DuPage County softball notes: Fenton honors Hoffing by retiring her jersey
One of the ultimate rewards in sports is when an athlete has his or hers jersey number retired.
It happens in high school sports rarely.
So when Fenton decided to retire Kaitlyn Hoffing's No. 1 jersey earlier this week, it was truly a special moment.
Hoffing, a two-time all-state shortstop who will play next year at Triton Junior College, became the all-time stolen base leader at Fenton when she stole third base in the fourth inning of the Bison's 16-6 loss to Glenbard East. That steal was her 118th in only three seasons (freshman season lost due to COVID). She is now up to 119 in her career with 47 this season. Her career total will finish in the top 40 all-time in Illinois.
"She has been a pleasure to coach and has been a game-changer for us in her career," said Fenton coach Dave Mello. "She will have a successful college career."
Fenton is currently 13-20-1 overall and finished 6-12 in the Upstate Eight. The Bison open the state tournament at the Class 3A Benet regional against Chicago ITW Speer on May 24.
"DVC Cares" hits a home run:
The DuPage Valley Conference competed last week in its annual "DVC Cares" event to help support Mutual Ground in Aurora, a shelter for people in need of help from domestic abuse and sexual assault. This not-for-profit organization helps aid many people with boarding, counseling and counsel that have no place else to turn. The event has been running for over 10 years and the six teams look like they will reach their goal of over $2,500 in donations to be delivered in a few weeks.
Naperville North DVC champ again:
Naperville North finished up its regular season as undefeated conference champions for the first time in school history. This completes the Huskies' first back to back conference championships in school history.
"Seniors Laurel Anstine, Charlotte Chelich, Kristina Donaldson, Ellie Goff and Shayna Woolwine all contributed immensely in the circle, on defense and at the plate to the success of this team the past two seasons," said NN coach Jerry Kedziora, whose team is the No. 5 seed in the ultra-tough Class 4A Oswego sectional. The Huskies (18-6) open postseason play on May 24 against Metea Valley in the Oswego East. regional.
Lake Park update:
After falling to St. Charles North and Glenbard North, the Lancers (20-9-1, 8-5 DuKane Conference) came back with wins over Bartlett and Whitney Young before suffering a tough 11-inning loss to Lincoln-Way East. They then scored a 15-5 win over Wheaton Warrenville South. Lake Park finished the DKC season against Geneva on Wednesday.
"I could not be more proud of this team," said Lancers coach Tom Mazzie. "We have played an absolutely brutal schedule against great pitching. We are getting production offensively throughout our entire lineup."
Michela Barbanente has followed up two all-state seasons with her best season yet for the Lancers.
"No one throws her any good pitches to hit and she still is hitting .533 with a .619 OBP," Mazzie noted. "This week she tied our single-season home run record with 11 on the season."
Mazzie also said senior Mia Giammarese has been nothing but consistent all season, hitting .439 and battling on the mound.
"She threw 10 innings and 150 pitches holding a monster Lincoln-Way East team to 4 runs until they finally got to her in the 11th inning," the coach said.
"Senior Cailynn Gdowski has been our most opportunistic hitter hitting behind Barbanente. Cailynn has racked up 34 RBI with 11 doubles and 6 home runs on the season.
Mazzie also praised his pitching staff, saying "Our pitchers have done a great job keeping teams off balance and sophomore Gaetana Calo has been coming on strong in the circle."
Lake Park is the No. 2 seed in the Class 4A St. Charles North sectional. The Lancers host a regional and open against No. 15 Streamwood on May 23. Looming as a probable regional final opponent is No. 7 seed Bartlett (21-7). Lake Park beat the Hawks 14-3 last week.
St. Charles North (18-6, 11-2) needed only to beat Batavia (3-25, 1-12) on Wednesday to outlast St. Charles East and Wheaton North for the DuKane Conference title. SCE and Wheaton North played on Wednesday with the winner claiming second place, assuming SCN beats Batavia.
West Chicago finished third in the Upstate Eight, behind South Elgin and Bartlett.
IC Catholic Prep, which plays Westmont Friday for the Class 2A ICCP regional title, finished third in the Metro Suburban, behind Elmwood Park and Bishop McNamara.
Downers Grove South (16-8, 10-0) won the West Suburban Gold, while Downers North (16-8-1, 9-2) finished second to Oak Park-River Forest in the WSC Silver.