The Lake Zurich softball team plans to leave for Tennessee at 8 a.m. Wednesday to play four games in three days.
Thanks to the comforts of the The Dome at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the Bears will make the trip with a 1-0 record.
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They won their season opener 10-5 over Hoffman Estates on Tuesday morning as senior southpaw Olivia Schneider got the win and also provided some pop with her bat.
In her first 2 at-bats, Schneider cracked a pair of doubles, including one to center field in the bottom third inning which got home senior Vivian Juarez and gave the Bears a 7-4 lead.
Lake Zurich added 2 more runs in the fourth on a 2-run single to right by senior McKenna Larson to make it 9-4 and went ahead 10-4 in the sixth on an RBI single by Mallory Parsons.
"It's exciting to be able to play a game and it kind of gets us started for our trip (to Tennessee)," Parsons said. "It gives us an idea of what the season can be like."
Parsons showed what her bat can be like, as the senior first baseman went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.
"I just think I was focused," said the Carthage-bound (volleyball) Parsons of her big day at the plate. "We got big hits from everyone and we all hope to keep it going."
Other multiple hitters for the Bears were leadoff batter senior Katie Brown (2-for-4), senior Maria Schroeder (2-for-3, triple, RBI) and Larson (2-for-4, 2 RBI).
Making her high school debut, freshman catcher Amanda Guercio belted a 2-run triple to right center in her first career at-bat. Juarez also hit safely for the winners with a RBI single to right center in the third inning.
"It was good to get a game under our belt," said first-year coach Amanda Rodriguez, a former Round Lake and Carthage College third baseman. "It was great to get everyone (15 girls) into the game and see what they could do in certain situations."
In getting the win, Schneider went the first 6 innings, allowing only 2 hits while sophomore Katie Malek threw the seventh.
"Olivia started out a little shaky but I wanted to keep her in to see if she would settle down and she did," Rodriguez said "When she got into a rhythm she was good to go. I wanted to see Katie (Malek), too, because we will be using her in Tennessee. She started off strong in the counts so that's always good."
Sam Acosta was very good for the Hawks in the leadoff spot, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly that brough home sophomore Alexus Venegas in the Hawks' 3-run second inning.
Acosta, a senior shortstop, plans to study engineering at Illinois.
A lot of the Hawks' success will surely be designed around her bat this spring.
"Sam is our captain," said Hawks coach Lindsey Hamma. "She is solid all-around. She makes some great stops in the gap between short and third.
"She gives us opportunities to start things at the top of the order. It's been fun to watch her develop from her freshman season into a leader on our team ands I'm looking forward to many more opportunities for her to show that this season."
Acosta's triple to left in the top of the seventh brought home sophomore Veronica Cardella for the Hawks' final run of the game.
Acosta also had an infield hit in the fourth inning. Hoffman's only other hit was a double by sophomore Jordyn Fera in the second inning that brought home seniors Andrea Wolinski and Kajal Dalal, who both walked.
"It was our first game and gave us an opportunity to see a lot of different people in live situations," Hamma said. " It tells us a lot as we prepare for our next game (8 a.m. Thursday against Elgin at the same dome) and for the rest of the season."
Hawks junior pitcher Charlotte Allan struck out three and walked one in 3⅓ innings while sophomore teammate Tracy Osimowicz went the final 2⅔ innings.