<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/iwDpmsuy-gE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
It was a pitchers duel for the annual Valley View matchup between Bolingbrook and Romeoville March 31 at Romeoville.
Both pitchers, Bolingbrook senior Megan Lotarski and Romeoville freshman Audrey Sizemore, had no-hitters entering the fifth inning.
In the end, Lotarski finished with a no-hitter, while the Raiders offense scored two runs in the top of the sixth for a 2-0 win.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Lotarski, who also had eight strikeouts. “I was just trying to hit my spots and change locations and try to throw batters off balance. I haven’t been hitting my spots as well as I wanted to, but it is a pretty good start.”
“It was a little bit of a pitchers duel,” Bolingbrook coach Jean Ryan-Moak said. “I think we lost sight in going up there and having fun in the first few innings. I stressed that to them in the sixth inning. Megan threw a no-hitter and not one ball went to the outfield, so you can’t ask for anything more than that from your pitcher.”
It was freshman Hallie Hall who came up big for Bolingbrook, with an RBI double after a walk. Jen Jacobson followed with an RBI single for an insurance run.
“I just went up there with the mindset of helping the team get a run in,” Hall said. “Everyone was doing well, we just had to get the one hit to get the run through. Everyone was starting to pick up on the pitcher by the end and we knew we could get the hit. I just wanted to help out the team. I think everyone is pretty happy we got the win.”
Despite the loss at the end, it was a strong showing for Sizemore, as she finished with 12 strikeouts.
“She had a no-hitter going into the sixth and she had some strikeouts,” Douglas said of Sizemore. “She was working hard. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the break. I always stress the mental part of the game and we had a walk, then a pickoff play that I called that we didn’t execute and a pop-up bunt that we didn’t catch. They had a quality at-bat then and came through with an RBI.”
Bolingbrook is coming off its first regional championship, and, even with a young team this year, the hopes are to duplicate that feat again this year.
“I think we have higher expectations this year,” Lotarski said. “We won regionals last year and we want to go farther this year. It is nice to have some younger girls, but I think we always have a young team, so it isn’t much different from other years.”
“The goals this year are to start strong and finish strong,” Ryan-Moak said. “We want to return to the regional championship game and win it and hopefully will go farther than last year.”
Being young is an understatement for the Raiders, who have just five upperclassmen.
“We have three seniors and two juniors, everyone else is underclassmen,” Ryan-Moak said. “I wanted to bring up who I thought would be potential good varsity players. I wanted to bring them up from the get-go, because the more you see varsity pitching and varsity ball, the better off you will be during your four-year career.”
Bolingbrook’s defense has a hard time of knowing what it needs to work on because of the strong pitching of Lotarski.
“We have a good problem in a way because we don’t have the ball hit much off of us with Megan,” Ryan-Moak said. “At the same time, it is hard to see what we need to work on. But hey, I’ll take it.”
For Romeoville, they struggled to hit Lotarski, but Douglas was pleased with their performance.
“Their pitcher is good,” Douglas said. “She had us on our heels the first time, one through nine. The second time we made some adjustments and the third time I thought we had some quality at-bats. We didn’t have solid contact today, but it was better than we have done in the past, especially off a D-I pitcher like that.”
Douglas feels like playing against top pitchers will only help the Spartans as the season progresses.
“You have to play the best to be the best,” Douglas said. “Bring it. Keep throwing the best pitchers. Keep throwing hard pitchers and we’re going to keep working hard. I’m proud of our girls. We made some adjustments.”
Like Bolingbrook, Romeoville is extremely young this year.
“We’re very young,” Douglas said. “Our whole infield besides our first baseman were freshmen. We have a couple seniors in the outfield. We’re looking for leadership and these young players to come in and trust their ability.”
Despite their youth, the Spartans feel they can compete in the rugged Southwest Prairie Conference.
“We’re going to compete and these kids are ready,” Douglas said. “We have our returning MVP back in Skye Osborne and she brings leadership and a good bat from the left side.”
The Spartans topped Thornwood 28-0 as Brittany Osborne and Ally Zeigler had three hits each, while Skye Osborne had four RBI. Brittany Osborne totaled 13 strikeouts on the mound.
Sizemore had nine strikeouts in a 4-0 loss to West Aurora.