There's one thing that's pretty clear about the Bartlett softball team this season, whether it be in a dome or outdoors -- if outdoors ever happens.
The Hawks can hit.
After scoring 13 runs on 10 hits in a 13-3 win over Joliet West, Bartlett dug itself an 8-0 hole in the first inning against Plainfield Central before coming back to beat the Wildcats 10-9 Tuesday at The Dome at The Ballpark in Rosemont.
"I liked the way we hit in both games today," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "If we could have got out of our own way to start the game (against Plainfield Central) we wouldn't have had to come back like that but the kids did a great job of hitting."
Plainfield Central's first inning was nightmarish for the Hawks (2-0). The Wildcats rapped out 7 hits off senior Amy Johnson, Bartlett committed 2 errors that made all 8 runs unearned, and after 12 batters went to the plate the Wildcats (0-1) had an 8-0 lead.
But just like that, Johnson settled down and the Hawks began their comeback against PC freshman ace Brooklyn Daly.
Bartlett scored one in the second, an Alyssa Nowak single driving in Alex Morales, who had tripled. The Hawks added two more in the third, Lauren Janczak's turf-hop triple driving in Katie Fornoff, who had reached in a fielder's choice, then Janczak scoring on a double steal after a walk to Kayla Haberstich.
But Daly settled in for the middle innings and kept it an 8-3 game into the bottom of the sixth when the Wildcats, who won 28 games last year and lost in a sectional final to Class 4A state champion Minooka, added what appeared at the time to be an unneeded insurance run on an RBI groundout from Alison Mangino off Nowak, who had relieved Johnson to start the inning.
Daly carried the 6-run lead into the top of the seventh and that's when Bartlett unleashed its own 12-batter inning that included 6 hits and 3 Wildcat errors.
Sophomore call-up Elyse Hickey had 2 hits in the inning, including an RBI single that drove in courtesy runner Nicole Gerdevich with what turned out to be the winning run.
Nowak (3-for-3, 3 RBI) had a big 2-run single in the inning, while Fornoff and Janczak (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) also drove in runs.
"We were just trying to get line drives and get runs in," said Nowak. "We've got a lot of experience and a lot of talent."
That left things up to Nowak and the Bartlett defense to complete the comeback. The Hawk sophomore got the first two Wildcats on groundouts to the sure-handed Haberstich at shortstop before giving up a single to catcher Gretchen Egly. But Nowak got Nina Connell on a called third strike to complete the win.
"I was just trying to get balls over the plate and get outs," Nowak said.
"Alyssa did a great job and I thought Amy did too," said Wolfsmith. "She struggled a little in the first inning finding her spots but in innings two through seven the defense stepped up and Kayla made a couple of Division I plays at short."
Wolfsmith was also happy to see something in his team he figured it had.
"We thought they had fight," he said. "Veteran teams recognize you're never out of a game and that's what they did today."
Against Joliet West, Hawk senior ace Holly Pagan went the full 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk. All 3 Joliet West runs were unearned.
"Both teams struggled when the ball went to the outfield on this turf and with this background," Wolfsmith said.
Fornoff (2-for-3), Haberstich (2-for-4, 2B, RBI), Morales (2-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI), Pagan (2-for-2, 2B, RBI), Nowak (2B, 2 RBI), Paul (3B, RBI) and Johnson (RBI) led the Bartlett offense.
Wednesday at The Dome: The scheduled game between NIU and Northwestern at The Dome on Wednesday has been moved to the outdoor turf field at Bandits Stadium, opening spots in The Dome, so St. Edward will play Hampshire at noon. Also on Wednesday, South Elgin plays a doubleheader against Oak Lawn beginning at 10 a.m., and Huntley plays DeKalb at 8 a.m. and Freeport at 2 p.m.