Softball: St. Viator, Prospect enjoy trips south

Wednesday in Mt. Prospect, the St. Viator and Prospect softball teams are scheduled to play a nonconference game.

Coincidentally, they are the only area Cook County teams whose schedules last week included trips to Tennessee and Florida.

The Lions played five in Murfreesboro, Tenn., posting a 3-2 record.

"It was nice to be playing in the spring weather there," said Lions veteran coach John Scotillo, whose team is 5-3 overall. "We had many team activities in our down time (games, conditioning, Sunday Mass and brunch), many of these we shared with our parents on the trip."

On the field, Lions pitcher Grace Gerdes-Grabowy went 2-1 while Allison Swanson was 1-1.

Offensively, Gerdes-Grabowy had 7 hits. Brooke Cwick had 6, including 6 RBI and 2 home runs.

Hannah Grossman homered with 5 RBI while Jillian Bollard and Alexis Horn each had 4 RBI and 1 homer.

But Scotillo said the most memorable moment of the trip occurred in a 6-5 win over Cascade (Tenn.).

That's when freshman Katie Stevens, in her first high school at-bat, led off the third inning with a home run.

"I can't remember ever seeing that at the high school level," Scotillo said.

"Overall, l was very happy with the trip," he added. "We got to be outside a lot, we played five games and had a lot of fun. We were lucky to have some many wonderful parents make the trip and I think they had as much fun together as we did."

A little further down south, coach Krystina Mackowiak's Knights were putting together a 2-3 record in their five games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

"We played some good competition which will prepare us for the rest of the season," Mackowiak said. "Our pitchers did a great job keeping us in games and our catchers worked hard and battled the heat."

"Overall, we grew closer as a team and were able to get a lot of at-bats under our belts. The girls had a blast at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. I am grateful all our parents saw the benefits of taking this trip and were on board to help make it happen."

Prior to the Florida trip, the Knights (4-3 overall) were 2-0 with wins over Glenbrook South (13-2) and Bartlett (24-7).

Ashley Simon struck out five as the winning pitcher against Bartlett while she went 3-for-3 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. Erin Pinter went 3-for-3 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI while Riley Depa went 2-for-3 with 4 RBI.

Depa then struck out 10 and went 2-for-3 in the win against Glenbrook South. Carly Jagiello, Sara Hasan and Simon all homered. Pinter went 2-for-2 with 2 doubles.

Power start for Hersey:

Senior Brooke Scharlau's bat has been in power mode as the senior already has 4 home runs during Hersey's 3-1 start.

The Huskies' wins are against St. Viator, Plainfield South and Lake Zurich by a combined 30-5. Hersey's only loss is to Class 3A power Antioch at the Barrington Spring Fling.

Senior Kate Adamski and sophomore Payton Kee also have homers for the Huskies.

"Our battery is showing great strength under the leadership of our seniors (pitcher Sabrina Di Vito and catcher Livia Christopher) with valuable innings being shared with sophomores Ariya Patel and Payton Key," said Hersey coach Molly Freeman.

Edge of a milestone:

Rolling Meadows coach Tony Wolanski, now in his 20th season, will become the Mustangs' winningest coach in program history with his next win (245).

The Mustangs have started the season with a 2-0 start with sophomore Kelly McQueen and junior Sophia Cobos leading the offense. Junior Mia Pilipauskus has won both games on the mound.

The Mustangs host Glenbard East on Tuesday and Streamwood on Wednesday.

Off and rolling again:

One year after he got his team off to a 10-2 start, Fremd coach Josh Teschner has the Vikings rolling early again early this spring.

Currently 3-0, they have not let up an earned run and only 1 run total.

Pitchers Lauren Graham (junior and Lafayette recruit) and Hailey Lucas (sophomore) have combined for 19 innings, giving up 8 hits, 29 strikeouts and just 3 walks.

Lucas is also 6-for-7 at the plate with 2 homers, 3 doubles and 4 RBI. Anna Poss is 6-for-11 while Avery Sadorf is 5-for-7.

"We have played unselfish, joyful softball," said Teschner, now in his seventh season with 111 wins. "Watching this team celebrate one another and find joy in every moment has been a remarkable experience thus far in the season."

Strikeout Spaitis:

Conant senior Natalie Spaitis had 14 strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Wheaton North and she also went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Cougars, who are 2-1.

In a 9-8 come-from-behind win over Glenbrook South in which the Cougars rallied from a 5-run deficit, Conant junior Ashleigh Simmons belted a 3-run homer.

Leyden update:

In an 11-2 triumph over Maine West, sophomore Gianna Olan went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, 6 RBI and a delayed steal. Angelina Gonzalez (senior) and Abigail Cortez (sophomore) combined for 9 strikeouts in the win.

Even though they lost 12-1 to Wheaton North, the Eagles trailed only by 1 run after four innings.

"Since our kids were struggling to hit against their No. 1 pitcher (Erin Metz, a Valpo recruit), I subbed players in and out at several different positions to see what they could do," said Eagles coach Kurt Schuett.

Cortez threw well and kept the Falcons' batters to a minimum.

Wheaton North third baseman Monica Kading, the daughter of Leyden assistant AD John Kading, had 2 hits and 3 RBI in the game.

Wheeling update:

Wheeling senior Tereesa Petzold has thrown two complete games. "I've been happy with her," said Wheeling coach Mike Caringella. "And we have four freshmen in the starting lineup who are doing well."

Maine East update:

The Blue Demons are off to a 2-1 start with junior pitcher Jayden Coppe compiling 32 strikeouts in 12 innings. Sophomore Emma Asien has 2 homers and 8 RBI in three games. Freshman Zoe Kakares has 7 RBI in Maine East's first three games.

Limited action:

Having played only one game thus far, Maine West co-head coach Maine West Jim Dvorak says 'Mother Nature' is winning 2023 so far.

But the Warriors were winners in their only game, 6-4, over Conant.

West sophomore Kaitlyn Marsh pitched a solid game and Abigail Garcia and McKayla Garnett had multiple hits.

"We've been getting cabin fever from practicing indoors," said Dvorak, who directs the team along with Chris Addante. "One day we had a team building activity (Bocce Ball Challenge)."

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