Simkins sisters spur Niles West’s offensive outburst

SHARE Simkins sisters spur Niles West’s offensive outburst

Trailing Maine East by a run after two innings on Friday, Niles West coach Nicole Reynolds gathered her team and challenged it to play better.

“I just told them, ‘We’re a better team than this. We need to show it and score some runs,’” Reynolds said. “We were struggling with slower pitching; we just needed to have better timing and hit the ball and score. It worked.”

It did indeed. Niles West scored five runs in the third inning, four runs in the fourth and five more in the sixth. The Wolves led Maine East (0-3) by 13 runs after the top of the sixth and ended up winning, 14-4, in six innings.

Leading Niles West’s offensive outbreak were junior Kacie Simkins and senior sister Jessie Simkins. Kacie Simkins went 4-for-4 in the No. 3 hole, and scored a pair of runs. Jessie Simkins, the team’s second baseman, went 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs.

Sophomore Wolves shortstop Atorena Michael reached base on all four of her plate appearances and also scored three runs.

“We know we can play good, we just weren’t showing it the first couple innings,” the younger Simkins said. “But then, finally, our coach pumped us up and we got out there and got after it.”

Although Maine East lost by 10 runs, the middle of the Blue Demons’ order hit well. The team’s 3-4-5 hitters – sophomore second baseman Gabby Galati, senior third baseman Klaudia Patak and junior shortstop Alyssa Matej – combined to reach base six times in their nine plate appearances. Matej drove in Galati and Patak with a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“I think we played as hard as we could, it’s just that when one thing goes wrong and then another, that’s when we get down on ourselves,” Patak said. “But, overall, I think this is a big improvement compared to our previous games.”

Niles West improved to 4-3 with the win and is above .500 for the first time in since 2011, Reynolds said.

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