Geneva gets defensive gems to rally past Streamwood

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Streamwood’s Natalie Filippo spoke for hitters from both teams after Geneva center fielder Madison Keith ran down Filippo’s sixth-inning blast and caught it near the wall in right-center.

“I got robbed,” Filippo said.

Indeed, Geneva overcame a three-run deficit for a 4-3 Upstate Eight River win over Streamwood, with fielders from both teams making fine defensive plays throughout.

Streamwood (4-15, 3-12) led 3-0 after an inning on a two-run double from Filippo and a Vikings’ error. Geneva (16-11, 9-8) answered with a run in the third on a solo homer from Anna Geary and a two-run fourth that tied the game.

Annika Radabaugh led off the fourth with a solo home run, and Keith singled and later scored the tying run on a ground ball from Haley Orwig.

“They both had home runs against (Streamwood) the last time we played,” Geneva coach Greg Dierks said of Geary and Radabaugh.

“They had good swings on those home runs today.”

Geneva loaded the bases in the fifth with one out, but Streamwood pitcher Kaitlyn Hedger pitched out of the jam to keep the score tied.

Hedger’s knuckleball and riseball worked to the tune of five strikeouts and the senior only gave up six hits to a Vikings team that won 10-0 over Streamwood two weeks ago.

“We came out ready to play them this time,” Hedger said. “Last time it was bad weather, bad attitude, and bad play. We played with more confidence.”

Geneva pitcher Rachel Fanella also shined. Streamwood’s Jessica Daley singled to lead off the bottom of the third, but Fanella didn’t give up another hit until the seventh.

The Vikings got the game-winning run in the sixth on a Streamwood error. Sabres third baseman Melissa Malcolm followed with a diving grab of a popped-up bunt and teammate Sarah Cimino also made a pair of quality catches in right field. Filippo, a catcher, also threw out two runners trying to steal.

But Keith’s grab in the bottom of the sixth was the day’s defensive gem.

“I think our defense was a little unfocused in the beginning of the game,” Fanella said. “Once we got going and realized that (Streamwood) was good competition, our defense got stronger.”

Streamwood’s Taylor Williams reached on an infield hit to lead off the bottom of the seventh and Josalynn King walked but Fanella got a pair of fly-outs and a force play to end the game.

“We battled but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve scored in the first inning and then didn’t score in the rest of the game,” Streamwood coach Nick Baird said. “But one of our best hitters (Daley) was up in the bottom of the seventh with a chance to tie the game, so we were right where we wanted to be.”

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