Mid-Suburban League softball champion Conant opened the state tournament with a 5-0 shutout over Hoffman Estates in the Hawks' Class 4A regional semifinal.
Seeded No. 1 in the Barrington sectional, the Cougars (30-3) advanced to Saturday's 11 a.m. regional title game against the winner of today's semifinal between No. 8 Hersey and No. 9 Palatine.
Senior Briana Cavin (27-2) threw a 6-hitter with 9 strikeouts and she went 3-for-4 with 1 run. Shortstop Allie Bauch was also 3-for-4 with a run teammates while Miranda Cavin, Kim Jacobson, Sarah Thompson, Megan Reff and Barb Linderman had the RBI for Conant.
Junior Nicole LaBeck led the Hawks (6-25) by going 2-for-4.
Hoffman senior center fielder Alexis Filler made 2 standout catches while senior Allison Amato, sophomore Kaileen Hendle, senior Alex Tuminaro and sophomore Sam Acosta had the other hits for the Hawks.
Hoffman threatened to take the lead in the top of the first with runners on second and third and one out but Briana Cavin got the next two outs.
"Our two captains (Tuminaro and Amanda Harris, who put down a key sacrifice bunt) really showed strong leadership throughout the season, and they culminated it in this game," said Hawks coach Lindsey Hamma.
Fremd 5, Streamwood 0: Senior Rachel Doering (16-4) threw the first five innings, striking out eight and walking two to notch the win for Fremd (29-7) in its own Class 4A regional semifinal.
The No. 3-seeded Vikings advance to Saturday's 11 a.m. championship against the winner of today's semifinal between No. 5 Lake Zurich (24-9) and No. 11 South Elgin (13-19).
Junior Ashlynne Schwantz pitched the final two innings, striking out four with no walks and 1 hit.
Top hitters for Fremd were Leigh Farina (4-for-4, double), Mandi Matsumoto (2-for-4), Brittany Ciura and Kristie Salerno (2-for-4).
Barrington 7, Buffalo Grove 0: The Fillies' Savonnah Osmanski celebrated her 17th birthday in style, going 4-for-4 with 2 doubles and an RBI for Barrington in the Class 4A Rolling Meadows regional semifinal.
"This is my best birthday so far," Osmanski said. "I just wanted to come out and help my team."
The Fillies (29-7) will face Prospect (11-25) in Saturday's title game at 11 a.m.
Raegan Fingerman and Tess Bolger each had 2 hits and an RBI while Krista Moore scored 3 runs for the Fillies. Junior Cassidy Kraimer (17-6) went six innings, striking out 10 and allowing 2 hits to pick up the win while senior Emma Woods struck out two in 1 inning.
Katie Conley had 2 hits for Buffalo Grove (9-25).
Maine West 8, Highland Park 0: Junior Ariel Valles (17-6) threw a 3-hitter with 8 strikeouts for the shutout in the Class 4A Niles North regional semifinal.
The No. 3 Warriors (22-9) will meet the winner of today's semifinal between No. 6 Niles North and No. 11 Stevenson.
Holly Wengerski (3-for-4, 1 run), Katie Fitzgerald (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBI), Brie Montmarquette (2-for-4, double, RBI) and Renee Pond (2-for-3, RBI) led the Warriors' offense.
"Ariel did a great job pitching out of tough situations," said Warriors coach Amy Gonzales. "The team came together on offense with timely hits. It was another great pitching and offensive effort."
Leyden 11, Schurz 0: DePaul-bound Morgan Maize pitched a perfect game and struck out the first 13 batters in leading No. 2 Leyden (27-7) over No. 15 Schurz in the semifinal of the Morton Class 4A regional.
The Eagles will play for the title on Saturday against the winner of today's semifinal between No. 7 Morton and No. 10 Whitney Young.
Glenbrook North 15, Wheeling 2: Ashley Hafertepe's double was one of Wheeling's 5 hits in the Class 4A semifinal hosted by the Wildcats (9-22).