CARPENTERSVILLE – Dundee-Crown third baseman Deanna Origer hit a single up the middle to load the bases for the Chargers in the seventh inning, trailing Prairie Ridge 4-1.
For the second time in the game, Prairie Ridge pitcher Hailey Baker escaped a bases-loaded jam. D-C catcher Claire Weeks grounded out to end the game and give the Wolves a Fox Valley Conference victory Wednesday.
Baker allowed only four hits in a complete game.
“That might be her best outing of the year,” Wolves coach Mike Buck said. “Mixing pitches and speed, keeping them off-balance. She pitched solid.”
Baker struck out seven Chargers and walked one. She threw 92 pitches, 64 for strikes.
Baker mixed in the riseball more than she had all year.
“I hardly ever throw it,” Baker said. “I’m going to stick with it because it looked great tonight. This game was my biggest mix of pitches. What got me down early in the season was that I stuck to the things I thought were great.”
D-C coach Tracy Beatty was disappointed her team could not find a clutch hit in the two bases-loaded opportunities.
“I felt like we made good contact,” Beatty said. “We were just hitting them to somebody. We put it in play enough for them to make a few errors, but we didn’t cash in on those.”
The Wolves (9-1, 4-1 FVC) scored three runs in the fourth off D-C starting pitcher Sydney Ruggles. Emmie Farnam scored on Jillian Minutillo’s ground out to the second baseman. Shannon Donaldson doubled during the next at-bat, driving in another run.
Baker, hitting in the No. 2 hole, drove in Donaldson with a single to make it 3-0.
The Chargers (7-5, 2-3) answered with one run in the bottom of the inning. Origer scored on a bases-loaded single from Cady English. With the bases still loaded, Baker struck out D-C center fielder Cassidy Randl to end the inning.
Prairie Ridge added one more run in the fifth on a single from catcher Maggie Schremp. The sophomore was making her second start at catcher this season. Usually a first baseman, she has transitioned to catcher for the first time since she was 7 years old.
“She’s incredible,” Baker said. “It’s amazing how well she’s adjusted back there.”
Schremp said the coaches have been slowly working her into catcher in practice. She earned her first start last weekend.
“They’ve definitely given me a lot of practice back there to make me feel comfortable,” Schremp said. “I love framing Hailey’s pitches; she always hits her corners so well. She really takes charge out there, and that’s all I can ask for in a pitcher.”
The duo worked well Wednesday.
The Wolves returned to the win column after suffering their first loss of the year in a 5-4 defeat against Crystal Lake South on Monday.
Ruggles picked up the loss for D-C. She threw five innings and allowed four runs, all earned. Ruggles struck out four and walked two. Origer went 2 for 4 with a run scored. English collected D-C's only RBI.
Prairie Ridge, so., C
Schremp produced some of the best at-bats of the day for Prairie Ridge, finishing with two singles and an RBI.
26: In three at-bats, Schremp saw a total of 26 pitches. In her second plate appearance, she fouled off six pitches with two strikes. She hit an RBI single on the 11th pitch of the at-bat.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Prairie Ridge committed three errors in the game but did not allow any of those free base runners to score.
Prairie Ridge 4, Dundee-Crown 1
Prairie Ridge 000 310 0 — 4 8 3
Dundee-Crown 000 100 0 — 1 4 1
WP: Baker (7IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 7K, 1BB)
LP: Ruggles (5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 4K, 1BB)
Top hitters — Prairie Ridge: Schremp 2-3 (RBI), Minutillo 1-3 (RBI), Donaldson 1-3 (2b, RBI), Baker 2-4. Dundee-Crown: Origer 2-4 (run), Weeks 1-3 (2B), English 1-3 (RBI).