SPORTS | May 19, 2022
By Michael Wojtychiw
Mike Hinrichs has had quite a bit of celebrating to do within the last couple of days.
After picking up his 300th career victory over the weekend in Whitney Young’s semifinal win over Lincoln Park, his Dolphins won the Chicago Public League city championship by defeating Lane 4-1 at UIC’s Flames Field.
For seniors such as standout pitcher Shelby Jacobson, bookending a high school career with city championships is an amazing feeling.
“There’s no other team I’d rather win the city championship with than this one,” she said.
But it hasn’t been just Jacobson who’s been stellar on the mound. Her two counterparts, Kate Coonan and Nyah Allen, are both sophomores who look to be able to step up when Jacobson graduates.
“It’s very comforting to know I have a great team supporting me and fielding, hitting, so it’s very easy to get comfortable on the mound,” Jacobson said. “I know my fielders are going to make plays, my hitters are going to hit. It’s really nice.”
While the senior was dominating on the mound, it was her teammates that got things started offensively in the bottom of the second, thanks to the bottom of its lineup.
After Allen got on base because of an error, she came around to score on Gigi Martinez’s double and Martinez would make it 2-0 on a single by Coonan.
For as well as Jacobson pitched, her Lane counterpart Kailey Hancock did her part in keeping a Young offense that averaged nearly 12 runs per game at bay. Hancock gave up only two earned runs off of nine hits, striking out five and walking none in the loss.
“Kailey’s a great pitcher, one of the best we’ve faced,” Jacobson said.
Hancock would also work her way out of a two-on, one-out jam, stranding two Young runners at second and third by forcing a lineout and then flyout to centerfield.
Lane got on the board in the top of the sixth when Avery Tassone got on base thanks to a single and worked her way to third base courtesy of a passed ball and a sac bunt. She’d come in to score on a double by Giselle Moreno, but Moreno would stay stranded at second base.
There’s a chance the two teams could face each other again in the state playoffs as they are both assigned to the Class 4A Maine South Sectional and have a good possibility of both being seeded very highly.