Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.
St. Bede’s Mo Dean (left) and Lydia Stariha celebrate Tuesday after the Lady Bruins beat Rock Island Alleman 6-0 in a Class 2A Oregon Sectional semifinal. St. Bede advances to play Stillman Valley at 11 a.m. Saturday in the championship game. Stillman Valley beat Pecatonica 9-0 in Tuesday’s second semifinal. NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord
OREGON — Lainie Schweickert stood in the middle of the circle, watched and did nothing but smile.
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning of Tuesday’s Class 2A Oregon Sectional semifinal against Rock Island Alleman, the ace of the St. Bede softball team allowed a bloop single to centerfield.
It was the Lady Pioneers’ first hit of the game and ended Schweickert’s no-hitter with one out left.
Fully aware of how close she came to a no-hitter, Schweickert could do nothing but flash a sly grin.
“I did want the no-hitter, and once she hit it, I knew it,” Schweickert said. “But it’s alright. It doesn’t matter. It didn’t do any harm. I wasn’t really upset.”
While Schweickert’s no-hitter ended one out shy, the Lady Bruins star gladly settled for the consolation prize.
Schweickert allowed just the one hit and struck out 10 as she threw seven shutout innings to lead St. Bede past Alleman 6-0.
“The player of the year came out and showed she was player of the year in my opinion,” SBA coach Bill Prokup said. “We’ve talked before that Lainie is going to have to be at her best the rest of the way. She came out today and showed she deserved the attention that she gets. Her ball was jumping.”
Schweickert issued a lead-off walk in the third and a one-out walk in the fourth.
Following the second walk, she retired 10 straight batters before Alleman shortstop Mackenzie Sanchez hit the bloop single to center with one out left in the game. Alleman only had one runner reach second base and none advance to third.
“We always have a chance when she pitches, no matter who we face,” SBA right fielder Christine Daley said. “She always carries the team, and we’ve just got to hit for her.”
The Lady Bruins did plenty of hitting Tuesday and it helped lift St. Bede (21-5) into Saturday’s 11 a.m. championship game against Stillman Valley, which beat Pecatonica 9-0 in Tuesday’s second semifinal.
The Lady Bruins will play in a sectional final for the second time in four years and the third time since 2006.
“It’s a very big accomplishment for us,” said Schweickert, who pitched as a freshman in the sectional final in 2010. “We were very happy when we won the regional, so winning sectionals would be awesome. We’re all working very hard for it.”
While Schweickert dominated in the circle, the Lady Bruins offense provided plenty of support, led by the bottom of the order.
Scoreless in the bottom of the second, No. 6 hitter and centerfielder Tara Kunkel hit an infield single to start the inning.
She stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Daley, the No. 8 hitter, drove her in with an RBI single.
Daley took second on a wild pitch and scored when No. 9 hitter Lexi Miranda hit an RBI bloop single to left to give SBA a 2-0 lead.
A batter later, catcher and lead-off hitter Lydia Stariha doubled to the centerfield wall to drive home Miranda and give the Lady Bruins a 3-0 cushion.
St. Bede tacked on a run in the fourth when No. 7 hitter and shortstop Abbey Nowakowski singled with one out, stole second and took third on an Alleman throwing error.
A sacrifice fly by Daley scored Nowakowski and made it 4-0.
The Lady Bruins broke open the game in the sixth when Daley and Miranda each drove in a run.
The bottom four hitters in the St. Bede lineup scored five of the six runs and drove in four runs.
“Everyone has a role on this team and not everyone can bat first, but it’s really nice for us to have some strength at 6-7-8-9,” Prokup said. “We moved Daley up to eighth just for that reason — with two speedsters in front of her — so that we can knock them in.”
In addition to the bottom four, Stariha finished with two hits and two RBIs.
Jared Bell be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
Login to your account:
If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.