The Glenbard West softball team won Thursday's battle at West Chicago 7-3 by scoring all of its runs in the first three innings.
However, both the Hilltoppers and the Wildcats continue the battle in this early portion of the season to try and find the consistency of play that's needed for a successful season.
"I'm very pleased. Our outing against Willowbrook (an 11-5 loss Tuesday) was poor. I was proud of the girls today for being more focused and ready," said Glenbard West coach Mary McGrane.
The Hilltoppers (3-3) pounced on the Wildcats (4-4) from the start, scoring a run in the first, two in the second and four in the third.
With two outs in the first, Jackie Feliciano reached on a fielding error and scored on Sarah Park's infield hit.
West Chicago responded in its half of the first inning with one run. Leadoff hitter Jenna Foreman was hit by a pitch. She stole second and scored on a fielding error that put Tatiana Rich on base.
Shelley Warmolts earned 2 of her 3 RBI on the day in the second on a single to center that scored Cori Szabo, who was running for winning pitcher Caylin Potter after she reached on a fielding error, and Kaitlyn Ohrnstein, who reached on a fielder's choice.
The big third inning began when Feliciano doubled to center, moved third on Park's basehit and made it 4-1 on a wild pitch.
Rachel Terwilliger then walked and both she and Park were helped by Taylor Langtry's sacrifice bunt before Ohrnstein brought both home on a single to center.
Potter earned the victory, going six innings and striking out four. Langtry finished up in the seventh, setting the Wildcats down in order and striking out two.
McGrane said the victory was a good example of what the Hilltoppers need to do every contest.
"They have to show up every day and want to compete and win," she said.
After the Hilltoppers' big third inning, that was it for their offense. West Chicago pitcher Amy Goldsmith allowed no hits over four innings, striking out four and allowing just one baserunner on a walk.
The Wildcats' best inning of the day came in the sixth, when Rich led off with a single. Emily Bedard reached on a fielding error that set the table for Erica Spellman and her two-run single.
Coach Kim Wallner said the majority of this season's West Chicago squad is new to the varsity level and she's trying to figure out what lineup will work best for the team.
"We have one sophomore and 10 juniors and just two seniors," Wallner said. "Right now I'm mixing up the lineups and trying to give all 13 kids a chance. We've had some good games. They jumped on our mistakes today and made us pay."