Glenbard South pitchers Danielle and Stephanie Chitkowski weren’t in a giving mood Wednesday.
In fact, the only thing the sisters gave Nazareth was the boot. The Chitkowskis combined on a three-hit shutout as Glenbard South blanked the Roadrunners 3-0 in a Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional semifinal.
It was the second straight season the Raiders (33-4) have eliminated Nazareth. They beat Nazareth 7-0 in last year’s sectional final, ending the Roadrunners’ farthest advance ever.
Senior Danielle Chitkowski, a Syracuse recruit, allowed one hit over the first four innings to improve to 18-2, while Stephanie Chitkowski, a junior, pitched the final three innings to record her fourth save. Both hurlers struck out six without a walk and hit one batter.
“Today on our car ride here we were both super-pumped,” Danielle Chitkowski said. “We were like, whoever pitches we’re going all-out, and we both did.
“We don’t know [who will pitch] until we warm up. It’s exciting. I love pitching with her. We’re a great team together, so whether I start or she starts, we have trust in each other.”
This isn’t the first time Glenbard South coach Julie Fonda, whose team tied the school record for wins, has used both sisters during a game.
“It depends on the game and how Dani’s grooving and it’s great to have Steph to go to,” Fonda said. “Even though they’re sisters they are very different pitchers, so it’s nice to have the different look. When they start to get used to Dani then they have to deal with Steph.”
What are the differences between the two?
“She usually works away and I usually work high,” Danielle Chitkowski said. “Her changeup is awesome. I go up to the plate against her and I can’t hit it.”
Nazareth third baseman Katie Vondrak had two hits, one off each sister, but was stranded at first base both times. The Roadrunners (19-17) never got a runner past second base.
The visitors’ best scoring chance came in the top of the second when Catherine McGivney reached on a two-out error and Jessica Sauzameda was hit by a pitch, but Danielle Chitkowski fanned the next hitter.
“They have a nice tandem of pitching,” Nazareth coach Kristen Stojetz said. “I will compliment that and definitely we took too many looking, so that hurt us. We got rung up on the inside pitch time and time again and I told our girls you have to make the effort to fight that off.
“My disappointment right now is we let down our pitcher. We had one bad inning. I know we need to score to win, but right now I wish we were still playing because I feel like we had one bad inning.”
Indeed, Glenbard South wasn’t able to do much against Nazareth starter Holly Haberkorn, who threw a complete game three-hitter. But the Raiders had two of their hits during a three-run second inning when they took advantage of a key error.
Lisa Bartha led off with a double to center — the only solid hit of the day for the Raiders — and went to third as Olivia Ramirez was safe on a fielder’s choice. One out later, Bartha scored when Taryn Andros beat out a squeeze bunt and the other runs scored when Brianna Meath’s two-out fly ball to left was dropped.
“We know that Glenbard South is a solid program and you have to play well, no letdowns,” Stojetz said. “We had a letdown and it cost us.”