By Rick Lytle, sports editor
Prospect Varsity Softball clinched a share of the MSL East title thanks to a 2-1 win over Hersey in their last game of the season. The Knights finished the conference season 11-5, putting them even with Hersey and Elk Grove.
Senior Alyssa Cacini, ended the pitcher’s duel in the bottom of the 7th, launching a 1-0 pitch over the right field fence to walk it off. Cacini had struggled earlier in the game going 0-3 with a flyout, strikeout, and groundout, but erased those at bats with a home run in her last at bat at Prospect.
“I knew it was going to come down to one pitch or one play on either end,” says Prospect Head Coach Krystina Mackowiak.
Prospect wasted no time getting on the board, putting up one in the first. Senior Lauren Calderone singled on the first pitch she saw of the day, then made her way around the bases thanks to two walks and a passed ball.
Hersey struggled the whole game with working the runners around the bases, leaving eight runners on base. Four of those runners were stranded in scoring position, including a bases loaded, two out fly out in the top of the 4th.
Much of the credit has to go to the Prospect pitcher and the defense behind her according to Mackowiak. Prospect pitcher Lauren Doherty was hitting all her spots, as well as mixing in her rise ball and changeups to keep the batters off balance. Mackowiak also said it was one of Prospect’s best defensive game of the year, shown by a single error the whole game for Prospect.
Even with a great defensive game, in the top of the 6th Hersey managed to break through, with a single followed by a double putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. A flyout to centerfield, allowed the Hersey runner to tag up, and score the tying run to make the game 1-1. This proved to not be enough just an inning later.
Prospect won their first game of the postseason 15-11 over Glenbard North behind two grand slams from Calderone and Catherine Cunniff. Prospect plays in the Regional Championship today at 2 against Bartlett. One of Prospect’s preseason goals was to win a regional championship, something they haven’t done since 2007.
Calderone and Cacini have had a record setting season, breaking eight offensive records between the two of them in hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs. Cacini now holds the single season doubles, and home run record, and the career home run and RBI record. Calderone holds the single season RBI and hits record, as well as the career doubles, and hits record.
“I think we have a group of seniors that have been dedicated to the program for four years and have worked in the offseason,” says Mackowiak. Prospect has 7 seniors on their varsity team.
Prospect has already completed their goal of winning the East, now they have one more to go, winning a regional championship.