Softball: Naperville North, Oswego East split twoNaperville North pitcher Kathleen Hahne delivers against Oswego East on Saturday. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
In a Saturday doubleheader pitting two evenly matched teams, Oswego East won the first game 7-5 and host Naperville North took the second game 8-3 to salvage a split.
Naperville North now stands at 10-6 for the year, while Oswego East is 7-11.
The Wolves jumped all over the Huskies in the first inning of Game 1, scoring four runs. A Missy Griffin home run highlighted that frame and jumpstarted the Oswego East offense. Freshman Rachel VanderWagen tripled home two more runs and Tiffani Palmatier capped the rally with an RBI single. The Wolves banged out six hits in the first.
The early onslaught was a welcome sight for Wolves assistant coach Patrick Molinari, who filled in for head coach Danielle Lee.
“That’s something that we’ve been working on — getting out to a little faster start,” he said. “For the most part in the year, we’ve been having some slow starts and today I told the girls, ‘Hey, we’re gonna see fastballs on the first three pitches and we want to jump on those fastballs on the first three pitches.’ And I thought the girls responded real well and got out to a fast start, which we needed, and we were able to keep the pressure on (the Huskies) for the rest of the game.”
The Huskies scored once in the first, third and fifth innings before rallying for two in the seventh. Caitlyn Warren was cut down at third for the final out as Naperville North fell just short of a miraculous comeback.
Wolves pitcher Alex Wagner got the win in Game 1, going all seven innings while fanning two. Kathleen Hahne (7-4) took the loss for Naperville North and endured plenty of physical pain when she was hit in the right leg by a sharp line drive off the bat of Molly Talaska in the first. She struck out four in six innings.
Oswego East seized the early Game 2 lead also, scoring two runs in the second. Naperville North responded, though, with three runs in the third, two apiece in the fourth and fifth, and one in the sixth. The Wolves scored a meaningless run in the seventh for the final run by either team.
Christina Matteucci (2-1) got the win for the Huskies, striking out six in five innings and Jenna Brown took the loss in Game 2. Brown struck out one batter in six innings.
“We at least come out and get a split,” Naperville North coach Jerry Kedziora said. “Oswego East played a really good game that first game, so that was gonna be a tough one to win, and we didn’t do what we needed to do to win that game.”