Home News Sara Tarr gets West Aurora going in the regional

Sara Tarr gets West Aurora going in the regional

14
0


Will her time come?

West Aurora’s Sara Tarr hopes so.

The junior shortstop is already committed to a scholarship with MAC powerhouse Miami of Ohio, but she knows she will get one more crack at another extended playoff run with the Blackhawks.

“Obviously, this wasn’t the ending we wanted,” Tarr said. “We were expecting to go a little further. But this is a great group. We’re losing a lot of great girls. It will be different next year.”

Tarr got West Aurora off to a strong start Saturday in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game, but things quickly went south in an 11-1 loss to top-seeded Wheaton North.

After lining a single to center off ace pitcher Erin Metz to open the game for the ninth-seeded Blackhawks (14-17), Tarr then stole second base and moved up to third on a wild pitch.

On that pitch, Keira Hayton ended up drawing a walk. One out later, losing pitcher Katelyn Serafin drove a sacrifice fly to center field to score Tarr and give West Aurora a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately, that was it.

West Aurora's Sara Tarr steals second ahead of the tag by Wheaton North's 'Reagan Crosthwaite. West Aurora lost to Wheaton North 11-1, in a Class 4A Metea Valley Regional softball final, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Aurora, Illinois. (Jon Langham/for the Beacon-News)
West Aurora’s Sara Tarr steals second ahead against Wheaton North during the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game in Aurora on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Jon Langham / The Beacon-News)

For the second straight season, the playoffs came to a halt for the Blackhawks in the regional final. This one only went five innings. And a lot of that had to due with the pitching of Metz.

The Valparaiso recruit retired 15 straight after Hayton and struck out 12 to lead Wheaton North (27-6) to its first regional title in 38 years. Metz also hit one of three home runs off Serafin, her travel teammate in the summer.

“We faced her early in the season so we knew what was going to throw,” Tarr said of Metz. “We knew she had a good riseball, and we knew she mainly stuck to the outside corner.

“I was just looking for that low and outside pitch, and I got it.”

Tarr connected for her 52nd hit, closing out the season with a .510 batting average.

West Aurora's Katelyn Serafin concentrates on her pitch. West Aurora lost to Wheaton North 11-1, in a Class 4A Metea Valley Regional softball final, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Aurora, Illinois. (Jon Langham/for the Beacon-News)
West Aurora’s Katelyn Serafin concentrates on her pitch against Wheaton North during the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game in Aurora on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Jon Langham / The Beacon-News)

Wheaton North, however, moves on to play 14th-seeded Plainfield East (13-15) at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Plainfield North Sectional semifinal.

For Tarr, her batting average is almost identical to the .509 she hit in her varsity debut as a freshman in 2022, when her season was cut short late by shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

It meant she could only travel with the team and watch as West Aurora, behind the strong pitching of Serafin as a sophomore, advanced to the Illinois Wesleyan Supersectional in Bloomington.

“She’s a very good hitter,” Metz said of Tarr. “Anything you put over the plate, she can hit hard. My biggest challenge was really keeping it on the corners or off the corners to see if she would chase.

“Obviously, the first at-bat, she beat me and almost got a double. The second at-bat, I tried to keep it lower.”

West Aurora's Mia Malczyk cheers as Sara Tarr is brought home with a sacrifice fly. West Aurora lost to Wheaton North 11-1, in a Class 4A Metea Valley Regional softball final, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Aurora, Illinois. (Jon Langham/for the Beacon-News)
West Aurora’s Mia Malczyk cheers as Sara Tarr scores on a sacrifice fly against Wheaton North during the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game in Aurora on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Jon Langham / The Beacon-News)

Metz retired Tarr on a grounder to second base and there were no more chances after that.

Wheaton North took advantage of two errors in the first inning by the Blackhawks to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom half before the Falcons’ big boppers began unloading thereafter.

Troubled by back tightness the past couple weeks, Serafin had it flare up again in the fourth and left the game.

“I wish we could have gotten one more run in that first,” West Aurora coach Randy Hayslett said. “They earned some later on, obviously. We had to make them earn all of them. We had to keep it to four runs or less. It was going to be a tough task, regardless.

“Katelyn started to overthrow, trying to hit more spots. She just tightened up again. By that time, it was almost over anyway. I think she did good enough. They just hit the heck out of the ball.”



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here