Pitcher Haley Beno and her St. Charles East teammates refuse to let a little misfortune get the best of them.
The Saints lost the Upstate Eight River in aggravating fashion and merely reloaded, won a regional, and Tuesday fell behind Bartlett in the first inning of their own sectional 1-0.
St. Charles East just shrugged its collective shoulders and went to work in an 11-2 romp that earned the Saints a title matchup Saturday against either South Elgin or Glenbard North.
“We had a little bit of a rough start, but now we’re so confident,” said Beno, who allowed only three hits while striking out two and walking none in improving her record to 19-3. “We know we’ll have each other’s backs.
“The first inning we made a couple errors but we didn’t hang our heads. We stayed up.”
Kate Peterburs made up for one of the errors that led to Holly Pagan’s RBI single and the unearned first-inning Hawks run by smashing a two-run home run off Pagan to cap off a four-run Saints first.
Alex Latoria drove in four runs, including a two-run homer in a six-run sixth for the top-seeded Saints (28-4).
“That [fourth home run of the year] was really big for me, and I guess for the team, too,” Peterburs said. “In the first inning I made a mistake at first base and I knew I can’t bring that mistake to the plate, but I’ve got to make up for it, and I did.”
Latoria had driven in a run with a groundout and Katie Kolb followed with an RBI sacrifice fly before Peterburs’ homer off Pagan (14-6).
In the third, the Saints added another run on Latoria’s RBI single. In the sixth, Olivia Lorenzini clobbered a three-run double after Tess Hupe’s RBI single, and then Lattoria capped it with her two-run homer.
The Saints had eight hits and left only three runners on base.
“My assistant coaches are doing a great job of providing me with just the information I need,” Saints coach Kelly Horan said. “Our game plan is very simple: to figure out where she’s throwing, make sure we know where that strike is and hit it.
“I thought the girls did a fantastic job with that, and that was really the difference in the game.”
After Bartlett finished its season 25-10, coach Jim Wolfsmith said he saw something in the Saints that he saw last year from his own team when they finished second in the state.
“They see a lot of pitches — they put the ball in play real well,” he said. “They’ve got the same kind of mojo we had last year when we made our run. They’re playing good softball at the right time of year.”
Alyssa Nowak hit a solo homer in the fourth for the Hawks to make it 5-2, but Beno retired the last 10 Hawks she faced.
“I think I just hit my spots,” she said. “Shelby Holtz, my catcher, did a great job for me and made it easy.”