Touching All the Bases: On a day when the Providence Catholic softball team erupted for 11 runs on 14 hits in an 11-5 victory over cross-town rival Lincoln-Way Central, one at-bat served to swing momentum and ignite the Celtics.
When sophomore shortstop Courtney Pych stepped in to face the Knights’ Alyssa Farbak in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday, Providence trailed 3-0. Lincoln-Way Central scored three runs on two hits, two walks and an error in the top half of the inning. Michelle Kriegshauser’s RBI single capped the early uprising for the Knights.
Pych turned the ball—and the game—around in a hurry leading off for the Celtics. She blasted a 2-1 pitch down the line in left for a solo homer—the first of her varsity career. Providence went on to hit three homers and eventually pulled away from Lincoln-Way Central with a show of offensive firepower. The Knights blasted the Celtics 16-1 a year ago.
Patch’s MVP: Courtney Pych, sophomore shortstop, Providence. Pych went 2-for-4, including a solo homer and a double. She scored two runs, drove in another and played flawless defense, too.
Lincoln-Way Central Leaders: Michelle Kriegshauser went 3-for-4, including a double, and had three RBIs. Taylor Schroeder was 2-for-4. Kaleigh Barrett, Gabrielle Boerema, Jamie Haubenreiser, Kayla Pope and Lexie Olson also had hits for the Knights.
Providence Leaders: Courtney Pych (2-for-4, including a solo homer and a double, 1 RBI, 2 runs), Ellie Bartosz (2 hits, 2 runs), Amanda Wilson (2 hits, 1 RBI, 3 scoreless innings pitched, 4 strikeouts), Allie Strick (2-0, winning pitcher, 4 innings, 5 runs, 5 hits; she also hit a solo homer), Sarah Brightmore (2 hits, 2 RBIs), Morgan Greenwood (2 hits, solo homer, 3 RBIs), Jessica Jatis (RBI double to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth for the Celtics).
Quotable I: “Yeah, it was our first game last year,” Providence coach Jay Biesterfeld said of the Celtics’ 16-1 loss to Lincoln-Way Central last season. “That was probably one of my lower moments in my time here at Providence. They really put it on us. We were young and we looked it. Today, you see the difference in the confidence in the kids. Even though we still have seven underclassmen on the team, there is a much higher level of confidence. And they know they can go out and compete. We got down early, but we battled back and they showed what they are capable of.”
Quotable II: “We gave them too many opportunities,” Lincoln-Way Central coach Steve Paulsen said. “I’ve said this before. Our pitchers are going to keep the ball down. They’re not going to be overpowering. Alyssa (Farbak) did a nice job. She had three strikeouts. But we’ve got to make plays. We can’t have balls dropping at our feet.”
Quotable III: “It was huge,” Courtney Pych said of her leadoff homer for the Celtics. “It was my first home run on the Celtic field. So, to get the rest of the lineup started and get the whole game started, it helped a lot. It was an inside pitch. The ump was calling them a lot, down and low. I saw it off the bat. I was hoping. As soon as I started rounding first, I could tell. And I got real excited.”
Team Records: Providence is 2-2. Lincoln-Way Central is 0-2.
What’s Next: Both teams play again Wednesday (March 28). Lincoln-Way Central plays host to Argo at 4:30 p.m., while Lincoln-Way North travels to Providence. The first pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.