Sweet-swinging Schaumburg handles Elk Grove

Updated 4/16/2014 9:52 PM

Trying to prevent Elk Grove from becoming the first Mid-Suburban League softball team to reach double-digit wins this season, Schaumburg used double-digit hits to accomplish the feat.

The Saxons outhit the Grens 11-6 en route to an 8-4 victory in the teams' MSL softball openers on Wednesday.

"We came out hitting right away," said Saxons leadoff batter Elaine Walker, who started the game with a single to center which led to 5 runs in the first inning for the visitors.

"Getting those 5 runs right away was good. It gives you a little comfort when you're in the field."

Junior pitcher Shannon Felde (3-1) gave plenty of credit to those fielders and her the Saxons offense for helping her get to 3-1 on the season against an Elk Grove team that had won nine of its first 10 games.

"Personally, I didn't think I pitched that well," said Felde, who struck out six and walked one. "But my offense and defense came through."

Leading the offense were Walker (2-for-4), Sarah Schwind (2-for-4), Roxanne Kakareka (2-for-3) and Felde, who was also 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.

The Saxons (6-4, 1-0) gave Felde her cushion by batting around in the first inning, highlighted by Paige Alt's 2-run double to left and a 2-run single by Jamie Kudjer.

"Early in the game, they came out swinging and we mishandled some balls that gave them some opportunities for another swing at the plate that helped create runs," said Elk Grove coach Ken Grams. "But she (Felde) is a good pitcher and she threw well."

The Saxons extended the lead to 8-0 with 3 runs in the fourth.

Walker started the rally with a double to center. Schwind put down a perfect bunt along the first base line for runners at the corners before Schwind raced home on Felde's groundout to second.

Alt followed with a groundout RBI and Kakareka later singled home Kelly Poplar, the courtesy runner for Saxons catcher Christina Candotti, who had singled to center.

But the Grens (9-2, 0-1) didn't go away quietly.

In the bottom of the fifth, Aleece Duffy belted a one-out double to left center and went to third when Alex Masnica reached on an outfield error.

Abbey Sloan followed by powering a 3-run homer over the left-field fence to make it 8-3.

Brook Barges belted a one-out double in the sixth but Felde came away unscathed with a strikeout and pop up back to the mound.

Masnica led off the bottom of the seventh with her first varsity homer, a towering blast over the center-field fence to make it 8-4.

But Felde retired the next three hitters on a pair of flyouts and a grounder back to the mound.

"We've got kids capable of that," Grams said of the late power surge. "But it just took us a while."

Brianna Leach and Marjorie Sloan (double) had the other hits for the Grens.

Schaumburg coach Ellen Abreu said she talked to the Saxons about their approach at the plate against Grens senior Megan Eul, who lost for only the first time in 8 decisions.

"We told them to be patient, confident, and hit their pitch," she said. "As long as we play confidently and with good defense, we are OK. It was tough pitching out there. It was cold."

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