Softball: Palatine's Dick throws 4-hitter against Conant

 
Daily Herald report

Mid-Suburban West softball leader Palatine tuned up for Thursday's rematch with second-place Barrington on Wednesday by taking an 11-1 five-inning triumph over visiting Conant.

Junior left-handed ace Rhiann Dick fired a 4-hitter with 5 strikeouts to raise her record to 18-2.

"This was a great team win, knowing we have Barrington the next day," Dick said. "We're feeling great about the game and we can't wait to play. It will be a fun game."

"Rhiann is looking great on the mound," said Pirates assistant coach Kristen Proffitt. "She's keeping us in every game and giving us the opportunity to get a win each day. Her defense from the mound is really a game changer because she takes balls that would be hits up the middle and turns them into outs for our defense. That's invaluable when it comes to softball pitchers."

Palatine (21-2, 13-0) holds a one-game lead over Barrington (21-3, 12-1) with three games left.

Grace Huff's walk-off single to right field scored Emily Parrott to give Palatine the win over Conant (3-17, 3-11), which received a double from Hannah Oh.

Huff (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI), Dick (3-for-3, RBI), Emily Brinckerhoff (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI), Kaitlyn Reed (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Parrott (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI) led the Pirates' offense.

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Brinckerhoff's fifth homer of the season made it 9-1.

"I went up there with a clear mind knowing I was seeing the ball well," Brinckerhoff said. "I wanted to give run support to Rhiann because she's been pitching really well. We're ready for (Thursday)."

The Pirates broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third when Caitlin Williams began the rally with a single.

In the next three pitches, Reed and Parrott singled followed by a triple off the fence by Huff for a 3-0 lead.

"I went up with one out and all I was thinking was that I wanted to get on base," Williams said. "The support of the team and the encouragement and cheering in the dugout that gave me the confidence to put the ball in play."

"Caitlin looked great in the box," Proffitt said. "It's always nice to see a freshman come through with confidence and start things for the team. Every member of our team is so integral to our success."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hersey 8, Buffalo Grove 3: Visiting Hersey (17-4, 11-3) clinched the Mid-Suburban East for the third straight year as Sarah Balitiz (9-2) earned the win. Stephanie Gazda, Natalia Kubsik and Brianna Luciano each homered for the Huskies while senior Sam Hansen did the same for BG (8-11, 5-8). Makayla Tsagalis, Kubsik, Neti Napoli and Gazda added doubles for Hersey.

Rolling Meadows 4, Elk Grove 3: Senior Sara Benner (1-for-2, 2 RBI) belted her 35th career homer and 10th of the season as Meadows improved to 15-9 and 7-6 in the MSL East. Meadows senior Kendra Herring raised her record to 7-2. She retired the final seven batters after a home run by Katia Pendowski gave the visitors a 3-2 lead. Sammy Elenz went 2-for-3 for the Mustangs, whose defensive highlight was provided by junior Kelsie Campbell. The left fielder threw out a runner trying to score from second base on a single. Catcher Stephanie Thompson made the tag to keep the game tied at 2-2. Alexa Fontanetta was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Elk Grove (19-7, 6-6).

Prospect 14, Wheeling 7: Katie Annen (2-for-5, 2B), Kathryn Keehn (4 walks, 4 runs), Cassie Cunniff (3 walks, 3 runs) helped lead the offense for visiting Prospect (7-13, 3-9). Madeline Borkowski and Emalee Depa also doubled for the Knights. Claire Doherty struck out 10 as the winning pitcher while Emily LaCaesye had 5 strikeouts and a triple for Wheeling (3-16, 1-13). Nikki Ferraro added a double for the Wildcats.

Schaumburg 7, Hoffman Estates 2: Tatiana Cooper (3-for-4, 3 RBI, 2B), Talia Torosian (3-for-4, RBI), Abbey Greenberg (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Nikki Kolodziej (3 runs) helped lift the offense for host Schaumburg (9-16, 5-8) in the MSL West. Morgan Miller threw a 7-hitter and struck out eight as the winning pitcher while Emily Gross recorded 6 strikeouts for Hoffman. Junior Brianna Venegas (2-for-4, 2 runs) led the offense for Hoffman (1-22, 1-12).

Benet 4, St. Viator 1: Senior captains Cece Kaiser and Maggie VanValkenburg were honored for Senior Night for the host Lions (5-14, 1-7). Kaiser reached base twice on a sharp single and an error. VanValkenburg threw a runner out at the plate from center field.

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