After going 14 years without playing in the Mid-Suburban League championship softball game, Buffalo Grove will make its second straight appearance on Thursday.
The Bison clinched their second straight crown under four-year coach Jamie Paul with a 2-0 victory over visiting Wheeling on Saturday in Buffalo Grove.
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It was the 11th straight victory for the Bison (18-8, 12-3) and junior pitcher Julie Camardo (15-4), who threw a 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks.
"The girls were super excited," said Paul about the title-clinching triumph.
Buffalo Grove will play on the diamond of the West division champion on Thursday.
Conant (13-2) leads Schaumburg (11-3) and Barrington (11-3) going into Monday's action.
Camardo, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate, and Wheeling ace Katie Quagliano (2 strikeouts) hooked up in a nifty pitcher's duel.
It wasn't until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Bison got on the board.
Junior Caitlin Catino (2-for-3) belted her third homer in two games over the left center field fence to lead off the inning.
Dea Barton followed with a single. After two outs, Camardo also singled.
Katie Conley then reached on an outfield error that brought home Barton for the 2-0 lead.
Lauren Hart (2-for-3) had the hits for Wheeling (5-23, 2-13).
Elk Grove 14, Hersey 3 (6 inn): Becca Maher (3-for-5) belted a home run with 2 doubles for the visiting Grens who improved to 25-6 and 10-5.
Other multiple hinters for EG were Brianna Leach (2-for-4) and Brooke Barges (2-for-4).
Winning pitcher Megan Eul (17-5) pitched the first three innings and Mary Hirschauer went the final three, including a strikeout which ended the game.
Angela Schmiederer (2-for-4), Cassie Zouras (3-for-4), Michelle Helminski (2-for-4), Emily Butler (2-for-3) and Kaitlyn Denten (double) paced the offense for Hersey (9-19-1, 3-12).
Hoffman Estates 2, Palatine 1: Visiting Hoffman Estates improved to 14-13 and 6-9 in the MSL West as sophomore Tracy Osimowicz (10-3) reached double-digit wins with a 6-hitter and 3 strikeouts.
The Hawks scored both runs in the first inning when Sam Acosta (1-for-3) and Kajal Dalal (1-for-4) crossed the played. Kaileen Hendle added a double for Hoffman.
Jamie Haze went 2-for-3 for the Pirates (8-22, 3-12) who received a complete- game effort and 5 strikeouts from pitcher Dominique Boisvert.
Jules Udoni belted a home runs for Palatine's run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Emily Griffin also doubled for the hosts.
Schaumburg sweeps: The visiting Saxons (21-7) tuned up for Monday's showdown at Conant by sweeping Lyons Township 13-4 and 10-6.
Sophomore Shannon Felde (9-3) earned the win in Game 1 and she also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a 2-run homer.
Paige Alt (3-for-4, 4 RBI) belted 2 homers for Schaumburg, which scored 10 runs in the third inning. The Saxons also received multihit games from Elaine Walker (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Roxanne Kakareka (2-for-3).
Sarah Schwind, Christina Candotti and Natalie Napier each had 1 hit.
In Game 2, Alt (10-2) earned the win and also went 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 RBI.
Walker walloped 2 homers while going 4-for-5 while other key multiple hitters were hitters were Schwind (2-for-4), Kelly Poplar (2-fr-5), Candotti (2-for-3, 3-run homer) and Napier (2-for-4). Teammates Kaiden Jackson and Kelly Loughman each had 1 hit.
St. Viator drops two: Providence swept the East Suburban Catholic Conference twin bill with 8-1 and 14-5 victories over the Lions (17-14, 5-11) in New Lenox.
St. Viator seniors Sam Hogan and Tess Kaiser each had 2 hits and 2 RBI for the day.