The power with which she hit two home runs was pretty impressive.
It was something else about Beecher’s Taylor Johnson, however, that made Oak Forest coach Katy Dammer exclaim, “Oh, wow.”
“I didn’t know she was a freshman. She’s a big girl,” Dammer said after Beecher prevailed in Monday’s contest, 10-0. “That girl has confidence when she comes out there, even with her base running and everything.
“I thought she was definitely an upperclassman.”
Johnson’s blasts were her 12th and 13th on the season. Both came with a runner on base, and staked the Bobcats to a 4-0 lead.
Johnson finished the day 3-for-3 with five RBI. Isabella Woolslayer, Emily Landis, Sarah Crews and Savannah Lowe each added two hits, while Crews went the distance in the circle (1-hitter, 4 strikeouts) for Beecher (22-7).
Alyssa Kolecki had the lone hit of the game for Oak Forest (16-5).
“I just go up in all of my at-bats to do little hits,” a smiling Johnson said. “But if it’s a home run I can just take that, too.”
After Crews retired the Bengals in order in the top of the first, Woolslayer set the tone for Beecher in the bottom half by smashing the first pitch from Corrina Boersma to the fence in left field for a double. One out later, Johnson hit a towering shot that cleared the fence in right-center field.
The bottom of the third saw a repeat, only it was Landis leading off with a single before Johnson cracked a shot that hit the top of the fence in left, and bounced over.
Just walk her? Beecher coach Kevin Hayhurst wouldn’t advise it.
“Well, you’ve got Crews right behind her,” he said. “It’s nice to have it the way the order is. Both of them have all kinds of RBI and both of them possess power.”
After Johnson’s second home run, Crews greeted new Bengals pitcher Courtney Schwenkel with a sharp single to right. Lowe and Riley Bowler also added hits as the Bobcats finished the inning with five runs and a 7-0 lead.
“We’ve been working really hard on hitting and fundamentals,” Crews said. “It’s really shown. I think it’s prepared us for this better pitching and better competition we’re going to see.”
The last three Bobcat runs came in the fifth, the key blows base hits by Woolslayer, Landis and Johnson.
Crews, meanwhile, mowed down the Bengals in pretty short order. Kolecki’s hit came with two outs in the fifth.