Softball: Glenbard South edges Marengo for Class 3A titleThe Glenbard South Girls Softball team celebrate Saturday after beating Marengo 2-1 in the Class 3A Girls Softball Championship game at Eastside Centre in East Peoria. June 9, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 9, 2012 4:56PM
EAST PEORIA — While walking in the middle of her Glenbard South teammates hoisting the Class 3A state title trophy, senior Danielle Chitkowski said with a big smile “Lets go girls, look what we got.”
And what they got is the school’s first state title in softball after beating defending champion Marengo 2-1 Saturday at the EastSide Centre.
After posing for the team picture, Chitkowski and her junior sister Stephanie immediately ran into the arms of their dad and had an emotional group hug.
“We cried and he told us how proud he was of both of us,” said Danielle, still wiping away tears. “We’ve been through it all together and especially to end like this is incredible.”
For seventh-year coach Julie Fonda, the fourth time downstate was finally the charm. The Raiders (36-4) finished third in 2008 and 2011, and fourth in 2009.
“I’ve seen enough teams celebrate and it was nice to be on the other end of it,” Fonda said. “I don’t even think I can describe it, these kids are relentless. They weren’t going to be satisfied unless we got this.
“You dream about this as a player first then as a coach.”
With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the fourth, first baseman Hannah Taylor drove in the winning runs with a two-run single to center. Chitkowski (single) and Olivia Ramirez (single) scored on the hit against Indians pitcher Lindsay Melson (26-6). Jane Trzaska had two hits, including a double in the sixth.
“Fonda puts us through this every day in practice, hitting with two outs and runners in scoring position,” Taylor said. “I wanted to make contact and that was the mindset.”
Danielle (18-2) pitched the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run — an RBI single in the fifth by Reed Karsten — that pulled the Indians (36-6) within one. Fonda, doing what she has been doing all year, lifted Danielle for Stephanie, who after hitting the first batter, retired eight of the next nine batters.
She got Abby Kissack to ground out to second baseman Brianna Meath to end the game and start the celebration. Meath was caught under the pile during that celebration and had to be carried off the field. But she later came out of the dugout hopping on one leg to get her medal.
“To do this in my last high school game with my sister is unbelievable,” Danielle said. “I’ve been with these girls forever, and it will be really weird playing and not having these girls there.
“I will never forget this.”