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St. Bede stymies MHS girls for regional title

Posted: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The ball deflects away from Mendota's Haley Walters as Julia Pohar of St. Bede slides into second with a stolen base.

PERU – It wasn’t like St. Bede pitcher Lainie Schweichert was a mystery to the Mendota Lady Trojans’ softball team. The Lady Trojans have seen her before, it was just a matter of solving her.

But Schweichert was up to the task once again and pitched the Lady Bruins to a 9-2 win over Mendota in the championship game of the St. Bede Class 2A Regional on May 18 at Peru.

Schweichert fired a complete-game two-hitter to put an end to the Lady Trojans’ season. MHS concluded the campaign with an 11-13 record. The right-hander, who is headed to Lewis University to play softball, struck out 12 and walked four. St. Bede also ended Mendota’s season in 2012 when Schweickert pitched the Lady Bruins to a 10-0 victory in the regional semifinals. She allowed just two hits and fanned 12 last year.

“We obviously knew what to expect from (Schweickert) having faced her several times in the past,” said Mendota coach Joel Perez. “She’s one of the toughest pitchers we’ve faced and we knew we would have our hands full with her.”

Mendota’s only hits came in the third inning when it scored both of its run to make it a 3-2 St. Bede lead. Halie Donahue started the inning with a sharp single up the middle. Malorie DeFore put down a sacrifice bunt to send Donahue to second, then Haley Walters walked. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch ahead of a two-run single by Ashlyn Kennedy that landed between the shortstop and left fielder.

After that mild uprising by the Lady Trojans, Schweichert settled in and allowed only two base runners over the final four innings, both on walks. She struck out eight of the final 12 outs.

St. Bede got on the board with two runs in the first inning off of Mendota starter Michaela DeLong, who was replaced after four batters by Kennedy. Emmi Christonsen and Mo Dean had RBI singles for the Lady Bruins.

Lydia Stariha’s sacrifice fly in the second made it 3-0 St. Bede before Mendota cut the margin to one run with its two runs in the third.

Dean walloped a solo home run in the third to make it a 4-2 game, where it stayed until St. Bede put the contest away with a five-run sixth inning. The big blow of the frame was a grand slam homer by Christonsen.

DeLong was the losing pitcher, allowing two runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. Kennedy gave up 11 hits and seven runs over the final 5 2/3. She struck out five and walked one.

“I’m really proud of the way the girls played this season,” said Perez. “We have a fine group of young ladies representing Mendota High School, and they played with class and sportsmanship all season.

“This was a great group of seniors, many of them having played varsity softball more than two years, and we’re really going to miss them.”

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