UNION TWP. | With his offense struggling in the sectional opener against River Forest, Bishop Noll coach Ralph Laramie had to look no further than the bottom third of his order for a spark.
Charlotte and Rachel Williamson combined for seven hits and four runs while Salina Espino delivered a two-run triple as the Warriors knocked off River Forest 13-1 Monday afternoon.
Bishop Noll (20-7) will face defending Class 2A state champion Wheeler in a sectional semifinal Wednesday.
"We started a bit slow, but we were just excited to get some hits going," Charlotte Williamson said. "The bottom of the order has been doing well lately."
Charlotte, a senior, was stranded on base after a one-out double in the second inning. The first baseman came right back in the fourth inning with a single which led to a run and then a two-run double in the fourth inning. The senior scored three runs and reached base all five times she came to the plate while hitting in the seventh spot in the lineup.
"I think we have really good balance with our hitters," Charlotte Williamson said. "We have some hitters at the top of the lineup and then some at the bottom as well."
Rachel is Bishop Noll's third baseman and has been hitting in the nine spot since an early season slump helped push her down in the order. The junior struck out in her first at-bat, but then delivered hits her next three times to the plate, driving in two runs.
"The bottom half of the order has been doing that for the last four or five games," Laramie said. "Even when we lost to Andrean, they've been producing."
The Warriors scored six runs in the seventh inning and the offensive outburst overshadowed a dominating performance by Vanessa Hartzell. The junior pitcher had 14 strikeouts and allowed just one run on three hits against the Ingots (7-18).
With the win, the Williamson sisters are excited to get another shot at the Bearcats. The teams split earlier in the season and Wheeler has eliminated Bishop Noll in three out of the last four years.
"We really think that we can beat them," Rachel Williamson said. "They were really good last year and they're pretty good again this year, but we think that we can beat them. We split with them this season and the game we lost, we think we could've won."