Naperville North finds its bats again
As he pored over his team's stats Monday night, Naperville North coach Jerry Kedziora paused to wonder where the offense was.
He's resting a little easier now.
Alexis Solak and Emily Hillier homered, and the Huskies' bats broke out in a big way to beat Downers Grove South 9-6 on Tuesday in Downers Grove.
A day after a 6-1 loss to St. Charles East, Naperville North (4-2) banged out 11 hits -- 6 for extra bases. A lineup expected to be a strength looked the part.
"The girls, they had a plan when they went up there today," Kedziora said. "It's easily the best we've hit all year. We know we've got some girls who can put the ball in play."
Solak set the tone, homering to straightaway center to lead off the game. Her single in the second scored Kelsey Ladone to make it 3-0.
Downers Grove South (4-3) rallied with 3 runs in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead, Emma Thibault scoring the go-ahead run on a delayed double steal in an inning highlighted by a disputed call at first base on an infield hit.
Naperville North answered right back the next half inning. Kailee Budicin's double off the left fielder's glove started it, Rachel Martin's wicked liner for an infield single scored the tying run, and the Huskies tacked on two more to go ahead 6-4.
"Huskies softball, the changes we've made, we're not folding anymore," said Kedziora, whose team last year set a program win record and advanced to its first sectional final. "We're going to come back and get the momentum back."
Hillier, a member of the Huskies JV team last year, put on the finishing touches with a three-run homer in the seventh. Martin was 3-for-4, Budicin doubled twice and Hillier had the homer and a double in the pivotal fifth for the Huskies, who host No. 3 Benet today.
"To come out today and score nine runs was good to see," Budicin said. "We had a good lineup last year and we have some good players coming up from JV to help us."
Jessica Andree had a two-run homer in the seventh and Thibault was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI for Downers Grove South. High-scoring games are nothing new for the Mustangs. On Saturday they split a doubleheader with Sterling by scores of 11-10 and 17-10.
"When you go out and take the lead, you have to shut teams down the next inning. We haven't done that," said Mustangs coach Ron Havelka, breaking in a young team after graduating eight seniors. "We've scored enough runs to win most games but we've given up too many. We'll get better. We have a young team, but that can't be an excuse."
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