BURBANK – If Tuesday is any indication, Rylie Jay might want to make Queen of Peace her new home field.
Lemont’s sophomore shortstop had a career day at the plate during the Indians’ playoff opener, going 3-for-3 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the team’s 22-0 win over Noble Street Charter in a Class 3A regional semifinal in Burbank.
Jay now has 10 round-trippers on the season to go along with 50 RBIs and a .591 batting average.
“She has really come out and worked very hard,” said Lemont coach Chris Traina, “both in the offseason and during the season. She just wants to keep learning and getting better and better.”
With the victory, Lemont advances to the regional championship at 11 a.m. Saturday against either host Queen of Peace or Chicago Vocational.
“It was nice to get that one and now we can focus on Saturday,” Traina said. “We are just taking it one game at a time.”
Carly Jaworski started within the pitching circle and worked one inning before Lauren Young threw three innings in relief.
On May 16, the Indians clinched the outright South Suburban Blue conference title with a 1-0 victory over Oak Forest as Jaworski allowed just two hits in a complete-game effort.
Jay and Rachel Hall each had two hits for Lemont, which finished in a tie for first-place with Oak Forest last spring. This time around, the team posted a 17-2 league mark.
“Conference is definitely a goal that they had,” the coach said.
Lemont wrapped up the regular season with a 22-6 record after beating Belleville East 3-2 Saturday and losing 6-4 to Montini on Monday.
“The kids did a great job during the season,” Traina said, “and hopefully now, the team is focused on the next season which is the postseason. They keep wanting to get better. I know I keep saying that but that is what I’m seeing.”