JOLIET – Two of the area’s best softball teams met Saturday morning as Joliet Catholic Academy hosted Lockport; and with the wind howling in, you just knew that a low-scoring game was in the offing.
The Angels manufactured single runs in the third and fifth innings, then withstood a Porters’ rally in the seventh to claim a 2-1 win.
“We took advantage of walks in one inning and errors in another and came up with the big hit when we needed,” JCA coach Tina Kinsella said. “We have talked all season about playing a clean game defensively and today we did that, even under such windy, difficult conditions, and I’m certainly proud of this team.”
The Angels (12-3) received a leadoff walk to Hannah Antzoulatos to open the third inning and Jocelyn Reyes sacrificed her to second. With two outs and Antzoulatos on third, Erin Garman came through with an RBI single to right just over the outstretched arms of Porters’ third baseman Kara Riordan.
“This is a team sport and I knew I had to get that run in for the team,” Garman said. “It’s always such a competitive game when we play Lockport, and today we came out on top. It’s special because Noelle Chovanec plays for us and her mom [Marissa Chovanec] is Lockport’s coach. So it’s the mother/daughter game and we have a lot of fun with it.”
JCA’s Andrea Broniewicz was cruising along in the circle for the Angels until the fifth inning, when she got hit by a line shot in the hand to load the bases with two outs. Broniewicz left the game, but would be heard from again, as Britney Lewinski got the final out of the inning and finished the game.
“I tried to put my glove up right away, but the ball hit my hand and my three fingers got hit,” Broniewicz said. “It was windy, but I was surprised it really didn’t affect my spin pitches at all. I also have to credit the defense for making some great plays in the wind. They always seem to have my back.”
In the fifth, Antzoulatos reached on an error, moved to third on another error, and with one out, Broniewicz got the Angels’ second run home with an RBI single.
“I was nervous coming to the plate, but I swung the bat before going to the plate and the hand felt pretty good and I just wanted to make contact,” Broniewicz said.
The Porters (16-4) got an RBI ground out in the seventh from Alyssa Drogemuller with two on, but couldn’t get the second baserunner home.
“Erin came through with that big hit and that was key for us today because we wanted to jump on them as soon as we could and take the wind out of their sails early,” Kinsella said. “Andrea [Broniewicz] pitched a great game and she has been pitching well for us. We have tough players, and we really loaded up our schedule this year and we are sending this team to the wolves with the schedule and the plan is for it to pay off come tournament time.
“Today was a top-to-bottom program win for us as this is only the second year we have played Lockport after about a 12-year absence. Our program can now compete with the big schools, so we might as well play them because it will only make us better.”
The Porters had runners on base in every inning except one, but could not take advantage until the seventh.
“Another great low-scoring game today,” Lockport coach Marissa Chovanec said. “With such windy conditions today, we knew we had to hit the ball down and when you got it up in the air it didn’t go anywhere. Give JCA credit because they made some great fielding plays and really took advantage offensively when they had the opportunity.
“We stranded too many runners today and in our losses that has been the problem. I’ve seen different numbers and statistics that show that leadoff walks score so many more time than a leadoff hit and that was the case today.”