Softball: Hard-hitting McHenry downs Cary-Grove
McHenry softball coach Mikaela Mitsch is confident in all of her hitters.
"We have 12 [healthy] girls, and all 12 of them can hit," Mitsch said. "I know all of them are going to take care of business. That's been our motto the whole year, 'All business.' We've got a bunch of CEOs on that bench, and they're always ready to go."
Sophomore first baseman Madison Harvey was the team's highest-ranking hitter Monday.
Harvey was a perfect 4 for 4, hit her first home run of the season and finished a triple shy of the cycle as McHenry defeated Cary-Grove, 15-6, in Fox Valley Valley Conference action.
The Warriors (12-4, 7-2 FVC) have now won nine of their past 10 games. McHenry's lone loss during that stretch was to state-ranked Huntley.
Harvey had an RBI single in the top of the first inning, a three-run homer in the third and a two-run double in the sixth. She also had a double fly over the head of Trojans left fielder Kaley Koltz in the fourth.
"We have a lot of longball hitters, but she's our big-time, longball hitter with all of the power," Mitsch said. "She's so low in her stance, and when she gets a hold of one she explodes through with her legs."
Harvey, who had six RBIs, was not the only Warriors hitter doing big damage Monday.
McHenry No. 9 hitter Tatum Kornfeind was 3 for 4 with a homer, double, two runs and three RBIs. Also collecting multiple hits were Jadyn Polerecky (2 for 5, triple, steal, two runs), Natalie Sorensen (2 for 5, two runs, steal base, RBI) and Emma Stolzman (2 for 4, double, two RBIs).
Channing Keppy added a double and RBI, and Maddie Gillund scored two runs with a steal.
Harvey said the support from her teammates and coaches has been great.
"I've been feeling really confident and relaxed with my game," Harvey said. "It feels good to know I'm supported by my teammates and coaches. I'm able to step up to the plate and know I'll be supported whether I go up and hit a home run or strike out.
"It all comes back to being a very supportive team. It's nice."
Cary-Grove (7-9, 6-7) got a big performance from sophomore Madilynn Crick (2 for 4, five RBIs), who hit a two-run home run in the first and added a three-run shot with one out in the fifth, which cut McHenry's lead to 10-5.
Crick's second homer came after Polerecky made a near catch in center field on a diving attempt, but the umpires ruled the ball hit the ground first. If it was ruled a catch, the Warriors could have turned a double play after throwing the ball back into the infield and getting a force out at second base.
Instead, Crick came up to bat with runners on first and second.
Keppy, who went all seven innings for McHenry and had eight strikeouts, regrouped after the homer and got a groundout and strikeout to get out of the inning. The Warriors went on to score five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 15-5 lead.
"They get angry because they're proud, and they know what they should be doing," Mitsch said. "Keppy, I told her, 'You're turning around and you're going to get mad.' It was good to see her come back and get out of that."
Koltz finished 3 for 4 with two runs and two steals for C-G, and Becca Weaver was 3 for 4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Another bright spot for the Trojans was junior pitcher Makena Vician, who was recently called up from JV and pitched in relief.
"They hit the ball well, I'll give them that," C-G coach Tammy Olson said. "They did a nice job of putting the ball in play. This was [Vician's] first day out there, and she did a nice job. I'm very proud of what she did. She kept the ball around the plate and made us play defense."
The Warriors still have nine FVC games remaining after many early-season contests were postponed because of the weather. McHenry likes where it is at.
"We're really clicking as a team," said Kornfeind, a freshman. "It doesn't really matter where I bat, as long as I'm doing something for the team. We're feeling really good."