The Joliet Catholic Academy girls softball team has overcome youth and injury this season to battle to a 9-7 record thus far and coach Dave Douglas said the team is growing up fast.
“We have had some up and down moments. We are still young, but we are doing some good things. We are just trying to grow,” Douglas said. “I have some freshmen that I have told they are not freshmen anymore – they are varsity players.”
With the youth has come injury, which plagued JCA early on.
“I have had more injuries this year than I have ever had,” Douglas said. “We have had three concussions, a girl back from shoulder surgery, one with a torn hip labrum. When we try and figure out what we are going to do for practice, first I have to count how many bodies we have.
“We are trying kids in different positions because the back up right fielder might be a third baseman, so everyone has to be ready.”
Some of those who have recovered from injury helped last week, as the Angels scored in double digits each of its last three games to run its record to 9-7 on the season.
In a 12-2 win over Coal City, Alyssa Callans did it all.
Callans allowed only three hits and allowed no earned runs. She walked two and struck out two during her five innings of work.
Callans was 2-for-3 with a double, a grand slam and four RBI.
The Angels scored 10 runs in the first three innings. Reilly Jo Swanson had a three-run home run and Meghan Harrison, who is back from a concussion, tallied an RBI triple in the second inning.
Callans’ slam came in the third. Josie Henderson continues to hit the ball well since coming back from shoulder surgery to homer in the fourth inning.
Callans was back at it again, as JCA defeated Wilmington 13-6.
Callans posted four RBI on three hits, as she doubled in the second inning, homered in the third inning, and singled in the fourth inning.
After being down 5-0 in the first inning, the Angels again scored early and often, posting 12 runs in the first three innings.
Run-scoring singles by Meghan Harrison, Alivia Phelps and Paige Callans in the first inning and RBI doubles by Reilly Jo Swanson Alyssa Callans and Henderson in the second inning paced the way.
Phelps and Henderson added homers for JCA.
To kick off the high-scoring stretch, the Angels beat Ottawa Marquette, 14-4
A nine-run explosion in the first inning sparked JCA, keyed by a home run from Phelps.
For the game, Phelps racked up four RBI on two hits and also earned the win allowing four runs on six hits over four innings, striking out four with three walks.
Harrison homered in the game.
“We have a great group of kids,” Douglas said. “Everyone has done a lot to help us along the way. We have to keep patient in this conference. We can’t get too high with a win and can’t get too low with a loss.”