Softball: Naperville North ends skid, beats Waubonsie Valley
Recent days had not been good to the Naperville North softball team. Tuesday's 11-0, five-inning victory over Waubonsie Valley was kind of the softball equivalent of an antacid.
The Huskies returned to the .500 mark at 12-12 and improved to 4-5 in the DuPage Valley Conference. The win broke a four-game losing streak.
"The girls came out ready to play. It's the best performance of the year, hands down the best," said Naperville North coach Jerry Kedziora.
The win was an effective combination of the three major fundamentals -- pitching, defense and hitting.
Winning pitcher Camelia Chelich allowed just one hit and struck out three. After Waubonsie put runners on base in the first inning, the Huskies got two straight outs to end the inning and then set the Warriors' lineup down in order during the remaining innings.
Although Waubonsie (2-17, 1-6) had just one hit, nine batters put the ball into the infield and outfield.
"When I'm up there and the defense is there, it's a lot easier. The vibe today was fun," Chelich said.
The Huskies finished with 10 hits, nine of which came in the last two innings.
Naperville North took a 2-0 lead in the first with the help of a sacrifice fly by Sarah Smith and a single to center by Chelich.
That was it for the Huskies' offense until the fourth, when it racked up 5 runs on 5 hits.
Alaina Eyberger's 2-run double and RBI singles from Emma Johannes, Allison Arnold and Kendall Kedziora sparked the big inning.
It continued in the fifth with Naperville North earning 4 runs on 4 hits. Eyberger came through with another RBI double. Arnold also had a run-scoring double and Kedziora contributed her second RBI basehit. Amy Brennan brought home the other run on a sacrifice fly.
All those hits came with the wind blowing in.
"As leadoff hitter, I take as many pitches as I can. You have to adapt to the pitcher and my job is tell the others what I see," Eyberger said.
Waubonsie's Ellie Laub singled to left in the first for the Warriors' lone hit.
Warriors coach Val Wood is leading a young team trying to gain experience.
"I'm trying to keep their spirits up. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores," she said.
Waubonsie had defeated Naperville North 2-1 on April 25.
"When we're on, we're on. But when we lose focus or effort, we face the 10-run rule," Wood said.