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updated: 5/3/2014 12:44 AM

Willowbrook wins 'must-win' game

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By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent

The Willowbrook softball team showed Friday in its 11-1 win over host Addison Trail how a team can bounce back after having a tough day just 48 hours earlier.

The Warriors (9-6, 3-2 West Suburban Gold) were dominated by No. 2 Downers Grove South 10-0 on Wednesday.

They came out against the Blazers ready to hit, finishing with 17 on the day and scoring in every inning of the five-inning contest.

"This was a must win. Our confidence had been low of late and we did better. We came in with a lot of energy, which isn't difficult because they are our district rivals," said Willowbrook coach Rachel Karos. "We were getting runners on base against Downers Grove South, but we weren't able to move them over."

That wasn't the case Friday. The Warriors' lineup produced right from the start, racking up three runs on four hits in the first inning to take a 3-0 advantage. Cheyenne Brunig and Sam Schmidt reached on singles to left before being brought home by Alyssa Ressinger's double. Ressinger scored later on a wild pitch.

It was a huge day for Schmidt and Ressinger. Schmidt finished with 4 hits. She belted what had appeared to be a home run in the second, but after a conversation between the umpires, it was ruled a double. Ressinger hit her second 2-run double right after followed by winning pitcher Delaney Pelsor's RBI single for another Willowbrook 3-run inning.

Ressinger hit a 2-run homer in the fourth and Schmidt did get a homer later, a 2-run shot in the fifth. Ressinger finished with 3 hits and 6 RBI and Schmidt finished with 2 RBI. Also contributing was Zoe Dannenberg with an RBI single in the third.

Ressinger said the team came up with the right mix against the Blazers (11-9, 2-3).

"We hit a lot today and each inning a team hits, it makes the pitcher and defense more confident," she said.

Addison Trail responded immediately to Willowbrook's 3-run first by getting on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning.

Leadoff hitter Crystal Marinelli tripled to left field and scored on Ari Renc's single to center. The Blazers got three more hits in the game, singles by Rachel Baumgartner and Cori Cooney and a double by Danielle Ciaglia.

Coach Mark Olson said it was just a bad day in what's turning out to be a very productive season for Addison Trail.

"Willowbrook is a good team and they capitalized on our mistakes. We had some defensive lapses early. When we focus on defense, we're a pretty good team. But we got ourselves in a hole.

"But I am so proud of what the girls have done. We have already equalled our win total from last season and two years ago we won just two games," Olson said.

Both teams return to the field Saturday. Willowbrook hosts York and Addison Trail hosts Downers Grove North in doubleheaders that each begin at 10 a.m.

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