PREP SOFTBALL

Wheeler’s Sweeney heats up during postseason run

2013-05-31T18:30:00Z 2013-05-31T20:27:24Z Wheeler’s Sweeney heats up during postseason runAndrew Stem Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 31, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

Karessa “Bug” Sweeney made an adjustment in the batter’s box near the end of the regular season, and that change sparked the junior’s offense and helped fuel Wheeler’s run to the Class 2A regional title.

Sweeney, who was batting around the .100-mark for portions of the season, went back to a process she had used earlier in her career called “slugging.” When slugging, she squares around as though to bunt before pulling the bat back to get into hitting position.

“It’s pretty much a right-handed slap,” Sweeney said. “It helps me to hit the ball better. I was dipping my shoulder. I tried a lot of stuff in the cage nothing really worked.”

Since she made the adjustment, Sweeney has raised her batting average to .292 from .240 at the end of the regular season. She is 7-for-14 with a home run and six RBIs in the postseason.

“It allows her to keep her head locked in and see the pitch with both eyes,” Wheeler coach Marc Bruner said. “It has paid off for her.”

In the regional championship at Winamac, Sweeney had three hits, including a two-run home run. She finished Wheeler’s 10-0 win with three hits, three RBIs and three runs.

“It’s the middle of the order pop now that we are really starting to get,” Bruner said. “Angelise Vukan is our No. 4 hitter, Bug’s our No. 5 and Kayla Aytes is our No. 6 hitter. The three of them have really stepped it up here in the postseason.”

Sweeney delivered the game-winning single in the seventh inning of Wheeler’s 2-1 victory over Whiting in the sectional championship game.

Not only did Sweeney make a change at the plate, but she also changed positions in the field during the season.

After starting the year at shortstop, Sweeney swapped positions with Kylie Horn near the end of the regular season and moved to second base.

“We made the switch in the middle of the Boone Grove game, and we haven’t looked back since,” Bruner said. “It’s that kind of maturity out of a kid that we really think is valuable. She has a great attitude about everything all the time.

“I think we could put her at any spot and she would flourish because she’s just a softball player.”

Bruner said the Wheeler defense has seemed more comfortable since the switch happened.

“I was a little iffy about it at first, but it helped the team a lot and I like it,” Sweeney said.

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