Lane takes city softball title
BY MICHAEL WOJTYCHIW May 20, 2011
When a team has won four consecutive city championships, confidence can be seen when they step onto the softball field. Lane showcased its confidence Friday as it defeated rival Taft 5-0 in the city championship game at UIC.
The title is the fifth in a row and 12th in 14 years for the Indians (22-13).
“It’s awesome to be a part of this history,’’ said senior Jessica Albert, who is one of only three seniors on the squad. “With this title we broke a Lane record, because no team had won more than four city titles in a row, so this is pretty cool to be a part of this.’’
Lane got on the board quickly with runs in both the first two innings and that was all junior pitcher Kaleigh Ambrose would need as she shut down Taft. Ambrose, who struck out the side in the first and third innings on her way to nine strikeouts, allowed the Eagles (16-16) only two hits the entire game.
Ambrose helped her own cause in the bottom of the fourth when she hit a towering home run to center field.
“Kaleigh pitched a great game and it just shows how good of a pitcher she is,’’ Albert said. “We’ve seen this team (Taft) so much and will probably see them again next week in the regional, I think she’s just gotten used to the way they swing the bats.’’
The Indians padded their 2-0 lead in the second inning when Hailey Pieruccini’s triple to deep left scored Emily Espinosa, who had reached on a single. Albert knocked Pieruccini in on a groundout.
“This has been a great run for us here,’’ said Lane coach George Stavrakas said. We’ve won a lot of titles and I think it just shows the consistency of the program.’’
“These playoffs have gotten us ready for the state playoffs. We’re hoping to win a regional title for the first time since 2008 this year as a four seed (which happens to be the highest seed the school has been awarded).’’
Lety Rosales and Kassie Prusko’s singles accounted for Taft’s two hits.
Taft, in 2006, was the last team other than Lane to win a Public League softball title.