Softball: Seniors lift Joliet Catholic Academy past Nazareth on Senior Day

Joliet Catholic’s Addie Fanter connects against Nazareth on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 in Joliet.

JOLIET – Wednesday was Senior Day at Joliet Catholic Academy, and the seniors did indeed take center stage in a 9-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference win over Nazareth Academy.

Sydney Walker fired a complete game, four-hit shutout with seven strikeouts, while Addison Fanter and Madison Patrick were each 3 for 4. Camryn Kinsella was 2 for 4 with an RBI, Brooke Baranoski threw out a runner at third from right field as a part of a double play and Samantha Patrick played flawless defense at first base.

Prior to the game, Wrigley Fanter – another senior who is out for the season with an injury – donned her catcher’s gear to catch a ceremonial first pitch before going to third base to hug her sister, Addie.

“It was so nice to get a win on Senior Night,” Addie Fanter said. “It was awesome seeing my sister on the field, and I am glad she came down to hug me.

“We were really fired up and excited.”

After Walker held Nazareth (9-14, 4-7) scoreless in the top of the first, her teammates showed how fired up and excited they were.

Madison Patrick started things off with an infield single and Addy Rizzatto walked. Walker reached on an error to load the bases before Addie Fanter singled to score Patrick and Rizzato. An out later, Kinsella singled to center to score Walker. Molly Ryan followed with a single that chased home Fanter. A wild pitch moved both runners up before Nina Sebahar delivered a two-run single to cap the six-run rally.

Joliet Catholic’s Sydney Walker delivers a pitch against Nazareth on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 in Joliet.

Both teams went scoreless in the second, but JCA added a run in the third on an RBI single by Madison Patrick, scoring Ryan, who led off with a single

In the bottom of the fourth, Walker led off by reaching on an error. Courtesy runner Leah Pena stole second and scored on a single by Kinsella for an 8-0 lead. The Angels (14-8, 8-4) looked like they might end the game in the fifth. With one out, Baranoski reached on an error and Madison Patrick launched a fly to right that hit the top of the fence for a double, sending Baranoski to third. Rizzatto hit a sacrifice fly that scored Baranoski.

“The seniors did well today,” JCA coach Tina Kinsella said. “Sydney threw a shutout, Madison Patrick almost ended it off the top of the fence. Three or four more pushups and it would have gone out. Addie Fanter had three hits, Camryn Kinsella had two hits. Brooke Baranoski made a great throw to get a girl at third for a double play and Samantha Patrick is, in my opinion, one of the best first basemen in the state. She sacrifices her body and scoops balls out to help her teammates.

“It was a great feeling to jump out to a 6-0 lead. That was a great cushion for Sydney and she could just go out there and throw strikes.”

Nazareth’s Kennedy Joe slides into second ahead of the tag by Joliet Catholic’s Molly Ryan on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 in Joliet.

Kennedy Joe doubled for Nazareth and also made two sparkling diving catches in center field. Other hits for the Roadrunners came from Emme Barnes, Catie Luzzi and Morgan Kwak.

“After the first inning, we played them pretty tough,” Nazareth coach Victoria Sobol said. “The girls were working together in the dugout and supporting each other. We fell behind 6-0 in the first inning and we went the full seven innings. That is the type of fight that I hope we can carry over into the rest of our games.

“Kennedy Joe is such a great leader. She just goes out there and plays hard. She really wants the team to do well.”