LOCKPORT – With the way that Lockport junior starting pitcher Gianna Bauer was throwing against Lincoln-Way East in Monday’s SouthWest Prairie Conference Blue showdown between two of Illinois’ top softball teams, she didn’t worry much about run support.
Thanks to a nightmarish third inning for East in which it made five errors and helped Lockport to five runs, and a 6-1 lead, the Porters had all the offense they would need, as they went on to capture a 6-2 victory at the Lockport Athletic Field.
The Porters (21-5, 6-0) managed only one hit in that five-run five-error third inning against Griffins’ starter Danielle Drogemuller, but the mistakes proved costly. The Griffins (15-4, 3-2) got a run in the first against Bauer, who threw a complete game and allowed just two hits, while striking out three. Lockport tied it at 1 in the second before the big third inning.
With the IHSA announcing the seeds for the Class 4A Thornwood Sectional on Monday, the Porters’ impressive win over the perennially strong Griffins figures to make them the co-favorites in the 19-team sectional, along with Lincoln-Way Central.
Coach Elizabeth Hyland’s Griffins hope to be ranked among the top four teams, along with Providence Catholic, which owns a 19-game winning streak.
“We came out and were focused, and obviously the first inning didn’t go as planned,” Porters assistant coach Angela Cushman said. “But we got out of it, and it was 1-0, and we knew there was a lot of game left, and we had some at-bats and thought we had energy throughout the game that was excellent, and we stayed focused. Defensively, we made most of the plays we needed to make, while Bauer was able to mix it up on the mound, and we were aggressive on the bases and took advantage any time that there was a mistake.”
Kara Riordan was the only East player who had multiple hits, going
2 for 3 with an RBI. But perhaps her best contribution in the game was gathering a flip throw at third base from her twin sister, shortstop Kelli Riordan, to end one of the few East threats.
“The greatest quality of this team is that we’re all really good friends, and we also bond together, and we play as one team, and no one is for themselves,” Kelli Riordan said.
The Porters got runs from Alyssa Drogemuller, Julia Foster (RBI), Payton Grcevic, Lauren Johnson, Brooke Ligacki (RBI) and Kelli Riordan (RBI), while Kara Riordan also drove in a run.
“Our defense helped to settle me down after the first inning,” Bauer said. “We saw an opening, and we definitely made it work. With our strong bond as a team, I think that we can definitely get there.”