Softball: Naperville North keeps bats active
Naperville North's softball bats were hot Monday afternoon as it hosted a Class 4A regional quarterfinal against East Aurora. It just took a little time.
The Huskies batted around in the fifth inning, finishing with six runs on six hits that broke the contest open and North went on to win 10-0 in six innings.
Naperville North, a 13th seed in the Plainfield North sectional, returns to its field Tuesday to face third-seeded Downers Grove North in regional semifinal play. Game time is 4:30 p.m.
"We are going to see pitching that we haven't seen much of this year and we are going to see hitters like we haven't seen before. They battle and know how to hit a particular pitch," said Naperville North coach Jerry Kedziora.
The Huskies (13-17), though, had the type of game Monday a team would want as it faced a big challenge. The team finished with 11 hits and got stellar pitching from starter Cami Chelich.
The sophomore allowed just two hits and struck out 14. She also was productive at the plate, hitting three doubles and driving in three runs.
Chelich said she focused on remaining calm. She's at her best when that happens.
"The coaches were talking to me before and helping me with that," she said. "I felt a lot more relaxed. Those two hits (East Aurora hit two singles in the fourth) were really good. They earned them."
Having the lead from the start and then the advantage increasing was also a big help, according to Chelich.
"I am more relaxed when I feel I don't have to force pitches," she said.
Chelich will start today against Downers North.
Chelich said the 19th-seeded East Aurora lineup down in order in four innings.
"Cami went after people. She was throwing first-pitch strikes. She's been struggling with that this year," Kedziora said.
Seven of the nine hitters in the Huskies' lineup got at least one hit.
Leadoff hitter Alaina Eyberger singled to left in the first and later scored on a fielding error.
The Huskies made it 3-0 in the third. Emma Johannes singled, Alyssa VanSickle doubled and then Chelich brought them both home with her first double of the afternoon.
In the big fifth Naperville North got RBI doubles from Chelich, Eyberger and Allison Arnold, an RBI single from Kendall Kedziora along with a run-scoring sacrifice fly from Sarah Smith. Another sacrifice fly from her in the sixth scored the Huskies' 10th run, which ended the game.