[Eric Ginnard - email@example.com]
Lincoln-Way East's Alex Storako is the Herald-News' 2018 Softball Player of the Year.
After being involved in an epic pitching duel in the 2017 IHSA Class 4A championship game against Oak Park and River Forest’s Chardonnay Harris in which the only scoring was a home run by the Huskies’ Mariah Scott in the seventh inning, Lincoln-Way East’s Alex Storako hoped to lead Lincoln-Way East back to state and a better outcome this season.
But things definitely didn’t go to form throughout Illinois softball in 2018, as was evidenced by the fact that unheralded Rock Island won the championship, and three of the four finalists were making their state debuts, including runner-up Plainfield North.
While Storako and the Griffins seemed poised to make a serious run at a third state title-game appearance in the past four years, a team that entered the playoffs with a .500 record got hot when it counted and upset those plans.
In the Joliet West Sectional finals, dark horse Minooka made the most of a few breaks that came its way to score three times in the third inning and went on to pull off a 3-1 stunner over the Griffins, who entered the contest with a 29-1 record.