Softball: Brynn Woods shuts down Sycamore in Kaneland win

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SYCAMORE – For the first four innings, Tuesday’s Interstate 8 Conference game between Sycamore and Kaneland was a pitchers’ duel.

Sycamore starter Addison Dierschow faced only 13 batters in the first four innings, with only one reaching base. Brynn Woods, her Kaneland counterpart, allowed a few more base runners during that span but always wriggled out of the jams with an inning-ending strikeout.

Knights’ batters finally reached Dierschow in the fifth, stringing together three base hits to take a 2-0 lead. Kaneland (6-8, 3-2 Interstate 8) added an insurance run in the sixth for a 3-0 conference win.

Woods struck out 15, yielded three singles and walked one batter in the complete-game effort.

“My curveball was working, and my off-speed pitches were working really well at the end,” the right-hander said.

Sycamore (15-2, 4-1) batters put runners in scoring position in four innings but were unable to get them home.

“When you get 21 outs and 15 of them are only two people participating in that, that’s not going to end well for you on most days,” Sycamore coach Jill Carpenter said. “So we just have to tip our caps to Brynn and find a way to put the ball in play the next time we play them.”

Katie Congoran opened the Knights’ fifth with a bloop single to left. Isabelle Stombres followed with a triple to the gap in right-center that scored Congoran.

“I just got in there and I knew I had to hit the ball to move the runner,” Stombres said about her triple. “It felt good off the bat.”

Another bloop single by Corrine Pugh, this time to right field, brought in Stombres. Courtesy runner Gianna Cellini replaced Pugh and became a scoring threat after stealing second base during Sammy Dunne’s at-bat.

“They stacked three hits. Two were little bloops, and one was a perfect triple,” Carpenter said. “That’s what you’ve got to do. If you’re only going to have a few hits in a game, they have to be all in a row.”

A well-executed Spartans double play prevented more damage. Dunne flew out to left fielder Ellison Hallahan. The sophomore fired to shortstop Keera Trautvetter, who doubled up Cellini at second base. Lexi Workman grounded out to end the inning.

The Knights scored a run on Bree Crosby’s sacrifice pop foul in the sixth. Angelina Campise led off with a single and advanced to third on a walk and a sacrifice bunt. The shortstop came around by beating Spartans right fielder Faith Heil’s throw to the plate after catching the pop-up deep in foul territory.

Kaneland coach Madison Mikos said team play was a key to the victory.

“We’re playing as a team,” Mikos said. “We’ve built trust and communication and have that fight inside.”

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