NORMAL, Ill. — Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way, but this bad hop was particularly tough to take for Somonauk coach Scott Siuda.
A two-out, bases-loaded grounder in the sixth inning hit the third base bag and led to the decisive run for West Prairie in its 3-2 win Monday at the Class 1A Illinois State Supersectional.
“I moved [third baseman Jensen Parks] back before that play,” moaned Siuda.
“We just needed a force and wouldn’t you know it, we get a dinky ball that hits the base.”
It bounced over Parks’ left shoulder to shortstop Nicole Krupp, who was moving to back up the play.
The Cyclones’ Morgan Weaver scored from third. When their courtesy runner on second base then overran third, Krupp was at the ready to slap her with a tag and end the threat. Somonauk (23-5) had a chance to tie in the bottom half of the inning, though, loading the bases with one out. Winning pitcher Kourtney Campbell caught Maddie Kawall’s comebacker, threw home for a force and then struck out Parks to end the threat.
She then retired three straight in the seventh, sending West Prairie (26-9) to Friday’s 10 a.m. Class 1A state semifinal against Altamont at East Peoria’s EastSide Centre.
Altamont beat Camp Point Central 16-0 in five innings to win the Sacred Heart-Griffin Supersectional.
“The kids played great and it’s been an awesome season,” Siuda said.
“Can’t take anything away from them. This is the farthest we’ve ever been [in the state tournament].
“We had some opportunities. It would have been nice going to East Peoria other than as a spectator.”
Somonauk had taken a 2-0 lead in the third, courtesy of two errors by West Point second baseman Jennifer Schwerer on a ground ball off the bat of Jensen Parks.
Schwerer bobbled the ball then threw it into the dugout, allowing Kylee Fall and Maddie Kawall to score. Each had reached on singles.
West Point tied it with four straight hits to lead off the second, back-to-back doubles by seniors Hanna Runner and Jen Reedy (RBI), an RBI single by Morgan Weaver and a double from Kourtney Campbell.
They came off sophomore pitcher Bailee Krantz, who buckled down and got out of the jam with three straight strikeouts.
“Those two doubles were clutch for us,” West Prairie coach Jim Scott said. “It was a good time for those seniors to come through and we needed to come right back and tie it after giving up those two.
“That might be only the second error our second baseman has had all season.”
Krantz finishes the season 14-4 and is one of five underclassmen (three freshmen, two sophomores) who start for Siuda. He loses just one senior, Marissa Guzman, to graduation.