PERU — Pete Kasperski’s retirement is being put on hold compliments of his Lady Devil softball team.
The Hall Lady Devils upset No. 1 seeded Seneca 7-0 in Saturday’s championship of the St. Bede 2A regional, keeping their outgoing coach in uniform for at least another day. It was Hall’s first regional title since 2009.
Deidra Whightsil and Ellie Herrmann each had two hits and Ellie Herrmann and Abbey Azarskis each drove in two wins. Sophomore pitcher Adriana Pikula took care of the rest, shutting out the Lady Irish on just three hits.
“Oh yeah, it’s his last year. Got to go out with a bang for him,” senior shortstop Brenna Faletti said.
“We definitely want to win it for him,” senior catcher Becca Herrmann said. “He didn’t want us to think like that. He was like, ‘No, win it for yourselves.’ But we really wanted to win it for him. We’re really glad we got that last regional win for him”
Kasperski, who has coached Hall softball for eight years, said, “My wife wants me to keep working,”
Hall got the only runs Pikula would need with a pair in the first inning. Faletti scored on the front end of a double steal with Deidra Whightsil. Azarskis drove in Whightsil on a long fly down the line that bounced off the glove of the Seneca left fielder.
Pikula doubled to lead off the second and scored.
The Lady Devils plated three runs in the fourth. They loaded the bases on three straight hits by Faletti, Deidra Whightsil and Becca Herrmann before Faletti scored on a wild pitch. Ellie Herrmann drove in Whightsil with a line drive single to left and Azarskis plated Becca Herrmann with a ground out to third to make it 6-0.
Deidra Whightsil doubled with one out and scored on Ellie Herrmann’s second RBI hit of the day.
“We got beat by a decent amount by them earlier in the year, so we weren’t taking them lightly. It’s nice to execute and actually win,” Faletti said.
“When we played them, before we lost by five I think. One girl had a home run. I think shutting her down kind of helped us know we could do it,” Becca Herrmann said. “We scored a lot last time we played them so we were pretty confident we could pull it out.”
Pikula, who struck out nine, never let the Irish get anything going offensively. She limited them to just there hits, while pitching around the Irish’s No. 3 and 4 hitters, Sarah Radtke and Lexi Trompeter, who walked seven of eight times between them.
“That was our gameplan. We weren’t going to pitch to their 3 and 4 hitters. We weren’t going to let them beat us,” Kasperski said. “I never dreamed in my wildest dreams we’d shut them out...We didn’t make an error. That’s probably the first time all year we didn’t make an error. It’s a great time (to do that).
The Lady Devils (12-10) will face Stillman Valley at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first semifinal of the Byron Sectional.
“I can’t be more prouder of the girls to where we started to where we are right now. It’s just a great feeling,” Kasperski said. “I don’t care who we play in sectionals. For these girls here, this is our state championship, really. Because now, you’re going to face somebody who’s bringing it. But were going to go and compete and do the best we can.”
Becca Herrmann said it’s a nice way to end her career at Hall.
“Me, Brenna and Deidra have worked so hard for four years and now this is the final thing we get to do and it’s so awesome,” Herrmann said.
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