DuPage County softball notes: Lake Park's Barbanente off to sizzling start

Lake Park shortstop Michela Barbanente is off to a great start to her senior season.

The Penn State commit, a two-time all-state selection, hit .625 with an OPS of 2.138 in her first 20 plate appearances. She had 10 hits, with a double, 3 triples, 2 homers, 9 runs scored, 7 RBI and 7 stolen bases.

The Lancers were 3-2-1 at midweek, including a 2-2-1 mark last week at the Hamilton Invitational in Arizona.

"We had a very successful trip to Arizona," said Lake Park coach Tom Mazzie. "Those teams are all in the middle of their seasons and are definitely in midseason form at the plate. Every team out there can stick. We got better each game and came alive finishing the trip with two wins on our final day.

"It was a great experience for our players and fans. Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the week ahead."

Sophomore Ava Arenz and junior Kylie Pytlak also off to hot starts for the Lancers. Arenz is hitting .526 with 2 doubles and a triple, while Pytlak is hitting .500 with 4 doubles and a homer.

Neuqua Valley update:

The Wildcats are 1-2 and had two potential wins negated by weather.

Sophomore pitcher Ava Drehs had 13 strikeouts in a 2-0 loss to Oswego then struck out two in the seventh inning to close out a 7-5 win over Glenbrook North. Trista Werner pitched 6 complete innings with 8 strikeouts for the win.

Neuqua got home runs from Kate Scardina and Izzy Ernest in the win.

"We are a fresh, young and energetic team of talented softball players," said Wildcats coach Dani Asquini. "The Wildcats are led by only four returners to the varsity diamond - seniors Izzy Ernest and Natalie Liacone, and juniors Trista Werner and Nadia Casanova. We are excited to see the growth and potential from this group and know that each game adds more experience to this team, making us a better team every day."

On Monday, Neuqua will host Naperville North in the DuPage Valley Conference opener, which will also be the inaugural Strike Out Cancer event (planned alongside the Neuqua-Naperville North baseball game.

Fenton update:

The Bison opened the season 2-2, beating Wheaton Academy 17-3 and Hoffman Estates 10-0, while losing to Timothy Christian and Niles North.

Sophomore Nicole Staszel made her second high school start in the Bison's home opener against Hoffman Estates and threw a 1-hit shutout.

"We are in a learning phase as we continue to get experience for our one freshman and eight sophomores," said coach Dave Mello. "Each game we are learning and improving and we see four of the best teams around in the next two weeks when we play Marengo, Elk Grove, Glenbard South and Whitney Young. We are excited for the opportunities to learn from those teams."

Naperville North update:

The Huskies were just 2-3 at midweek but their two wins came over Wheaton Warrenville South 10-9 and Glenbard West 8-0. They fell to Oswego 9-5 in the season opener and then lost to Belleville East 6-4 and Freeburg 3-2 on a mini spring break trip.

Senior Charlotte Chelich is off to a hot start at the plate, hitting .786, while seniors Shayna Woolwine and Kristina Donaldson and sophomore Eliza Patterson each have home runs.

Sophomore Maddi Larsen got her first varsity win on the mound against WWS and Chelich allowed just 2 hits in 4 1/3 innings against Glenbard West.

"We will use this week to take another look at some of the younger players and how they fit in the roster as we get ready for conference next week," said Huskies coach Jerry Kedzior.

Willowbrook update:

The Warriors went 2-1 on their spring trip to Tennessee, beating Dekalb (IN) 7-6, losing to Riverdale (TN) 8-0 and beating Cascade (TN) 10-6. They also have wins over Eisenhower and DeKalb here at home.

Senior Kayleigh Dennison (. 471) and junior Lindsey Rugg (. 467) have been the offensive leaders so far and junior Karmen Rowe is 3-0 on the mound with a 3.79 ERA.

Hinsdale Central update:

The Red Devils are off to a 2-0 start to the season, beating De La Salle 20-14 and Nazareth Academy. 11-1. Lauren Koschik got the win over Naz.

Key hitters for the week have been this week have been Audrey Araujo, Amelia McLaughlin, Paige Filips, Maisie McDaniel, Sarah Brosius, Sophie DiPasquale, and Naomi Cook. Filips had a home run in each of the first two games.

The girls are working hard and are off to a positive start," said coach Brittany Zust. "I am really looking forward to seeing the season progress with these kids as we continue to get more games in."

Hinsdale South update:

The Hornets have only played one game on a dark and rainy day at Glenbard South. The game ended in a tie due to darkness.

"This is an amazing group of girls who play loose, have fun, and pick each other up," said coach Shannon Fuller. "This team is the epitome of our "move the bus" philosophy, and I couldn't be more proud to call myself their coach."

Timothy Christian update:

The Trojans' only game thus far ended in a 14-9 win over Fenton. Chloe Wetterquitst and Maci Woerner both tripled and Kaleigh Sue Younglove contributed 11 strikeouts.

"After struggling for the last six years and a semi successful season last year, we are looking forward to competing this year," said Trojans coach Lindsey Slovey. "We only lost one starter from last year's lineup so we are looking forward to this year."

IC Catholic Prep update:

The Knights are 8-1, including going 4-1 at the Southern Warrior Classic in Murfreesboro, TN. They've opened the Metro Suburban season 2-0.

Juniors Analisa Raffaelli (. 600, 3 HRs, 10 RBI) and Anjelina Dwyer (. 586, 4 HRs, 19 RBI), along with freshman Madelynn Dinino (. 545, 8 RBI) have led the offense along with junior Kayla Carillo (. 519, 2 HRs, 13 RBI). Dinino is 5-0 with a 3.14 ERA on the mound.

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