Softball: Aspyn Novak makes ‘right’ play to lift LC
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent March 27, 2013 11:08PM
Updated: April 29, 2013 12:28PM
ST. JOHN — Aspyn Novak knew exactly what she needed to do.
The Lake Central sophomore simply wanted to make sure she could do it when it mattered most.
With the Indians trailing Penn 3-2 and the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Novak delivered a clutch two-run single — scoring the tying and winning runs — lifting Lake Central to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Kingsmen on Wednesday.
“I just knew I had to get it on the ground and get it on the right side,’’ Novak said. “I just went in (the batter’s box) and thought: ‘Right side. Right side.’ I was looking for an inside pitch and I got it. It felt good. It was nerve-racking, but I just focused.’’
A clutch one-out, pinch-hit single by Lauren Gorczynski, kept the rally going for the Indians.
Lake Central rallied for a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Abbey Rauch and added three fifth-inning runs to overcome an early 3-0 deficit.
“I thought Gorczynski’s hit was the play of the game,’’ LC coach Jeff Sherman said. “It not only kept the rally going, but it pumped all the girls up. It’s not an easy situation to come into — down two runs, with one out with a runner at first — but she came through for us.’’
Novak’s game-winning two-run single prevented LC starter Lily Del Toro from taking a loss.
Del Toro, who allowed Penn three first-inning runs on three hits, pitched three innings. She allowed three hits, had two strikeouts and two walks — one with the bases loaded — before giving way to sophomore Annabel Karberg in the fourth.
Karberg (1-0) allowed one hit, fanned seven and walked one over four frames.
“Lily was up in the zone early, but then she made an adjustment and was great after that,’’ Sherman said. “I liked the way she re-focused and the way Annabel pitched when she came in.’’
Senior Kayla Bishton, who started her first game in centerfield, went 3-for-3, including a double to lead LC’s offense.