Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2010



LAPLACE – Call it a statement game.

There’s really no other way to describe St. Charles’ dominating 10-0 softball victory over Pope John Paul II on Thursday.

It was a game between two of the state’s top pitchers and perhaps the two top arms in Class 2A, SCC’s Courtney Western and PJP’s Laura Ricciardone — a game most would have pegged to be a 1-0 or 2-1 outcome.

The Comets’ coach, certainly, for one, thought that.

“I told the girls, ‘You all made a liar out of me,’” said St. Charles coach Ty Monica. “I told them that this game will be decided by one or two runs. Nobody thought this would be the way it went.”

Instead of a nailbiter, the Comets (7-0) remained undefeated by closing things out by the 10-run rule in six innings. They couldn’t have looked more impressive — Western tossed a no hitter, while the Comets sent a steady stream of baserunners on against Ricciardone and the Jaguar defense.

It was the second lopsided win of the week for SCC after a 9-0 win over Brusly Tuesday.

Western struck out seven batters and walked three.

“I felt good from the beginning,” said Western. “I have a lot of confidence knowing my defense is always behind me to make plays.”

St. Charles put one run on the board in the first inning after Western led off with a single and Dominique DiCarlo followed with a bunt single. Western was thrown out at home after attempting to score on a passed ball, but Megan Louque dropped a base hit into left field to score DiCarlo and give SCC the lead.

The Comets went back to work in the third inning, this time when Jaymie Remondet led off with a single down the left field line. DiCarlo walked with one out and Louque reached via an infield hit. With the bases loaded, Meg Gustafson knocked a single into center field to bring home two runs to take a 3-0 lead on PJP II (5-3).

“There were three or four hits in big spots that really separated us,” said Monica.

Western struck out the side in the fourth inning and retired three in a row in the fifth. The momentum on their side, the Comets slammed the door from there.

“The second time around the order, we started picking it up, and that started the whole surge,” Gustafson said.

DiCarlo walked with one out in the fifth, then Louque doubled her home to make it 4-0. Gustafson singled, then she and Louque would score when Katie Levatino reached via error. Jen Heltz walked before Ricciardone recorded a strikeout for the second out. But Candace McGaff singled home two more runs to make it 8-0. Remondet doubled, Western walked to load the bases, and DiCarlo singled home one more to make it 9-0.

Gustafson scored the clinching run in the sixth after walking and scoring on an error.

“At first, when you’re up 1-0 or 3-0, you’re still a bit nervous, still playing to protect the lead,” said Gustafson. “But once you get up 6-0, 9-0, you’re playing loose. Everyone’s ready to go up and be that girl and make a play.”

Ricciardone allowed four earned runs on 11 hits and six walks. She struck out six.

The only imperfection, seemingly, for the Comets on the day was that the game could have gotten out of hand even earlier — two SCC runners were thrown out at home, and SCC left nine runners on base.

“We left a small village out there,” said Monica.

But nobody could really complain, not after the Comets showed that their bats are capable of matching the pitching and defensive strength that has been their hallmark.

“It’s pleasing to my eyes, for sure,” said Monica.