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updated: 4/4/2014 10:48 PM

Libertyville warms to the task against Buffalo Grove

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It doesn't matter what the climate holds.

These Wildcats just keep roaring.

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After fashioning a 5-0 record in the 80-degree Florida weather 10 days ago, Libertyville's softball team was equally impressive with temperatures in the low 40s on Friday.

Playing their first game this season in Illinois, the Wildcats surged past visiting Buffalo Grove 14-3 in 5 innings.

It was the fifth time the Wildcats have won in 5 innings or less and they have outscored their opponents 84-12 in 34 innings.

Winning pitcher Haley Alban fired a 3-hitter with 2 strikeouts to improve her mark to 2-0.

"It was one of the coldest days I've ever pitched," said the senior hurler who also tripled home a run in the fourth inning. "I was a bit overheated in Florida and that was something I struggled with. Now this game it was the complete opposite. That's Chicago."

Alban managed to keep her hands warm by putting them in her pockets between pitches and using hand warmers.

"I would say the hardest thing was the ball being cold," she said. "And I needed a Kleenex about every ten seconds."

But between her arm and the hot bats of Alban's teammates, the Wildcats were able to turn a 1-0 deficit into an 8-1 cushion with 8 runs in the top of the third inning.

Libertyville was the visiting team on the scoreboard because the game was scheduled to be played at BG.

Leadoff batter Tayler Oberman (2-for-4, 2 RBI), a Winona State recruit, started the rally with a single to center.

By the time the inning had ended, Jessie Laurent, Madi Dembinski (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Taylor Zoellick (1-for-2, RBI) also had singled and scored. Also crossing the late were Andi Katz, Jamie Stevens, Michalea Mooney and pinch runner Sam Hilldale.

Stevens (1-for-1, 2 walks, sacrifice), a sophomore, belted a 3-run homer over the left-center field fence with two outs in the top of the fifth to cap the scoring.

"It feels great to get a game in on our field," said Oberman, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI double to left center in the Wildcats' 4-run fifth inning. "We just had to stay focused on the game and not on the weather."

That's what Wisniewski, who excelled at Winona State after a standout prep career at Stevenson, appreciated the most.

"It was a great team performance," she said. "It's quite a drop from playing in the 80s to this weather. It's a tough change to make and I am proud of them for how they did it.

"It was their first game in Illinois and it was a brutal one weather-wise. I'm really proud of how they stayed focused on the game and not the weather."

The Bison (1-3) struck first when junior Julia Camardo reached on an error and her pinch runner eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Dea Barton singled down the right field line to drive in Cassie May and Caitlin Catino for the Bison's other runs in the fourth inning.

Prior to that base hit, the Wildcats got two forceouts at home plate with the bases loaded.

Alban fielded a grounder and threw to catcher Katz for the first out and first baseman Dembinski had the assist on the other.

"The girls really executed on defense when the pressure was on," Wisniewski said. "They made sure to go one play at a time and they did not panic."

Jasmine Avalos and Emily Carnes also had hits for the Bison, who notched their first win over Grant 9-5 earlier in the week with Camardo getting the win.

Buffalo Grove coach Jamie Paul used Camardo, Breann Steady and Nikki Longdon on the mound Friday.

"I thought it was a good opportunity to see them all pitch and I didn't want to stay with any of them too long," Paul said. "The bottom line is that we didn't want any injuries. It's the first time we played everyone (14 girls) on the roster. We wanted to make sure the all the kids stayed warm."

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