Softball: Migaczewski's bat is magical for Maine West
With the score tied 4-4 and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Brianna Migaczewski stepped to the plate with two runners on base.
"I was thinking make solid contact and keep my swing level," said the Maine West junior right fielder, who came into the game with 1 home run against Zion-Benton. "I didn't want to be overconfident but I was trying to make solid contact and it flew."
Migaczewski (2-for-4, 5 RBI) belted the first pitch and it sailed well over the left-center field fence, giving the Warriors a 7-4 lead and they never looked back in an 11-4 triumph over Glenbrook North in the Central Suburban North softball opener Tuesday.
"That was a blast," said Maine West coach Jim Dvorak of Migaczewski's towering shot. "That opened it up and loosened up our kids because we haven't been able to score a lot of runs lately. They've been hard to come by."
But they came on Tuesday along with 14 hits, led by Amanda Byrne (3-for-5, double, 3 RBI), Gabbi Demma (2-for-4, 2 runs), Emily Divelbiss (3-for-4, RBI) and Maraya Adams (2-for-3, RBI).
Strikeouts came, too.
In fact, junior Jessica Steingard (3-4) compiled a season-high 10 strikeouts while tossing a 6-hitter. She retired seven of the last eight batters she faced.
She also got some help behind her, including a nifty 6-4-3 double play that started with shortstop Olivia Feldkamp. The senior flipped to second baseman Demma who tossed to first baseman Angeles Beiza to get the second out of the fifth inning.
"We work on that every practice and in every warmup before our games," Feldkamp said. "I was just waiting for Gabbi to be there and she was."
Maine West (6-7) took advantage of errors by Glenbrook North (0-12), which coach Bridget Matsunaga said has been a problem.
"We just had way too many errors," she said. "That's been our struggle all season. We have two freshmen pitchers (Maddie Molay on Tuesday) and we expect teams are going to get some hits.
"But it is the unearned runs that is the biggest problem we have. We have to clean up the defense."
The Warriors' outfield defense wrapped up the game for Steingard in the top of the seventh.
She got the Spartans' No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters with a fly out to center fielder Torres and then two fly outs to right fielder Migaczewski.
Shortstop Chloe DeLeon, who had a busy day in the field with 1 putout and 4 assists, led the visitor's offense by going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and 2 RBI.
"Chloe's been struggling a little with the bat so this will help bring up her confidence," Matsunaga said. "We've seen a lot of tough competition and I was hoping it would prepare us for today. But we still have little kinks to work out."
Dvorak felt that his team's early schedule has paid off.
"It's good to be back playing in the conference," he said. "That's why we played a tougher schedule early -- so we could come in here and be ready."
Weber and Steingard also had hits for West.
"We've hit a lot of balls right at people," Dvorak said.
"We're excited to be playing and getting better together," Feldkamp said. "We're just growing as a team and excited to see what's ahead for conference."