For the 12th time since 2000, Elk Grove's softball team is headed to the Mid-Suburban League championship game.
Coach Ken Grams' Grenadiers sent 17 batters to the plate in the first inning at Hersey on Tuesday and scored 12 runs.
Senior Dani Goranson went on to fire a 1-hitter as the Grens posted a 13-0 five-inning triumph.
The Grens (22-5, 11-2) have a 5-game lead over second-place Rolling Meadows (15-13, 6-7) with three to play.
Elk Grove will travel to the field of the West Division champion for the MSL title game a week from Thursday.
Goranson (17-5) struck out seven and walked one.
A one-out double in the fourth inning by Val Burke was the only hit for Hersey (13-15, 4-9).
Elk Grove capitalized on 8 hits, 5 walks and 1 error for their 12 runs in the first inning.
Tori Liewergen (2-for-3) had both of her hits in the first inning.
Goranson (2-for-2, 2 walks, 3 runs) was the only other multiple hitter for Elk Grove.
Schaumburg 4, Barrington 3: Senior Renee Kakareka (7-4) notched the win and belted a 2-run homer for the host Saxons (14-11, 7-6) who were playing the game at the Fields of Dreams.
"It was a great team win," said Schaumburg coach Ellen Stoddard. "Renee pitched well and the defense was there to back her up."
Saxons junior Dana Giannelli went 3-for-3 with a home run and RBI. Other top hitters for Schaumburg were Alyssa Lancaster (1-for-3, double, RBI) and Shannon Felde (1-for-3, double).
Barrington (24-7, 8-5) was led by Kelsey Kazmier (2-for-3, RBI), Jordan Wekony (2-for-4) and Raegan Fingerman (2-for-4, double, RBI). Junior Cassidy Kraimer (14-6) took the loss.
Prospect 3, Rolling Meadows 0: Senior Hanna Lythberg (6-11) fired a 2-hitter for visiting Prospect (9-22, 5-8).
She struck out five and did not walk while going 3-for-4 at the plate.
Lythberg had the game-winning hit with an RBI single in the first inning. Junior Michele Molini singled home a run in the fifth and sophomore Meghan Doyle (3-for-4) had an RBI single in the seventh.
Julie Mazur (2-for-3) and Sarah Scaccia (2-for-3, double) were other top hitters for Prospect.
Sara Brunlieb (12-5) struck out seven and walked one for Meadows (15-13, 6-7).
Natalie Cannizzo and Josie Suchecki (double) had the Mustangs' hits.
Meadows center fielder Emily Hattory made two diving catches to save runs.
Buffalo Grove 7, Wheeling 1: Freshman Julia Camardo (7-12) threw a 6-hitter with 5 strikeouts for the visiting Bison (9-18, 5-8).
Top hitters for BG were Jessie Lazzara (4-for-4, RBI), Caitlin Catino (2-for-3), Dea Barton (1-for-2, RBI, 2 walks), Erin Barton (2-for-4, triple), Amanda Salzman (2-for-3, RBI) and Becca Winter (double, 2 RBI).
Leading the offense for Wheeling (4-18, 2-11) were Sara Kern (2-for-3, triple) and Nikki Mikosz (3-for-3, double, RBI).
Wildcats ace Katie Quagliano (4-15) struck out six.
Palatine 15, Hoffman Estates 0 (5 innings): Host Palatine (14-16 6-7) scored 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth as Pirates junior Megan Hedstrom (10-13) threw a 3-hitter with 4 strikeouts.
Tori Walzak (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Lauren Logan (3 walks, 3 Runs, 1 RBI), Kaileigh Moertl (1-for3, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Jamie Haze (1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Jules Udoni (1-for-3, 1 run, 2 RBI) led the Pirates' offense.
Alex Tuminaro (2-for-2, double) and Allison Amato (1-for-2) paced the Hawks (3-17-1, 1-12).
Maine West 9, Niles North 3: Junior Ariel Valles (15-6) threw a 5-hitter with 8 strikeouts.
Leading West (20-9, 8-1) on offense were Holly Wengerski (2-for-4 2 runs, double, RBI), Brie Montmarquette (2-for-3 1 run, double) and Hanna Udischas (2-for-3, 1 run, 2 RBI), who hit her first homer of the season.
"It was a great pitching performance from Ariel, great defense backing her up and a great effort on offense," said West coach Amy Gonzales.
St. Viator 6, Joliet Catholic 5 (11 innings): Host St. Viator (10-14) earned it first ESCC win.
Gina Mastrodomenico belted a 3-run double to give the Lions a 5-2 lead.
Krystal Harris pitched 7 innings before giving way to Sam Hogan (7-12) who pitched 4 scoreless innings.
The winning run in the 11th was set up by back-to-back singles by Harris and Alex Flasch. Lauren Prazuch (5-for-6) singled home Harris from second base for the game-winner.
Erika Kreiner, Flasch, Harris and Hogan each had 2 hits for Viator, which has not made an error in its last 25 innings.
"We are an exciting team when we work together, don't think too much and trust our ability to execute plays," said Lions coach Dan Twarog.
Leyden 6, Hinsdale South 4: SeniorMorgan Maize was the winning pitcher as Dana Sullivan homered and doubled for 4 RBI for the Eagles (22-6).