The way Brookfield Central sophomore pitcher Crystal Sicard was setting down Brookfield East, no one would have guessed it would be her bat that would key a 4-3 win in the WIAA Regional Championship game on May 28 at Central.
Sicard allowed only a walk to Sydney Jahnke in the first 5.2 innings, when the Spartans' bats suddenly woke up.
With Central leading 3-0, East's Emma Megal, who struck out in her first two at bats, ripped a triple to left centerfield with two outs in the sixth.
Jahnke then singled to center to score Megal and took second when the ball got by the centerfielder. Cleanup hitter Megan Foley then ripped a long home run to left center, and the score was tied at 3-3.
"I knew she's been a good hitter; she's always been a good hitter," Sicard said of Foley. "I knew it was going to be a close game when I first walked out here. That was one pitch, one hit; I had to keep coming back."
Central couldn't score in the bottom of the sixth and neither could the Spartans in the seventh.
Pitching in her first game of the season after an injury, East pitcher Abbie Gerczak retired the first hitter in the seventh on a popup back to the mound.
But then Laura Hauser doubled down the left field line and sophomore Katie Mejchar pinch ran for her. Sicard, who was 0-for-3 against Geczak, then ripped a hard grounder down the first-base line for a single, and Mejchar came around to score the game-winner.
"I knew we just needed one, bottom of the seventh," Sicard said. "I knew we had to score. I had to do anything I could to put the ball in play. I hit an outside pitch and hit it down the first-base line which was a good."
Sicard, who pitched a 3-hitter with a walk and finished with 14 strikeouts, was happy with her performance.
"Fourteen strikeouts. That's very good for me," she said. "I'm pretty happy."
Gerczak pitched a 7-hitter with two walks and three strikeouts, and Central coach Doug Lange was impressed with what he saw.
"They had the new girl who had been injured," he said. "She threw very well. I felt we left a lot of girls stranded on the bases (nine). I felt that after we got the 3-0 lead we lost our momentum.
"And the captains brought that up to the team after the game. Once you get up 3-0, you've got to put your foot on the pedal. I didn't have to say that."
Lange was also happy with his pitcher's performance.
"Crystal obviously threw another great ballgame, and defensively we played well. It's hard to defense a ball off the fence for a triple and a home run. Other than that, I thought we played well."
Gerczak, who missed the first part of the season coming off a shoulder injury, had been batting for awhile, but started playing first base about three weeks ago. Last week she was ready to pitch, but first-year coach Ashley Webber wanted to save her for this game.
"It's a tough thing for a freshman to come in and pitch this game, but she's been waiting seven months, and she did a great job," Webber said. "She hit her spots well and kept their 3-4 (hitters) quiet pretty much. That last hit (Sicard's) was hard to take, but I think she did a very good job."
Webber then talked about Foley, who has battled on after her mother passed away unexpectedly this spring.
"She's just a solid kid; to have had a tragedy like that and she comes out and missed one game," Webber said. "She had been struggling with her pitch selection. She asked me what could she do to get better, and I told her to wait for her pitch. She did a nice the job the last few weeks.
"She crushed that ball today. She deserved it."
The Spartans finished 10-16 overall and 4-10 in the Greater Metro Conference.
May 27 at East
The Spartans defeat Milwaukee King, 18-6, in a regional semi-final game, banging out 19 hits in the process. Emma Megal had two hits, two walks, scored three times and drove in three runs, Megan Roidt scored three times, had two hits and two RBIs and Alyssa Boltik had one hit, two walks, two runs and two RBIs. Holly Knight earned the win, allowing eight hits, four walks and fanning five.
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