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updated: 4/16/2014 10:10 PM

Glenbard South uses small ball to beat Willowbrook

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By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent

With the wind blowing hard in from the south, it was not a time to be swinging for the fence during Wednesday's Glenbard South at Willowbrook softball game.

The Raiders made the right adjustments, however, and went home with an 8-0 nonconference victory to move to 3-3.

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Glenbard South prevailed through excellent bunting and hits that stayed near or on the ground. The Raiders finished with 10 hits total.

Coach Julie Fonda said the team was told before the first pitch that it was not a good day to make the softball airborne.

"We talked about that. Before games we talk about what elements the hitters will face and we focused on keeping the ball on the ground," she said. "We've been struggling at the plate. Hopefully, we're back on track."

The Raiders were hitless during the first two innings. The farthest hit of the afternoon for Glenbard South occurred in the third when Tricia Weigand led off with a long flyball that Willowbrook center fielder Olivia Domin made a nice running catch of about a yard from the fence.

Payton Carli then followed with the first of three Raiders bunts that went for hits. She was forced at second on an attempted double play and that put Aimee Gerhardt on base. Next Tarah Valdez reached on a dropped flyball that scored Gerhardt.

Glenbard South tagged Willowbrook (5-3) for three runs in the fourth. Holli Taylor, Gianna Marra and Weigand all reached on basehits with an RBI bunt from Payton Carli, a fielding error and a wild pitch scoring the trio.

The Raiders' lone run in the fifth came when Ashton Cattenhead reached safely on a fielder's choice and later scored on a wild pitch.

The Raiders broke the game open with 3 runs in the sixth in its second 4-hit inning. Taylor and Weigand connected on their second hit each and scored on Gerhardt's two-out double. Valdez's RBI basehit scored Gerhardt.

"I was going for a line drive or a hard groundball. I see my spot and I tried to hit it there," Taylor said.

Fonda has always believed in using her team's pitching depth, and winning pitcher Taylor Carli and Ashley Cohen made life tough for the Willowbrook hitters, limiting them to just 3 hits. Taylor Carli allowed just 1 hit and struck out 5 in the first three innings. Cohen allowed just 2 hits and struck out 10 during the final four innings. After hitting a batter to lead off the fifth, she struck out the side.

Cohen, who started at shortstop, said going into the game to pitch, like she did Wednesday, is not a big challenge.

"Taylor lets me know the strike zone and what (the umpire is) calling and I go over what the hitters have been doing," she said.

Sam Schmidt had 2 hits and Alyssa Ressinger 1 for Willowbrook. The Warriors had 13 home runs in their first six games.

"We are a great hitting team. But when (Schmidt and Ressinger) are off, everyone is off. It's a matter of confidence. They weren't swinging aggressively," Warriors coach Rachel Karos said. "Today was not a game where you should aim for walks or take pitches. I'm not worried. There are a lot of games left."

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