Softball: Jill Kernat’s stars for Glenbard East in win over West AuroraWest Aurora's Ally Wayzer gets Glenbard East base runner, Catherine Priebe on a force play at third base on Monday, Apr. 30, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 30, 2012 9:18PM
After a really tough start to the season, Glenbard East softball coach Valerie Pinzker finally saw the team she’s been waiting for all season Monday at West Aurora.
The Rams played error-free ball behind pitcher Jill Kernats, who threw a two-hitter and hit a two-run home run in a 6-0 DuPage Valley Conference win.
It was the final game of the first half of the DVC season — and the first DVC win for Glenbard East (6-21, 1-7).
“We needed that big time,” Pinzker said. “I love it. This is the team I want every day. Things are now starting to come together for us, at just about the right time. I would have liked it sooner, but this isn’t bad. I feel like we’re in a good place.”
Glenbard East jumped out early on West Aurora (6-19, 1-7) with a two-run single from Alyssa Byrne in the first and a two-run double from Brittany Plimmer in the second, giving Kernats all the support she needed. Kernats belted a two-run home run in the sixth as a pinch hitter to cap the scoring.
Meanwhile, it was the same old story for West Aurora, who has had trouble scoring all season. Of the Blackhawks’ seven DVC losses, five have been shutouts. They only managed two hits and a walk against Kernats, who struck out five in the complete game win.
“We just came out flat and they jumped on us, so that’s tough to recover from,” West coach Randy Hayslett said. “It was a tough day for us today. You can’t win giving up four unearned runs. We had three baserunners. We have to find a way.”
Kernats was dealing all day. The only real threat the Blackhawks threw at her was in the sixth, when LaRi Mitchell legged out an infield single and stole second and Ally Wayzer followed with a walk. But a groundout ended the threat, and Kernats retired the side in order in the seventh.
“I’ve been waiting to get my first win,” Kernats said. “I really wanted to buckle down and keep the ball down, because I’ve been keeping the ball up. Once I saw (the defense) was doing well, they had my back and I knew it, I kind of relaxed and threw it in, made sure to not let them get too many good hits and let them field.”