Scouting the Class 3A softball semifinals

Updated 6/6/2013 11:36 PM
  • Senior Stephanie Chitkowski and her Glenbard South teammates will take on Tinley Park at 10 a.m. Friday in a Class 3A softball semifinal.

      Senior Stephanie Chitkowski and her Glenbard South teammates will take on Tinley Park at 10 a.m. Friday in a Class 3A softball semifinal. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Glenbard South (29-5) vs. Tinley Park (24-7)

When: 10 a.m. Friday

Where: Eastside Centre in East Peoria.

How they got here: Glenbard South beat Little Village 16-0, Solorio Academy 12-0, Evergreen Park 11-1, Lemont 6-5 and Fenwick 2-1. Tinley Park beat Joliet Catholic 6-3, Oak Forest 1-0, Lincoln-Way West 1-0, LaSalle-Peru 7-2 and Peoria Notre Dame 7-0.

Coaches: Glenbard South coach Julie Fonda holds a 239-56 record in eight years at her alma mater. Wendy Podbielniak of Tinley Park holds an 84-37 record in four years.

Tournament history: Glenbard South advanced to the Class AA quarterfinals in 2003, took third in Class 3A in 2008, fourth in 2009, third in 2011 and won its first state title in 2012. Tinley Park is making its first state trip.

Inside Glenbard South: The Raiders are defending Class 3A champs, but this is a completely different team than the group that won it all last year. Glenbard South graduated seven seniors who started in last year's final. This group has leaned on seniors Jane Trzaska and Stephanie Chitkowski. Trzaska, a four-year starter, is hitting .500 with 7 homers, 13 doubles and 42 RBI, and is also 11-3 with a 1.82 ERA on the mound. Chitkowski, who relieved in last year's 3A final and also pitched nine innings of shutout relief in Monday's supersectional, is 17-2 with a 1.17 ERA and 203 strikeouts. Junior Ashton Cattenhead is hitting .457 with 40 RBI, and Hannah Taylor, who had the game-winner in last year's 3A final and in last Saturday's sectional final, is hitting .408 with 23 RBI.

Inside Tinley Park: The Titans boast a strong left side of the infield with senior shortstop Alyssa Gunther, hitting .549 with 36 RBI and junior third baseman Samantha Alberto, hitting .444 with 9 homers and 33 RBI. Senior pitcher Sarah Gillespie is 14-5 with a 1.56 ERA and 82 strikeouts. The Titans twice lost to Lemont, which Glenbard South beat in the sectional final.

Glenbard South Julie Fonda said: "We're not defending anything. We're going after our own. This is a totally different team that has its own identity."

Scouting the Sterling-Alton Marquette semifinal: As Alexis Silkwood goes, so goes Alton Marquette (30-6). The senior lefty, committed to Mississippi State, holds the IHSA single-season record for strikeouts -- 501 in 2011 -- and this year is 29-1 with a 0.36 ERA and 421 strikeouts in 194 innings. She is also hitting .578 with 41 RBI. Alton took third in Class 2A in 2011 and fourth in 2010. Sterling (28-3), making its first state appearance, is here after rallying for 5 runs in the seventh to beat defending 3A runner-up Marengo 6-5 in a sectional final.

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