A number of leads have slipped away from the Glenbard West softball team this spring, but this week has been another story.
The Hilltoppers (12-13)scored early and often against Glenbard East on Saturday and used the strong pitching of Taylor Langtry to knock off the Rams 9-2 in Glen Ellyn. It was the fourth win in a row for the Hilltoppers this week.
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"We've had games where we've come out strong and then just backed off," said senior first baseman Emily Biederman. "We lost too many games that we had leads in, and one of our main goals has been to just stay on them every inning … to stay focused and not let up at all."
Glenbard West jumped ahead 2-0 with a pair of first-inning runs off Rams sophomore Dani Brooke Ross, who was making her first varsity start of the year. The Hilltoppers then added 3 runs in each the second and third innings and 1 more in the fourth for a commanding 9-2 lead.
Biederman went 2-for-3 with a walk and 3 RBI, two of which came on her first home run of he season, a blast in the third that scored Sarah Pack ahead of her for a 7-2 lead.
"It was actually a pretty high pitch and I probably shouldn't have swung at it but I got lucky," Biederman said. "I just followed through on it and it was great. I was really excited. Especially on senior day it was just a great moment."
A young Glenbard East squad didn't have too many highlights while falling to 4-15, but the Rams did have a nice 2-run third inning off Langtry, and Ross showed plenty of promise in her first start. Only four of the Hilltoppers nine runs were earned off the young hurler.
"Doni Brooke did very well today. That's her second game, first start, and she kept the hitters off balance and she put the balls in play," Rams coach Nikki Simpson said.
"Our defense just didn't have a good day today. Hopefully, we'll come out in the second game and pick it up."
In the top of the third, Ross opened with a sharp single to right and Kelley Lyons followed with a bunt single. The two runners each scored on a squeeze bunt by Marissa Campos when the throw home got away from the catcher.
But that was all the Rams could score off Langtry, who struck out 11 batters while picking up her 10th win of the year.
"I was really happy," said Langtry, another senior who shined on senior day. "The first inning I came out strong and I was ready to go. Our team had a lot of energy, and I think we're really playing well together as a team."
It doesn't hurt when the offense keeps building on an early lead. The Hilltoppers finished with 12 hits in Saturday's opener.
"It makes my job a lot easier," said Langtry, who was 2-for-4 with a stolen base. "Something we've been really focusing on is getting quality at-bats and that's something that we saw today. We're definitely peaking at the right time and we've had a great week."