Softball: Hinsdale South teammates carry on through summer

Updated: August 1, 2012 4:59PM

Sabrina Kuchta and Brooke Dodson have played travel softball together long before Kuchta transferred to Hinsdale South last year.

The travel teammates became high school teammates last spring and have kept that relationship going through this summer as members of the South Suburban-based Homer Hawks.

“It’s a lot of fun. These girls are family,” Kuchta said about the entire team.

Kuchta and Dodson aren’t the only members of the Hawks from the West Suburban Conference. The Hawks include Hinsdale Central senior Alexa Heydenberk and Downers Grove South junior outfielder Melissa Orton.

The Hawks opened their last major tournament of the summer Monday in the American Softball Association 16U National Championships in Montgomery, Ala. The tournament ends Aug. 5. The Hawks beat Glory Elite of Woodbridge, Va. to begin pool play at one of three venues in the tournament. Rain caused delays for the following round Tuesday as the Hawks were scheduled to play the Mobile (Ala.) Express.

“I hope we can go as far as I believe we can,” Kuchta said. “It would be nice to make it to Friday or Saturday.”

Dodson was unable to make the trip to Alabama so her summer softball scheduled has ended after playing with the Hawks in Midwest tournaments in Bloomington, Ill., Watertown, Wis., and Lemont. Her family was already planning on traveling to the south when her older brother, Kody, returns later this month to the University of Alabama.

The heat wave has made it a tough summer for Dodson, one of two catchers for the Hawks after starting all spring behind the plate for Hinsdale South.

“There was heat in one tournament; sitting in that heat for an inning was so hard to do,” said Dodson, a Darien resident. “To stay hydrated you had to keep towels on the back of your neck.”

Dodson worked on improving her defense this summer, but put a lot of emphasis on hitting. “At the end of high school, I was in a slump. I wanted to pick it up in the summer season and focus on when the runners are on base and getting them in,” Dodson said.

Kuchta, a junior third baseman, attended her third high school in two years last school year. She has known Dodson since attending her freshman year at Bradley-Bourbonnais and then Kuchta went to Lockport for one semester before moving to Darien.

“Softball has helped. When I get started (at a new school), I got to know people,” Kuchta said.

The Hawks draw from all over the Chicago area, including players from St. Charles and Elgin.

Two of the biggest highlights of the summer for Kuchta was traveling to Colorado and New York. She was able to see Denver and Times Square in Manhattan.

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