Softball: Glenbrook North claims regional title
Updated: May 26, 2012 6:43PM
No lead was safe Saturday with a regional championship on the line.
After four lead changes, Glenbrook North snagged an 11-5 win over Evanston in the Class 4A Wheeling Regional.
“It was not pretty and not exactly how we would’ve liked to come out today and play, but the end result is a win,” Spartans head coach Jenn Mau said. “My girls never give up and they’re going to fight and fight and they did.”
GBN junior pitcher Jenny McTague led off the bottom of the first with a homerun to kick off the scoring.
The Wildkits answered back in the second with two runs on a groundout by Caitlin Boer and an infield single from starting pitcher Allie Managlia.
Evanston added one in the third with a Jenna Ehrensaft infield single with two outs.
After struggling to get any offense going in the first two innings, the Spartans had some timely hitting of their own.
With two outs in the third, junior catcher Alena Marovitz hit a double down the right field line to tie up the game and eventually came in to score after Colleen Ahern hit another double past the left fielder to retake the lead 4-3.
Mau brought in McTague for starting pitcher Ashley Gruenberg in the fourth, but the junior struggled and was relieved by the starter after two outs.
“I have confidence in both of our pitchers,” Mau said. “They had seen Ashley [Gruenberg] two or three times now and Jenny’s a lot faster so I wanted to see what we could do with her and to mix it up a little bit. And then we went back [to Gruenberg].”
McTague struck out two, but after loading the bases, she walked two batters in to surrender the lead and put her team in a 5-4 hole.
After regaining the lead with Courtney Chron’s two-run home run, GBN added four more in the fifth and another in the sixth to seal the victory.
Chron finished 2-for-3 with a homerun and four RBI.
McTague made up for the two runs she allowed by going 2-for-3 with a walk and two solo home runs.
“That definitely helped and it definitely built up confidence,” McTague said. “Pitching was a little tough today, but I just had confidence going back to the plate and I just tried to hit it hard again.”
Gruenberg gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks, and struck out four Evanston batters in 6 1/3 innings of work.
Managlia threw six innings and allowed 11 runs on 10 hits and four walks, and struck out 11 GBN hitters.
The Spartans committed three errors with two leading to two runs and Evanston scored all five of its runs with two outs.
GBN will play the winner of the Maine West-Niles North game Thursday at Niles West at 4:30 p.m. in the sectional semifinals.