Softball: Schaumburg continues winning ways by downing Wheeling
Schaumburg's softball team begins West Division play of its Mid-Suburban League schedule on Monday at Fremd High School where Saxons coach Ellen Abreu starred for four years on the softball diamond and was named the school's Female Athlete of the Year in 2002.
Abreu will return to her alma mater after her team's perfect run through its first three games against East Division opponents.
On the heels of wins over Hersey and Buffalo Grove, the Saxons made it 3-0 in the conference on Friday with a 14-4 six-inning triumph at Wheeling (2-5, 0-3).
Winning pitcher Morgan Miller worked the first three innings and then traded spots with second baseman Brianna Linnemann, who went the final three innings.
"I think for our team, it's all about working together," said Miller, a junior who also walked twice and scored Schaumburg's first run on classmate Payton Dolecki's triple to left in the first inning.
"We spend a lot of time together, work hard at practice and things like that. We all come together and we all want to be here. So it's been great."
Dolecki had a great offensive game, going 3-for-5 and missing a fourth hit due to a terrific diving catch by Wildcats center fielder Dani Moser in the third inning.
"It's a good start to conference, for sure," said Abreu, whose team improved to 6-2 overall. "You always want to come out strong and now we start the West next week."
Wheeling ace Julia Konrath started out strong, keeping her team in the game until the sixth when Saxons put across 10 runs taking advantage of walks and errors.
"Julia battles," said Wheeling coach Mike Caringella of his junior right-hander, who also plays golf for the Wildcats. "She's an awesome kid. It was a 4-2 game into the sixth inning and she just ran out of gas. So she just has to get stronger but the girls played good defense behind her and we hit the ball."
One of those defensive highlights saw left fielder Mia Joyner field a ball in deep left-center and toss it to shortstop Sam Jalunis, who fired a strike to third baseman Kaitlyn Fielding to catch the batter trying for a triple in the second inning.
"We have improved a lot since freshman year," Konrath said. "We have come together and worked together as a team. We learn from our mistakes. Whatever we do wrong in a game, we come back and work on that in practice and try to execute well in our next game."
Second baseman Lexi Blumka executed well as the Wildcats' leadoff batter, going 2-for-2, including a double and 2 walks. No. 2 hitter Moser was 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI while Janulis had a pair of hits including an RBI double to center in the bottom of the fifth to close the Wildcats' deficit to 4-2.
Other top hitters for Schaumburg included Jordan Karson (2-for-4, 4 RBI) and Marisa Bidicka (2-for-3, double). Madison Dolecki and Sydney Kozlowski also had hits for the winners.