Conant overpowers Wheaton North

Conant flashed some impressive power in the first inning Wednesday and, unfortunately for host Wheaton North, the Cougars just kept on hitting the softball hard.

Catcher Dream Aaron blasted a 3-run homer to center field and Alissa Wachal added a towering shot over the scoreboard as Conant (4-0) put four runs on the board in the first inning on its way to a 16-4, six-inning defeat of the Falcons.

Wachal finished 4-for-4 with a walk and 3 runs scored, while Aaron had 3 walks to go with her homer and scored three times as the Cougars totaled 16 runs and 14 hits off two Falcons pitchers.

"You know, the girls kind of like to come out and score first. That's one of their goals for the season, and they do it," Conant coach CathyAnn Smith said. "I've got some pretty strong hitters, but everybody tries to contribute each inning with the bats, which is also one of our goals."

The young Falcons (0-5) kept battling and batted around in the bottom of the fifth before scoring 3 runs and leaving the bases loaded. Maggie Will and Jessica Mordacq had RBI hits in the inning, and Natalie Shirley also scored a run on a sacrifice bunt.

"It's been a tough week, but they kept battling and everybody stayed together," said Wheaton North coach Danielle Soraghan, whose team has dropped three games this week to solid programs. "From our end from our perspective, it was a huge game for us right before we're about to leave for our spring break trip. We're going out of town (to Cookeville, Tenn.) and we're pretty excited about it."

The Cougars were excited to jump ahead and then stay hot with the bats. Conant scored three times in the third and three more times in the fourth to take a 10-1 lead.

"Just keep hitting it hard. If this is what they look like in the postseason I'm a pretty happy coach," Smith said. "They love the game and it's fun to watch them."

Conant pitcher Sara Neuman (2-0) was sharp, but Wheaton North shortstop Kelly Thornton did touch her for 3 hits. Thornton singled and scored the Falcons' first run in the third inning after Rosie Craine laced a single off the glove of first baseman Hailey Rothstein. Thornton's third hit was a one-out double down the left-field line that started the team's 3-run outburst in the fifth.

"We're getting better," said Thornton, a senior team leader who also excels in basketball and volleyball for the Falcons. "Our goal is to just keep getting better every day. Obviously, we're a young team and we don't have a ton of experience. But what we do have is kids who want to work hard and who want to get better and win some games."

  Conant celebrates Dream Aaron's three run homer in the first inning against Wheaton North Wednesday in Wheaton. The Cougars won 16-4 win in six innings. Mark Black/
  Wheaton North's Kelly Thornton makes the out at second on Conant's Hailey Rothstein during the Cougars 16-4 win in six innings during varsity softball Wednesday in Wheaton. Mark Black/
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