Raiders wrap up WCC title as Stupavsky delivers senior at-bat, Bunte proves unhittable


Quincy Notre Dame third baseman Brooke Boden sets herself to throw to first base during Friday's game against Camp Point Central at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Quincy Notre Dame softball coach Eric Orne implored catcher Payton Stupvasky to have a “senior at-bat.”

She didn’t disappoint.

With runners on second and third base in the fourth inning of a scoreless game Friday at The Backyard, Stupavsky drove a fly ball to right-center field that Camp Point Central’s Claire Huston caught, but it allowed Aubrey Waterkotte to tag up and score the first run in the Raiders’ 4-0 victory.

“It was an experienced at-bat,” Orne said.

Stupavsky tried to stay collected and composed and not get too jumpy trying to hit the Panthers’ Emma Stephens.

“I went to the very front of the box and told myself, ‘Wait a really long while and you should be fine,’” Stupavsky said. “It was a really good feeling, and it felt really good to give back to this team. I love playing with this team.”

Catching an ace like Caitlin Bunte makes it worthwhile, too.

Bunte limited Central to one hit — Lauren Miller’s first inning single to center field — and struck out nine in facing one batter over the minimum through 6 ⅔ innings. Orne pulled Bunte with two outs in the seventh to allow senior Brooke Boden to get the final out on Senior Day.

Boden induced a groundout to second baseman Lanie Fesler to end the game.

It was one of nine groundouts the QND defense gobbled up.

“Our defense worked well and (shortstop Alyssa Ley) had some really good plays,” Bunte said. “The defense worked hard behind me.”

QND added a run in the fifth when Bunte doubled with two outs and scored on Ley’s single. Marah Becks had an RBI double in the sixth inning and scored on an error. Stephens limited the Raiders to six hits, while striking out two, walking two and allowing two earned runs.

The victory wrapped up the West Central Conference championship for QND (16-4), which will finish the regular season with a home game Saturday against Illini West.

“Being conference champion is huge,” QND first baseman Morgan Zanger said. “It’s a big deal for us. To be on our home field for our last conference game and win for our seniors is big.”

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