, Molly Talaska and Alex Wagner each contributed run-scoring hits as East pulled out to a quick 5-0 lead.
But Prentice held down the Wolves from that point forward, allowing just one run and one hit in her final six innings of work.
The sophomore was also a big part of the Panthers’ comeback at the plate, collecting three hits – including a third-inning home run – and scoring three runs.
“I just wanted to come back and try to throw strikes again because I was a little all over in the first inning. I wanted to come back and fight for it,” said Prentice.
Oswego (9-13, 2-8) chipped away at the Wolves’ lead, scoring one run in the first and two each in the third, fifth and sixth.
Jessica Clark’s sixth inning single brought home Brooke Riess and gave the Panthers their first lead of the game, 7-6. Earlier in the inning, Riess hit a double to score Prentice and tie the game at 6-6.
Riess went 4-for-4 with three singles and a double, scored three runs and stole two bases.
Oswego East (8-14, 2-8) committed four errors and had two runners caught stealing. Wolves coach Patrick Molinari said the mistakes were just too costly.
“We didn’t make the right adjustments at the plate and made a lot of mistakes today that really came back to bite us in the butt,” said Molinari. “Our girls competed and did the best that they could. We’ve just got to learn how to hold on to a lead and finish a game.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.
Oswego gathers in left field after their victory over Oswego East.