Defense dominant, but squad drops three of four

Wednesday and Thursday brought four low-scoring games and a 1–3 record for the Maroons.

By Tatiana Fields

Wednesday and Thursday brought four low-scoring games and a 1–3 record for the Maroons.

Aurora (29–3) increased its winning streak to 21 straight as the South Siders (14–14) dropped two contests to the Spartans on Wednesday. In both games, the Maroons held the Spartans to low run totals but couldn’t get their bats going enough to match the host’s offense.

“Today’s performance did not reflect the strong offensive team that we are,” first-year Devan Parkison said. “I have never really been worried about scoring runs in a game with this team, but it seemed like today we had some trouble stringing hits together.”

In the first game, it was Chicago that took the early lead. First-year Kathleen Kohm scored on an RBI triple by third-year middle infielder Maddie McManus.

Fourth-year Kim Cygan pitched for the Maroons and was instrumental in holding Aurora to a few runs. Though Aurora loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning, the Spartans were limited to one run on a sacrifice fly, tying the score at 1–1.

The South Siders took the lead in the top of the seventh with an RBI double to left field by fourth-year Jacqueline Ryan.

Despite having the lead for much of the game, the Maroons couldn’t quite hold on. In the bottom of the seventh, the Spartans tied the game again at 2–2 with a run by first-year Lauren Huebner. The Spartans carried their momentum into the eighth with a walk-off RBI single to win the game 3–2.

Chicago left lots of runners on base, tallying only two runs on a baffling 11 hits.

Aurora’s confidence extended into the second game, but this time its defense held the Maroons to just three hits.

The Spartans scored two runs right off the bat with a pair of RBI singles and didn’t look back. Fourth-year Stephanie Lynch jacked a solo homer in the fifth, increasing their lead to 3–0.

The South Siders scored their only run of the game in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out. Third-year catcher Julia Covello put Chicago on the scoreboard with an RBI on a fielder’s choice, but that was it for the Maroons.

The next day, Carthage visited the Maroons at home and took the first game 2–0, but Chicago countered, winning the second by a score of 3–2. First-year Jordan Poole got the win on the mound as she held the Lady Reds to two runs on eight hits.

The Maroons had a 2–0 lead until Carthage came back, tying the contest at 2–2 in the seventh. The home South Siders weren’t about to drop two straight doubleheaders—they walked off with the 3–2 win on Covello’s solo home run.

Despite Chicago’s up-and-down season, the team still has hopes for the postseason.

“We need to focus on winning each inning in order to advance to Regionals,” Parkison said. “We are [also] trying to enjoy the rest of the season together, while focusing on extending it as long as possible.”

The Maroons are coming down the home stretch with only four games remaining in the regular season.

Today, the South Siders face North Park (18–10) in a doubleheader on the road. Both teams have faced Wheaton (17–13) this season; the Maroons lost both games against the Thunder while the Vikings split their doubleheader against them.

On Monday, the South Siders will compete against Beloit (7–25) in two contests at home. The Buccaneers are weak on defense, allowing opponents to score in double digits in seven games this season, so Chicago should have a good chance to rekindle its offense.

Chicago takes on North Park at 3 p.m. today and will then face Beloit at home on Monday at the same time.