SENECA — Claudia Morris is making up for lost time.
The Seneca junior missed 18 games of the Lady Irish softball season, but she contributed in a huge way Saturday in a 2-1 win over non-conference rival Morris.
Morris doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning and scored to tie the game at 1 on a sacrifice fly by Cassidy Draves. And, she wasn't done.
She came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and drove a single between short and third to score Abe Jashari with the winning run.
"I was just looking for a pitch to drive," Morris said. "When it got past the third baseman, it was a great feeling because I knew Abe would score,"
The win moved Seneca's record to 26-4 on the season, while the Redskins fell to 5-17. Earlier in the day, Seneca defeated Sonomauk, 8-5 and Morris beat the Lady Bobcats 8-6.
"It was a good day for us," Seneca coach Dan Stecken said after his team rallied late to win both games. "We hung in there and got it done. I have to give a tip of the cap to Morris. They played a really good game against us. Their pitcher [Maddie Noon] had us off-balance all day and we just couldn't get our offense going until late.
"It was great to see Claudia Morris come through. She had missed 18 games this season and we are glad to have her back."
The Redskins got on the board early against Seneca, as Kennedy Dransfeldt led off with a single and was sacrificed by second by Jaelyn Wiers. Grace Lines followed with a single to put runners on first and third before Olivia Schultz walked to load the bases. Claire Gugerty then popped to the second baseman in short right field, and Dransfeldt tagged and scored from third.
Morris had some chances to score later in the game as well, but Seneca pitcher Grace Flatness squelched the threats at every turn. The Redskins had a runner in scoring position inevery ining but the third, but did not score another run.
"I was just hitting my spots," said Flatness, who allowed eight hits and four walks while striking out three in improving to 14-1 on the season. "I didn't want to walk anyone or hit anyone, and when runners were on base, I just focused on the moment and tried to make good pitches. My defense really had my back today, too. They did a great job."
Morris' best scoring chance came in the top of the fourth. With one out, Noon was hit by a pitch and Alana Beshoar came in to be the courtesy runner. Beshoar was sacrificed to second by Sara Thomas before Dransfeldt hit a short pop-up between the pitcher's circle and first base. Flatness tried for the catch, but the ball went off her glove and into foul territory. First baseman Kylie Winsor retrieved it and fired home in time to catch Beshoar trying to score.
"We had a runner in scoring position in almost every inning," Morris coach Jen Bamonte said. "I was happy to see that, but it was frustrating that we couldn't get that hit to get a few more of them around to score. It's a shame, because Maddie Noon pitched her butt off against a very good Seneca team.
"The Somonauk game, we were able to get a few of those hits when we needed them and that was a good game for us."
For the day, Grace Lines went 5 for 8, while Dransfeldt and Wiers both had three hits.
"We are a different team when Kenedy and Jaelyn are at the top of the order getting on base, and Grace Lines has been on fire the last couple of weeks, too," Bamonte said. "We are still young and still learning, but things are starting to come together and we are playing better. We are playing really well in the field, but we do sometimes have some mental lapses because of our youth. Those will get fewer and fewer as we experience more situations and we will do things without having to think."