Softball: Warren shuts out Zion-BentonWarren players (from left) Amy Ricci, Jana Wagner and Kelly Majewski are all smiles after just beating Zion in their softball game at Zion. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 8, 2012 9:44PM
Warren High School’s softball team made sure retiring coach Carri McGahon went out a winner.
With Tuesday’s 8-0 thumping of Zion-Benton, th Blue Devils virtually assured themselves of representing the Lake Division in the North Suburban Conference Championship Game for the first time in the 12-year history of division play in the league.
And they did it on the day it was officially announced that McGahon was hanging up her coaching spikes because she is having a baby.
Warren and Zion both came into the game with one loss in the division. With the win, Warren has a one-game lead and, for now, the advantage over Zion in a tiebreak situation should it inexplicably lose its last division game to Libertyville.
“This was a big win for us. Not only in our conference, but Zion is in our regional too,” said McGahon. “It was nice to see us come out and play good, solid softball.
“We talked about a number of different mental approaches leading up to this game. When you’re in a big game like this, the mental aspect can be just as important as the physical aspects.”
The heroine of the game was Warren sophomore pitcher Jana Wagner, who allowed four hits and fanned 10 in seven innings.
“I’ve had better games with my travel team, but that was probably the best I’ve pitched in high school,” she said. “I had a lot of movement on my pitches today.
“We knew it was a big game.”
The teams combined for just three hits and five baserunners through the first four innings, but Warren got on the board in the top of the fifth.
Junior Anna Batch hit a sinking liner to right field that bounced off the glove of Amara Leith and rolled into the corner. Kelly Majewski then singled up the middle to score Batch. After a bunt by Lyn Demeyer moved Majewski to second and a single from Megan Sowa moved her to third, Jill Fox hit a pop-up that dropped in behind the third-base bag for a single, scoring Majewski. Amy Ricci’s groundout to short scored Sowa.
Warren (27-4-1) batted around in the top of the sixth, chasing Nika May from the game after a two-run single from Sowa. Freshman Kyra Lenzi finished the game for the Bees (19-5 overall).
“We’re young and at times we play that way,” said Z-B coach Rick Rymer. “The effort is definitely there, but the skill level hasn’t quite caught up yet.”