PREP SOFTBALL

Confident Beecher poised for next step

2014-06-01T19:00:00Z 2014-06-02T00:05:15Z Confident Beecher poised for next stepPhil Arvia Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 01, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

Beecher softball coach Kevin Hayhurst expected to have a full scouting report on Westmont in his hands within a couple of hours of his team's 9-2 win Saturday over the hosts in the Reed-Custer Class 2A Sectional title game.

"You're still going to play to your strengths," Hayhurst said, "but you have to prepare for the pitcher you're going to see.

"They've played 39 games now. Their ability to make adjustments is really good at this point."

Beecher (32-7) meets Westmont (20-8) at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Rosemont Stadium Super-Sectional. The winner advances to the state semifinals for a 5:30 p.m. Friday contest against the winner of the Johnston City super.

The Ladycats like their chances to advance to East Peoria for the first time since winning the state title in 2007 — and not simply because Hayhurst knew Reed-Custer, a team Beecher beat three times during the season, knocked off Westmont 8-1 on May 9.

"I think we're very focused right now," Hayhurst said. "We're very locked in on our game plan and on what we need to do to beat those teams.

"The girls are peaking at the right time. They're getting better as we speak."

Other common opponents — Beecher beat Coal City, Wilmington and Peotone in the regular season, all teams that handed losses to Westmont — would lend the Ladycats more confidence, if they needed it.

"We're played really good in the playoffs," Hayhurst said. "We're making teams earn what they get. The girls are confident their bats can overcome a run or two if the other team scores."

That's been a big "if."

Beecher's senior ace, Sarah Crews (22-3, 2.17 ERA), has allowed two earned runs in the playoffs. The Ladycats have made one error over their last three games.

And why not have confidence in the offense? Beecher is hitting .425 as a team. Of the nine batters in Saturday's starting lineup, six were hitting .396 or better and none lower than .321.

Nos. 3 and 4 hitters Taylor Johnson (.587, 16 HR, 63 RBIs) and Crews (.573, 10, 62) get most of the attention. Bbut consider that the hitter in front of them, Emily Landis (.444, 11 2B, 41 R) keyed the offense with four hits in the sectional semis, and the hitter behind them, Sydney Zupan (.427, 32 RBIs) went 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs in the win over Reed-Custer.

Landis, a junior catcher, has been on a tear over the last six games, lifting her batting average 56 points, while Zupan, a sophomore third baseman, has tacked on 10 points.

Zupan reflected the attitude that seems to have taken hold of all of the Ladycats, saying, "If we're on our 'A' game like we've been, we can take state.

"We've been playing really hard this season. As long as we do that, we'll be good."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses