OAK LAWN – That’s the kind of streak Hinsdale South’s softball team has been looking for all season.
The Hornets went 1-7 in the final eight games of the regular season but caught fire at the right time and won two straight in the playoffs, the latter a 2-1 win over Mother McAuley in the championship game of the Lyons Township regional Saturday.
“It was kind of a roller coaster this season, but I kept telling them to believe in themselves, and we beat two top teams to get a regional,” South coach Kelly Van Hout said.
The Hornets couldn’t keep the roll going Wednesday as they fell to Sandburg 9-1 in a sectional semifinal at Richards.
South (13-22) went up 1-0, but the Eagles came back to take a 4-1 lead. Andra Morris got a hold of a pitch with two runners on base, but the ball sliced just foul before clearing the fence, and Sandburg tacked on more runs to secure the victory.
The loss signaled the end of the road for seniors Brittany Basek, Jessica Buckridge, Lauren Cairo, Alyssa Cameli and Emily Mihalkanin, but taking home the first regional title since 2009 was a good way to go out.
“I don’t think we were a 13-22 team,” Van Hout said. “With our record, they could have thrown in the towel, but they didn’t. They were a great group of kids, and at the end of the day there are only 32 teams left after the regionals, and we were one of them.”
The Red Devils carried the momentum of a doubleheader sweep over Addison Trail at the end of the regular season into the playoffs and topped Reavis, 9-4, in a regional semifinal May 23 before falling to defending state champ Marist, 10-1, in the regional title game Saturday.
Alexa Heydenberk doubled home Emily Park and Faith Koffron as part of Central’s four-run first inning, and Emma Day plated Heydenberk and Koffron with a double in the fourth as the Red Devils (10-18) took a 9-0 lead.
Mary Somerfield scored Day in the top of the fourth inning in the Marist game to make it a 5-1 contest, but the Red Hawks scored five times in the fifth and sixth innings to break the game open.