Softball makes life difficult for opponents
KHS 3-1 in WSC skirmishes
by Mike Slodki
Lady Knights softball had itself a productive week, and in the process, elevated its record to a nice 10-4.
The Lady Knights, who are also 3-1 in Western Sun Conference play, vanquished the host Maine West Warriors in a Saturday doubleheader, 3-0 and 5-0. Preceding that was a 6-1 win over the host Yorkville Foxes on Thursday. Kaneland began the week as road warriors with an 11-1, five-inning win over host Wheaton Academy on Wednesday, April 15.
In the first game of the doubleheader in Des Plaines, hurler Delani Vest (6-1) scattered just four hits and struck out five.
Sara Rose (2-for-3), Vest (2-for-4) and Jessica Lubic (2-for-3) smacked doubles, while Rose and Mangers parked pitches over the fence for home runs.
The Lady Knights scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings.
Senior Mallory Huml (3-3) put on a clinic in game two, allowing just two hits and fanning nine. Kaneland put up a three-spot in the third inning while scoring two additional runs in the seventh.
Andrea Potts went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Tara Groen went 2-for-3.
Against Yorkville, Kaneland scored three runs in the top of the first thanks to an RBIs double to dead-center by Rose, Potts reaching on an error that scored Rose and a run-scoring single by Lubic.
Yorkville threatened in the bottom of the first by loading the bases but couldnâ€™t score.
Kaneland scored three more in the third. Rose doubled and later came home on an error by the shortstop. Rilee Vest then drove home a run with a grounder, and Jordan Herra reached on another error that scored Lubic, who had previously singled.
â€œWeâ€™ve done a pretty good job this last week of hitting the ball,â€ KHS coach Dennis Hansen said after the output on Thursday. â€œWe get some people hot up and down the order, and our pitching has been good.â€
Vest, only a freshman and counted on for big innings, has come through thus far.
â€œMy screwball was really working today. I struck out a lot of girls with that. Itâ€™s different every game depending on how I warm up. Whatever works in the first inning, I try to stick with that,â€ said Vest, who Kâ€™d eight Lady Foxes.
Against Wheaton Academy, Huml struck out seven batters and walked just one while giving up just three hits. Kaneland scored in every inning, including five times in the first and three in the second.
Potts had a huge day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double and four driven in. Huml also went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Lower class action this past week saw the sophomores sweep a doubleheader at Maine West by 11-10 and 10-5 finals.
In game one, Beth Smith improved to 5-0 with a nine-strikeout day. Katy Dudzinski went 3-for-4 with a homer. The Lady Knights scored six times in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
Game two had Dudzinski pitch four innings for the win (4-2). Brooke Thompson went 2-for-3 with a triple and Lindsay Jurcenko go 2-for-4.
The freshmen swept the doubleheader vs. Maine West at Kaneland by scores of 14-3 (five innings) and 14-4 (six innings).
Sarah McGinnis and Brittney Miller earned wins for the Lady Knights.
Ahead for Kaneland varsity is a road venture to Rochelle on Thursday, April 23, and a trip to Woodstock on Saturday, April 25.
Photo: Kaneland pitcher Delani Vest crashes into her sister, catcher Rilee Vest, as they both went after a fly ball in the sixth inning against DeKalb on April 14. Kaneland won the home game 9-4. Photo by John DiDonna