Softball: Downers Grove South blasts 4 homers in rout of St. Charles East

Some days you’ve got it, some days you don’t.

In Downers Grove South’s game against St. Charles East on Wednesday afternoon, the Mustangs definitely had it.

Downers Grove South scored runs in every inning and blasted four home runs in a 19-4 victory over the Saints.

Downers Grove South coach Jim Cushing said that after a hot and cold start to the season, he was happy to see his team put the whole package together, especially against a team like St. Charles East.

“They are a solid team over there. If we play them again, we’re not beating them 19-4 again I can tell you that,” Cushing said. “We just had a great day today. We had some excellent at-bats and our power hitters hit several homers.”

Eight of the 10 Mustangs that went to the plate finished with an RBI, with six of them having multiple RBIs. The Mustangs also drew 13 walks.

Senior Ella Cushing kicked off the scoring in the first inning after sending a ball over the left-center field wall for a two-run home run. The Illinois commit finished the game 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. She said that the performance was not only a big confidence booster for her, but the team as well.

“I was struggling a little bit before this and my teammates were picking me up every time if I got walked or got an out. They would have my back by moving me over or scoring the runners on base,” she said. “It’s a big boost knowing that they can put their trust in me.”

Also leading the offensive charge for the Mustangs was senior Julia Colorato. The Wisconsin-Platteville commit finished 4 for 6 with three extra-base hits, including a solo home run and RBI double in the seventh inning, and finished with a team-high four RBIs.

“I was so excited,” Colorato said. “I didn’t do as good in the last game, so I wanted to redeem myself and put some runs on the board for my team to help them out.”

Sophomore Addison Yurchak (3 for 5, 2 RBIs, 4 runs) and senior Grace Taylor (1 for 4, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) also recorded home runs for the Mustangs.

Offense wasn’t the only thing that shined for the Mustangs. Sophomore Morgan Hahn, who entered the circle in the fourth inning in relief of junior Danielle Carson, shut down the Saints over the final four innings, only giving up three hits and a walk while striking out two.

“Our pitchers aren’t going to strike out a lot of girls, and when [East] starts swinging away during their third at-bats, we just got to be smart,” Jim Cushing said. “Our pitchers kept the ball down and we played some solid defense.”

Despite the loss, the Saints still had some opportunities to get back in the game early, as they only trailed by two runs heading into the fourth inning. Sophomore Lexi Majkszak got East on the board in the second inning with an RBI single. The Saints then got three more runs in the bottom half of the third, which was capped off by a two-run homer from sophomore Hayden Sujack to make it 6-4.

“I know we’re a very capable team and we can put big innings together and put lots of runs together,” Saints coach Jacob Gutesha said. “The kids looked good at the plate there and we just couldn’t string anything together after that.”

Gutesha said the Saints understood where they performed well and where they could have performed better after the game, but emphasized the importance of togetherness in order to bounce back from the loss.

“We’ve just got to stay together as a group,” he said. “Everything in the past is what we learned from and moving forward is where we need to be.”

The win took Downers Grove South to 4-3 on the season and will look to keep its hot hitting going on the road against Naperville Central at 4:30 p.m. Friday. East moved to 5-3 with the loss and will have a chance to bounce back at Downers Grove North at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

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