Softball: Glenbard East's Block slams Streamwood
Glenbard East's Ally Block sure knows how to make a good first impression.
The freshman recently hit not one but two grand slams against Streamwood ... and she did it in the same inning.
That's been the highlight of a great first season for Block, who is hitting .407 with 17 RBI and 7 doubles. Coach Victor Swanson said she's on pace to break some school hitting records.
Overall it's been an up-and-down spring for the Rams (4-8). They recently went on a 3-game winning streak that included an 8-0 victory at Fenton but also have had some rough stretches.
"We have played a little like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this year," Swanson said. "The quick turnaround from the start of the season to playing 3-5 games a week has played a part in that. However, every team has had to deal with that."
Swanson called his captain and catcher Katie Mulatz another coach on the field. She's hitting .429 with 13 RBI and 5 doubles.
Ella Brooks is also hitting well at .467 with 15 RBI. And Raquel Procopio, a newcomer to softball after playing freshman and sophomore baseball, is hitting .400 with 21 RBI and 2 homers.
The Redwings head into a local rivalry game on Friday against Naperville North with a 5-9 record, 3-3 in conference. Coach Jerry Schilf said a 17-7 win over Carmel was the best the Redwings have played to date.
Elayna Brdecka leads the way hitting .489 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 21 RBI and 10 runs. Grace Fajardoh is batting .447 with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 12 RBI and 19 runs.
Glenbard West update:
Through the first half of its conference slate, Mary McGrane's Hilltoppers (6-3, 3-3) have lost to Downers Grove North, Oak Park and York. Their wins include Lyons and Hinsdale Central.
"Since we are only allowed to play WSC and D87 schools, I feel like every game is a big game," McGrane said.
Glenbard West has nine seniors.
Kiley Koziol and Allison Ciero have been on fire. Ciero is hitting .520 with 3 doubles, and Koziol is 13 for 25 for a .520 average with 12 RBI.
Stacia Gregule is batting .414 with 8 RBI, and Ava Hartsell and Alexis Lopez also have been playing well.
The Lions are currently shut down for two weeks due to COVID protocols. They are 3-4 including a 6-5 win over Manteno, who was undefeated. They will return to action the week of the 17th.
Sophomore Audrey Catuara leads the way with a .579 average and 11 runs. Senior Abby Casmer is at .467 with 5 RBI and 3 triples, and junior Amanda Hudgens is hitting .313 with 10 RBI and 8 runs.
Wheaton Warrenville South update:
With an 8-5 overall record and 3-2 in the DuKane Conference following Wednesday's 3-1 win over Wheaton North, Tigers coach Jeff Pawlak said one of the team's best games was a 1-0 loss in 8 innings to Neuqua Valley.
"Offensively, it was a challenge, but defensively, for the most part, we played well behind Katey Pierce, our No. 1 pitcher," Pawlak said.
In 2019, Pierce alternated games with Izzy Fawcett and logged 94 innings for the regional-champion Tigers. Pierce has been a leader this year at 7-4 in 71 innings with a 1.48 ERA and 96 strikeouts.
"When she's on the mound, she gives us an opportunity to be in every game we play," Pawlak said.
Pierce will play in college at College of Central Florida, and so will seniors Maggie Reinert and Grace Butler at Whitewater. Reinert has been filling in at catcher after their starter tore her ACL; normally she's a left-handed center fielder who will be playing outfield in college. She has not caught since eighth grade. Josie Siebert, a junior who plays both corner positions, also volunteered to mix-in as a catcher.
"The challenge for us was immense because we did not have another catcher on the team," Pawlak said.
"The unselfishness and willingness to help the team, by both of these girls, is a testament to their character and overall approach to being team players. We haven't missed a beat with her (Maggie) behind the plate. Defensively, she's been outstanding. Her arm strength is apparent to all and her continued work with her footwork and technique has been continuous."
Other standouts include sophomore Katie Jensen at third base. She's been leading off and is hitting .323 with a .475 on-base. Reinert is hitting .429 and leading the team with 8 RBI. Freshman Parker Leonard was moved up one week into the season and has moved into the cleanup spot.
Neuqua Valley update:
The Wildcats (10-3, 5-2) headed into a key game Wednesday at Naperville Central with wins over Plainfield East and St. Charles East. Their only DVC loss came 3-2 to Naperville North before losing 2-0 to Central; Neuqua is trying to defend its 2018 and 2019 conference crowns.
Junior Hannah Meeks has only allowed 10 runs in 37 innings for a .929 ERA with 63 strikeouts and just 6 walks. She also is hitting .366 with 5 HRs and 17 RBI.
"Hannah is our ace pitcher," coach Christina Chrencik said. "Her velocity, control, and her ability to move the ball and hit her corners has made her a threat on the mound. Not only has she been a standout defensively, but an offensive threat as well. Her plate approach is one with control and discipline that allows for a consistent and powerful bat speed. Aside from being an elite athlete for us, she has been a leader, mentor, and more importantly -- a role model within our program. She is humble and works for everything she has earned."
Naperville North update:
The Huskies recently won three straight to improve to 5-7. They've won some big games including 5-4 over Lake Park and 3-2 over Neuqua Valley.
On Thursday, Naperville North hosted Metea Valley that also serves as a fundraiser -- the conference is raising needed supplies and money for Mutual Ground, a woman's/children shelter for domestic violence and sexual abuse in Aurora. This is the 12th year for the games.
Sophomore Charlotte Chelich is hitting .538 with a 1.421 OPS, 7 extra base hits, 11 RBI and 14 runs. She's also struck out 48 in 29 innings in the circle.
Another sophomore, Shayna Woolwine, is 4-2 with a save and 59 strikeouts in 37 innings. She has a 1.54 ERA.
Glenbard South update:
The Raiders (7-3) are eying a rematch with the only Upstate Eight team they have lost to when they host South Elgin on May 24.
Hannah Rafferty-Flatter is hitting .500 with 12 RBI and a .633 on-base. She's also 6-1 in the circle with 49 strikeouts and 12 walks in 34 innings.
The Bison head to Champaign this weekend for a doubleheader at Centennial. "Always trying to play different teams," Fenton coach Dave Mello said.
His team is 5-8 including a 5-2 win over Bartlett, the program's first, while losing to highly ranked Whitney Young, Elk Grove, Trinity twice, South Elgin and Taft. "Our nonconference schedule up to this point has been a great challenge," Mello said.
Senior Grace Mundelius and sophomore Daniella Trentadue pace the Bison. Mundelius is hitting .297 with 12 runs while playing a solid right field and filling in at catcher. Trentadue has a team-high .444 average and 12 RBI; she also has won 2 games and struck out 37.
South Elgin update:
The Storm have been the class of the Upstate Eight so far, 7-0 in conference and 10-3 overall with wins over Antioch, Bartlett and Glenbard South. They have a big nonconference game coming up Saturday against Barrington.
"We are really young like a lot of coaches are this year after the pandemic," Storm coach Brad Reynard said.
Junior shortstop/catcher Cara Cruthers came through with back-to-back walk-off hits against Antioch (single) and Glenbard South (home run). She is hitting .474 with 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 17 runs and 14 RBI.
Other key players for the Storm include junior third baseman/catcher Sammy Jimenez (.526 average, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 13 runs, 15 RBI), sophomore outfielder/shortstop Hannah Harms (.486, 5 doubles, 5 homers, 11 runs, 20 RBI) and sophomore pitcher CeCe Bell, who is 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.