After being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning of Tuesday's softball game, West Chicago senior team captain Jillian Staten came up huge for the Wildcats with the game-winning single in the seventh to beat Glenbard North 5-4 in Carol Stream.
To start the seventh inning West Chicago trailed 4-3, but the Wildcats moved two runners into scoring position and Natalie Warkins scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
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Staten then stepped up to rip a single up the middle and drive in the winning run.
"Right before that inning, coach (Kim Wallner) said that we need to believe, so I think that's just what I did," Staten said. "I saw the baserunners on base and I knew that I had to believe to get that hit, and that's what I did. I did it for the team."
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard in the top of the first, and they did it without a hit.
Pitcher Jenna Forman reached base on a dropped third strike, stole second and then stole third after Tiatiana Rich walked.
Forman scored on a passed ball, but Glenbard North answered in the bottom of the inning when Sarah Petzold scored on a wild pitch.
West Chicago's Forman reached base once again with a single in the third, then stole both second and third. Hannah Gelhaar drove in Forman to make it 2-1.
"It's early. This is the first time that either team had been out in the field, so I thought we had to earn it," said Wallner, whose team stole 7 bases. "I thought we took advantage of some things and we used our speed a little bit because we do have some speed."
The Panthers made an even bigger mark in the bottom of the sixth to go up 4-3. Lauren Gramann stepped up with two on base to drive both players in and give her team the lead going into the seventh.
After Staten drove in the winning run in the top of the seventh, Forman and the Wildcats' defense shut down Glenbard North, getting two groundouts and a strikeout to finish the game.
"I thought we took way too many pitches," said Panthers coach Josh Sanew. "We were hitting behind in the count all day, and in this type of the weather you have to make sure you're playing clean and you're executing and that's what we didn't do."