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updated: 5/7/2014 10:13 PM

Josten's jam-management sweet for Fremd

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The scoring opportunities were there for Elk Grove on Wednesday.

But also there was a focused pitcher for visiting Fremd.

Senior Joanna Josten got out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the second inning and kept the damage limited a few other times to pitch the Vikings to a 7-5 victory over traditional Mid-Suburban East softball power Elk Grove.

The triumph kept the Vikings (15-7) in the MSL West race, where they improved to 7-3.

"There was a lot of pressure but I know I can always count on my defense behind me," said Josten, who raised her record to 11-5. "As a team, we all stayed focused and did all the little things we needed to do."

Sophomore Molly Muhs (3-for-4) and senior Kayla Kaufman (2-for-4) each clubbed home runs for the Vikings who trail Conant (9-1), Barrington (9-2) and Schaumburg (7-2) in the West.

Kaufman's one-out second-inning homer down the left field line of the season gave Fremd a 1-0 lead.

"I've been practicing on keeping the bat high and staying through the ball," said Kaufman, who now has 3 home runs this season. "This was a big win for us. We were very excited and pumped up for the game."

Later in the inning, Abby Iuorio drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0.

The lead grew to 3-0 in the third inning on a RBI groundout by catcher Holly Straup that scored shortstop Leigh Farina, who had drawn a leadoff walk.

The Grens (20-5, 7-4) came back to tie the game in the bottom of the third with four consecutive hits by Brianna Leach, Marjorie Sloan, Brooke Barges and Gina Cirrincione and a RBI double Alex Masnica.

Fremd took the lead for good in the fifth when Muhs singled to center to score Kaufman with two outs.

The Vikes went ahead 6-3 in the top of sixth on Farina's single to right which drove home Kylie Hess and Iuorio, who'd drawn walks to lead off the inning.

Elk Grove climbed to within 6-5 in the bottom of the inning. Becca Maher and Leach put together back-to-back one-out singles and scored when Barges reached on a two-out infield error.

Muhs walloped her second homer of the season over the left-center field fence to give Josten an insurance run in the top of the seventh.

"Jo did a nice job," said Fremd coach Jim Weaver said of senior hurler. "She made the pitches she had to in order to get out of situations.

"We have a lot of respect for Elk Grove. We knew they were an excellent opponent. This is a good win. Now we've got to make sure we are ready to play (Thursday against Hersey)."

Tracy Welninski, Julie Josten and Lauren Vanhavermaet also had hits for Fremd.

The Grenadiers' multiple hitters were Maher (2-for-4, double), Leach (2-for-4), Sloan (2-for-4) and Cirrincione (2-for-4).

"We left runners on base in the middle of the game that could have made a difference," said Elk Grove coach Ken Grams. "We missed some opportunities but I can't complain about our offense (12 hits). Fremd is a good team. We matched them. We like to think we are a good team, too."

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