Softball: Warren wins first NSC titleVernon Hills pitcher Megan Meline fires one home to a Warren batter during their softball game at Vernon Hills. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 17, 2012 10:53PM
Sophomore Jana Wagner fanned 11 and pitched a three-hitter as Warren blanked host Vernon Hills 2-0 on Thursday to win the North Suburban Conference title for the first time since the league went to the two-division format a dozen years ago.
The Blue Devils (30-4-1) were the NSC Lake (big school) Division champs and the Cougars (22-12) won the NSC Prairie (small school) title.
Megan Meline pitched well for Vernon Hills, allowing one earned run and four hits while fanning 10.
But Wagner was even better.
“Jana was phenomenal. She pitched really well on Tuesday against Libertyville, and then she came out and absolutely dominated today,” said retiring Warren coach Carri McGahan.
“Megan was great too. It was a pitcher’s duel and those are great softball games.
Warren scored in the third on a two-out triple from Megan Sowa and a single by Jill Fox.
In the sixth, the Devils scored on a two-base error on a long fly and a two-out single by Anna Balch.
That was all Wagner needed. She fanned six of the final 10 batters she faced, and the four who hit the ball grounded out to third.
“We’ve had a phenomenal season ... 30 wins and a conference championship. I’m really proud of the girls,” said McGahan, who is stepping down because she is having a baby. “It was nice to get a win against Megan. I know a lot of these girls have played against her and wanted this win.”
In the other dugout, Cougars coach Steve Korney praised his starting pitcher, but was not happy with the lack of offense.
“Megan was great. She was throwing harder than I’ve seen her throw all year,” he said. “She dug deep and threw the ball really well.
“If you’re asking for anything more from your starting pitcher than one earned run, you’re being unrealistic.
You have to score two.”
Vernon Hills played Warren earlier in the season and was shut out in that game also.
On Thursday, the Cougars had two runners on with none out in the first, but a foul out and two punchouts ended the threat.
In the fourth, the Cougars had two on with one out, but an infield grounder and a strikeout ended the threat.