Softball: Manteno outlasts Peotone
By Bill Harrison For Sun-Times Media April 16, 2012 10:40PM
Updated: May 18, 2012 9:48AM
The intensity and anticipation of Monday’s match-up between neighboring rivals Manteno and Peotone was apparent in warmups. The Interstate Eight game drew a large crowd.
In the end, two defensive plays by host Manteno helped during an action-packed 3-2 win. The Panthers (19-0, 5-0) and the No. 8 Blue Devils (12-3, 2-2) will take a deep breath and do it again Tuesday at Peotone.
“Peotone in every sport is one of Manteno’s biggest rivals,” Panthers winning pitcher Brooke Stugla (17-0) said. “We were really pumped and came out and played our hardest.”
Panthers outfielders played their hardest in the fifth inning.
With the game tied at 2, left fielder Ashley Ditterline made a running catch toward the foul line on a ball hit by Jenna Balthazor (2-for-4). Then, after a single by Shelby Maupin, center fielder Courtney Posing came up with a shoestring catch that, if not caught, likely would have scored Maupin.
“Seems like no matter what happens between these teams it’s always a one-run game,” Manteno coach Josh Carlile said. “Our outfielders cover a lot of ground and we emphasize that.”
The eventual game-winning run scored in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Ditterline. That brought in Jackie Beck, who reached on an infield single with one out against Carstens (4-1). Posing and Michelle Reilly had two hits each for the Panthers.
Balthazor led off the game with a triple to center. On many other fields the ball would have gone over the fence for a home run. However, the Panthers’ field is 230 feet to straightaway center. She later scored on an RBI double by pitcher Emily Carstens.
“A lot of these girls have played against each other since they were 8 years old and they all answered the bell today,” said Peotone coach Bob Santella, whose team is still without Ole Miss-bound shortstop Alyssa Invergo (fractured tibia).
“It should be just as intense (Tuesday).”