Oswego East lived up to its motto Thursday.
But Minooka played outstanding defense and captured its third conference title in the last four years with a 9-4 victory over the host Wolves in Southwest Prairie Conference play.
“Over the last week and a half, we have been tightening up our defensive play,’’ Minooka coach Mark Brown said. “Earlier this season it was our downfall and it’s coming at the right time of the year.’’
Nobody exemplified that defensive effort for Minooka (18-10, 11-3) better than Jordyn Larsen. The four-year varsity starter and captain made a diving catch in center field to save a run in the second inning and then made another hustling play in the left-center gap in the sixth to hold Oswego East’s Emily Thorson to a single.
Larsen also had a nice offensive day as she drove in Erin Rossetto for the first run and went 2-for-4 and scored two runs. She was robbed of a third hit on a diving stop by Shannon Hale.
“I was really excited to take the championship back,’’ Larsen said. “It was definitely huge to win state last year, but it’s nice to go out with a win in my last regular-season game.’’
“Jordyn is one of the best defensive center fielders in the state,’’ Brown said. “She comes to play every day.’’
Before Oswego East (10-19, 2-12) could respond, Minooka put four runs on the board in the second, with only one of those runs earned after taking advantage of two errors. Alex Zito, Larsen and Caty Bell scored in addition to Rossetto all scored. Zito and Bell had multiple-hit games.
Meghan Quirk was on cruise control for the Indians until she gave up three runs in the fourth. Hale, Tiffany Palmatier and Shannon Gaul all had hits and scored. Quirk left after that inning with a pinched nerve in her back.
“We didn’t let the errors beat us,’’ Oswego East coach Laura Nussle said. “That’s been our motto all season is to not quit.’’