Abello's blasts beat Glenbard South
Is there a ballpark that can hold Stephanie Abello?
Benet's sophomore sure seems to be making her home field look small.
Abello homered twice on Wednesday, Marissa Panko went deep with a solo shot and the No. 3 Redwings used that power and Emily York pitching to beat No. 8 Glenbard South 6-3 in Lisle.
Abello, who hit 13 homers as a freshman, homered in both ends of a doubleheader Saturday against Marist. In her first game back home, she followed Panko's leadoff solo shot in the first with a soaring three-run blast to center. Then, in the fourth, she hit a laser shot that carried over the fence, her 11th of the year making it 6-0.
"I'm just trying to make contact and help my team out. If it's a home run, it's a home run," said Abello, committed to Illinois. "Sometimes it takes the long hits, sometimes it's more the short game. Whatever it takes, I guess."
Abello, hitting .593 with 38 runs batted in over 16 games, later picked off a runner in the seventh from behind the plate.
It proved crucial as Glenbard South later rallied for 2 runs.
"She's been really solid for us," Benet coach Jerry Schilf said. "That many homers, that's a lot of homers over a short period of time."
Glenbard South (14-3), for most of the day, pitched Benet as carefully and as smartly as a team can.
Jane Trzaska and Stephanie Chitkowski combined for 11 strikeouts — Chitkowski getting 6 on called third strikes, and allowed just 5 hits. Make a mistake against Benet (14-2), though, and the balls often don't come back.
"That's their command, and that's them changing speeds. They are smart on the mound," Raiders coach Julie Fonda said of her two pitchers. "Benet, they're a great team. They don't have a hole in their lineup."
Fonda's Raiders, down 6-0 after five, made a game of it with an Ashley Cohen RBI double in the sixth and Ashton Cattenhead's two-out, two-run double in the seventh.
That's all they got off York — and really, that's all anybody is getting off York.
Benet seemed to have big cause for concern as the season started when returning 31-game winner Molly Moran went down with a knee injury.
Moran is inching closer to a return, but York has more than filled the bill. In 12 starts she has thrown six shutouts, and the 3 runs she surrendered Wednesday are the most she's allowed in a start all season. If not overpowering, she's been effective, relying on her defense.
The defensive gem Wednesday came from center fielder Abbie Gerth, who made a diving, backhanded grab to rob Trzaska in the sixth.
"Emily's been doing an amazing job," said Abello, her catcher. "Nobody expected her to pitch that much, maybe one or two games here and there but she's really stepped up. Every team faces adversity, and Molly going down was ours. It was unfortunate that it came early in the season but I don't think we ever had any doubt that Emily could get the job done."
No rest for Glenbard South, which plays at Riverside-Brookfield today in a big conference matchup, hosts Class 4A power Trinity Friday and then plays a doubleheader with York Saturday.
"It's a big challenge week for us," Fonda said. "We battled against a fantastic team today. Our energy just came a little late."
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