Softball: Danielle Chitkowski-led Glenbard South rallies past Elmwood Park

Updated: June 4, 2012 9:20PM

Danielle Chitkowski turned a long day into a grand night. One of Glenbard South’s busses was having troubles and had to be switched for another shortly into their trip to the game.

Once Glenbard South arrived to Judson University in Elgin, Chitkowski allowed three runs and drove in three runs at the plate, including a two-run, fourth-inning home run and the game-winning RBI in the fifth inning in a 5-3 Class 3A supersectional win over Elmwood Park on Monday. The victory puts the Raiders into the state semifinals for the second straight year and third time in four seasons.

“The home run felt so good especially after throwing (poorly),” Chitkowski said. “Half the girls on this team have been down there before, and we’re going down there to win it.”

Glenbard South (35-4) shut out Metro Suburban rival Elmwood Park twice during the regular season and in last year’s supersectional game, but found itself down 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth before things changed. Hannah Davey, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and runs scored led off the frame with a single before Chitkowski launced her bomb to left-center field. Her sister Stephanie Chitkowski took over the pitching duties and wound up with the win throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out six while allowing four hits.

“I just wanted to keep them off the bases,” Stephanie Chitkowski said. “I couldn’t let them get any hits. I was super nervous, but my catcher (Jane Trzaska) kept me under control.”

Elmwood Park (19-16) finally got on the board against its conference nemesis with a third-inning rally. Second baseman Isaly Roman drew one of her three walks on the day with one out. Shortstop Becky Gruber bunt singled her to second before catcher Catherine Conte (4-for-4, four singles) reached on a single, and Roman scored when the throw to third went out of play. Center fielder Katelyn Jakobsen doubled a one-hop shot off the center-field fence to drive in Conte and Gruber and make it 3-0 for the Tigers. That’s when Glenbard South head coach Julie Fonda made the pitching change.

“Dani was tight, and I felt she was over throwing a bit,” Fonda said. “We tried to calm her down, but we have Stephanie ready to rock and roll. She knew if she didn’t do what she did that they might not have a happy night at home.”

Nicole DiGiovanni came on in relief of Gabby Uvelli in the fifth inning and was saddled with the loss. She surrendered four hits and two runs in her 1/3 of an inning. Uvelli threw well allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.

“The game was scripted up to the fourth inning perfectly,” Elmwood Park head coach Brad Reynard said, “but like good teams do, they answered back. It’s not the outcome we wanted, but I couldn’t be prouder of this group. They got a taste of it, and I know thekids will use this as a motivational tool for next year.”

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