WHITING | Rachel Dabertin feels like she's always at the plate when the game is on the line.
The Whiting senior came through in just such a scenario Friday to help the Oilers win a 6-5 extra-inning game over Hanover Central.
"Every time we're in a bunch, I come up with two outs," Dabertin said. "I honestly didn't know what happened til I got to first and everyone was screaming and hugging me."
What happened was Dabertin singled in Michaela Brown to end the game in the bottom of the ninth.
"I was thinking that I needed to get us out of this jam," Dabertin said. "I'm a senior and I needed to show the freshmen and underclassmen that if I can do this, anyone can do this. I wanted to prove to them that I'm worthy to play on this team."
Down 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, Brown and Jessica Butler tallied back-to-back doubles to force extra innings. Brown and Butler were a combined 7-for-10 with three doubles and four runs scored.
"We got some nice hitting, some timely hitting, especially out of (Brown and Butler)," Oilers coach Paul Laub said. "Usually we average five or six hits a game and this game we just broke out of it."
The Oilers (11-14) had lost four one-run games this season before Friday. Laub was happy to turn the tide.
"It's a nice win because we've been struggling," he said.
Whiting pitcher Mollie Lovasko allowed five runs, but came up when she was needed most. In the two extra frames, she retired six batters in order.
"Some of us aren't hitting the ball real well, yet," Hanover coach Larry McMillen said. "Our pitch selection, at times, left something to be desired."
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the third inning. Kori Davis led off the frame with a triple and Melissa Balkema drove her in with a base hit to left. Balkema scored two batters later when Ivy Dawson's pop fly fell in short left field.
Whiting got those runs back and more in its half of the third. Allie Sciacero crossed the plate when Lily Hale reached on an error. Later in the inning, Butler brought in two more with her double that one-hopped the fence in center field.
Butler scored on Abby Bondi's single.
"If you hit the ball, good things happen," Laub said. "Tonight's a good example of that."
H.C. notched another in the fourth Butler's throwing error allowed Johhna Rozek to score with two outs.
When Balkema came up with the Cats down one and a runner on second in the sixth, Laub decided to intentionally walk her. The decision paid off, as Jamie Frost grounded out to end the inning.
"It worked out because (Balkema) was killing the ball," Laub said. "She's a tough hitter."
McMillen said his team missed a few chances.
"They just don't do some of the basic things at times," he said. "We're young."