One legendary phrase commonly used in the world of sports describes that it’s not necessarily about how you start, but rather how you finish. This applies to the Lady Wolves’ game against Harper College on April 21, and really, the season as a whole.
Mother Nature once again made her influential presence felt on that Monday afternoon as she brought some rain into the Joliet area. However it remained dry enough to allow the game to begin and play out for quite a bit.
After falling behind 1-0 after the first inning, the Wolves gained some momentum after a three-run second inning. Despite this early jump ahead on the scoreboard, the Lady Wolves would once again find themselves behind on the scoreboard after they were outscored 8-2 over the next two innings.
After four and a half innings, the Lady Wolves trailed 9-5 as heavy rain made its way through the area. With lightning strikes visible in the distance and the rumble of thunder lingering in the background, the game was more than likely nearing its end. A rain delay was brought on for about 15 minutes before they returned at-bat.
It was then that they’d take control and never look back.
As if providence was at play, the Wolves rallied for an amazing five-run tally in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Wolves a one run advantage.
Before the inning could even end, the lightning alarm sounded, and the game was called with the Wolves victorious by a score of 10-9.
"The weather conditions were a little bit sloppy and we were already down by a big deficit, but we hung in there and managed to pick up a win," said Coach Emily Marino.
"It was a good game, I wish we could have finished it out before the weather got too bad, but we’ll take a win."
Bad weather is definitely nothing new for the Lady Wolves. After the apocalyptic winter of 2014, they had to deal with multiple games cancelations and reschedulings, due to frigid temperatures.
However, Marino’s team has faced these and many other challenges all season long and has never backed down.
The current 9-30 record that the team possesses is not a true indicator of the effort that the Lady Wolves have put in.
After a 1-15 start, the Lady Wolves have gone 8-15 ever since, which is a strong improvement against such tough opposition, and mounting difficulties due to a a rash of injuries to the pitching staff.
On Friday, May 2, the Lady Wolves entered Region IV tournament play.
According to Marino, the Lady Wolves would have to participate in a play-in game more than likely against Harper College before entering the tournament.
One should expect Marino to have her team ready, "I think if we can play together and avoid mistakes that we can come away with a win and just go on from there."
When asked to put the season into one word, Marino responded with "challenging," which certainly goes without saying.
"It’s been a challenging year, but I think the girls have improved and battled and we’ve managed to stick together," added Marino.
Marino had high praise for two players in particular: Lincoln-Way North alumna, and current freshman shortstop, Emma Traina, along with Joliet West alumna, and current sophomore catcher, Stephanie Stanton.
"These are two very tough players who have made a difference all year long."
If there is anything to pull away from this season and the way it’s played out so far, it’s that Marino and her Lady Wolves have shown resiliency despite the many challenges and adversity that they have faced.
If they manage to put together a strong formula by building off of recent sucess, they may just be able to make an impact in the post-season.
Which, in the end, can be all that matters for this tough Wolves team.