Touching All the Bases: Alyssa Gunther set the table. Cosette Tomita provided a blast of offensive firepower. And Maranda Stroz overcome a rocky start to pitch a four-hitter in Tinley Park’s 10-2 softball victory over Oak Lawn Monday afternoon on the Titans’ home field. Gunther reached base in all four of her at-bats, scored four runs, stole two bases and drove in two runs. Her double in the second tied the score 2-2. Tomita had two hits in four at-bats, including a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth that busted the game wide open. She finished with six RBIs. Stroz retired 17 of the last 19 batters she faced and did not allow a hit after the second inning as Tinley Park opened South Suburban Red play with a bang. Oak Lawn scored on RBI singles in the top of the first by Rachel Burba and Aliyah Murray.
Patch’s MVP: Cosette Tomita, freshman, second baseman, Tinley Park. Tomita had two hits in four at-bats, including a grand slam. She drove in six runs. Her grand slam came on a 1-1 pitch after Oak Lawn’s Alexa Rothman walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth.
Oak Lawn Leaders: Dominique Maloney (2-for-3, 1 stolen base, 1 run scored), Rachel Burba (1-for-3, 1 run scored, 1 RBI), Aliyah Murray (1-for-2, 1 RBI).
Tinley Park Leaders: Alyssa Gunther (1-for-1, double, 4 runs scored, 3 walks, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases), Cosette Tomita (2-for-4, grand slam, 6 RBIs), Maranda Stroz (1-for-3), Sam Alberto (1-for-4), Kate Sebastian (1-for-2, 2 runs scored), Mary Psaltakis (2 sacrifices, 1 walk, 1 run scored, 1 RBI).
Quotable I: “On the first pitch, I saw the spin on the ball and I knew it was a riseball, so I laid off it,” Tinley Park freshman second baseman Cosette Tomita said of her grand slam at-bat in the fourth inning. “The second one was at the edge of the top of the zone. So, I thought I’d take a hack at it (she fouled off the pitch). And the third one was right there. I swung and it was gone.”
Quotable II: “I think our girls are lacking confidence in themselves,” Oak Lawn coach Brian Frangella said. “We have potential to be a pretty good team. And they just need to believe in themselves. Right now, they’re not doing that.”
Quotable III: “We’re young, and in the first inning—we’ve got some first-inning jitters,” Tinley Park coach Wendy Podbielniak said after the Titans fell behind 2-0. “We’ve got to do a better job with mental preparation coming out as coaches definitely. We’ve got to get them prepared better. So, this is what’s been happening ever since we started. In the first inning, we’ve got a little nerves going. But they’ll settle down. They’re gaining more confidence every day.”
Team Records: Tinley Park is 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the South Suburban Red. Oak Lawn is 0-3 and 0-1.
What’s Next: Tinley Park plays host to Shepard at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 20). Oak Lawn plays at Thornton Fractional South at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 22).