One of two seniors on the De La Salle (DLS) softball team, Cassie Sutor does a little bit of everything for the Meteors.
Sutor is the ace in the circle and a big bat in the middle of the lineup.
From the dugout, she’s even leading the team’s chants and cheers.
Helping DLS to an 8-3 victory on May 24 over host Evergreen Park (EP), Sutor earned the complete-game win and knocked in 2 runs in the Class 3A regional championship.
The title was the second straight for DLS.
“As a senior and a captain, I want to take charge,” Sutor said. “I want to be the person to motivate my teammates to do what they need to do to get the win.”
DLS (16-12) advanced to play No.-1 seed Lemont on May 28 in a Nazareth sectional semifinal, after press time.
In the regional championship win, Sutor allowed 3 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks with 3 strikeouts. Her 2-run single in the first gave DLS a 2-0 lead.
For Sutor, just taking the field meant the world to her. She missed a month-plus with a concussion suffered in a collision at the plate in early April against Latin. She returned to the field the first week of May.
“I feel much better now,” Sutor said. “I was depressed because I wasn’t there to play those conference games. It hurt, but I got through it. I feel better than ever. I’m glad I was able to come back.”
Against the Mustangs, Sutor showed a knack for pitching in and out of one sticky situation after another.
EP stranded 10 runners overall, and Sutor credited junior catcher Autumn Rizzo for getting her through some tense innings.
“We believe in each other that we can get those strikes and outs,” Sutor said. “She’s an amazing catcher. It’s just me and her, and we don’t worry about anyone on base.”
Sutor will continue her academic/athletic career at St. Thomas University.
As for Rizzo, her contributions weren’t limited to catching.
In a 3-3 tie in the fourth, Rizzo ripped a single up the middle to bring Alyssa Luna home for the go-ahead run.
Rizzo finished 2 for 4.
“All I was looking for was to hit the ball for an easy single,” Rizzo said. “We wanted to keep runners on and keep the momentum we had.”
Luna (2 RBI, 2 2B), Valencia Burnette (3 runs) and Kamryn Gonzalez (RBI) paced the Meteors offense.
EP finished the season 12-17.
The Mustangs had their chances but failed to string together another big inning after their 3-run outburst in the first.
“We could never get comfortable,” said EP Coach Michelle Vucsko. “A walk, an error, a couple hits, we got on base, but we couldn’t string anything together unfortunately and get runners in scoring position.”
EP had won 4 straight regional titles and 6 of 8 since 2011.
Amber Richter (2 RBI) and Mya Granados (RBI) led the EP offense. Hannah Ortell, Maddie Cosgrove (2 hits) and Emily Manso scored a run each.
With a young team that couldn’t find its groove, Vucsko praised the group’s ability to play through adversity.
“This group was a good mix of young and old, experience and inexperience,” Vucsko said. “We had some girls playing out of position, so it’s promising to know that, in the future with a regular lineup, we’ll have girls we can consistently count on and keep getting better.”