Softball: Streator’s Makenna Ondrey wins 12-inning duel with Peotone’s Sophie Klawitter

Bulldogs win second straight 1-0 game over Blue Devils

Streator pitcher Makenna Ondrey delivers home to catcher Morgan Kostal in the top of the 11th inning against Peotone on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

STREATOR – Having already gotten both their Illinois Central Eight Conference softball games in during this wildly inconsistent weather week and being in different classes for the postseason, the Peotone Blue Devils and Streator Bulldogs will not play each other again in 2024.

Nobody’s happier about that than the hitters on the two teams.

After Monday’s 1-0 Streator victory in Will County, the Blue Devils and Bulldogs got together Wednesday in Streator and saw another pitchers’ duel between Streator junior Makenna Ondrey and Peotone sophomore Sophie Klawitter. Streator eventually pushed across an unearned run in the home half of the 12th inning for another 1-0 win.

Streator improves to 6-8 overall, 3-4 in the ICE. Peotone is 4-8, 2-6.

Streator left-handed freshman catcher Morgan Kostal delivered the game-winner, hitting a high fly ball into the wind just behind third base that turned around Peotone’s two left-side infielders and landed safely just behind the third base bag, scoring pinch runner Natalie Smith and ending the 12-inning marathon.

“I was just thinking I had to hit the ball,” Kostal said. “I just ran to first, and then I saw her drop it after I got to first, and I was just really excited that the game was over.”

For the game, Ondrey worked 12 shutout innings, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out 19. Klawitter worked 11 1/3 innings Wednesday, allowing one unearned run on four hits and one walk with 20 strikeouts.

Makenna Ondrey

“We had some opportunities but couldn’t break through to get one run, and finally a couple of our mistakes ended the game,” Peotone coach Steve Strough said.

“Very impressive [pitching]. Both of them moved the ball really well. It was a struggle for both teams to make solid contact. Nineteen innings of softball, and a lot of strikeouts and only two runs? Credit to these two pitchers. They did a phenomenal job.”

Over the two-game series, the two combined to pitch 37 1/3 innings and allow zero earned runs on 14 hits, walk seven and strike out 74.

Sophie Klawitter

“It’s definitely a great matchup,” Klawitter said. “I think we’re very evenly matched, and it was two great games. In the end we slipped a little bit, but it’s all right. It was a great game overall.”

Both teams indeed did have opportunities Wednesday – admittedly few, but opportunities nonetheless.

Peotone put two on in the first, got a leadoff double in the ninth from Autumn Clay and advanced Klawitter to second in the 11th but never managed to get a runner to third against Ondrey.

Streator, meanwhile, had runners at second and third with one out in the third, two on again in the fourth, Alexcia Middleton standing on third base with two outs in the seventh and received a two-out double off the bat of Mya Zavada in the 11th. All of those opportunities fell through, but their final one – made possible by back-to-back Blue Devils fielding errors – did not.

Raegan Morgan provided a leadoff single and was replaced on the base paths by Smith. After a flyout on a nice catch by Clay in center field, Joyce Walkling and Middleton both put balls in play for errors by Peotone, loading the bases for Kostal.

She came through despite being down 0-2 in the count.

“I’ll tell you what,” Streator coach Louis Ondrey said, “both games, neither pitcher showed anything [in the circle]. They never flinched. A hit, they just brushed it off. They never lost their demeanor. They just stayed in the game the whole time.

“I was happy to see Morgan get that hit. She’d been struggling a little bit at the plate, and it’s one out, 0-2, she knew the pressure was on her. I’d called time to talk to her and just told her, ‘You’ve been swinging great all day, you can do this, just be ready to go out and get it.’

“And she did.”