CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Crete-Monee's softball team took advantage of Bloom Township errors early to get the upper hand in Tuesday's Southland Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Bloom High School.
When the tables turned in the bottom of the fourth inning, however, the Blazing Trojans struck back in a big way.
The Blazing Trojans seized upon a pair of Warriors errors and added four hits to a four-run inning that led to the Blazing Trojans' 7-4 victory.
A temperature drop of 15 degrees, coupled with a steady wind, made fielding tougher Tuesday. The Blazing Trojans (3-5) committed four errors Tuesday, while the Warriors were guilty of six.
"The wind was definitely a factor," Blazing Trojan coach Carrie Twietmeyer said. "Even though we made some errors, we put the ball in play, and that is all you can really do in conditions like this."
Blazing Trojan Alliyah Drake singled to lead off the fourth inning and later scored on a single by Viridiana Martinez to cut the Warriors lead to 4-3. With two on and two outs later in the inning, sophomore catcher Morgan Zimmerman blooped a double to scored two runners. Zimmerman then scored on a Warriors infield throwing error to give the Blazing Trojans a 6-4 lead.
"It's hard to win games when you make six errors," Crete-Monee coach Sue Giannantonio said. "You are giving the other teams more outs, and it really hurts when the defense is not playing well."
Blazing Trojan pitcher Monica Harte finished the game strong. The senior pitched out of a two-out jam in the fifth without allowing a run and got back-to-back outfield assists from right fielder Mariah Middleton in the seventh inning to close out the game. Harte struck out four batters and walked two for the win.
"Our outfield played awesome, and Mariah was amazing in right field," Twietmeyer said. "And Monica is our rock. She is our No. 1 pitcher and she knows her role. It is her out there or we're dead."
The Warriors (3-4) scored first off a pair of walks that led to Abby King scoring off a Blazing Trojan error. The Warriors increased their lead to 3-1 in the top of the third inning when a Blazing Trojan throwing error allowed Warriors Julie Finley and Melanie Lambert to score.
Lambert had a double for the Warriors on Tuesday, while teammate Rachel Vozniak added a triple in the fourth inning. The Blazing Trojans' offense was led by Zimmerman (two doubles, two RBIs) and Drake (two singles, two runs).
"The win is very important to us as a team," Zimmerman said. "But individually, we also think it is important just to have fun out here, and we did."