Naperville Central softball coach Andy Nussbaum thought his team was good offensively going into Saturday's doubleheader at Waubonsie Valley. The 11-1, 10-1 sweep by the Redhawks strengthened his opinion.
"We hit the ball well today," he said after the Game 1 victory. "We have a good hitting team. I thought the three outs we made in the seventh were hard hit."
The Redhawks (5-1) belted out 17 hits in Game 1 and stayed busy with 10 in the nightcap.
Naperville Central went into Saturday having lost 7-2 to Benet on Thursday. Nussbaum said that was an important lesson.
"It was a wakeup call. It showed that we have to be hungry and ready to go every day. We have to be aggressive to win a game instead of letting the game come to us," he said.
The Redhawks scored seven runs during the first three innings and were never seriously threatened.
The biggest hits for Naperville Central were a 2-run triple by Maddi Doane in the second and a 2-run homer from winning pitcher Keegan Hayes the following inning.
"I think I'm stronger this year. I don't know if I got my best swing on it, but I think I'm capable (of hitting homers), Hayes said.
Doane finished the opening game 3-for-5 and Hayes and Courtney Giebel also had 3 hits.
Doane went the distance in getting the victory, giving up just five hits and striking out four.
Nussbaum was also pleased with the Redhawks' defense after the opening game and praised third baseman Giebel for her efforts.
"(The Warriors) put it in play pretty good," Giebel said. "We want to keep the ball on the ground, but if it's in the air we want it to be a catchable ball. The main thing is our bats, but we stay in the game with defense and use the offense to win."
The lone Game 1 run for Waubonsie (6-5) came in the second. Shannon Holman reached on a fielder's choice after a force out at second and with two outs, Christina Pembrook's singled to center plated her.
The Warriors continued to struggle offensively in the nightcap and finished with just 2 hits. But coach Val Wood said it was important for Waubonsie to play tough defense against the Redhawks, and in Game 1 that was a concern.
"Naperville Central is going to take advantage of any mistakes. And when you don't know where the cut-off throws are going, they are going to take advantage of that," Wood said.
The team's were tied at 1 after the first inning and it remained that way until the Naperville Central fifth when the Redhawks exploded for 7 runs on 6 hits. The big hits were a 3-run homer from Kaitlyn Skarecky, a solo homer from Doane and 2-run singles from Lindsay Gonzalez and Katie Lamich. Doane finished with 3 hits again in Game 2.
"They were trying to jam me throughout the game, coming insde. I saw the pitch outfront and took it that way," Skarecky said.
Winning pitcher was Julie Kestas and she also went the distance while striking out seven.
The Warriors' lone run came in the first when Melaina Koulos walked and was later walked in.