Harlem’s postseason run ends with loss to defending state champion Huntley

High School Sports

HUNTLEY, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Harlem had one very big hurdle in it’s path Thursday on it’s journey to try to advance closer to the IHSA softball state tournament. That hurdle was defending 4A champion Huntley.

The Huskies couldn’t clear it. They lost 7-1 in a sectional championship game at Huntley.

The Huskies were strong for four innings. They took the lead in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Makayla Howard off of Huntley ace pitcher Briana Bower. Bower will be attending Mississippi State on a softball scholarship this fall.

Harlem pitcher Cheyenne Nietz pitched shutout softball through four innings. Harlem took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth. That’s when things unraveled. Huntley took the lead when two runs came home on an inside-the-park home run on a smash that got past Harlem’s left fielder.   Huntley scored two more runs that inning when Reese Hunkins hammered a triple to deep center field that just avoided the reach of Harlem center fielder Kya Steiner. Huntley scored six runs in the fifth inning to lead 6-1.

Huntley tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth and then Bower slammed the door on Harlem’s season in the bottom of the seventh for a 7-1 Huntley win.

Bower struck out 13 Harlem batters while allowing only the one run. Nietz struck out ten batters. She suffered her only loss of the season after having posted 21 wins. Harlem finishes its season with a record of 24-2.

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