NEW LENOX | As a leadoff hitter, Marian Catholic's Susie Baranski is expected to set the table.
The freshman has done so all year and Tuesday Baranski set the table for a feast as Marian Catholic rolled past Rich South 15-0 in five innings in one semifinal of the Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Regional.
The Spartans (16-16) play host Lincoln-Way West at 11 a.m. Saturday for the championship.
The centerfielder was 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
“I hit the ball in good spots,” Baranski said. “I just felt comfortable up there.”
Baranski said leading off is not pressure and she has been the leadoff person since her early days of organized softball.
“I love being the leadoff person,” Baranski said. “I love the chance to be able to get that first hit of the game.
“At first, being a freshman, there was some pressure, but I got some hits and got used to it.”
Teammate Natalia Szyller also had three hits and reached safely all four trips to the plate.
Pitcher Allison Spence threw a two-hitter. She retired 11 in a row before walking the leadoff hitter in the fifth and hitting the next batter. Bria McClellan's two-run single to left spoiled the shutout.
“I know with our two other pitchers hurt (Haley Earl and Alexis Wallace), I am going to have to pitch,” Spence said. “Having that big lead sure makes you feel more comfortable out there.”
Meghan Henson also had a big day with a third-inning grand slam.
Marian Catholic scored twice in the first, then added seven in the second as it sent 11 hitters to the plate. In each of the first two innings, the Spartans benefited from three errors in each inning by the Stars.