By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
The Quincy Notre Dame softball team didn't want to waste a valuable scoring opportunity against Jacksonville Saturday afternoon.
After loading the bases with no one out in the bottom of the third inning, the Lady Raiders still hadn't scored two outs later.
That changed when Kendra Gengenbacher stepped to the plate.
The sophomore smashed a 1-0 pitch deep over the left-field fence for a grand slam that extended QND's lead to six runs and propelled it to a 10-0 victory in a four-inning game at The Backyard.
"We needed a key hit, but we hadn't gotten one until Kendra came up," QND coach Eric Orne said. "She came through for us. Anytime you get a key hit like that in a situation like that, it's a big boost."
The Lady Raiders, who had scored their first two runs in the second, wrapped up the victory by scoring four more runs in the fourth. Jennie Polak doubled home the first two runs of the inning and pushed Sawyer Whelan to third base.
Carly Wilson hit a sharp liner to left field to score both Whelan and courtesy runner Jordan Meyer.
Whelan and Gengenbacher had two hits apiece. Ashley Wensing scattered six hits, while striking out four batters and walking none.
Orne liked the way his team rebounded from a 7-3 loss to Peoria Notre Dame Friday night -- its first setback of the season.
"Most of all, I like the fact that we won two out of three this weekend against (Class) 3A competition," said Orne, whose team is now 13-1.
"It's going to be a busy next few weeks with a lot of games. It was good to get two this weekend to build some momentum."
Central played two games earlier in the day at The Backyard, losing to PND 12-0 in four innings and to Jacksonville 7-6 in eight innings.
Jacksonville (13-11) had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning when the Lady Panthers made an error on Nickole Strubbe's ground ball.
Olivia Kaufmann and Ashlyn Myers scored the tying and winning runs on the play.
The Lady Panthers (13-5) trailed 5-3 before forcing extra innings by scoring twice in the top of the seventh.
Brianna Hildebrand's groundout scored Jaci Higgins. Alexis Williams later scored on a wild pitch.
Central took a 6-5 lead in the eighth when Brinkley Mueller scored on Chrissy Weaver's sacrifice fly.
Gracee Fundel had two hits for the Lady Panthers, while Brey Genenbacher pitched her second complete game of the day, striking out seven batters and scattering seven hits.
Central had only one hit against PND -- a first-inning single by Savana Mixer.
The only other Lady Panthers base runner was Hildebrand, who walked in the third.