After senior second baseman Tracy Welninski ripped a homer over the left field fence to lead off the second inning, Fremd's softball team got the early jump on host Schaumburg.
"We weren't too nervous," said Saxons senior right fielder Jamie Kudjer. "We just pick up our intensity and focus more. And when we do that, we start getting hits."
These Saxons have been a hit all season, and Wednesday proved to be no exception.
Off to their best start in coach Ellen Abreu's four seasons, Schaumburg rallied past the Vikings for a 6-2 decision and remained undefeated in the Mid-Suburban West.
Junior Shannon Felde (5-1) fired a 5-hitter with 9 strikeouts as the Saxons (11-4) improved to 4-0 in the West.
"All our pitchers have been great," Kudjer said. "They really help us out."
In other words, this has been a team effort.
Abreu, who defeated her alma mater as a head coach for the first time, would agree.
"This was a good team win," she said. "We just talk about sticking to the game plan. We talk about how important every at-bat is and we try to win every inning."
Almost every Saxon reached base, and Kudjer made her contribution with a sacrifice fly that brought home Natalie Napier in the host's 2-run fourth inning.
Schaumburg had tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third when freshman Kaiden Jackson doubled down the left field line, went to third on Elaine Walker's sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.
Napier then connected for a two-out RBi single in the fourth which scored Paige Alt, who had led off the inning with a single to left.
Kudjer's sacrifice fly made it 3-1.
The Saxons added 3 more run in the sixth taking advantage of 2 errors.
Sophomore Sarah Schwind, who went 2-for-4, had an RBI single in the inning and an error on the play allowed 2 runs to score.
Felde's sacrifice fly to center then drove home Walker to make it 6-2.
"The kids are being patient at the plate," said Abreu (formerly Stoddard), a former star pitcher and hitter for Fremd. "They had good quality at-bats, adjusted well and they're just playing the game to win."
Sophomore catcher Christina Candotti and second baseman Roxanne Kakareka also had key hits for Schaumburg, which hosts Wheeling today.
The Vikings (10-4, 2-2) got their second run in the top of the sixth.
Senior shortstop Leigh Farina singled to right with one out and went to second on a walk to Welninski.
After two were out, Kayla Kaufman singled up the middle to drive home Farina.
With Kaufman and Welninski on base, Felde got the final out on deep fly to center fielder Jackson.
Welninski, who hit her second homer in as many days, ended up 1-for-1 with 2 walks.
Teammates Molly Muhs (single off the right center field fence in the second inning), catcher Holly Straup (double to right center in the fifth) and Abby Iuorio (beat out infield grounder) all had two-out hits.
Vikings pitcher Joanna Josten (7-3) gave up only 1 earned run and struck out four.
"We've got to play better," said Fremd coach Jim Weaver. "We'll get there. We have a lot of confidence in these kids and in their hearts. Right now we are struggling and we've got to battle our way out of it."