Stahre leads Lake Forest to softball semifinals with 2-0 win over Concord

 

BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — Katie Stahre calmly settled under a pop-up, just outside of the pitching circle.

The ball easily dropped into her glove for the final out as the Lake Forest High softball team gathered around her in celebration.

And it was certainly fitting for Stahre to catch the final out. She pitched a complete game shutout to lead the Spartans to a 2-0 victory at Concord High on Tuesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the DIAA state tournament.

“It felt great honestly,” Stahre said. “I just focused on hitting my spots and putting it in a place where they could hit balls where my defense could field it. They made good plays and we were heads up on some outs. I think our defense came out very strong.”

It’s the first time Lake Forest has made the semifinals of the softball tournament since the late 1990s. The 14th-seeded Spartans (14-6), who only have one senior on the roster, will now face the winner of today’s game between No. 2 Sussex Tech and No. 7 Appoquinimink on Thursday afternoon at a time and a place to be determined.

“This is something that not too many people get to experience,” Stahre said. “I want us to come out hard no matter what seed the other team is.”

Stahre’s defense behind her did its part to make sure the Raiders were kept scoreless.

The closest sixth-seeded Concord came to a run was in the fifth inning. The Raiders got the first two batters on base thanks to a walk and a groundball base-hit.

But the next batter ripped a single into left which was fielded by Faith Garey. Garey fired the ball in, hitting the cutoff man third baseman Brooke Glanden as the Concord base-runner froze in between third base and home plate.

Glanden was able to make the tag for the first out of the inning in a footrace back to third base. The Spartans then escaped the jam when Stahre forced a soft lineout to second baseman Grace Aguilar who was able to double the runner off first.

Lake Forest got another double play on a liner in the sixth when Stahre caught one back up the middle before getting the out at first. Garey shined on defense again in the bottom of the seventh when she made the first out with a diving catch in the gap.

“Oh my gosh it’s so great,” Garey said. “We’ve been working for this for so long and it feels amazing.”

Garey also provided all the run support Stahre would need when she belted a one-hop double off the wall in the top of the fourth for the first run of the game. Kayla Thompson was up next for Lake and doubled off the wall in center to score Garey.

“I think it’s great for where we’re at right now,” said Lake Forest coach Ashlie Tatman of the semifinal berth. “We had a very challenging season and for us to get this far, our girls are very competitive and they have a lot of heart. We’re the underdog in all this, I’m super proud of them.”

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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