CARY – When Cary-Grove's softball team fell into an early four-run hole, Lisa Semro wasn't worried.
When the Trojans rallied only to see Prairie Ridge recapture the lead, Semro didn't sweat it, knowing what her teammates were capable of if given the chance.
So when C-G pushed five late runs across the plate, combining timely hitting with making the most of a series of Prairie Ridge miscues in a 10-8 Fox Valley Conference victory on Wednesday, Semro wasn't shocked.
Not in the least.
"We're so even-keeled that we know if we're down 4-0 in the first inning, we know how to come back and not dwell on it," said Semro, whose first-inning 3-run home run all but erased the early deficit. "We always use it as incredible motivation to go down that much."
The Trojans (8-5, 3-1 FVC) still trailed, 7-5, when they loaded the bases with nobody out to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Sarah Purpura delivered an RBI single before Prairie Ridge committed two errors on the same play without the ball ever leaving the infield. The quick turn of events ended up playing a major role in the final result.
By the time Jamie Deering capped the rally with an RBI single, the damage to the Wolves chances at staying unbeaten in league play had already been done.
"We made too many mistakes defensively," said Prairie Ridge coach Mike Buck, whose team also committed an error in the third inning that allowed two runs to score. "We're usually a better defensive team than that, so I was a little disappointed with the defense."
Prairie Ridge (9-5, 4-1) got an Alyssa Doomis RBI double in the seventh to draw to within 10-8, but a costly baserunning error kept the Wolves from getting any closer. Doomis – who went 4-for-4 and finished with four RBIs – gave Prairie Ridge the early lead with a three-run double after Michelle O'Keefe put the Wolves on the board with a run-scoring single.
Despite falling behind early, though, C-G was able to respond behind 11 hits and taking advantage of the opportunities that came from the Prairie Ridge errors.
"When you play a good team like Cary, it snowballs," Buck said. "I knew we'd have to score a lot of runs just the way the game was shaping up. They just scored a couple more than we did."
C-G reliever Amanda DeGroote was solid in relief after coming in for starter Lauren Stanley. DeGroote retired the Wolves in order in the sixth before closing the win out in the seventh. For the Trojans, the win came despite a shaky start that never rattled them before they were able to turn things around.
"They have come back in several instances now and you don't see a fluctuation of emotions with them," C-G coach Tammy Olson said. "You like that because you don't have to say, 'OK, where are we going to go with this one'. They're very even-tempered and in the long run, it pays off."