Dwelling on a mistake can have a nasty domino effect of leading to another one.
Tinley Park's Megan Laib had other things on her mind after her dropped fly ball was part of a three-run fourth-inning rally by Bremen during Monday's South Suburban Blue showdown.
"I just told myself I had to make it up, and do what I could do to help the team," she said.
As fortune would have it, Laib got the opportunity in her next at-bat. She made the most of it, smashing a double to the gap in left-center to drive in what would be the deciding run in Tinley's 4-3 victory.
Not only was it the game-winning hit, it was a history-maker for the Titans (18-4, 16-2), who clinched a softball conference title for the first time in the school's history.
"It's a great accomplishment," Laib said. "I mean, it's just awesome."
"Especially since it's never happened before at Tinley," chimed in Titans pitcher Annalisse Scott. "We didn't really talk about it before the game, but we kept it in our minds. We all knew what could come out of (winning) this game."
Scott fired a four-hitter, striking out nine while walking nobody. Laib and Sam Alberto led the way offensively for Tinley, with two hits each.
Bremen (12-11, 8-9), which defeated the Titans 5-4 in their previous meeting, got a pair of hits from Erin Schaffrath.
Tinley scratched out a run in the first and two more in the third against Bremen pitcher Noelle Ciemny, The keys were base hits by Lexxi Lux, Mary Psaltakis and Laib, a double by Alberto and a bases-loaded walk by Alex Laphen.
Scott was perfect in the circle through three innings. Lindsey Dudek became Bremen's first safety on a two-base throwing error from third by Scott.
Schaffrath singled Dudek to third, before Bridget Hayes drove a fly ball to right that went in and out of Laib's glove.
"I think I got ahead of myself," Laib said. "I thought I had it, but I didn't. It happens."
An ensuing RBI groundout by Emily Gerhardt and an RBI single by Alicia Kolacki tied the game at 3-3.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Alberto smacked a double to the fence in center. She went to third on a wild pitch, from where she scored on Laib's two-out double.
Bremen threatened in the top of the sixth, but Scott pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam with a strikeout. She retired the side in order in the seventh.
"We can't wait three innings to start hitting," Bremen coach Renee Rybak said. "It's something we've been working on all season. But this was a good game.
They got us this time."