Softball: Catcher powers Jaguars to win

Becky Vyzas hits a two-run homer in the third to get Academy of the Holy Names going.

Published March 4, 2008

TAMPA - Becky Vyzas didn't see many pitches to hit Monday. In fact, she could count them on one hand.

Check that, one finger.

Cardinal Mooney tried its best to not let the Academy of the Holy Names senior catcher beat them. Every time Vyzas stepped into the batter's box, the catcher set up a few inches off the plate's outside corner.

They respected Vyzas' power. This was the same player who hit a light fixture 50 feet in the air beyond the left-centerfield fence in practice a few weeks ago.

But one pitch caught too much of the plate Monday, and Vyzas took advantage, hitting a two-run homer in the third inning that turned out to be the difference in the Jaguars' 6-4 win over the Cougars.

Vyzas took Trisha Zuknick's 2-2 delivery over the leftfield fence, tying the game in a three-run inning. It was Vyzas' second homer of the season. She also walked three times and scored three runs, including an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on Christina Gerecke's RBI single for Holy Names (6-1).

"She got one pitch to hit, and she hit it out," Holy Names coach Roger Rivard said of Vyzas. "They knew it. She hit them hard last year, too. And we got enough little scratch hits to make them pay."

It was also the second time Vyzas has homered to tie the game and pace a comeback win - she tied the game with one in a come-from-behind win over Tampa Catholic.

"I know it boosted our momentum to get everybody going," Vyzas said. "After that, we got a couple more runs."

Jaguars pitcher Alexandra Gerecke, a seventh-grader, recovered from a rough start (three runs in the second) and some poor fielding (three errors in the first three innings). A sixth-inning homer by Zuknick was the only other run she'd allow.

Gerecke was also helped by two double plays.

"We're not a team that's going to win games 2-1," Rivard said. "We have to make plays."