Softball: Megan Meline delivers for Vernon HillsLake Villa, IL 5/15/12 Vernon Hills traveled to Lakes High School Tuesday night for a softball game with major conference championship implications. Starting pitcher Lakes' Taylor Dishinger (26) pitches in the first inning.
| Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 15, 2012 9:58PM
Senior Megan Meline pitched a six-hitter as Vernon Hills wrapped up the North Suburban Prairie title on Tuesday with a 4-1 win over host Lakes.
The Cougars (22-11) finished 11-1 in the division and will host powerful Warren on Thursday in the league’s Championship Game.
Lakes finished 9-3 in the division and is 21-11 overall.
“This was what we set our sights on at the beginning of the year,” Cougars coach Steve Korney said. “I’m disappointed with our defense. Even in a win, Megan had to throw a lot of extra pitches.
“We’re going to be in trouble if we play like that on defense. But, of course, I’m ecstatic that we won the division. That’s been our goal.”
Meline, the team’s ace pitcher since her freshman year, had to defer to Jenn Claussen for much of this year due to a hamstring injury.
Claussen now plays third base and had an RBI double in a three-run first off loser Taylor Dishinger.
Lakes had plenty of chances, but left 11 runners on base in seven innings, and stranded a runner in scoring position in each frame.
According to Lakes coach Bill Hamill, his Eagles left 24 runners on base in 14 at-bats in two losses to the division champs.
“They’re a good team. We spotted them three runs out of the gate,” Hamill said. “We were there. We didn’t come out to a good start, but ‘Dish’ dug deep and kept us in the game.”
For her part, Meline is excited about facing a big-school power like Warren.
“I know we got pounded by them early in the year, but I’ve never lost to them as a pitcher,” she said. “I beat them my freshman, sophomore and junior years. If I get to pitch, that would be great.
“They’re phenomenal this year, obviously, but I’m trying to find some positivity.”
After Vernon Hills scored three in the first, the game settled, with each team scoring in the fifth.
There was an hour-plus weather delay in the bottom of the sixth, and Lakes didn’t get the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.