ROSEMONT – No one thought this team would be here.
York softball has just two seniors on the roster and had to replace a Division I pitcher, Columbia’s Tessa Kroll. That spelled rebuilding year on paper.
Now the Dukes are headed to state.
York made big plays in every facet of the game to beat Sandburg 8-1 in the Rosemont supersectional at the Chicago Bandits’ Rosemont Stadium on Monday. Now the Dukes will play Minooka in a Class 4A state semifinal at East Peoria’s EastSide Centre at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
“This one came out of left field and it was just great,” said York coach Drew McGuire. “We’re going to enjoy this one for a couple hours.”
Sophomore pitcher Brooke Bandy pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts and allowed just the one run, which came in the first inning.
“It’s such a good feeling,” Bandy said. “To know that this is such a young team and we can do this maybe the next two years is great.”
Sophomore Isabella Jaeger got things started with a no doubter over the left field fence in the top of the first. The Eagles answered with one in the bottom half.
Freshman Abby Solem started a two-run fourth inning with a double and later drove in Angela Scalzitti with a single in the fifth. Solem finished 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The Eagles got the first two batters on base to start the sixth, but York (23-14) got out of trouble with a 4-6-3 double play.
Gracie Sullivan capped off York’s 10-hit day with a two out, bases loaded triple for the second game in a row.
“We started hitting and once one person starts hitting we all start hitting,” Jaeger said.
The Dukes have never before made a state semifinal and will claim their first ever state trophy.