At times, injured Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Hannah Organ may have thought her softball season may be over.
Her leadership along with some talented younger teammates made her final home game on May 28 a memorable one.
Organ’s three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning broke open a tie game and propelled the Bulldogs to a 7-1 victory over Downers Grove South to win an IHSA Class 4A Regional title at Veterans Park in North Riverside.
“I don’t think a hit has ever felt better in my four years here at RB,” said Organ, who followed sophomore sister Emily Organ’s single and junior Lianna Noel reaching on a dropped third strike.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a better hit than that, a better feeling,” she said. “It was honestly just so much fun.”
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs (14-10) won their third straight regional title, two of them in Class 4A, to advance to the May 31 Marist Sectional semifinal, after the Landmark’s press time, against the top-seeded host RedHawks.
“They executed our plan perfectly. They kept high energy, did all of the things we asked and they carried through,” RBHS coach Doug Schultz said.
RBHS trailed the No. 4 Mustangs but tied the game 1-1 in the fourth. Hannah Organ added an RBI single in the seventh after senior Danika Apostolovich singled and sophomore Julia Madera walked.
Hannah Organ, part of the last three regional titles, was 2-for-4 with four runs batted in and pitched the final 5.2 innings in relief of starter Ellery Hastings.
Freshman Ellie Megall, sophomore Zoe Levine and Noel also singled.
“I think definitely our energy [helped us]. That was a big part,” said Megall, the Bulldogs’ starting third baseman. “I think just having so many leaders on the team [has helped], even underclassmen, just bringing everyone together and keeping us all focused and positive through games.”
Hannah Organ rejoining the lineup also has been a huge lift. She injured her left knee in the second game of the season March 17 and missed several games.
“I didn’t really know if I was going to be able to play in [the regional final],” Organ said. “Being my last year, to still be able to go out there and help the team was really special and just really fun.”
Along with the 7-1 regional semifinal victory over Argo on May 24, RBHS has scored at least seven runs in 14 games, 12 of them victories. Emily Organ (RBI) was 2-for-4 and Hannah Organ (2 RBIs) and Megall singled.