Softball: Plainfield Central turns things around

Story Image Plainfield Central head coach Anne Campbell congratulates her team after defeating Naperville North 3-1 Saturday for the East Aurora Sectional title.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

Plainfield Central had a topsy-turvy end to the regular season.

The Wildcats defeated Oswego 5-1, then followed that with a 6-4 win over Lockport. Then, with a victory needed to clinch a share of the Southwest Prairie Conference, they were blanked 3-0 by Plainfield North. Central then traveled to the Stone City Jamboree and lost 3-0 to Joliet Catholic.

In the postseason, however, the Wildcats have reeled off four straight wins, capturing a softball sectional championship for the first time in school history.

“All season the girls talked about the big picture,” Central coach Anne Campbell said. “To them it was having success in the postseason, and they were always looking at that.”

Morgan Vogt has been the team leader. The four year-varsity player pitched both sectional wins, a 2-1 victory over Neuqua Valley and a 3-1 win over Naperville North in the title game. Vogt (12-2) also had a big RBI single in the sectional championship game.

“Morgan is doing a great job leading the team,” Campbell said.

Campbell is in her 10th season as Wildcats coach and 16th with the program. She entered Monday’s Northern Illinois Supersectional with a 241-105 record.

Head of the classes?

After Sarah Brightmore delivered the winning hit for Providence in the bottom of the seventh in Saturday’s 5-4 win over Oak Forest in the sectional title game, the sophomore displayed something else: a sense of history.

“This is huge,” Brightmore said of winning the sectional title. “We hadn’t even been in this game since a year after I was born.”

The Celtics, who faced Geneseo in Monday’s Class 3A Seneca Supersectional, had played in one other sectional title game — in 1997.

“It means a lot,” Providence coach Jay Biesterfeld said. “This is something we’ve talked about since I got hired here. It’s been eight years of trying to get this opportunity, and the kids came through.”

Since the state went to four classes in 2008, the Celtics had been in Class 4A. Having not won a regional in that time, they were able to get a waiver to move to 3A for the postseason this year.

“We were 6-0 against the four teams that we faced that played (Saturday),” Biesterfeld said of his team’s schedule. “We swept (East Suburban Catholic foes) Carmel and Marist, and also beat (Mother) McAuley and Plainfield Central.

“Plus, the teams we beat in the sectional (Lincoln-Way West, Lemont, Tinley Park, Oak Forest) nearly had a combined 100 wins (97). We played great competition all year long. Next year, we know we’ll be back in 4A and we welcome the challenge.”

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