Apparently, not much has changed in 10 months for Huntley and DeKalb, accept the recent weather conditions of course.
The two teams squared off Wednesday morning at the Dome at the Ballpark in Rosemont after last meeting in regionals last spring with DeKalb posting a 3-2 win.
Deja Vu? The Barbs posted an identical 3-2 win behind pinch-hitter Rachael Johnson’s game-winning hit that eluded Red Raiders second baseman Brittany Koss scoring Abby Taylor (2-for-3, 2 R), who singled to start the inning.
“We are just happy to be playing so we can see what we need to work on and go from there,” DeKalb coach Jeff Davis said.
Pitching isn’t one of the things the Barbs need to work on for now. Four-year starter Katie Kowalski, now at full strength after surgery in the summer of 2012, will be a solid force again. She’ll get plenty of help from sophomore lefty Morgan Newport (1-0). The two combined for a five-hit, five strikeout performance against the Red Raiders (0-2).
Kowalski pitched the first five innings and allowed one run while Newport relieved in the sixth. Newport gave up a run on a leadoff triple by Jessica Shields and an RBI ground out by Tamara Funke. Taylor Stone recorded an RBI single in the second against Kowalski.
“Feels so good to get the season started and even though it’s indoors it feels real good to actually be playing another team,” Kowalski said.
Trailing 1-0, the Barbs (1-0) scored a pair in the fifth when Taylor (single) scored on a fielder’s choice and Haley Tadd (walk) gave her team a 2-1 lead when she scored on an error by Shields. After giving up the tying run in the sixth, Newport retired the 1-2-3 hitters in order in the seventh before the Barbs produced the winning run in the next at bat.
The Red Raiders will take the improvement after getting blown out by Warren in the season opener on Monday.
“A big improvement over [Monday],” Huntley coach Mark Petryneic said. “We cut down our defensive miscues we win. We wanted to make sure we got these games inside and I’m not sure we’re going to see much better [pitching] than we’ve seen the last few days.”
Red Raiders Pitcher Haley Spannraft (0-2) went the distance, gave up one earned run, three hits, struck out seven and walked one.