5:27 AMSaturday, February 6, 2016

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Providence Downs Knights

Providence Downs Knights

Providence Catholic coach Jay Biesterfeld feels that the Celtics should have a banner campaign. Biesterfeld's reason for being optimistic is his charged up battery of catcher Jessica Cotherm and pitcher Kendal Judge.

Each did a great job on April 1. Cotherm was a difference maker driving in five runs, which included a fourth inning grand slam, while Judge struck out 10 batters and allowed eight hits as the Celtics out-slugged Lincoln-Way Central 11-7 in a non-conference contest in New Lenox.

"Jessica did not want to let us down," said Biesterfeld. "She had a good pitch to hit and had a quick bat. She proved to be very important in this high scoring game for us. Kendal did a nice job of pitching, but we had some trouble playing defense.

"I am very happy to be able to beat a Lincoln-Way school," Bisterfeld added. "I'll take that."

Going into the top of the fourth inning, the Celtics had a 3-2 lead on a homerun by Morgan Greenwood. Central rallied with Nicole Rote doubling to centerfield, which allowed Colleen McLaughlin and Courtney Kinney to score for a 4-3 Central lead. Rote went on to finish with three RBIs.

"Nicole has really hit the ball well," said Central coach Jeff Tarala. "That was very encouraging to see."

"I just stayed focused," said Rote. "I did make a big adjustment after my first at bat. We gave them a great game."

But, that all changed in a huge way, in the bottom of the fourth inning as the Celtics scored seven runs to own a commanding 10-4 lead. Providence's Natalie Krockey reached on a fielding error by Central hurler Hannah Dallio as Lauren Sulikowski scored to tie the game at 4-all. With the bases loaded, Greenwood walked forcing in Sarah Deppert. Cotherm blasted a grand slam over the centerfield fence for a 9-4 lead as they never looked back. Zoe Bruni followed with a double and Judge singled her for a 10-4 advantage.

"I am very happy with my performance," said Cotherm. "I put in a lot of hard work over the winter. It has really paid off in a big way for me. Kendal was throwing the ball really well. She was able to hang in there and get the win."

"I was ready for the season to begin," said Judge. "I went out and played this game with a great deal of confidence. We wanted to win and we did. Jessica was able to put some runs on the board for us."

Central scored three runs in the sixth inning but it was just not enough. The Celtics added one run in the bottom of the sixth frame for an 11-7 lead.

In the top of the seventh inning, after one out, Central's Naidelyn Medina walked, but Judge fanned Kinney and Rachel Soch to secure the wild win.

Providence Catholic scored two runs in the first inning. Central's Hannah Hosty nailed a two-run double to tie the score at 2-all.

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