Buffalo Grove's softball team has it eyes on a Mid-Suburban East title this spring.
The Bison saw their lead increase in the division standings on Wednesday.
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With a 14-1 five-inning victory at Hoffman Estates, Buffalo Grove improved to 6-3 to gain a 2½-game lead on five-time defending champion Elk Grove (4-6).
"Our goal is to win conference," said senior Bison Amanda Salzman, who was also a guard on the school's girls basketball team. "So we have to continue playing the way we are, playing strong defense and attacking the ball at the plate."
Salzman sure attacked the ball in her first at-bat on Wednesday.
The right-handed hitting BG catcher belted her first home run of the season, a 3-run blast that easily cleared the left-field fence and set the tone for a 9-run first inning for the visitors.
"Amanda (4 RBI) got a hold of it and that helped set the tone," said Buffalo Grove coach Jamie Paul, whose team is 11-6 overall. "The girls are playing real well together and we hope to be coming together at the right time at the end of the season.
"Our confidence is up, but honestly, we have to take things one game at a time. It's a busy time of the year so we have distractions. We have to stay focused and concentrate on playing ball."
The big first inning for BG saw 14 batters come to the plate.
The Bison had 9 hits in the inning, including two by sophomore shortstop Dea Barton, who went 4-for-5 with 2 RBI from the No. 2 spot in the batting order.'
"We are shooting for the conference title," Barton said. "We've got to keep hitting and keep our confidence up because we know we are capable of making plays and coming up with wins."
Julia Camardo came up with her 10th win on the mound this season. The sophomore right-hander (9-5) struck out seven while throwing a 6-hitter. She got plenty of offensive support as the Bison gave her 13 runs after two innings and finished the game with 15 hits.
Other multiple hitters for BG were Caitlin Catino (2-for-4, 4 RBI), Erin Barton (2-for-3, 2 RBI), and Michelle Dublin (2-for-3, RBI). Camardo, Katie Conley, Megan Fu and Kristina Dakas each had singles as every Bison in the starting lineup had at least 1 hit.
"You got to respect them, they came out swinging the bats," said Hoffman Estates coach Lindsey Hamma. "They earned their first couple of runs and then took advantage of some our mistakes to keep going. We have to work on shutting down innings when we need to."
Hamma's top two hitters in the batting order, junior Sam Acosta and freshman Jordyn Fera, each went 2-for 3 while senior Nicole LaBeck (RBI) and junior Natalie Biddle had the other 2 hits for the Hawks (3-13-1, 3-5).
"I credit our girls," Hamma added. "They kept fighting to the end and we have to take from that to help us with the rest of season."