Softball: Glenbard North too tough for Batavia
Updated: March 28, 2012 8:57PM
Lessons to be learned are the reason Ashley Szymski added a team like Wednesday’s doubleheader opponent, Glenbard North, to her Batavia softball team’s nonconference schedule.
“You want to go into regional play after playing some tough teams,” said Szymski, whose team was swept 3-2 and 5-0 by the perennial DuPage Valley Conference power.
Szymski’s Bulldogs won 20 games last year in her first full season as head coach and the program’s first season in the Upstate Eight River Division.
“It’s nice to experience playing other good teams, obviously, you get to know the teams in your league pretty well,” Szymski said. “Plus, our schedule didn’t have anything during spring break and I don’t like not playing that week.”
The pitching matchup in the opener featured Panthers senior Lilly Fecho, a Purdue University recruit, and Bulldogs senior Katie Coleman, who is planning to attend Illinois State and considering trying out for the softball team as a walk-on.
Coleman (1-2) nearly matched Fecho pitch for pitch and went into the bottom of the seventh tied 2-2 when her defense let her down.
Stephanie Campos led off the frame with a drive to left center field into a strong breeze that was blowing the ball away from center fielder Katie Ryan, who got a glove on it but could not make the catch. Campos ended up at second.
Glenbard North’s Bri Harn then dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line and an errant throw to first allowed Campos to come around and score the winner.
Coleman had given up solo home runs, both to leftcenter, to Fecho in the second and junior right fielder Ashley Stiver in the fifth.
“I’m working on it,” Fecho said of her hitting stroke. “You have to take the wind into account but never give up on a ball.”
A 6-foot left-hander, Fecho threw a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts, three walks and one hit batter. Coleman countered with a four-hit, eight-strikeout effort that included one walk and two hit batters.
Ryan’s two-out double down the left-field line in the third had staked Coleman to a 2-1 lead after Fecho walked the leadoff batter and hit freshman Ryanne Rokos.
“Katie pitched a good game,” said Szymski. “The home runs were shots, but if you’re gonna give up a home run I’d rather it was a solo. And our defense was solid until there at the end.”
Glenbard North junior Lindsey Cherry outdueled senior Katie Neubauer in the nightcap, which was tied 0-0 through four innings before the Panthers broke through for a run in the fifth and then four more in the sixth. Cherry scattered five hits (two by Sami Villarreal) and struck out eight while Kelsey Muller and Alex Caliva had two hits each to pace the 4-0 hosts’ seven-hit attack.