SKOKIE – York softball came up short in its sectional final loss to Oak Park River Forest, but the Dukes almost literally went out with a bang.
The Huskies won 9-6 at Niles West on June 6, but the Dukes rallied for the final four runs of the game, both off home runs. Kyra Kroll hit a 3-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning and Sarah Milkowski singled to follow, but the comeback effort halted there.
"We can't hang our heads," Milkowski said. "We put up a couple runs at the end and that's just the mentality that we have, the heart we have. It's just been an amazing season. It ended short, but I think we're all just so happy that we at least went out on a high note that last inning."
Taylor Arends homered in the first inning to give the Huskies the early lead, but York bounced back with two in the bottom half. Milkowski hit a sacrifice fly to score Amanda Karnatz and the next batter, Abby Solem, homered.
However, the Huskies jumped on York pitcher Brooke Bandy with five runs in the second, one more in the third and two in the fifth.
Trailing 9-2, York came up with a solo home run from Sarah Maciejewski in the sixth and Kroll's 3-run blast in the seventh. York's offense showed better against OPRF sophomore pitcher Chardonnay Harris, who shut out the Dukes on May 20.
"I'm just so proud of the girls for battling back at the end there," York coach Jenna Bode said. "I think it speaks a lot for these kids that they can do that in the bottom of the seventh inning."
York finished the season 27-7. The Huskies won a second straight sectional title.
"This has been I think for many of these kids, and myself, one of the greatest seasons I think we've ever been apart of," Bode said. "Just the personalities on the team, everybody just got along. It's been great. I think the way they stick together is incredible so I'm proud of them for that."