Softball: Carmel Catholic’s Snarski keeps pounding the ball
Carmel's Sally Snarski rips a base hit into left field during the first inning of last week's game against Vernon Hills. She's hitting .396 this season. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 20, 2012 8:22AM
Sally Snarski is working on her craft.
After leading the Carmel Catholic softball team with 10 home runs in 2011, the slugging first baseman knew what part of her game needed fine-tuning.
“I wasn’t a good inside-pitch hitter. I worked on that all offseason,” said Snarski, a four-year varsity player. “I wasn’t very good at turning on it. I think I’ve gotten better.”
The results say she’s close: a .396 batting average combined with a .688 slugging percentage, which leads the team. Her four homers and 18 RBI are also team-best totals. One stat stands out: just four strikeouts, which is an indication of Snarski’s plate discipline and ability to put balls in play.
“She’s done a nice job keeping the hands in and driving the ball a little more,” said Carmel coach Jason Raymond. “When she starts driving it to right field, she’ll be even more dangerous.”
It’s not just in the batter’s box where Snarski has evolved, but also as a leader. Carmel is especially youthful this season: the lineup features five sophomores and two freshman. Integrating them with along with three seniors and three juniors is something Snarski enjoys.
“Every year, you have to re-learn everything, as there are new kids on the team,” Snarski said. “I think this year we’ve had a good transition.”
In travel ball, Snarski plays for the Vernon Hills Stingers. As a member of the Warren Wave the last several seasons, she played third base.
“It’s scary, I’m not going to lie. People hit (the ball) hard,” said Snarski. “You have to have a pretty good arm. You have to be ready for everything.”
Recap: Carmel (7-8, 2-3) begins the meat of its conference schedule.
The Corsairs rallied with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat St. Viator 7-3 on Monday. Jenny Behan (2-for-4) crushed a home run during the inning, knocking in two runs. Kathleen Felicelli (3-for-4) had two doubles and two runs, while Amy Abel (2-4) added two RBI.
Nicole Bitter picked up the win in relief of Erika Schoenfeld, who struck out seven in five innings-plus.
It was a nice bounce-back game for Carmel, after it was swept in a doubleheader at home by conference foe Bishop McNamara on Saturday. The Corsairs dropped the first game 5-0, and lost the nightcap 5-3.
The Corsairs faced all-conference pitcher Jaelen Hull in the first game, but miscues on the base paths cost them in the second game.
“We have to do a better job eliminating mental mistakes,” Raymond said. “We’ve got to make sure we play flawless defense to give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
Kelley Dodge had a triple and an RBI in the second game.
Carmel shut out Marian Central Catholic 15-0 on April 12. Schoenfeld started on the mound — and finished — striking out 11.
Behan (3-for-3) led the Corsairs with three RBI, while Snarski (2-for-3), Skylar Zak (2-for-3) and Madeline Felipez (1-for-2) each had two RBI.
Carmel lost to Vernon Hills 4-3 on April 11, and dropped a 7-3 decision to Lakes on Friday.
On the schedule: Carmel travels to Lake Zurich Friday.