Chicago Christian closes door on Mount Assisi

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Mount Assisi closed its doors forever at the end of the day on Friday.

Saturday, the Eagles made their final landing.

The happy smiles after the Class 2A Chicago Christian Regional title game belonged to the host Knights, who prevailed 11-7 and move on to play Beecher in a Reed-Custer Sectional semifinal on Wednesday.

There were smiles, too, among the Mount Assisi girls, but tears were the prevalent sight.

“It’s really depressing, obviously,” sophomore Dana Bunting said. “We have always talked about it (the final game), but it never seemed real. It was like I never thought it would come.

“We’re never going to stop talking. We’re always going to be together. We were the last ones. I’m proud, actually.”

All of the Eagles (9-19) could take pride in a jaw-dropping fourth-inning rally in which they cut a 7-0 deficit down to 7-6. The big blows in the inning were a two-run single by Sabrina Miller and a grand slam by Terri Dearth.

“It was nice, but I didn’t get too excited,” Dearth said. “I mean, it was exciting… but I wanted to make sure everyone understood that it wasn’t a game-winner, and we still had to work hard to win it.”

Chicago Christian (14-15) crushed that dream, Sam Kubik in particular. Kubik’s two-run triple combined with an RBI single by Kaycee Pittman keyed a four-run response in the top of the fifth.

“You kind of have to do what you have to do at the right time,” Kubik said. “My hitting has been off lately, but I’ve been getting it back together. It was the perfect time to get it back.”

The outburst gave Knights pitcher Davina Gutierrez all the breathing room she would need. Gutierrez allowed baserunners in each of the final three innings, but surrendered just one more run on a sacrifice fly by Dearth.

Chicago Christian jumped out early, scoring once in the second when Abbie Bulthuis singled and later scored on the back end of a double steal. Gutierrez doubled and Bulthuis and Trisha Belgrave had RBI singles in a six-run third.

It was heading toward a blowout.

“This last few weeks has been a battle for them,” Mount Assisi coach Jill Harvey said. “The final day of the school was upon them, which was yesterday. Emotions were just running high, and I think they kind of overplayed and were a little anxious. Then they settled down and started playing like themselves again.”

With two outs in the fourth, Molly Murphy and Kate O’Leary drew walks, and Maddie Cahue dropped down a bunt single. Miller’s two-run single broke the shutout, after which Amber Anderson bunted for a hit to re-load the bases.

Dearth took the count to 1-2 before launching what will go down as the last home run in Mount Assisi history.

“No one gave up. That inning was awesome,” Dearth said. “We kept the momentum up and everyone was so in it. We were all in the entire game. I’m really proud of them.”

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