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Sports

Historic playoff win for Bolingbrook softball

Lotarski 1-hitter, Wood homer, 2 Esposito RBIs lift Raiders over Plainfield East

BOLINGBROOK - How's that for a piece of history?
 
When Bolingbrook's girls softball team topped Plainfield East 3-1 in a Class 3A regional semifinal game May 23 in Bolingbrook, it wasn't just another win.
 
No, the victory was believed the be the Raiders first ever in the postseason dating back to 1974 when the original Bolingbrook High School opened its doors. It was definitely Bolingbrook's first playoff win in Jean Ryan-Moak's 11 seasons as head coach.
 
"Win or lose this game, they did exactly what we asked them to do," Ryan-Moak said. "They went out, played hard, played with their heads in the game, didn't get emotional and stayed focused, and we won the game."
 
The Raiders improved to 15-12 with help from a freshman call-up and an exclamation point from a seasoned senior leader.
 
In the top of the fourth inning with East leading 1-0 after a run in the bottom of the first, Courtney Hankey walked and took third on Jen Jacobson's fielder's choice before Lotarski walked to load the bases (the higher-seeded Bengals played as the home team). Freshman Gianna Esposito, playing her second game for the varsity team after being called up from the sophomore squad, doubled to bring Hankey and Jacobson home and give the Raiders a 2-1 lead.
 
In the top of the sixth, senior leftfielder Nikki Wood's rocketed line drive into a stiff win cleared the center field fence for a leadoff home run and a 3-1 lead.
 
Lotarski then worked 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh innings to secure perhaps the biggest win in program history.

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