Cook softball notes: Everything’s clicking for Fremd

Fremd's Josh Teschner, coach of the Daily Herald's No. 1- ranked softball team, couldn't be more pleased with the camaraderie of his team.

“This team is the embodiment of 'joy in softball'," Teschner said. "They work hard together. They play hard together. They commit to each other and it is always with a smile on their faces.”

Opposing batters are not smiling too often when they face Fremd ace Hailey Lucas, a junior right-hander off to a 12-2 start heading into this week. Lucas has an ERA of 0.27 with 170 strikeouts in 89 innings.

She has allowed just 1 run since April 10 and only 3 earned runs all season.

Lucas is also rolling in the batter's box with an average of .425 in her last nine games, including 2 home runs and 11 RBI.

"Without putting too fine a point on it, Hailey Lucas is on another planet right now," Teschner said. “As a team,, Hailey takes a lot of pressure off our defense and we have worked hard on offense to take pressure off her. Our focus has been to support one another first and everything else will take care of itself.”

Other hitting leaders for Fremd in its last nine games are senior Leah Sheehan (.375, 3 home runs, 13 RBI) and sophomore Amanda Poniecki (.448, 11 runs).

Fremd is 9-0 since losing to Warren, giving up 7 unearned runs on April 9 in Gurnee.

Junior Alexa Pazur notched her first varsity win when the Vikes defeated Hoffman Estates, 10-0.

In its next game, Fremd received a combined no-hitter from Lucas and Molly Kanapke in a 12-0 win over Rolling Meadows.

Finally, Lucas fired a perfect game in an 11-0 victory against Grant last Saturday.

Postseason preview: Assignments were recently announced for the IHSA state softball tournament and area teams will compete at four different sectionals.

In 4A action, the Warren sectional includes Hersey, Buffalo Grove, Glenbrook South, Warren, Highland Park, Libertyville, Stevenson, Prospect, Mundelein, Glenbrook North, Palatine, Round Lake, Waukegan, Wheeling, Loyola, New Trier and Zion-Benton.

The Barrington sectional includes Jacobs, Barrington, Jacobs, Dundee-Crown, Larkin, Grant, Huntley, Lake Zurich and McHenry in the Sub-Sectional A. The Sub-Sectional B includes DeKalb, Hampshire, Machesney Park (Harlem), Rockford (Auburn), Rockford (East), Rockford (Guilford), Rockford (Jefferson) and Rockton (Hononegah).

The Conant sectional includes Addison Trail, Bartlett, Glenbard North, Elgin, Elk Grove, Glenbard West, Conant, Hoffman Estates, Glenbard East, Fremd, Rolling Meadows, Lake Park, Schaumburg, South Elgin, St. Charles East, St. Charles North and Streamwood.

The Maine South sectional includes Jones, Kenwood, Lane Tech, Lincoln Park, St. Ignatius, Taft, Whitney Young, Maine West, Evanston, Leyden, Proviso East, Oak Park-River Forest), Maine East, Maine South and Niles North.

In Class 3A, St Viator plays in the Antioch sectional with Antioch, Cary-Grove, Amundsen, CICS/Northtown, Lake View, Northside, Resurrection, Grayslake Central, Grayslake North, Lake Forest, Lakes, Carmel, Ridgewood, Vernon Hills and Wauconda.

Barrington update: Barrington's pitcher/cleanup hitter Katie Taraschewsky has had a stellar sophomore campaign.

The sophomore has compiled a pitching record of 18-2 in her first 100 innings. She has 8 shutouts, a season-long earned run average of 1.12 and 82 strikeouts.

Offensively, she is hitting .469 with runners in scoring position along with 19 RBI.

"Katie has been remarkable in her role this spring," said coach Perry Peterson. "Katie understood the need that our team had and she has responded with tremendous work ethic and game day intensity."

Buffalo Grove: The Bison (6-8, 4-4) have won four of their last seven games following Monday's 5-1 loss at Fremd.

Leah Hampton has come on strong hitting, batting .533 over the past five games. McKenna Wagner is hitting .444 in that span.

"And with Kayla O'Malley and Erin Ryan still hitting above .400, it makes for a tough lineup," said BG coach Martha Kelly. "We continue to make some defensive changes to tweek and see what works. Sammie Kosnoff is still doing her job on the mound getting timely strikeouts and keeping us in games."

Conant: It was a good week for the Cougars as their bats have warmed up like the weather.

Ava Falcone, Tia Splitgerber and Charlotte Wolf have combined for 44 hits this season with 17 of those coming last week.

Falcone clicked for her third homer of the season against Barrington and freshman outfielder Cailyn Kehoe had a breakout week, going 7 for 13 in three games.

Leyden: Leyden (11-7) earned second place at the Andy Harmon Invite at the Ballpark at Rosemont.

"We had some great pitching, hitting and defense across the board," said Eagles coach Kurt Schuett, whose team finished second to Glenbard North.

In the Eagles' 10-2 win over Resurrection, Gianna Olson drove in 4 runs on 2 hits. Carmen Richardson had 3 hits. Abigail Cortez threw a 5-hitter with 4 strikeouts and no walks, allowing only one earned run.

Maine West: The Warriors (10-3) have yet to lose in the Central Suburban South (4-0),

Junior Abi Garcia leads the team with a .675 batting average and has 8 extra base hits, including 3 home runs and 24 RBI.

"Katelyn Marsh has been keeping the opposition from having a big inning," said JIm Dvorak, who co-coaches the team with Chris Addante. "And she has shown poise in the circle having her best stuff in big situations."

Maine South:The Hawks are 11-2 overall and 5-1 in the Central Suburban South.

"Ryan Mullarkey has called and caught the majority of our games so far this year," said Hawks coach Emmy Pasier. "As one of our senior captains she has taken her role and ran with it."

Palatine: Mia Woldman is enjoying a fine rookie season on Nicole Capalbo's varsity squad. The freshman hurler notched 15 strikeouts in a 2-1 loss against Hersey. She currently has 113 strikeouts on the season with a 2.50 ERA.

Senior Grace Adame owns a .450 batting average with 27 hits while classmate Angie Delgado is hitting .412 with 28 hits.

St. Viator: Coach John Scotillo said the Lions' strong offense has continued the last two weeks.

"The top of our lineup (Maggie Ratzki, Mia Lund and Hannah Grossman) has 47 hits in the last eight games," Scotillo said. "Our pitching is improving and helped us to big wins over Carmel, Montini, and Libertyville."

Wheeling: The Wildcats picked up two nonconference wins over Waukegan and Streamwood to get top 3-8 after 11 games.

Junior Katie Moser and sophomore Alaina Costello continue to lead the offense. Junior Ava Shrake and senior Kaitlyn Fielding are showing timely hitting while Shrake is also flashing some impressive work on the mound against top conference opponents.

No. 2 pitcher Mia Smith added a 10-run rule no-hitter at Streamwood. "She is really helping the team in that role," said Wildcats coach Mike Caringella.

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