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Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Mustangs ride the wind to run-rule victory

Charlie Davidson
Genevieve Gonzales (12) takes a ball high with the bases loaded in the 5th inning

Metea Valley (10-7, 7-0) trounced their Eola Road rivals Waubonsie Valley (9-10, 4-3) 19-7 in their breezy Monday afternoon matchup. 

The Mustangs scored in every single inning, hitting five home runs in the ballgame. Yet still produced offense in other ways, tallying 18 hits and walking six times.

After an errant throw and a Lily Elsea home run that bounced off the top of the fence, the Warriors were up 4-0 going to the bottom of the first.

But the Mustangs got an immediate response, courtesy of a high drive from senior center fielder Reese Valha that carried out of the ballpark. Then, following singles from Grace Feeley and Genevieve Gonzales, Sydney Eakin smacked an RBI double off the wall in right-center. A Nora Erwin sacrifice fly tacked one more on, and Metea only trailed by one going to the second frame.

Then, after Charlie Benesh spun a quick scoreless inning, Valha did it again, muscling one out to right center and equalizing the game.

“I wasn’t aiming for the home runs it was kind of just put the bat on the ball,” Valha said. “But obviously after the first one, I kind of knew how the wind was playing and it just kind of kept working for me.”

Once again, Benesh worked through the elements in the third, striking out two and going 1-2-3 through the heart of Waubonsie’s lineup.

Then the Mustang offense fully exploded, sending 11 to the plate and scoring seven runs. The inning included homers from Claire Desrosiers and ᠆ you guessed it ᠆ an absolute moonshot from Valha, her 3rd in three innings.

“Honestly, I was satisfied with my one but I was just having fun at that point,” Valha said. “I was just trying to keep my mind clear and just focus on the team’s aspect of it all instead of the individual.”

But the Warriors wouldn’t go down easy. Grace Riggs and Hannah Laub drove in three on their longballs, making the game 11-7. But even in rough conditions, Benesh stood strong, making it through the inning and limiting Waubonsie to just three in the frame.

Yet as close as the Warriors came, Metea kept their foot on the gas pedal, working four walks in the fourth to scratch two more across and make it 13-7.

“I don’t think the wind changes [our approach] at all,” Gonzales said. “I think we’re always just thinking ‘find a good pitch and do what we can with it’.”

After surrendering a leadoff single, Benesh struck out two and induced a lazy grounder to second to wrap up the inning unscathed. The inning solidified the Mustang’s momentum and left them four runs from the 10-run margin required to conclude the game.

With two outs in the inning, Benesh listened to her third base coach’s advice, driving a 2-2 pitch into the gap and diving headfirst into second with an RBI double. After Morgan Cleveland dunked an RBI single of her own into right, infield singles from Valha and Feeley loaded the bases, giving Gonzales the chance to send the Mustang fans home happy.

“I was just thinking of getting on to score as many runs as possible,” Gonzales said. “I just tried to take a deep breath and not freak out because that’s usually when I struggle.”

Getting into a favorable 2-0 count, Gonzales was able to get her arms extended, driving one to the trees beyond the centerfield fence. She had walked the game off with a grand slam.

Valha led the way for the Mustangs, going 4-4 with 3 HRs and 4 RBI. Gonzales’s heroics capped off an impressive 4-5 day with 6 RBI of her own.

“I just think we all know we have to come ready to show up and play our best and I think our team chemistry has gotten a lot better,” Valha said. “I think we all just know we have a role on the team and we just have to play a role and it all comes together eventually.”

Metea remains undefeated in the conference, widening their lead in the DVC standings to 3 games over the second-place Warriors. The win further establishes the Mustangs at the state level, coming the same day they were placed 20th in the Daily Herald’s most recent state rankings.

“I think we need to keep building confidence, keep having the confidence that we’ve had so far, and continue to work hard,” Gonzales said.

Metea looks to keep the hot start up this afternoon as they take on Neuqua Valley as part of their Strikeout Cancer game.

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About the Contributor
Charlie Davidson
Charlie is on staff for the first time as a sports writer and he is a senior at Metea Valley. He loves following Chicago sports and spending time with family. When not cram studying or writing his next story, he is probably off tracking seven different games at once and questioning each coach’s decisions.

Comments (1)

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  • S

    Shawn TimothyApr 25, 2024 at 1:03 pm

    Great to see Metea absolutely PUMMEL our rivals. Hopefully we can secure a back to back win against Neuqua. Charlie really knocked this one out of the park! GO GO MUSTANGS!