SPRING VALLEY — Bureau Valley’s Ashley Phillips came to play for the Storm on Monday in the IHSA Class 2A St. Bede Regional. Phillips blasted two three-run homers to power BV past St. Bede 10-6 in the opening round.
BV coach Brian Humphrey said Phillips made up for some lost time.
“She (Ashley) had a rough year with mono,” said Humphrey of his standout who just came back last week.
Phillips wasn’t the only Storm player to hit a long ball. Shelby Weborg belted a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to put the Storm up 2-0 to begin the contest between the No. 4 seeded Lady Bruins and the No. 5 Storm.
“Shelby’s two-run shot got us some momentum,” Humphrey said.
The Storm led the Lady Bruins throughout the game behind strong pitching from BV pitcher Irini Petros.
Bureau Valley (5-17) made the most of its opportunities including adding two runs in the top of the third behind a two-run double by catcher Jehna Thomas which drove in the bases that were loaded while the Lady Bruins left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth after leaving two runners on in the bottom of the third.
In the top of the fourth, junior Carlie Bickett and Darcy Kepner singled before Phillips hit the first of her three-run home runs to put the Storm up 7-0.
St. Bede made a comeback in the bottom of the fifth, batting through their lineup. Sophomore Gabby Morrow walked and stole second base before Tara Kunkel popped out to Kepner and sophomore Emily Draper struck out. St. Bede pitcher Christensen helped her own cause with a single to right field, driving Morrow in to put the first run on the board for the home team.
Morgan Knoblauch reached on the error before sophomore third baseman Brianna Lau drove in courtesy runner Emily Edwall and Knoblauch.
The Lady Bruins added runs on a Tristan Phegley double that drove in pinch runner Julia Pohar and a passed ball which brought in Phegley. Laura Sickley and Lexie Miranda walked before Morrow hit a shot back to Petros to end the five-run rally.
Bureau Valley’s Lacey DeVenney flied out to Morrow in the top of the sixth before Bickett and Kepner reached on consecutive Lady Bruin errors. Phillips launched her second three-run blast as the wind picked up at the Academy.
First-year St. Bede coach Mike Urbanski said the home runs and Phillips hurt his team.
“She came out and showed her stuff,” said Urbanski. “She wanted the ball high and Emmy gave it to her.”
Despite the three home runs, the Lady Bruins skipper was impressed with the pitching of his senior standout Christensen, who had been hampered with some injuries.
“Emmy pitched a good game, “ said Urbanski of his senior pitcher, who had five strikeouts in her last game as a Lady Bruin.
Knoblauch would end up as the final run that scored after she singled, stole second base and reached third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh before Sickley popped out to Thomas to end the Lady Bruins season.
The Lady Bruins ended the season 10-21 after losing a great deal of the players from the team that finished fourth in state in 2013, but will return a good portion of its squad in 2015.
• Bureau Valley saw its season come to a close with a 14-0 loss to top-seeded Seneca on Tuesday night.
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