Softball: South Elgin powers past Glenbard South
South Elgin closed in on another Upstate Eight Conference championship behind a pair of sophomores Monday at Glenbard South.
Sophomore Cecelia Bell threw a 1-hitter while classmate Hannah Harms smashed 2 two-run home runs in a 7-1 victory.
With three games remaining, South Elgin (17-4, 14-1) needs just one win to clinch a third straight title including sharing the 2019 crown with Glenbard South (14-8, 13-4).
Lauren Atkinson had the only hit off Bell, a single to right in the second inning. Abby Miller bunted her to second, and when Atkinson tried to take third on the play, the Storm threw the ball away allowing Atkinson to score.
Bell (9-1) didn't allow another runner to get to second base, striking out three and walking two and getting a diving catch in center from Molly Kordecki -- plus plenty of run support.
"My offense backed me up a lot," said Bell, adding her change and curve were working the best. "I knew they (Glenbard South) were good hitters so I wanted to keep them off balance as much as possible."
Down 1-0, South Elgin took the lead in the top of the third. Cara Cruthers drew a leadoff walk, Kordecki reached on an error that scored Cruthers, and Sam Jimenez and Quinn Kamarauskas lined back-to-back RBI doubles.
"That really got us going," said South Elgin coach Brad Reynard. "I thought today what we could hang our hat on was our small ball. We bunted more today than we have all year."
Up 3-1 in the fifth, Harms provided a cushion with her first home run to right center. She blasted another to nearly the same spot in the seventh.
Harms now has 7 home runs -- despite missing time, as six of her teammates have, with contact tracing protocols. She's made quite an improvement after she said she was disappointed to make the JV2 team last season.
"I made the lowest team so I wanted to step up my game and show the coaches I deserve to be playing varsity," Harms said. "I started lifting weights this year. I put a lot more effort into the game and getting stronger."
Another sophomore, Hannah Rafferty-Flatter, took the loss for the Raiders. Jensen Moloney made a great catch in right field to end the first inning, but then the defense struggled with 4 errors -- mostly trying to defend 5 Storm bunts.
"It's been up and down this year," Raiders coach Julie Fonda said. "In a year of playing games over and over again and not really having an opportunity to practice, it shows. It shows you don't have the preparation you typically have in the month of March."