Softball: Vernon Hills duo delivers A-plus effort at Maine West

  • Vernon Hills' Amelia Vlahos holds onto second base after stealing the bag as Maine West's Abigayle Garcia stands over her with the ball in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Vernon Hills' Amelia Vlahos holds onto second base after stealing the bag as Maine West's Abigayle Garcia stands over her with the ball in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Maine West's Abigayle Garcia watches the ball bounce away as Vernon Hills' Kayla Lorenz slides safely into second base in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Maine West's Abigayle Garcia watches the ball bounce away as Vernon Hills' Kayla Lorenz slides safely into second base in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Samone Stevens catches a pop up from Maine West's Leiah Cardona in the first inning in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Vernon Hills' Samone Stevens catches a pop up from Maine West's Leiah Cardona in the first inning in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' third baseman Amanda Teschky waits for the call after tagging out Maine West's Mia Thomas on a throw from left fielder Sarah Monteith, background, in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Vernon Hills' third baseman Amanda Teschky waits for the call after tagging out Maine West's Mia Thomas on a throw from left fielder Sarah Monteith, background, in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Maine West outfielder Madison Swanson loses a fly ball in the sun that was hit by Vernon Hills' Kayla Lorenz in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Maine West outfielder Madison Swanson loses a fly ball in the sun that was hit by Vernon Hills' Kayla Lorenz in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Maine West's Georgia Herman turns away frustrated after hitting an easy infield fly ball out against Vernon Hills in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Maine West's Georgia Herman turns away frustrated after hitting an easy infield fly ball out against Vernon Hills in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Maine West's Kaitlyn Marsh pitches against Vernon Hills in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

      Maine West's Kaitlyn Marsh pitches against Vernon Hills in a softball game in Des Plaines on Thursday, April 21, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/21/2022 9:24 PM

Two Vernon Hills softball players who played a combined 13 games last season due to broken ankles suffered in the preseason combined for 9 hits in the Cougars' biggest conference game to date on Thursday at Maine West.

The Cougars A & A infielders -- third baseman Amanda Teschky (5-for-6, 2 RBI) and second baseman Amelia Vlahos (4-for-4, 1 walk, 3 RBI) -- produced A+ performances with their bats as they produced half of the visitors' 18 hits in a 15-7 triumph in Des Plaines.

 

The Cougars' outburst allowed them to take a one-game lead in the Central Suburban North, a league they joined in 2017 and have won the title every year since.

"We want to keep it going for a fifth straight time," said Teschky, a junior who enjoyed the first 5-hit game of her career with 5 singles in her first five at-bats. "We get motivated from small things. We like to study the mental part of the game so on the bus ride here we were preparing that way."

The Cougars (10-9, 4-0) were prepared from the get-go, as Vlahos singled home Teschky for a 1-0 lead.

Maine West (8-2, 3-1) answered with a leadoff homer by freshman Abigayle Garcia and an RBI single by classmate Georgia Herman to score another freshman, McKayla Garnett, for a 2-1 lead.

However, it was short-lived, as Vernon Hills proceeded to score 13 runs in the next three innings with 5 hits in each, and never looked back.

Also taking part in the Cougars' parade of girls with multiple hits were Mackenzie Barberis (2-for-6), Emma O'Flaherty (2-for-5) and No. 9 hitter Sophie Bernheim (2-for-3, 2 walks).

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Winning pitcher Samone Stevens, Sarah Monteith and Kayla Lorenz each had 1 hit for the winners, who led 14-2 going into the bottom of the fourth.

"They (Vernon Hills) had a lot of seeing-eye hits and we compounded that with some errors," said Warriors coach Jim Dvorak. "But I was really happy that when we were down 14-2 we kept battling. We have a very young team (five freshmen starters) so that was good to see.

"Abigayle started with that leadoff home run which was huge. And Georgia got a big hit that inning. She has been tearing it up in conference. Our freshmen are doing well. Now we have to stay focused. There have been many years that we've split so that's what we're hoping for at this point."

Freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Marsh (8-2) and freshman Alondra Contreras also had hits for West as did junior Faiza Rogaria and sophomore Leiah Cardona. Daniella Dacquisto added a pinch-hit double to center.

The Cougars went 2-4 in Alabama early in the season.

Cougars coach Jan Pauly said Stevens is one of two pitchers on her staff. The other is also a sophomore Morgan Hart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"For the most part, we alternate them," Pauly said. "They are both back from last season. Simone's time was today and she pitched a pretty good game. She's also had a hot bat going into today."

Of course, the hottest bats on Thursday belonged to Teschky and Vlahos, a senior.

"Amanda has had a hot bat right now," Pauly added. "She is really a good ballplayer and a great third baseman. Amelia is a gamer. Having both of them back this season (Teschky played in only two games and Vlahos in 11 of 36) changes our team, the dynamic, the pop in the batting order and the defense. So they're making up for lost time.

"This win puts us in charge (of the conference). We have to win out and take care of business."

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