Shutout enables QND seniors to walk away from final home game with ‘memory I’ll hold forever’


Quincy Notre Dame second baseman Lanie Fesler, left, and third baseman Brooke Boden celebrate the end of an inning Saturday against Illini West at The Backyard. | Addi Zanger photo

QUINCY — The seniors on the Quincy Notre Dame softball team celebrated Senior Night before Friday’s victory against Camp Point Central, but Saturday was their final game at The Backyard.

That’s what made it such a bittersweet day.

“It’s just a memory I’ll hold forever,” senior outfielder Marah Becks said. “This is just a place that will forever feel like home and these people will forever feel like family.”

One final victory at home made it a perfect ending.

Senior third baseman Brooke Boden went 3 for 3, drove in a pair of runs and pitched a scoreless seventh inning to cap a 6-0 victory over Illini West that sends QND into the postseason with a 17-4 record.

“You know, with college coming up, I’m really excited for that, but the backyard has really been home for me for the last seven years,” Boden said.

Senior catcher Payton Stupavsky went 2 for 3 with three RBIs on a bases-clearing single in the fifth inning, while junior left-hander Caitlin Bunte controlled the game from the pitcher’s circle.

Bunte struck out 12 and allowed one hit in six innings.

“We just got a beautiful day out here and got a couple key hits when we needed it, but it’s a different game starting next week,” QND coach Eric Orne said.

The Raiders celebrated their final home game and their third straight victory with a team banquet for family and friends afterward and used it as a springboard into the postseason.

Second-seeded QND opens play in the Class 2A Buffalo Tri-City Regional at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against either ninth-seeded Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin or 11th-seeded Riverton.

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