ROSEMONT – Maria Prete may be a high school senior, but she has the wisdom of someone much older.
Prete and her Westmont softball teammates suffered a lopsided 18-0, five-inning loss against Beecher in a Class 2A supersectional game at Bandits Stadium on Monday, but they're not going to let that loss define their season.
"We're coming home with a regional title and a sectional title," Prete said of the Sentinels' playoff run. "No one ever expected this from us. We all jelled together really well. We knew each other's strengths and we played to those strengths."
The Bobcats grabbed a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and scored a pair of unearned runs in the second inning. Nine unearned runs in the third inning blew the game open.
Lindsay Brockoff, Katie Good and Vanessa Possodoni each had a single for the Sentinels in the game. Westmont (22-11) was charged with four errors in the game.
"I told them one game does not define our season," Westmont head coach Jason Bolden said. "We battled all year."
"We all worked really hard all year round," Prete said. "We had a couple girls play travel ball, and even the girls who didn't play travel all worked really hard."
The game signaled the end of the high school careers of Prete, Brockoff, Good, Possodoni and fellow seniors Caitlynn Bourke, Shannon Flynn and Victoria Wallin.
It will be difficult to replace those seniors next season, but starting pitcher Kristen Skala, catcher Skyler Poel and starters Brittany Eiermann (sophomore this season), Lauren Verdera (sophomore) and Kiera Aldridge (freshman) are all slated to return. This year's playoff run, which was Westmont's deepest since a 2006 state finals appearance, will be a nice foundation to build upon.
"Westmont's back," Bolden said. "We lose some seniors – seven seniors and six starters – but the young kids have a lot of good experience for us."
As Prete leaves Westmont softball, she believes the program is in better shape now than when she came entered it.
"It's a tough loss but it was a great season," Prete said. "We helped the program build. We're coming home with two [postseason] plaques, which not a lot of teams get to do."
Class 2A supersectional
Beecher 18, Westmont 0
• Vanessa Possodoni: 1-for-1
• Lindsay Brockoff: 1-for-2
• Katie Good: 1-for-2
• Brittany Eiermann: 0-for-1, BB