Naperville Central stays perfect
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To Keegan Hayes, an early 2-0 deficit Friday was only a temporary inconvenience.
Hardly a cause for concern.
"Two runs behind, it doesn't faze us," said Naperville Central's junior pitcher. "We know we can hit."
That's the air of confidence of a Redhawks team on a serious roll.
Hayes' single started a four-run rally, Maddi Doane doubled in the go-ahead run and later homered, and No. 1 Naperville Central ran its record to 16-0 by beating Naperville North 8-2 on Friday.
Hayes (11-0) surrendered a two-out, two-run double to Alexis Solak in the top of the second inning, but the Redhawks (16-0, 4-0 DuPage Valley Conference) wasted no time getting it back.
Hayes singled to lead off the bottom half and Laura Dierking doubled her in, then scored the tying run on an errant pickoff attempt. With two outs Lindsay Gonzalez walked, and a pop-up was dropped in foul territory to keep a Doane at-bat alive. She made the Huskies pay with a booming double to deep center.
Juliet Tassi followed with a run-scoring single, making it 4-2.
"I wasn't worried at all. We knew we would come back today," Hayes said. "We hit the ball really well."
Naperville North (8-5, 3-1), which came in the only other team unbeaten in the DVC besides Naperville Central, hurt its cause with an uncharacteristic 5 errors.
"We didn't field the ball as well as we needed to," Huskies coach Jerry Kedziora said. "Central's been hitting the ball well, and you can't give them extra outs. It's something we haven't done all year and they made us pay."
Doane continued her torrid hitting in the fourth, homering the opposite way to left-center to make it 5-2. Later in the inning Kaitlyn Skarecky singled in Tassi.
"With this team we just feed off each other," Doane said. "Hit after hit, it just flows."
Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum is relishing a lineup that seems to be able to start rallies at any spot in the order. In fact every spot reached base safely at least once Friday. Skarecky, Lisa Tassi and Hayes had 2 hits apiece.
"We just put a lot of pressure on teams offensively," Nussbaum said.
Hayes settled down after Solak's double, allowing just 2 hits and a walk over her last four innings, striking out four. Julie Kestas threw a hitless seventh.
"It will happen to Keegan once in a while," Nussbaum said, referring to Solak's hit. "She shut them down after that."
Solak doubled twice and reached base three times for Naperville North, which hosts Glenbard North on Monday. Kedziora didn't sound like someone who will lose too much sleep over one DVC loss this early.
"We're 3-1 in the conference, and this is one of the teams we have to split with," Kedziora said. "We'll get them again. We got Glenbard North Monday. We pick them off, we're in good shape."
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