Marist's softball team passed Barrington for most home runs in a season on May 23. Marist photo

Marist's softball team passed Barrington for most home runs in a season on May 23. Marist photo

Baseball and Softball Wrap | Brother Rice and Lyons win thrillers; Marist softball sets state HR record

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Exciting to the last pitch.

Two area baseball regional championships were determined in nail biting fashion on May 27.

At the Class 4A Whitney Young Regional, Brother Rice, which finished third the state in Class 4A in 2022, got a bases-loaded to squeak by Mount Carmel, 6-5, and continue its postseason run.

The fifth-seeded Caravan (19-13) had a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Crusader sophomore Jason Natanek drove in the tying run with the single and Purdue-bound Amir Gray used patience to coax the walk-off walk.

Randall Nauden had two homers in the game to lead the fourth-seeded Crusaders (22-15) to their 17th regional title and seventh in the past seven seasons.

Top-seeded Lyons had to sweat out a 4-3 victory against ninth-seeded Oak Lawn to win its own regional.

Oak Lawn (20-14) had a 3-2 lead going into the final frame and was a strike away from winning, but the Lions (25-9) got a two-run single to keep their postseason alive.

Lyons has won 23 regional or district championships.

 

Home run derby
Marist’s softball team upped its home run total to an IHSA season-record 81 during a 16-0 regional victory over Proviso East on May 23.

The RedHawks passed Barrington’s record of 78, set last year, according to IHSA records.

Marist had 71 homers in 2018, which was third on the IHSA list heading into this season.

The RedHawks had 11 players homer to break the record: Isabel Cunnea, Gabi Novickas, Breanna Hanik, Eileen Donahue, Camryn Lyons, Maia Pietyrzak, Morgan Rogers, Caroline O’Brien, Nayeli Scott, Peyton Benoit and Ellie Holmstrom.

 

Doubling their pleasure
The area has five schools that won regional titles in both baseball and softball.

Lyons, Nazareth, Marist and St. Laurence won regional championships, as did brother-sister schools Brother Rice and Mother McAuley.

 

Trinity falls short
Trinity Christian’s baseball team bowed out of the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series with a 14-4 semifinal loss to Southwestern Christian (Oklahoma) on May 23.

Jordan Veldman cracked a home run and Oliver Carmody drove home a run for the Trolls, who finished the season 29-28.

 

Short hops
• Evergreen Park pitcher Lily Strand concluded her season with back-to-back South Suburban Red Softball Player of the Year honors.

• Former St. Laurence baseball star Jimmy Burnette is moving up the ladder in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, getting promoted to AAA Buffalo on May 23.

• Did you know: Nazareth’s 1988 softball team owns the IHSA record for most hits in an inning? The Roadrunners smacked 34 hits in an inning against Walther Lutheran on April 13, 1988.

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