Evanston Township High School Wildkit softball players turned things around Thursday in their second home game of the year, defeating the Payton Grizzlies 12-0.
Allie Managlia set the tone in the top of the first as she struck out the side — all three batters went down swinging.
Leadoff hitter Jenna Ehrensaft got on base to start the offensive game, and Caroline Duke singled to put runners at first and second. Following an out, Emily Mathyer walked to set the table for freshman Izzy Bergman. With two strikes, Bergman ripped a triple off the right/center field wall to score three runs and put the Wildkits in the drivers seat.
Sophomore Allie Nortz then ripped a ground ball to the right side in a textbook play to score the run from third base and give the Kits a 4-0 lead going into the top of the second.
In the top of the second, The Grizzlies managed to hit and reach first and second, but Managlia once again struck out the side and allowed the Kits to come back in to hit. We scored no runs in the second, as the Payton second baseman and centerfielder made fantastic defensive plays.
In the top of the third, the Kits shut down the Grizzlies once again, highlighted by an excellent play by third baseman Maddie Reiches on a perfectly placed bunt.
The bottom of the third brought four more runs for the Kits as Emily Mathyer doubled with one out to get the offense going. Izzy Bergman then reached first and stole second to give Allie Nortz runners at second and third. Allie ripped a triple to the wall, in almost the exact same place as the previous triple. That brought in two runners, giving the Kits a 6-0 lead.
The Kits were not done yet. Junior captain Maddie Reiches stepped to the plate and drove the ball deep to right field for a two run homerun.
In the top of the fourth, Allie Managlia struck out the side once again. Her movement pitches were moving like crazy, and catcher Emily Mathyer had her work cut out for her trying to catch the ball.
The bottom of the fourth brought four more runs for the Kits as Allie Nortz and Maddie Reiches once again drove line shots into the outfield to score their teammates.
The Kits held the Grizzlies in the fifth inning on a highlight reel play by Maddie Reiches – jumping to cut down a line drive down the line heading toward left field, and two more strikeouts by Managlia.