DOWNERS GROVE — Caroline Hedgcock was nervous before Friday’s game against Morton and that was before she knew how early she’d come into the game.
The Downers Grove South freshman pitcher was thrown into the fire of the big West Suburban Gold clash between the two Mustangs. Starting pitcher Kelly Schmitt left in the first inning with an injury after Morton had already scored a run, but Hedgcock shut the door in South’s 4-1 win.
“I was sitting in my eighth period class freaking out because I was so nervous,” Hedgcock said. “I’m always ready to play, but I was not expecting (to come in early). I’ve never really had to throw without warming up at all so I was really, really nervous.”
The lefty allowed just three hits and a walk in 6.1 innings.
“Everyone was saying maybe I should start a game without warming up at all,” Hedgcock said with a laugh.
South (10-5, 4-0) tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on an infield single by Caitlyn Daly. Daly added a triple in the third as part of a three-run inning that was aided by three Morton errors.
Hedgcock shut the door to help South win the battle of Gold undefeated teams.
“She came in a little earlier than she probably expected to in the first inning there, but she did a great job,” said DGS coach Ron Havelka. “She came in and shut the door.”
Gabby King and freshman Karina Madera had two hits each for Morton (9-3, 2-1). Pitcher Alyssa Galasso pitched a complete game and didn’t allow any earned runs.
“I think she threw us off a little bit being lefty, but there’s no excuses,” said Morton coach Tom Eukovich. “We just didn’t play well defensively.”