While cold described the weather conditions, hot described the Bishop McNamara bats.
After suffering an opening season 5-2 loss against Ottawa, Bishop McNamara worked out a couple things and took its frustrations out on Peotone with a 23-0 bludgeoning of the Blue Devils on Monday.
“This game was exactly how we should hit,” Bishop McNamara coach Laura Harms said. “Obviously, a lot of it has to do with the opposing pitcher you’re facing, and she (Peotone pitcher Josie Graffeo) wasn’t slow or anything. I thought she threw well, but maybe threw too many strikes, and our attack mentality can be good for us or bad for us, but we just crushed the ball.”
Already holding a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, Bobbi Davidson uncorked a line-drive, two-run home run over the left center field fence. Kara Kleinart added an RBI triple two batters later that pushed the lead to 6-0.
Fast forward to the top of the fourth inning and the flood gates officially opened, as the Irish took a ride on a merry-go-round, plating 12 runs featuring three triples and multiple doubles, creating a more-than-comfortable cushion for the win.
“We have a long way to go, and I always tell them that they’re not that good,” Harms said with a slight smile. “They have to know that complacency isn’t acceptable. Our communication and confidence is still working itself out. It’ll take some time, but as long as we stay behind our pitcher and give her the confidence she needs, we’re going to be good.”
It doesn’t matter what year it is, Bishop McNamara always is going to be one of the top teams in the area. While the level of top-tier talent isn’t the same as last year, the Irish simply retooled and went about its dominating ways.
“We have a very solid 1-through-9 lineup, which is something a lot of the area schools don’t have,” Harms said. “It’s tough to find nine great players that are going to be able to hit. Normally, a team might have four or five good travel ball players, but everyone in our lineup can hit for power. Hitting is contagious as long as we can stay confident at the plate.”
While not many things went in Peotone’s favor in its season opener, coach Noah Champene remained optimistic and saw a couple positives.
“I thought Josie threw pretty well, especially early on and hit her spots,” Champene said. “We made a couple tough errors early that put us behind the eight ball, but it is what it is. I saw a few positives here and there, the girls had some decent at-bats, and we’re a young team, so we’re going to endure some growing pains throughout the season.”
Jocelyn Clodi picked the win on the mound for the Irish in four innings of one-hit work with three strikeouts.
Davidson finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with a home run, two doubles and two RBIs. Vickery finished a double short of the cycle with a homer, triple, single and five RBIs as well.
Sophie Keigher went 3-for-4 with a double, two singles and three RBIs, and Leigha Campe was 2-for-5 with a triple, single and two RBIs.
Josie Graffeo took the loss for Peotone in three innings, and Samantha Gwaizda and Lily Ruckman each finished with a single.
Bishop McNamara turns around today and hosts Joilet West.
Peotone rebounds on Wednesday at home against Morris.