Glenbard South pitcher Stephanie Chitkowski knew she had to settle down after a pair of illegal pitches led to an Evergreen Park run in the first inning.
The senior did just that, sending down the next 12 batters she faced, and finishing with 12 strikeouts in leading the Raiders to an 11-1 five-inning victory over the Mustangs at the Class 3A Nazareth Academy sectional on Tuesday.
Glenbard South advances to Saturday's 11 a.m. sectional final against the winner of the Lemont and Nazareth semifinal game Wednesday.
Chitkowski gave up only one hit in five innings as a double by Evergreen Park's Megan Beckow in the first inning was the Mustangs' lone hit of the game.
Beckow took third base and then home plate on two straight illegal pitches by Chitkowski, but the Mustangs had just one more baserunner the rest of the way as Chelsea Christopher walked in the fifth inning, ending Chitkowski's streak of 12 straight batters retired.
"Going into the game, I knew I might get called for an illegal pitch because it's so hard to drag on turf," Chitkowski said. "I was really rattled after the first time I got called for it, but my catcher settled me down the rest of the way."
The Raiders took the lead right back in the bottom of the first after a triple by Jane Trzaska drove in leadoff hitter Payton Carli, followed by Ashton Cattenhead's sacrifice fly that drove in Trzaska to make the score 2-1. Glenbard South broke the game open with a 5-run second inning. Ashley Cohen led off the inning with a triple, and she scored after Gianna Marra reached first on an error.
Carli followed with a single, and two batters later, Trzaska walked, giving the Raiders baserunners at second and third. Cattenhead followed with a double that drove in Carli and Trzaska, making the score 5-1.
Glenbard South scored two more runs in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Danielle Scarpiniti and a single by Hannah Taylor that drove in Cattenhead to make the score 7-1.
Evergreen Park starting pitcher Bethany Salazar exited the circle after just 12⁄3 innings pitched.
The Raiders ended the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, including an infield single by Cattenhead that scored Carli from third for the game's final score.
"I was really proud of our approach at the plate today and the way we hit throughout the game," Glenbard South coach Julie Fonda said. "We didn't just get hot one inning and then cool off."
Carli finished 3-for-3 from her leadoff spot, including 3 runs, while Cattenhead was 2-for-4 with a run and 4 RBI.