McHENRY – Mikaela Mitsch wouldn't mind a first- or second-inning run here and there, but the first-year McHenry softball coach certainly was thankful for the big blast and boost that Tori Boysen provided Thursday against Cary-Grove.
Boysen, a Western Illinois commit, got the Warriors offense on track with a go-ahead, three-run home run with two outs in the third, and McHenry scored five more times in a 9-3 Fox Valley Conference win.
Boysen's blast over the left-field fence came on a 1-2 pitch from Trojans pitcher Emma Hill, giving the Warriors (5-7, 3-2) their first lead, 4-3. Jocelyn Currie knocked in McHenry's first run two batters earlier.
After Kate Funk struck out for the second out in the third, Boysen quickly went behind in the count, 0-2, before fouling off back-to-back pitches and taking a ball on the fifth offering from Hill.
Boysen tried to shorten up initially, but let it fly on her last swing.
"The previous ball was very high, and I swung at it," Boysen said. "After that, I was just trying to shorten up and put it in play, but I swung as hard as I could at the pitches near the plate and it went over."
A home run has jump-started McHenry's offense the past two days.
"It was awesome," Mitsch said of Boysen's home run. "I think that was the first one she's hit all year. If not the first, then definitely the biggest. You can tell by our box scores here that we're sleeping for a few innings. Today, we needed Tori to hit a home run to get us going. We needed that boost."
The Warriors had 13 hits total, with Currie, a Loyola commit, going 4 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Lauren Schmitz (3 for 3) had a two-run single in the sixth, and Kyra Lard (2 for 4) had a double and drove in one.
Leadoff hitter Ashley Zoephel had a stolen base, two runs and one RBI, and No. 9 hitter Taylor Zoephel added two hits, a steal and a run.
McHenry junior Julia Druml allowed three runs on five hits in the first three innings, but held the Trojans (6-5, 2-2) scoreless the rest of the way. She struck out one and walked none in the complete-game win.
Druml found success adjusting her pitches to the strike zone.
"I was really nervous this game because I just wanted to do well for my team," Druml said. "The first couple of pitches were called and it was a really tight zone. Throughout the game, I started moving the balls out more. They were getting more aggressive and I was pushing the balls out more and more."
Hill provided the Trojans with an early 2-0 lead with a two-run single to center field in the top of the first, scoring Alina Krembuszewski and Katy Wieczorek. C-G added its last run on two McHenry errors in the third.
Krembuszewski was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs, Wieczorek had two hits and a steal, and Lindsey Norberg added a double for C-G.
The Trojans are still searching for consistency, C-G coach Tammy Olson said.
"We've faced Huntley and South, and we're still in the game with South," Olson said of C-G's suspended game with Crystal Lake South on April 11. "In both of those, we should have won in seven, but we're struggling to finish. We had a nice game yesterday against D-C and we didn't play well today."
STAR OF THE GAME
Tori Boysen, McHenry, sr., C
Boysen smacked a go-ahead three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the third inning.
0: McHenry junior Julia Druml didn’t allow any runs after the third inning.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Cary-Grove’s Jill Deering was called out for throwing her bat after she appeared to accidentally hit the umpire’s leg on her backswing in the sixth. Deering drove the ball to deep left field that would have scored Grace Clarke from first base for C-G's fourth run.
McHenry 9, Cary-Grove 3
Cary-Grove 201 000 0 – 3 9 2
McHenry 004 203 X – 9 13 3
WP:Druml (7IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K). LP:Hill (3.1IP, 9H, 6R, 2ER, 1BB, 5K).
Top hitters–C-G:Hill 1-4 (2RBI), Krembuszewski 2-4 (2B, 2R), Wieczorek 2-3 (SB, R) Norberg 1-3 (2B). McHenry:Currie 4-4 (2RBI, 2R), Boysen 2-3 (HR, 3RBI, R), Lard 2-4 (2B, RBI, R), Schmitz 3-3 (2RBI), T. Zoephel 2-4 (SB, R), A. Zoephel 1-3 (SB, RBI, 2R).