You've gotta hand it to Warren's Coronado carefully
Don't slap Selaina Coronado's right hand too hard when giving the Warren softball player a deserved high-five.
Then again, go ahead. The junior second baseman's digits are fine. She even has a note from her doctor to prove it.
Coronado fractured a finger on her throwing hand during tryouts last month. She wasn't too happy about it.
"She was supposed to be out for a month, but she was like, 'I'm fine,' " Blue Devils coach Tina Meyer said. "I was like, 'Yeah, but you don't have a doctor's note.' So she went back (to the doctor)."
Coronado, who didn't play on Warren's Spring Break trip to Louisville, Ky., got medical clearance to resume playing Monday night. She picked up a pair of hits and 3 RBI against Stevenson on Tuesday and then delivered again Thursday.
Her fielder's choice RBI in the bottom of the sixth snapped a tie and gave Warren a 2-1 win over visiting Vernon Hills in a rematch of last season's North Suburban Conference championship game.
"I just wanted to put the ball in play and trust my runners," Coronado said.
Warren then trusted Jana Wagner. The junior ace did the rest, retiring the Cougars in order in the seventh, as the Blue Devils improved to 4-3 with their third straight win.
Vernon Hills (0-2) dropped its second game in as many days.
"I was really proud of our effort," Cougars coach Steve Korney said. "I thought our girls played very well. Warren obviously has a great team."
Wagner, who pitched Warren to a 2-0 win in last year's NSC title game, struck out 10 and allowed only 2 hits. Vernon Hills scored its only run in the fifth on a dropped popup with two out. Steffany Froman had singled with one out and was in scoring position thanks to Madie Nixon's sacrifice bunt.
"Jana did amazing," Warren center fielder Megan Sowa said of her pitcher.
"She's been hard on herself lately, but she's definitely been improving," Meyer said of Wagner. "I thought she had a really good game. I talked to her before the game and she was like (excitedly), 'I'm getting all my pitches.' I was like, 'Well, good. Let's hope so.' I think she had more confidence coming into this game."
Vernon Hills ace Jenn Claussen was on her game too. The senior gave up only 3 hits, including a pair of line drives by Kelly Majewski, and struck out five.
"Jenn pitched a great game," Korney said.
"We've seen slower (pitching) the last few days, and she just came in with speed," Coronado said of Claussen. "We just had to adjust to it."
Majewski's two-out single scored Jill Fox, who had led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and was moved up on Sowa's bunt.
Fox led off again in the sixth and reached on an error. Sowa then tapped her second straight sacrifice bunt and was safe when the throw to first was off target.
"I like to bunt," said the Drake-bound Sowa, who's batting third this season after leading off last year.
Majewski's second single of the game loaded the bases with one out, bringing up Coronado. Her groundball past the pitching circle was gobbled up by shortstop Tori Smith, who stepped on second base for a force out, as Fox sped home with the go-ahead run.
"She came hard once again today," Meyer said of Coronado, a first-year varsity player. "She swings hard. I'm definitely impressed with her."
Vernon Hills lefty-swinging freshman catcher Dana Meline, batting in the leadoff spot, reached base three times and stole second base each time. She's the sister of former Cougars star Megan Meline.
"She does a little bit of everything for us," Korney said. "She bunts, and she tries to find the hole and see what the defense is giving her."
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