Strong pitching and hitting by Lemont dooms Benet Academy in the softball 3A State semifinals

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Benet Academy has arrived in Peoria for the 3A softball State semifinals after a come-from-behind supersectional win over Richards. Now the Redwings are looking for their first State championship appearance but must get by defending 3A State champs Lemont softball, who holds a 33-1 record. The squad is led by pitcher Sage Mardjetko who holds a perfect era of 0.00 this season but knows her whole team will have to be on full display against a Redwing flock that has scored 65 runs in the postseason. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Lemont is in business mode early

Lemont starts off with the bats as top hitter Frankie Rita pokes one through for a leadoff single.

Raegan Duncan grounds one into left field, bringing Rita home to put her team up 1-0.

Mardjekto is also up to bat but hits one right into the glove of Redwing pitcher Alex O’Rourke to end the frame.

Now Mardjekto is on the mound and she goes one two three, ending the first inning just like that as she strikes out the side.

In the third inning, Avaree Taylor smacks her ball way out into right field, which results in a triple, and Duncan comes home to make it 2-0 Lemont

Mardjetko does get this hit to fall the next time around with a rbi for herself and it’s now 3-0 Lemont.

Milestone for the future South Carolina Gamecock

However, Benet catcher Grace Babich catches her opponents napping. She throws to Angela Horejs at second and tags out pinch runner Addison McGrath to make the stop.

The Redwings can not get to Mardjetko as this pitch results in strikeout number 900 on her career. She’s going to play collegiately at South Carolina and I’d say all Gamecock fans should be excited.

In the top of the 4th, Benet finally breaks her no-hitter with a Nina Pesare bunt and it’s in a perfect spot as she dashes her way to first base.

Just like Babich, Frankie Rita for Lemont also knabs opposing base runners, so she throws down to Natalie Pacyga at second base, and Pesare is out.

Bridget Chapman tries to help with a chopper, and she gets to first base in time.

Lemont is able to extinguish every rally, and Taylor makes the out at second to retire the side.

Natalie Pacyga throws in the dagger with a rbi double that helps Lemont punch its ticket to a third straight 3A state championship after a 10-0 win. They will face Antioch after another complete game shutout Mardjetko. Benet Academy will take on Charleston in the third-place game.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!