Fox softball notes: Cary-Grove's Olson reaches 500 milestone

Not many coaches hang around long enough anymore to accomplish what Tammy Olson did earlier this week.

Olson, now in her 30th season at Cary-Grove and the dean of Fox Valley Conference softball coaches, watched with joy and satisfaction on Monday when her Trojans beat Dundee-Crown, handing their coach her 500th career win.

"I am thrilled to get there," Olson said. "I know the girls are too. It was a very competitive game against Dundee-Crown, who we lost to 3-2 earlier in the season. We have had some suspended games that may or may not have made the process longer. Time will tell."

While the 2003 Trojans have struggled a bit in terms of wins, the program is respected for being one of the most competitive in the area every year.

Under the guidance of Olson and her longtime assistant and husband, Mark, C-G has nine 20-win seasons (and four with 19 Ws), has won four regionals and one sectional.

Olson, who took over the program in 1993, kind of remembers her first win.

"I know it was a DH vs. Grayslake in 1994," said Olson, who is retiring this year. "We won both games, 17-6 and 10-6. There were 12 girls on the roster and I can see each of their faces as I look at the roster. I now see their kids in classes, run into them around town and some of their parents still come and watch games from time to time.

"All the seasons have a special memory in some way or another. The game has changed throughout the years. Teams have moved in and out of the Fox Valley. Back in 2001 Kelli Gallas threw all but two games that season. I still remember playing Lake Zurich. I believe the game went 20 innings and we won 1-0. Yes, she threw the whole game."

Olson remembers a specific graduation Saturday.

"In 2011 C-G hosted the regional finals for both softball and baseball at home after graduation. We had red, white and blue bunting on both fields and our conference flags flying. We ended up beating Grant 2-1 that day in a thriller of a game. Lindsay Efflandt pitched. That team was special.

"One player (from that team) is now my JV coach, Amy Clemment. Another is the head coach at CL South (Sara Markelonis), who coached several years at C-G as our JV coach. Jamie Deering is now a college coach. We were 30-2 that year losing to DeKalb in the sectional finals. The year before we actually finished stronger losing to Elk Grove in the supersectional game. But that regional final, with so many people between the baseball game, and the softball game, and the school and the how the fields were decorated. The place was electric."

Larkin update:

The Royals have suddenly made a statement that they'd like to be included in the Upstate Eight title chase.

With a 3-2 win over conference front-runner South Elgin on Monday, Larkin crept to within a game of first place, just one game off in the loss column to South Elgin, Bartlett, West Chicago and Glenbard East.

"Our girls played their hearts out (Monday)," said Larkin coach Anne Vogt, whose team took a 9-5 overall and 5-2 record into Thursday's UEC game at Elgin. "It was such a great game."

Both teams were strong in the pitchers circle Monday, but Larkin's Olivia Salazar allowed just 3 hits in earning the win.

Larkin pulled away for the win with 3 runs in the fourth inning. Julissa Aguinaga singled to score a run and Angelica Gonzalez singled in 2 runs.

Aguinaga went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Larkin.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Neubert belted her first homer of the season against Fenton, while Baylei Johnson added another HR and now has 10 on the season. She is hitting .647 with 10 HRs, 6 doubles and 20 RBI.

Bartlett update:

The Hawks are 8-2 over their last 10 games and have won 6 straight. At 14-3 overall, their 8-1 mark stands atop the UEC.

One highlight of the streak was a 5-4 win over Glenbard South on a walk off home run from Olivia Ligouri.

Bartlett has outscored its opponents 196-96 this year and has 41 stolen bases in 44 attempts.

Offensive leaders for the Hawks have been senior Addie Koth (.564, 13 HRs, 55 RBI, 30 runs), Ligouri (.577, 13 HRs, 40 RBI, 26 runs), Grace Wilkens (.517, 34 runs), Lauren Ligouri (.473, 28 runs), Christina Stankus (.468, 22 runs) and Julia Wilkens (.360, 15 runs).

Stankus is 9-3 on the mound with 64 Ks in 71 innings.

The Hawks will take on South Elgin on Monday at The Ballpark in Rosemont.

South Elgin update:

The Storm (11-4-1, 6-1) had a streak going before their loss to Larkin on Monday that included wins over Huntley, Bartlett, Fenton, Elgin, and Glenbard East with the only loss 6-5 to state power Lockport.

Offensive leaders have been Anna Kiel (.618, 8 doubles, 2 HRs, 16 runs, 11 RBI), Madison Hunt (.483, 5 doubles, 13 RBI), Cece Bell (.472, 6 RBI), Mia Speidel (.444, 6 RBI, 10 runs) and Hannah Harms (.417, 5 doubles, two triples, 4 HRs, 16 runs).

On the mound, Bell is 6-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 47 Ks.

St. Charles North update:

The North Stars headed into Wednesday's DuKane Conference game against Glenbard North 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the DKC.

Over the past two weeks, Sophia Olman is hitting .556 for SCN with 10 RBI, Julia Larson is at .550, and Maddie Hernandez .444, with 7 RBI.

Ava Goettel (3-0, 24 Ks, 0.38 ERA and Paige Murray (3-0, 25 Ks, 1.97 ERA) continue to excel in the circle for the defending Class 4A state champs.

"Pitching and defense continue to be the keys to victory for us," said SCN coach Tom Poulin. "The bats have come alive at times, but we are winning because of consistent performances in the circle and in the field."

St. Charles East update

The Saints (8-8-1, 2-2 DKC) suffered a tough 1-0 loss to Wheaton Warrenville South on Tuesday, despite a 2-hitter with 13 Ks from Grace Hautzinger. "We are building towards a run in May and have the pieces to do so and hope to be playing our best at that time," said SCE coach Jarod Gutesha.

ACC update:

At midweek, the Chargers were 7-6 overall and 2-3 in the Metro Suburban, having gone 6-2 over their last eight games.

Ashley Moore (.478), Jessica Pleckham (.474) and Sophia Delgado (.472) lead the team in hitting. Katie Gambro has a team-high 14 RBI.

"We are a very young team that is finding their footing and building to face many upcoming challenge," said coach Mark Pasqualini.

Streamwood update:

"We had a big win against Elgin High School and helped bring the team back together and remind these girls why they play the sport," said Sabres coach Nicolle Giliana of her team's 11-4 triumph over the Maroons.

"We had great pitching by Sophie Saflarski, a sophomore, who kept the game moving Our catcher, Hailey Dworak, made great throws to not only second but third base as well. Offensively we had great base running, and a couple of big hits by Kailey Pawlikowski. Defensively, we had great plays by our third baseman, Ashley Harrison.

"Sabre softball has gone through its ups and downs over the past years. We are trying to establish a team that can come together. We started our season with many of our girls never playing softball and from then to now, we have seen improvement on the field. We are taking each win and loss as a learning experience and becoming better players each time."

Hampshire update:

The Whip-Purs (7-7, 3-5) have struggled to find consistency, but came up with one of the biggest wins the area has seen last week when they beat Huntley 13-8 to end the Red Raiders' 50-game Fox Valley Conference winning streak.

"We really struggled over the last 2 weeks," said Hampshire coach Jeremy Bauer. "We had a signature win against Huntley, but other than that we have struggled to defend, thus putting too much stress on our young pitching staff."

Sophomore Bria Riebel is leading the Whips with 6 HRs and a .577 average.

Burlington Central update:

Despite a down season on the standings board (3-13 1-8 FVC), first-year Rockets coach Lauren King has remained upbeat.

"We have had some close competitive games," King said. "We are starting to see our hitting click as we are becoming more consistent and getting some clutch hits when needed. Our pitchers have been pitching great and have continued to be a strength.

"Central continues to fight every pitch and every inning which has been a great asset to have. We have also started to have great strides with our hitting. Anna Sanders has been doing great with a batting average of .464. Allie Botkin doubled against Hampshire and as we continue with the season I see us improving and cannot wait to see us do some great things."

Waubonsee wins Skyway:

Waubonsee Community College (26-12, 10-4) won its first Skyway Conference Championship since 2016, sweeping Morton College 12-1 and 8-6 on Sunday. Kayla Tranter, Ari Ikis, Taylor Hamaker (3) and Emily Hurst (2) combined for 7 home runs. Hurst now has 16 HRs, breaking Nicole Krupp's 2018 school record. Taylor Warren got both wins to improve her overall record to 17-4 with 15ks and lowering her ERA to 1.83.

"This is as competitive a team as I've ever been around in 25 years of coaching softball," said Chiefs coach Joe Spitzerri. "They never quit. We've beaten 17 of the 20 teams we've faced this year. The other three are ranked in the top 15 in the country. Good things happening at Waubonsee."

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