SOMONAUK – The Indian Creek girls softball team saw its season end after dropping a Class 1A Somonauk Regional semifinal to the Bobcats, 9-1.
Indian Creek didn’t have the firepower to hang with the Bobcats. Somonauk showed why it is ranked fifth in the IHSA Class 1A Coaches Poll, cranking out 17 hits and playing stellar defense behind the pitching of UW-River Falls commit Tayler Fall.
“That’s one heck of a hitting team,” Timberwolves coach Jeremy Lowe said. “Our girls hung in there. They had a heck of a season, and I have no complaints with them. I am very pleased with them.”
For the Bobcats, this game was a microcosm of another strong season.
“We just coach confidence in the kids,” Somonauk coach Scott Siuda said. “They’re going to do what they’re gonna do. We don’t over engineer a whole lot of stuff with hitters. It’s just little tweaks and confidence. … Two strikes on batters and coming through with base hits, knocking runs in. That’s just kids going up there and knowing that they’re going to succeed.”
The Timberwolves will get some reinforcements next season, as Paw Paw will be folding its program to co-op with Indian Creek.
Combined with only two graduating seniors, Hailey Hermann and Devin Probst, that means there will be less of a learning curve for next season.
“We had a very lean team this year,” Lowe said. “We played most of our games with only nine girls, hoping nobody gets hurt. … A couple of the girls play a travel season all summer long.
“We’re gonna get together with our Paw Paw girls that will be coming over, and we’ll work with them, and everybody, in the offseason to get them primed and ready to go.”
Indian Creek will be returning Jesika Lowe, its main starting pitcher, who is only a sophomore. She just finished a season in which she struck out more than 150 batters and was a major part of the team’s step forward this year.
“We gotta find our bats a little more and try to hit more gaps while making sure our defense is on top,” Jesika Lowe said. “I think our team did really well overall, and I think we worked really well together.”
Hermann had some words of wisdom for the girls who will be returning to Indian Creek next season.
“Work hard and have fun,” Hermann said. “Don’t play the sport if you don’t love it. That’s what ultimately leads to wins. … I love the girls I work with. They’re amazing. To be honest, at the beginning of the season, I was kind of nervous, considering we were a young team. But, we really pulled together, and I am proud of the way we played.”
By the numbers: Offense was hard to come by for the Timberwolves. They only managed three hits off Fall while striking out eight times.
Beyond the stats: There was a scary moment in the bottom of the fifth when Jesika Lowe got drilled in the left shoulder with a comebacker off the bat of Fall. She walked away with only a bruise and stayed in the game.