Softball: Grayslake Central, Glenbrook South split twin bill
Fifty-two years ago this month, Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks began his successful quest to join the prestigious 500 home run fraternity. He also famously coined the phrase, "Let's Play Two!"
Which for high school baseball and softball teams has been a remote concept as the recent rash of bad weather has made playing just a single game difficult.
Take the case of the softball squads from Grayslake Central and Glenbrook South, who sought to complete a twin bill early Saturday in Glenview, having combined to either postpone or cancel seven games on the young campaign thus far.
Each team would leave the diamond with a win to their respective columns as the visiting Rams took game one 14-4 while the host Titans obtained a 15-5 game-two triumph in 5 innings.
"We had a little bit of a rough start today in that first game, but I loved that they stayed loose, they didn't give up on themselves and to come out with an eight-run first inning (in game two) is something we haven't been able to put together yet this year, so that was really exciting," GBS coach Dana Boehmer said.
Central's game one win was buoyed by the bat of senior catcher Rachel Smigielski. She went 4-for-5 for the opening contest as her game-opening double laid the foundation for a 3-run first. Next came a solo shot in the second followed by a second two-bagger that drove in a run as part of four-run third that left the Rams up 8-0.
She topped off her morning with a diving catch of a pop up in the fourth and a 3-run single in the top of the seventh.
Smigielski spoke of feeling ready to drive the ball on contact.
"I felt really good going in," Smigielski said. "Very confident, very loose in the batters box."
Freshman Ann Wolff, who was named one of the school's athletes of the week, notched a complete-game victory in the circle, allowing 7 hits. In addition, she went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving Smigielski in with an RBI double in the first.
An 8-run first inning outburst set the tone for South (2-5) in game two. This included the first of sophomore third baseman Kate Maher's 2 three-run triples.
The Rams (4-7) did attempt a rally with a 5 run response in the top of the second only to have the Titans answered back with a 3-run second for an 11-5 lead which remained until Maher's second 3-run triple that was succeeded by a wild pitch that brought her home for the final run of the day.
Maher finished with 6 RBI while junior shortstop Lauren Chin went 4-for-4 with a run batted in for South.