Hersey's Bailitz will head to Dayton for softball
With eight straight seasons of 20 wins or more, Dayton softball coach Cara LaPlaca has implemented a winning culture to the program in Ohio.
Sarah Bailitz has been part of the winningest years by coach Molly Freeman at Hersey and she'd like that to continue at the collegiate level.
That's why she chose LaPlaca's Division-I program, which has won 30-plus games the last three seasons.
"I wanted to play for a program that is going to win or has the ability to win," said the Huskies' two-time all-area selection. "And what coach LaPlaca has done the past eight years is remarkable and definitely something I wanted to be part of."
Former Prospect standout Alyssa Cacini is currently part of the Flyers' program, starting at shortstop as a freshman,
"I was looking at Dayton toward the end of my junior year and I heard a lot of good stuff from Alyssa and other people in the area," Bailitz said. "I talked to Alyssa for my visit and she was off to a great start as the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Week. I am definitely happy that I will be on the same side of the diamond with her."
Bailitz plans to major in finance and minor in political science with hopes of pursing a law degree.
"Dayton filled my profile athletically and academically," said Bailitz, a graduate of St. James (Arlington Heights). "I wanted a business school like Dayton and I felt the coaching staff for my level of competition was a fit," she said. "With the way they have built the program, there are some big opportunities to win the Atlantic 10 championship. I just liked hearing about the positive shift there.
"You can tell the school is a nice place with a lot of people who are open and welcoming. The community around there is just fantastic."
It was always a dream for Bailitz to play college softball.
"It didn't have to be Division I so this is a plus," she said. "I'm very excited to travel with the team, and get to play in some big games. Hopefully, we can win an Atlantic 10 championship and I can be part of a really special group."
Wisconsin-Green Bay sophomore infielder Morgan Bihun (Conant) was named the Horizon League Player of the Week.
Her performance was an integral piece of the Phoenix enjoying a 4-2 record in back-to-back series, including a sweep of IUPUI at home.
Bihun posted a .571 batting average through six games. She led the Phoenix in league play, hitting .571 while going 12-for-21 at the plate and owning a slugging percentage of 1.048. She finished with 5 RBI in the six games and hit a pair of home runs and doubles.
Bihun finished a perfect 5-for-5 in Green Bay's 12-inning matchup with Northern Kentucky to close out the series.
• The George-Anne newspaper in Statesboro, GA provided some insight from freshman pitcher Jess Mazur (Fremd) on the collegiate game last month.
"Compared to high school, the game is a lot more upbeat and fast-paced," Mazur said. "It's a lot easier to be able to make mistakes in high school. In college, everybody's here because they're good athletes. It really holds you accountable for what you're supposed to do."
Mazur's older sister Michelle played for the Eagles from 2014-2017.
Hersey senior Emily Collins, who helped the Huskies to a fifth regional crown in six years and another 20-win season under hall of fame coach Mary Fendley, has announced her commitment to play for Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington.
"Emily was the engine that made us go," Fendley said. "She led our team on and off the court with her calm but inspiring demeanor."
Collins also got the job done on defense, collecting 71 deflections and 41 steals.
"Whether she was consistently guarding our opponent's best guard or leading our team in scoring, Emily took care of things on both ends of the court. Emily is evidence that you do not have to be loud to be a great leader," Fendley said. "She is a total team player. Her efforts were a major reason for our success."
Illinois Wesleyan coach Mia Smith is the all-time victories leader for women's basketball at Illinois Wesleyan with a 412-168 record in 21 seasons. She led the Titans to the NCAA Division III championship in 2012 and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Augustana's Giavanna Schwager (Barrington) won the discus when the Vikings placed sixth among 12 teams at the Greenville Select. Schwager unleashed a personal best of 130-1 in the discus, which now ranks sixth in program history.
Purdue freshman Ryan Howe (Prospect) recorded 2 hits and 2 RBI, including an RBI double in the eighth inning of the Boilermakers' 5-3 victory over visiting Butler at Alexander Field in West Lafayette.
• Augustana junior Chris Refka (Palatine) got the win in a 12-6 decision at Elmhurst. He raised his record to 3-1 with a 5.53 ERA in a staff-high 40⅔ innings.
• Augustana's Matt Helms (Palatine) had a 2-run single for the Vikings in a 14-11 loss to Carthage.
• In a 9-4 win over William Jewell, Lewis University's Brandon Post (Elk Grove) led off the game with a home run to right field. "Brandon set the tone and gave us a great start," said Lewis coach Tim McDonough.
Lewis' Anton Levitin (Buffalo Grove) and Pedja Trifunovic defeated Maryville's Fernando Orea and Erik Aarthun at No. 3 doubles in the Flyers' 4-3 win in the quarterfinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Indianapolis, IN.
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