Joliet West is on a roll. After losing the first four games of the season, the Tigers won their 16th straight to capture the Larkin Slugfest championship with a 10-0 five-inning win over Hampshire at the Elgin Sports Complex.
“The offense has been good all year,’’ Joliet West coach Heather Suca said. “But it’s our defense that has gotten more confident with every game we are playing and our pitching has been really good.’’
Freshman Kiley Robb threw her second shutout of the day as the Tigers won all three of its games on shutouts. Joy Treasure threw the other one for the Tigers (16-4). Robb allowed just two hits, but only struck out one batter as she relied on her defense to get the job done.
“I was hitting the corners and using my defense,’’ Robb said. “After we lost our first few games, we just worked really hard at practice and listened to our coaches.’’
The Tiger bats showed plenty of pop up and down the lineup. Leadoff hitter Jen Ames connected three times but had only one hit, a two-RBI double in the second inning that brought home Lorelei Tokarczyk and Julia Liceaga for the only runs that Joliet West would need.
“We don’t have one go-to person that we rely on to hit the ball,’’ Suca said. “They all can hit and they all complement each other.’’
The Tigers broke the game open with an eight-run fourth that started with two errors by Hampshire (14-9). Tokarczyk was the beneficiary of one of those errors, but batted twice in the inning and capped the scoring with a three-run blast to right-center in her second at-bat.
Karina Vargas, Treasure and Tokarczyk all had multiple-hit games. Tokarczyk scored three runs and Liceaga scored twice.
“That’s a good team we lost to,’’ Hampshire coach Stacey Stepak said. “I told our girls not to hang their heads. They had a really great day. Sara Finn and Haley Widmayer played really well today.’’