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Tony Baranek's softball notes

05/21/2014, 5:15pm CDT
By Tony Baranek |

New and notes from the Southland area, including four local teams that are competing in a Jamboree on Satruday at the Stone City Fields in Minooka.

Just call them the Bombin’ Bobcats.

Beecher’s Taylor Johnson and Sarah Crews are the Southland’s top home run duo with a combined 23. But the power on the Bobcats (28-6) goes deeper than that pair of sluggers.

As a team, Beecher has hit 26 homers, and also has found the far reaches of the ballpark with 63 doubles and 16 triples.

Johnson is the team leader in all three extra-base categories with 14 homers, 11 doubles and four triples.

“I don’t believe the girls are consciously swinging for the fences,” Beecher coach Kevin Hayhurst said. “We have girls with outstanding bat speed who go up to the plate looking to do some damage on every swing.

“The number and length of the home runs have been a pleasant surprise. But it’s important to keep stressing ‘short to the ball,’ however, because as the season progresses into the playoffs and the pitching gets better there are less and less home runs.”

Talent etched in Stone

Ed Sedar prides himself in the talent he brings to the Stone City Jamboree.

“We have had many state champions from the Jamboree since 1990,” the Stone City Sharks founder said. “Almost every year we have a Class 4A representative from the Elite 8.”

This year’s field?

“Just a normal Jamboree, where almost four teams could be state finalists,” Serdar said.

There will be seven games in all Saturday at the Stone City Fields in Minooka, the first of which features defending Class 4A state champion Minooka vs. Downers Grove South.

Lockport, Sandburg, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way North are the Southland representatives in the annual gathering on the final Saturday of the regular season.

Field 1 games include Sandburg vs. Barrington at 11 a.m., Lockport vs. Belleville East at 1 p.m. and Lincoln-Way East vs. St. Charles at 3 p.m. Field 2 games are Lincoln-Way Central vs. Plainfield at 9 a.m., Lincoln-Way North vs. Belleville East at 11 a.m. and St. Charles vs. Plainfield Central at 1 p.m.

From floor to field

Shepard shortstop Skylor Hilger also is an excellent gymnast. This spring she won her second consecutive regional all-around title with 36.25.

At the state finals, she finished sixth on floor exercise.

Player of the Week

Caitlin Fitzgerald, of Queen of Peace, is the SouthtownStar Softball Player of the Week.

Fitzgerald, a sophomore, was 5-for-8, with two triples, three walks, four RBI and nine runs in leading the Pride to three victories and the GCAC White Tournament title.

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