Illinois Shockwave came in first place at the Evanston Express Memorial Day Classic softball tournament held at James Park on May 22 – 24.
The team earned # 1 seed status in 14u pool play on Saturday, defeating Evanston Express (12-3), Sauganash Storm Silver (15-0), and Windy City Thunder (9-3). Pitchers Sophie Stark, Alana Lapitan and Lauren Mosele each racked up one win respectively. Shockwave exhibited a strong defense throughout pool play with center-fielder Emerson Sapienza, left-fielder Megan Chin and right-fielder Lauren Olsen making several key catches, a big part, in particular, of the team’s final win against the strong bats of Windy City Thunder. Julia Bass, Kaylee Liberty and Cassie Rodgers kept control behind the plate, and Grace Mosele and Anna Rempe contributed to several outs made in the infield.
In addition to its very solid defense, Shockwave’s batters had a great day with Sophie Stark hitting a home run, Lauren Olsen hitting two home runs and Kaylee Liberty hitting two home runs, including a grand slam.
On Sunday, the team won its first elimination game versus Sauganash Storm Black (7-6), earning a spot in the championship game and facing Windy City Thunder for a second time. The championship game was ended before the second inning concluded due to a downpour that showed no signs of letting up. Illinois Shockwave had been up 1-0 with a runner on third at the time the game was called. Tournament organizers decided to award first place to Shockwave based on that score and the team’s # 1 seed status.
This is the second time Coaches Dave and Maddy Stark have led a team to a championship in Evanston. Two years ago the duo—along with Assistant Coach Rocky Sapienza and several of their current Shockwave players—took first-place honors in the 12u division as Titans. The team, currently 17-6, will head to Downers Grove during the first weekend in June for the 3rd Annual Battle of the Bats. Keep it going, Shockwave!