[PhotoNews Media by Clark Brooks]
The Knights could have piled on even more in the first three innings, but they left eight runners on base.
“We came out knowing we had to hit early and hit often, and this team as you saw was a really good hitting team,” Theobald said. “That was our plan, and we needed to carry it through to the end. That’s what really got us.”
Montini started the comeback in the fifth off starter Emilee Erickson. Alyssa Filkowski hit a two-run home run, then Nikki Cuchran followed with a solo blast, her 16th of the year.
But in the bottom of the frame, Sommesi hit a solo blast to right to seemingly stem the tide and build the lead back to five.
“I’m super proud of what the kids have done this year, taken a midseason slide down to the state finals,” Kaneland coach Mike Kuefler said. “At the beginning of the year, if you would have asked me if we would make it this far, I knew we were talented enough to do some damage and to win some games, but at some point midseason these ladies decided they weren’t going to lose anymore. And they took it all the way to the state finals. I’m proud as heck of these young ladies.”
Erickson faced the first six batters of the seventh, leaving after giving up a single to Ashley Lynch. Before that at-bat, the bottom four in the order were a combined 0 for 12.
McKenna Ryan came in to pitch and allowed two more to reach before Ng hit a two-run single to break an 8-all tie.