Photo: The Kaneland varsity girls try to figure out a plan during their 10-5 home loss against Burlington Central on March 21. Photo by Patti Wilk
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, the Kaneland Lady Knights softball crew no longer has to worry about where its first win will come from.
Thanks to a solid performance against the visiting Oswego Lady Panthers, Kaneland picked up its first win of the season on Saturday by a final of 8-0.
It left a better taste than the 10-5 loss to the visiting Lady Rockets of Burlington Central on March 21.
Kaneland now sits at 1-3.
KHS got all the offense it needed in the first four innings against Oswego, scoring two in the first and second, one in the third and three in the bottom of the fourth.
Senior Delani Vest picked up the win in a complete-game effort, fanning six while allowing just two hits.
Shortstop Allyson O’Herron went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while teammate Sarah Kitz added a triple and an RBI.
The win beat the overall result of the clash with the Lady Rockets. Leads of 2-0 and 5-4 could not hold up to the four-homer barrage of BC.
Alexis Villarreal suffered the loss in relief, but KHS saw good box scores from Vest (2-for-4, triple) and catcher McKinzie Mangers (2-for-4).
Kaneland couldn’t withstand three homers from sophomore Brooke Gaylord, however.
Kaneland’s 2-0 lead was put on the board by an RBI grounder from Lexi Roach and a double by Mangers.
After BC tied the score in the top of the second, the Lady Rockets scored two more in the fourth for a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, three straight infield singles by Allie Miller, Vest and Roach loaded the bases, and O’Herron knocked home two with a game-tying single. Freshman Paige Kuefler’s RBI double gave Kaneland a 5-4 lead.
BC used defensive lapses from KHS and timely hitting from its own lineup to put up five runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to clinch the win.
All Kaneland coach Brian Willis wanted was for his lineup to move past the less-than-ideal ending.
“We’ve played 21 innings this year, and we’ve had one bad inning,” Willis said. “If you have that bad inning, this is what’s going to happen. (Gaylord) was in a zone today, give her credit.”
Additional softball action had KHS beating BC 5-0 behind Anissa Becker’s pitching effort.
Ahead for the Lady Knights lies a trip to the lower reaches of the state, as they take on Macon County High School on Friday, March 30, as part of their spring break excursion.