The past few days could be Chicago’s last this season.
Chicago (25–8) played seven games in five days, starting last Thursday against Elmhurst (15–15) and celebrating the Maroons’ four graduating seniors: outfielder Kaitlyn Carpenter, first baseman Julia Covello, third baseman Maddie McManus, and catcher Zoe Oliver-Grey.
“The seniors have been the glue holding this team together,” said second-year first baseman Kathleen Kohm. “They have given so much for this team, and it makes the rest of us want to play for them. They have contributed offensively, defensively, mentally, emotionally, and overall, they are just plain clutch.”
"Clutch" is the word repeated constantly by the South Siders when describing their fourth-year teammates, who are experienced at competing under pressure.
Thursday’s doubleheader was a disappointment for the Maroons; Chicago lost 2–1 in game one and 6–1 in game two, in part due to some fielding errors.
Chicago faced Carthage (22–12) on Sunday for the second time since the Florida spring break stint. The intense doubleheader produced split results, as the South Siders lost 3–2 and then won 4–3.
The Maroons came out victorious in the second game due to the tenacity of their seniors. In the first inning, McManus hit a sac fly that scored second-year outfielder Devan Parkison. In the seventh inning, Chicago loaded the bases for pinch hitter Covello. The fourth-year came through with a two-run double to left field. Carthage attempted to come back, but Oliver-Grey gunned down the runner trying to steal third base to end the game.
Third-year pitcher Tabbetha Bohac summed up the fourth-years’ contributions.
“Our seniors are leaders of this team and huge at coming through in the clutch,” Bohac said. “Zoe is a leader behind the plate and is the calming factor that keeps us all unified and calm. Maddie has been clutch all year with solid defense at third and coming through with many big hits this year. Kait[lyn] is the leader of the outfield and an incredibly reliable player in both getting on base when we need her, but also always making the catch in the outfield. Jello [Covello] is the heart of the team—the loudest and most encouraging player I have ever had the privilege to play with.”
The Maroons faced Lawrence (18–11) in Wisconsin yesterday afternoon to finish off the regular season and won big, 8–2, in six innings. Their second game was cancelled due to rain.
Both Kohm and Bohac agree that this season has been one for the ages.
“[This season has] taught me that each person has a very important and specific individual role that is essential to our success,” Kohm said.
Chicago started phenomenally, beginning the season 11–0.
“On an individual level, this season has been a blast,” Bohac said. “Our team has truly become a family this year, and it’s just been an honor to have a chance to play with all these awesome women. I look forward to hopefully having a chance to continue our season and seeing what we can do in postseason.”
The Maroons await a decision on their postseason destiny.