Conant's infield had a little different look on Monday.
But the Cougars softball team still had the look of a winner.
Contact information ( * required )
With catcher Dream Aaron at third base, shortstop Lauren Grzelak at catcher and third baseman Rachel O'Malley at shortstop, the Cougars didn't miss a beat while pounding away a 13-3, six-inning victory over visiting Prospect.
"They're a good-hitting team," said Prospect softball coach Jim Adair, who watched the Cougars match their 13 runs with 13 hits. "There's no doubt about that."
There's no doubt the Cougars have some of the best power you'll find in the area.
It was supplied by junior DeeDee Durr (3-for-4) on Monday, who became the first Cougar to reach double digits in home runs when she belted her 10th of the season.
Conant now averages 2 homers a game with 30 in 15 games.
Durr's 2-run blast to center field capped the scoring in Conant's 7-run fourth inning which helped propel the Cougars to their 14-1 record.
They improved to 8-1 in the Mid-Suburban West.
"We are starting out the second half of conference now so we are excited to see how we do against some of the same teams the second time around," said Cougars junior center fielder Elisa Ambrose (2-for-4, RBI).
The only West team they have not seen is the Schaumburg Saxons (15-4, 7-0), who the Cougars visit on Thursday.
"We've got some big games coming up," added Ambrose, one of the Cougars' captains who lead offs in the batting order.
She also leads on the field and in the classroom where she owns a 3.85 GPA and scored a 31 on her ACT.
"Elisa leads off in our batting order, in the classroom and in practice," said Cougars coach CathyAnn Smith. "She just has that natural leadership ability."
Maggie Pancini led off the game by reaching third base on an outfield error and scored on Ally Schuldt's groundout to give Prospect a 1-0 lead.
The Cougars answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning on a RBI groundout by O'Malley and RBI single by Dream Aaron (2-for-4), who handled a hard-hit grounder by Casey Lenski at third base and threw to first baseman Hailey Rothstein for a nice assist in the third inning.
"The nice thing is that we've been saying we are 12 deep and all our players can play multiple positions," Smith said. "Lauren (Grzelak, normally a shortstop) is eager and always ready to play any position so we caught her and were able to give a rest to Dream's (Aaron) knees."
With Aaron handling third, Indiana recruit O'Malley moved to short.
"You can pretty much put Rachel anywhere on the left side and she will make plays," Smith said. "It's nice to have that with her."
Prospect had a nice top of the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Emma Gilhooly had a one-out single to center to start the rally.
Emma Riordan and Pancini followed later with RBI singles. Cate Meersman walked in the inning and scored on Pancini's single to left with two outs to give Prospect its lead.
But the Cougars exploded for 7 runs in the bottom half of the inning.
O'Malley and Telly Hunter doubled in the inning while Sara Neuman Rothstein and Grzelak each had singles. There was also a sacrifice bunt by Alissa Wachal and Durr's long blast.
"We have one bad inning every game, that's been our trademark," Adair said. "We battle. We've just got to learn to put it all together. We got some key hits in the game."
Pancini, the Knights leadoff hitter, went 2-for-4 and hit the ball well in all four of her at-bats. Lenski and Meghan Doyle also had hits for the Knights (4-16, 2-6).
Delilah Malczewski went the first 3⅓ innings for Prospect and Lenski the final 2⅔ innings.
The game ended in the bottom of the sixth on Grzelak's RBI single to center which scored Hunter (1-for-2, walk, hit by pitch).
"Kim (Zaucha) and Sara (Neuman) pitched well," said Grzelak, a freshman who caught for the second time this season. "They scored first, so we really knew we had to come back with our bats."