Pickrum carries Flyers to title
Lewis wins 10th GLVC Championship
EAST PEORIA, Ill. - If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
After dropping the first game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship round to Quincy and All-American pitcher Torie Bunzell, the 25th-ranked Lewis Flyers responded with a 1-0 victory against the Hawks to claim their second consecutive GLVC title and their 10th overall.
Diana Pickrum matched Bunzell (29-11) pitch for pitch, as she earned her 10th complete-game shutout of the season. Pickrum (16-4) held Quincy to just three hits on the afternoon.
"(Diana) was outstanding," Lewis head coach George DiMatteo said. "She was determined not to let us lose and willed us to win."
The lone run of the game came in the first inning. Flyer center fielder Jayme Hefler reached base on a bunt single. Hefler advanced to second on a Bunzell wild pitch and third on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Traci Freitag. Stephanie Harmon plated Hefler with a squeeze bunt to give the Flyers the lone run of the game.
"This championship means so much," DiMatteo said. "Coming into this weekend, we thought we had to win this tournament because we weren't ranked regionally.
"We know how difficult it is to win this tournament because all eight teams had a chance to win it," DiMatteo continued. "I'm elated and relieved that we won the bid, because we did not leave a doubt."
In the opening game, Quincy used the strength of three home runs off Flyer starter Karissa Habel to claim the 7-4 win versus Lewis.
Quincy first baseman Lauren Francis provided the decisive blow for the Hawks with a three-run homer in the fifth inning, followed by a solo shot by Erin Gregory. Hawks' left fielder Whitney Kroeger added a solo homer in the third inning.
Habel (12-4) allowed seven runs, five earned, and ten hits while striking out three batters in 6.1 innings of work. Bunzell surrendered five hits, four runs, three earned, and struck out six batters to earn the win, which was her sixth of the weekend.
Offensively, the Flyers were led by second baseman Kayla Smith and catcher Mary Giancarlo. Smith was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Giancarlo went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.