Burrell softball gets walk-off homer to end Freeport’s section winning streak
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | 8:14 PM
For the second time in as many games, a Clark delivered for Burrell when it mattered the most.
Last week, Sara Clark hit a walk-off home run to lift the Bucs to a 13-12 Section 1-3A victory over Deer Lakes.
On Wednesday against Freeport, it was Elizabeth Clark’s turn.
The sophomore cleanup hitter connected on a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh as Burrell rallied for a 10-9 victory.
“I new I just needed to at least get on base to keep things going,” Clark said. “I wasn’t trying to kill the ball. I would’ve been happy with just a single because I was confident those coming up after me could do it, too.”
Burrell’s win avenged an earlier 7-4 loss at Freeport. The Bucs and Yellowjackets are tied for the top spot in the section with Deer Lakes at 4-1.
Burrell is 5-2 overall, and Freeport lost for the first time in seven games this season.
The Bucs ended the Yellowjackets’ 15-game section winning streak. Freeport had beaten Burrell five straight times coming into Wednesday’s game.
Freeport and Burrell also played a dramatic game on Burrell’s home field last year. The Yellowjackets trailed 6-0 before scoring eight runs in the top of the seventh to win 8-6.
“We’re rivals, and we know it’s going to be a battle each time we play,” Elizabeth Clark said.
Freeport on Wednesday held leads of 5-0, 6-2 and 7-4. Burrell rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score.
The Yellowjackets moved ahead 9-7 in the top of the seventh on a two-run homer by Maddie Wagner.
The walk-off homer came with one out. Kayla Santucci led off the inning with a single, and Cara Fiore was hit by a pitch from Freeport reliever Autumn Powell to put two runners on.
Burrell finished with 10 hits. Lea Coffman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to cut Freeport’s lead to 5-2, and Sara Clark added three singles.
“The girls love to hit, and we can hit one through nine and put the ball over the fence one through nine,” Burrell coach Brian Eshbaugh said. “I would’ve liked to have been tied going into that last inning, but I felt as long as we kept it to within a run or two, we had a shot with what we had coming up.”
Burrell also drew eight walks, and Freeport committed six errors.
“It wasn’t a good day for us with those errors,” Freeport coach Sam Ross said. “We’re normally fundamentally sound defensively. I give Burrell credit. They hit the ball hard, but we have to make plays. No matter who you play, you can’t have errors and give runs away.”
Freeport has a quick turnaround with a game Thursday at Deer Lakes.
“We can’t sulk about this one,” Ross said. “We have to put this one behind us and refocus for (Thursday).”
Freeport finished with nine hits off of Burrell freshman starter Caroline Dynka. Ally DeJidas went 3 for 3 with a double, triple and four RBIs.
Tori Radvan got the Yellowjackets on the board in the top of the first with a two-run homer.
Dynka struck out six and walked four in seven innings to pick up the victory. She helped herself at the plate in the bottom of the sixth with a run-scoring single.
“Both of my pitchers, (sophomore) Kylie (Karns) and Caroline, have pitched well against Freeport this year,” Eshbaugh said. “They both kept us in the game against a really good hitting lineup.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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