Liberty 18U Wins ASA National Title
Byline: Daily Herald Reports
Riding dominant pitching, gold-glove fielding, aggressive base running and clutch hitting, the Lake County Liberty travel fastpitch softball team ran the table and won the ASA 18U Class A Northern Nationals Championship in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
The Liberty, a member of the Lake County Fastpitch Softball Association, finished 8-0 and trailed in a game for only one inning during the entire tournament.
The title earned the Liberty a berth to the 2007 ASA National Championship Tournament.
The Liberty started the tournament by beating the Missouri Angels 6-4 and the Ralston (Neb.) Rampage 4-3 to win its pool.
Stevenson graduate Alex Vikartofsky had 2 doubles and 3 hits, while Kristin Alling (Grayslake) drove in 4 runs. Vikartofsky notched the victory, striking out 10.
In the second pool game against the Rampage, Liberty third baseman Kris Ottens (Grayslake) doubled, drove in a run and scored a run. Lisa Odom (Stevenson) chipped in with a 2-for-4 effort and 2 RBI. Anna Snyder (Grayslake) got the win.
Bracket play began with the Liberty besting the St. Louis Sluggers 3-1 in a game that saw right fielder Bridget Matsunaga (Vernon Hills) collect 2 hits and swipe 2 bases. Catcher Kenny Senn-Cadotte (Marian Central) went 1-for-2 and drove in the winning run, while Shay Maguire (Carmel) was on base twice and scored a run.
Second baseman Katelyn Blanas (Grayslake) played outstanding defense, thwarting several Slugger scoring attempts with her glove work. Pitcher Devon Kelly (Grayslake), relying on her baffling drop ball, blanked the Sluggers for 5 innings and picked up the victory. Snyder earned the save.
In Game 4, the Liberty put the Northlake Knockouts down for the count in a 3-0, 16-strikeout, 1-hit shutout by Vikartofsky. Alyssa Wilson (Vernon Hills) had 2 hits, stole a base and scored a run. Alling stole 3 bases, including home.
The Liberty faced one of the toughest teams in the tournament in Game 5, the perennial powerhouse Wisconsin Bandits. The Bandits scored the game's first run in the third inning, the only time the Liberty trailed in the entire tournament, before Odom and Vikartofsky, gave the Liberty the lead for good in the fourth.
Odom ripped a triple, and Vikartofsky followed with a long home run to left-center. Vikartofsky later came in to pick up the save, preserving the 3-2 win for Snyder. …