One crack of Alyssa Nowak's bat and Holly Pagan's strong right arm was about all the Bartlett softball team needed Wednesday in its Class 4A Addison Trail regional semifinal game against Glenbard West.
But the Hawks' hit parade kept up well after Nowak's two-run home run in the second inning, and Bartlett went on to a 7-0 win and a date against Upstate Eight Conference rival and No. 4 seed St. Charles North for the regional title at 11 a.m. Saturday.
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Pagan (19-5) fired a 2-hitter for the fifth-seeded Hawks. She had a perfect game through 4 ⅓ innings before giving up a clean single to Rachel Terwilliger.
"This was one of the best umpires we've had," said Pagan, who struck out seven and walked two. "He was consistent and I was able to stay on the corners."
The game was originally scheduled to be played under the lights Tuesday night but was called at game time due to rain and lightning. The extended delay didn't bother Pagan and the Hawks (27-7) any.
"We anticipated the rain so we weren't worried about it," Pagan said. "We just had to build up the energy to play again."
Pagan led off the bottom of the second inning with a single to right field off Glenbard West's Taylor Langtry and went to second on an outfield error. Courtesy runner Nicole Gerdevich came home ahead of Nowak when Nowak launched a deep home run over the fence in left field to put the Hawks ahead 2-0.
"That helped us," Pagan said of Nowak's fourth home run of the season. "When we were able to get a couple it showed we could hit (Langtry) and hitting is contagious."
Bartlett added an unearned run in the fourth when an outfield error allowed Nowak, who had reached on a fielder's choice, to score. The Hawks then made it a 5-0 game on Pagan's 2-run double in the fifth and finished out the scoring with 2 unearned runs in the sixth.
Sydney Johnson went 3-for-3 for the Hawks, whose errorless defensive game was led by three nifty plays from second baseman Katie Fornoff, including a diving stab of a Sarah Park line drive in the fifth.
"Holly pitched a wonderful game and defensively we played a great game," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "Alyssa's home run kind of broke open the nervousness of the first game of the postseason. Taylor is a heck of a pitcher and we knew (Glenbard West) had some good wins."
Jackie Feliciano had the other hit for the Hilltoppers (17-18), a shot she lined off Pagan's glove in the top of the seventh. Langtry struck out five and walked one while allowing 9 hits in suffering the loss.
"Taylor made one bad pitch," said Glenbard West coach Mary McGrane. "She settled down but we didn't make the defensive plays behind her and their second baseman made some nice plays. I thought Rachel Terwilliger had good at-bats but sometimes we were just guessing up there."
Bartlett, which won a regional last year, now gets a chance to avenge one of its losses. St. Charles North beat the Hawks 3-2 on April 16.
"We've played each other enough and both teams know each other," Wolfsmith said. "It will come down to who executes their at-bats, on the mound and defensively."