Wednesday's 8-1 victory over visiting Lake Park was the type of game that gave Glenbard North softball coach Josh Sanew the feeling that the Panthers are on the right track.
"We're headed in the right direction. The right side of the infield has been injured and they're back. We had a week off and it was good to return today and get a win," he said.
Pitcher Cece Dopart improved to 6-2 with the complete-game victory. She allowed just three hits and struck out 12.
"I felt I pitched well today. My catcher (Brittany Clark) called a great game and I have confidence in her," Dopart said. "The same goes for the infield and outfield, and scoring eight runs is big."
The Panthers (7-3, 1-0 DuPage Valley Conference) got on the scoreboard first during the second inning. And it would also be a big day for Dopart at the plate, where she went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI She started Glenbard North off in the second, when with two outs she doubled to left.
A fielding error moved Jessi Ewald, who was running for Dopart, to third and it put Clark on base. A dropped flyball resulted in a three-base error that put Sydney Benz at third and scored Ewald and Clark.
The Panthers broke the game open the following inning with four runs on six hits. Sarah Petzold led with a double to right and scored when the next hitter, Heather Sperlazzo, doubled to center. RBI singles from Alex Caliva, Dopart and Clark added to the total.
The following inning saw Dopart connected on her third hit, which scored Stephanie Campos, who had reached on a single to right.
Glenbard North's final run came in the fifth when Benz sent a pitch over the fence for a leadoff homer.
The Lancers' lone run came in the third. Karley Wolf led off with a walk and moved to second on Ashlyn Worcester's sacrifice bunt and scored on a dropped flyball. Wolf, Jordan Dallmann and Taylor Barton all got hits for the Lancers.
"My biggest concern is we clean up the defense. We did not play to our capability and looked sloppy today on some plays," Sanew said.
Lake Park (2-11, 0-2) came into the game after playing Naperville Central tough Monday, but falling 2-1.
Coach James Chellson said the Lancers will see success if they play like they did against Naperville Central, but not against Glenbard North.
"Against Naperville Central we played clean defense with no errors. When that team (Lake Park) shows up, it results in a game that could go either way," he said. "Glenbard North is a good hitting team and their pitcher did a good job of keeping our hitters off-balance."
Chellson said that once the Panthers broke the game open, the Lancers had to start swinging away to try and get back in the game, and that was difficult against Dopart.
"You can't play small ball in that situation," he said.