Hampshire was cruising through the first 4 innings of its Fox Valley Conference softball showdown with Huntley Thursday. The Whip-Purs led 2-0 with starter Jasmine Lopez tossing a no-hitter.
But things changed dramatically in the fifth. The Red Raiders took control with 6 runs and cruised to an 11-3 win in Hampshire.
A towering 2-run homer by Teagan O'Rilley tied the game and seemed to spark the Huntley offense.
A 3-run double by Rylie Porretto capped the inning. A 2-run double by Caitlin Brown was the big blow as the Raiders added 4 more in the sixth.
With the wind howling out to right field, it figured to be a slugfest. Hampshire took advantage first when Delaney Rummell lined one over the fence in right. Rummell reached base 4 times with 3 hits and a walk.
Peyton DeChant also homered for Hampshire (8-5, 3-2).
"Lopez had us off our game," said Huntley coach Mark Petryniec. "She really pitched very well, but we were able to make some adjustments."
Despite the conditions, Huntley pitcher Tiffany Giese allowed just 3 runs, 2 earned, on 7 hits. Other than the two long balls, Hampshire never really threatened. Giese struck out 9 and walked just 1.
"Somehow we always come up clutch," she said. "It always helps pitching with a lead. It makes you so much more relaxed out there. And the defense did its job today."
"This is what we expect from Tiff," Petryniec said. "She's one of the best pitchers in the conference, and she really showed up today."
Hampshire followed a pattern of letting one mistake turn into a big inning.
"We start with one and it just kind of dominoes from there," said Hampshire coach Kelly Wasilewski. "We just need to find a way to not allow that to happen."
That, and the Red Raiders figured out Lopez.
"We've told our pitchers time and time again, 'You are not overpowering strikeout pitchers,' and we know as coaches going into the fifth, sixth inning, they're getting their timing down on our girls," Wasliewski said.
Poretto had 2 hits and drove in 4 for Huntley (9-4, 6-0). Giese and O'Rilley finished with 2 hits apiece. DeChant had 2 hits for Hampshire.