Breaking News Bar
posted: 5/28/2013 10:37 PM

Claussen, Vernon Hills cruise into sectional final

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Vernon Hills' Izzy Cirone (2) high-fives Jen Claussen after scoring against Northside Prep during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.

       Vernon Hills' Izzy Cirone (2) high-fives Jen Claussen after scoring against Northside Prep during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' pitcher Jen Claussen fires to a Northside Prep batter during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.

       Vernon Hills' pitcher Jen Claussen fires to a Northside Prep batter during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Northside Prep catcher Angela Villagomez waits for the throw as Vernon Hills' Sami Saliba scores during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.

       Northside Prep catcher Angela Villagomez waits for the throw as Vernon Hills' Sami Saliba scores during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Danielle Comitor keeps a sharp eye on a Northside Prep pitch during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.

       Vernon Hills' Danielle Comitor keeps a sharp eye on a Northside Prep pitch during Tuesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent

The Vernon Hills softball team kept rolling right along Tuesday afternoon as the Cougars met Northside Prep in the Class 3A Grayslake Central sectional.

The Cougars used a combination of some great pitching by senior Jen Claussen and some timely hitting to capture a 4-0 semifinal victory over the Mustangs.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Vernon Hills advances to the sectional championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday against the winner of Wednesday's scheduled Antioch-Wauconda game.

Claussen flirted with her first no-hitter as she went into the top of the seventh with no hits and only 1 walk allowed.

But with one out, Northside Prep's Katie Corcoran hit a single down the left-field line on a change-up to break up the no-hitter.

The Mustangs (12-16) made matters interesting in the top of the seventh as Dana Brecklin followed Corcoran with a single to right field before Gabby Ortiz walked with two outs to load the bases.

But after a meeting on the mound to regroup, Claussen was able to get Kristen Mullane to ground out back to the mound to seal the victory.

"We want this more than anything and we want to keep playing every game," said Claussen, who recorded 12 strikeouts. "Those are girls (Antioch and Wauconda) who we all have a very big rivalry with and they're always very competitive teams and they always come out swinging."

The Cougars came out swinging in the bottom of the second Tuesday against losing pitcher Sarah Joseph, who allowed 7 hits.

Claussen got the rally started with a one-out single to left field before teammate Steffany Froman doubled to left-center to put runners on second and third.

Then Kristina Kliver came through with a 2-run double to center field to get Vernon Hills on the scoreboard with an early 2-0 edge.

The Cougars' offense struck again in the bottom of the third as Sami Saliba walked, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single to center field by Jordyn Comitor for a 3-0 advantage.

"It's a shame she (Claussen) didn't get the no-hitter, but the kid (Corcoran) got a nice hit down the third-base line so you have to give her credit," said Vernon Hills assistant coach Mike Moran, who was among the coaches filling in for head coach and recently new father Steve Korney on Tuesday.

Vernon Hills added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as No. 1-hitter Dana Meline singled to right field with one out.

Then with two outs, sophomore Tori Smith doubled to center field as Meline scored from first base to boost the lead to 4-0.

Kliver added her second double off the left fielder's glove with two outs in the bottom of the sixth but she was left stranded there.

Claussen did benefit from some solid defense during her no-hitter bid as right fielder Comitor threw out Angela Villagomez with a 9-3 putout for the first out in the top of the sixth.

Moran hopes his squad cam pick up the offense even more looking ahead to the sectional championship game on Saturday morning.

"We were good offensively, but we need to be a little sharper," Moran said. "Our three, four, and five hitters were trying to adjust to the speed and they haven't gotten it just yet."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.