Official Twitter of Chicago (Marist) Athletics Update

Event Details

  • June 10th, 2021

  • 4:30 PM

  • SOFTBALL

  • Varsity

  • Girl

  • Game

  • vs York

  • Home

  • IHSA Class 4A Sectional Final

  • Varsity Softball Field

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Game Summary

OFFICIAL TWITTER OF CHICAGO (MARIST) ATHLETICS

11

Vs.

IHSA CLASS 4A SECTIONAL FINAL

1

Boston College-bound Abby Dunning wins pitching duel as Marist romps past York for sectional title

 

 

Marist's Abby Dunning focuses in on the batter before making a pitch against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Marist's Abby Dunning focuses in on the batter before making a pitch against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Gary Middendorf / Daily Southtown)
 
 

Marist was facing a pitching powerhouse Thursday in Michigan commit Lauren Derkowski.

None of the RedHawks know her as well as their own ace, Boston College recruit Abby Dunning.

“We’re good friends,” Dunning said. “I’ve known her my whole life. We grew up competing against each other. She’s a great girl and a great pitcher.”

Who better to give away her secrets before they met in a Class 4A sectional final?

“Ha-ha, no,” Dunning said. “I don’t hit, so I don’t have any tips on hitting.”

Teammate Kali Case backed her up on that score.

“Yep, she doesn’t even bring a bat anymore,” Case said, laughing. “She just brings her mitt. She retired the bat, which is great. We just need her in the circle.”

Marist's Kali Case, right, hugs Eileen Donahue after scoring in the first inning against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Marist's Kali Case, right, hugs Eileen Donahue after scoring in the first inning against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Gary Middendorf / Daily Southtown)

In that regard, Dunning was the ace of the day as Marist’s bats went wild during an 11-1 victory in five innings over York.

The senior right-hander struck out 10 and allowed a run on three hits for the RedHawks (35-1). Case added three hits, while Eileen Donahue hit a game-ending three-run homer.

Dunning showed her effectiveness the first time through the Dukes’ order.

Derkowski came into the game with a .508 average and 12 home runs. Dunning struck her out.

Emily Fujiwara was York’s second-leading hitter with a .418 average and seven home runs. Dunning struck her out.

In fact, Dunning struck out Fujiwara all three times. Her 10 strikeouts extended her season total to 308.

Dunning was slightly wild, issuing three walks. But for the most part, she was brilliant. And she didn’t break.

Marist coach Colleen Phelan put a label on it.

Marist's Abby Dunning delivers a pitch against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Marist's Abby Dunning delivers a pitch against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Gary Middendorf / Daily Southtown)

“That’s the kind of pitcher Abby is,” Phelan said. “She’s a strikeout pitcher. When they have runners on, we don’t worry at all. Abby is a strikeout pitcher. We’ve never exactly had one of these, I don’t think.”

Dunning stranded six runners. She ended four of the five innings with strikeouts.

“I was trying to be a little bit too perfect,” Dunning said. “I trust myself, though. I’m confident that in the next game I’ll be back to where I should be.

“I’m feeling absolutely ecstatic. This was one step closer to our goal. This team is so special. The love we have for each person is crazy. I’ve never been on a team this close.”

The RedHawks will take that togetherness into being the host of a 4A supersectional at 4:30 p.m. Monday against Chicago Taft, a 4-1 winner over Maine South.

Marist, meanwhile, churned out 15 hits Thursday against a pitcher with one of the best stat lines in the state.

Going into the day, Derkowski had allowed just one earned run this season, with 253 strikeouts in 120 innings.

Marist's Kali Case singles against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Marist's Kali Case singles against York during a Class 4A sectional championship game in Chicago on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Gary Middendorf / Daily Southtown)

Case started the hit parade in the first with a leadoff line single to left field. Easton Lotus followed with an infield hit. Sierra Sass also singled, while Gianna Richy smacked an RBI double. The RedHawks were up 4-0 after just one inning.

“We kind of do a little bit of everything,” Case said. “Power, speed, and a short game, too. They just don’t know what to expect. Anyone can bunt and anyone can hit to the outfield.”

The RedHawks had base runners in every inning. Lotus set the table for a big fifth with an RBI triple. It was 8-1 when Donahue ended it with a towering three-run drive over the center field fence.

And yes, she was trying for it.

“While I was waiting, I was thinking, ‘Two runners on, we just need three more runs,’” Donahue said. “Yeah, I feel good.

“We try to push every single inning. Our goal this season is to win the inning. As long as we get some every inning, we’ll be the best we can be.”