Tag Archives: Andrea Potts

Kaneland softball looks toward captains to right ship

Photo: Samantha Hansen brings speed and bat prowess in her role as a captain for the Lady Knights softball squad in 2012. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—An 8-1 start a year ago turned into a 14-19 finish for a softball group hoping for bigger things.

With a solid group of captains ready to pick up where graduated seniors Rilee Vest and Andrea Potts left off, KHS softball looks to experience to have a more consistent season-long outing.

Third-year coach Brian Willis makes no bones about what the team needs to do in 2012.

“If we play well every day, we’ll be in there at the end,” Willis said.

Heading up the charge to make sure the Lady Knights play well every day are Willis’ captains.

Senior pitcher Delani Vest, who has the advantage of being on the Kaneland roster from the get-go this season, brings talent from inside the pitcher’s circle.

Other senior captains include infielder Samanatha Hansen and catcher McKinzie Mangers, and junior shortstop Allyson O’Herron.

“The people that left, we can’t replace them because they were such a valuable part of our team. We need to adjust to what we have,” Willis said.

With the four captains bringing experience to the forefront, the Lady Knights don’t look to see themselves playing catch-up.

“They are four girls that have been with me since I got here, and I expect their leadership on and off the field,” Willis said.

With the rotation set-up, first and foremost will be Vest.

“She’s very focused this year and close to the form she was back as a sophomore. As a captain and with her athletic ability, she’ll be ready to go,” Willis said.

Accompanying Vest in the rotation is returning pitcher and outfielder Alexis Villarreal, a senior.

“Alexis got a lot of valuable innings last year, she worked hard in the offseason and threw an awesome game on Friday night,” Willis said.

McKinzie Mangers returns to complete the battery in her final KHS season.

Freshman Paige Kuefler mans third base, and is off to a prolific start behind the plate.

O’Herron returns at shortstop and brings consistency on the offensive and defensive end.

At second, Hansen and sophomore Allie Miller are giving coaches a tough decision.

Rosary transfer Hayley Contorno takes over at first as a sophomore, coming off good numbers in Aurora at first and hurler a year ago.

“She’s established herself not only as a solid ballplayer but a solid person,” Willis said.

In the outfield, Kaneland expects to see sophomore slugger Lanie Callaghan return to full strength next month, along with juniors Danielle McCormack, Kristen Gabrielson, Sarah Grams and Taylor Krawczyk, Morgan Newhouse and Lexi Roach looking for innings.

“We have a nice mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores. They want to keep our program strong and don’t want to go out on a negative note,” Willis said.

KHS spring sports awards put fitting cap on 2010-11

KANELAND—Coming a little later due to the storybook run of Kaneland baseball, KHS released its spring sports awards for 2010-11, highlighting a successful first step into Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In girls track, Lauren Zick and Andie Strang took home the co-MVP for track, while Brooke Patterson was named MVP on the field end. For most improved, Abby Dodis and Briana Stark took home the honor.

Sydney Bilotta, Strang, Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Keara Palpant were recognized as captains.

Zick and Patterson were joined by Gabby Aguirre as part of the Northern Illinois Big XII (NIB-12) All-Conference squad. Strang (1600 meter run, 4x800m relay), Bowen (4x800m relay), Patterson (pole vault), Sydney Strang (4x800m relay) and Zick (400m dash, 4x800m relay) were also recognized for their State trip.

For boys track, Taylor Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were named track MVP’s, while teammate Matt Spitzzeri took the field MVP. Curtis Secrest was given the Drendel Award.

Secrest, Trevor Holm, Whittaker, Andrews, Matt Cowans and Spitzzeri were recognized as captains, and Kory Harner took the Ron Probst Award.

The NIB-12 also named Andrews, Spitzzeri, Whittaker, Holm, Brandon Cottier, Mickey Marin and Jesse Balluff as part of the All-Conference squad.

Harner, Marin, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige, Balluff, Brandon Bishop, Dylan Nauert, Sean Carter, Holm, Cottier, Whittaker, Andrews and Secrest were all recognized for their State qualifying efforts.

In soccer, Emily Heimerdinger secured an All-State honor, capping her four-year output in style, while also named the NIB-12 MVP. The Class of 2011 member was also named co-MVP for the Lady Knights with teammate Amy Fabrizius.

Conference-wide, Heimerdinger, Fabrizius, Sophia Blank and Sam Wantuch were named to the All-Conference team.

Katie Taylor earned the Lady Knights Award, while Blank took home the Coach’s Award.

Keeper Michelle Ortiz was named Rookie of the Year, while Wantuch was named Most Improved Player for the roster that made it to the regional championship. Blank, Fabrizius, Heimerdinger and Taylor were also recognized as captains.

In softball, McKinzie Mangers and Andrea Potts were recognized as captains, while Allyson O’Herron took home the Lady Knight Award.

Potts was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Alexis Villarreal was named Most Improved Player for her efforts on the mound, and teammate Rilee Vest was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Lady Knights softball unit.

Additionally, Potts was a unanimous selection to the NIB-12 All-Conference team as an infielder. Vest and Katy Dudzinski were named as honorable mention candidates.

For the State Champion Knights baseball program, Bobby Thorson was named team Offensive MVP.

Kyle Davidson, Jake Razo and Brian Dixon took the Defensive MVP awards, and Dixon, Razo and Tyler Heinle were named Most Improved Players.

The No. 41 award was given to Sam Komel, Corey Landers and Dixon.

Mr. Kaneland Baseball was given out to the whole of the 2011 Class 3A State winners.

Additionally, Kaneland held the Senior Athletic Banquet Awards in June, giving the Knight Award for three-sport athletes to Stouffer, Strang and Davidson.

Strang was named female athlete of the year, while Andrews was named male athlete of the year. Strang also won the female Birkette Award, while the male Birkette Award went to Curtis Secrest.

Softball reaches end of 2011 season with loss to Sycamore

Photo: Rilee Vest (catcher) prepares for a play at the plate during Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Sycamore. Photo by Mary Herra

KANELAND—With the rivalry between Kaneland and Sycamore softball, the battle is bound to shift one way when the stakes are higher at a certain point.

For 2011, the edge went to the Lady Spartans.

A slim 2-1 win in the Class 3A Kaneland Regional semifinal ended the Lady Knights’ campaign.

Sycamore went on to defeat Burlington Central in the regional final on Saturday, and was slated to play Geneseo on Thursday, June 2, in the Rochelle Sectional.

Sycamore also bested Kaneland in last year’s Sycamore Regional title game on May 29, 2010.

Kaneland finishes its season at 14-18.

The Lady Knights went up 1-0 in the top of the third inning, thanks to an RBI from Lanie Callaghan, but in the bottom of the fourth, Meranda Brashears’ two-run single put Sycamore ahead to stay.

Sycamore’s Abby Foulk was the winning pitcher, and Kaneland junior Delani Vest was on the losing end, going six innings.

Kaneland softball says goodbye to seniors Andrea Potts and Rilee Vest, two players who put the aluminum to the ball with frequency.

Potts is set to play at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, while Vest continues at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Swing away

Photo: Rilee Vest and Andrea Potts enjoy the occasion on Thursday after recognition for their continuing softball careers in college. Photo by Mike Slodki

Bad news: Rilee Vest and Andrea Potts of Lady Knights softball will no longer be suiting up for Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action after the season concludes.

Good news: The two sluggers are bringing their bats to college programs where their skills will be appreciated.

Potts, who has supplied offense at the first base position for the Lady Knights, has made a verbal commitment to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

The Lady Cougars are 28-30 in 2011 and play in the Division II Ohio Valley Conference.

Potts is excited for the next stage of her softball life.

“I think my hitting is the strongest part of my game, and the mental part of my game and having more confidence has been more consistent,” Potts said.

The Cougars program is also home for former Lady Knight softball standout, senior infielder Laurie Siebert.

SIUE has been coached by Sandy Montgomery since 1989, and had a streak of 14 straight 30-win seasons from 1996-2009. SIUE won the National Championship in 2007.

Vest, who has manned the catching post for coach Brian Willis’ crew, heads to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, after a verbal commitment.

“The coach really wanted me for the team and that made an impression on me,” Vest said.

Cornell, part of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, gets a slugger who feels like her best softball days could be ahead.

“I was recruited as a catcher, and that’s the part of my game I’ve really worked hard to improve,” Vest said.

Lady Knights get last swings before playoffs

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, Lady Knights softball can be encouraged by the offense going into an uncertain playoff campaign.

KHS lit up the Saturday scoreboard with a doubleheader sweep of Rosary, 9-8 and 14-4 in five innings, after dropping a 5-2 decision to Marengo on Thursday.

The Lady Knights finished the regular season at 14-17.

In the first game on Saturday, Rosary took a 7-5 lead afrer two in the top of the fourth. After going ahead 8-5 in the top of the sixth, KHS rallied with a four-run barrage in the bottom of the sixth, and retired the Royals in the seventh for the win.

Rilee Vest went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Katy Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

The second game went well for Kaneland, as they put up runs in every inning of play, and went out to an 8-1 lead after two. The Lady Knights won it with one run in the bottom of the fifth, putting a cap on a 17-hit outing.

Andrea Potts went 2-for-4 with two HR’s and six driven in, while Vest went 3-for-4 with and RBI. Teammate Sam Hansen went 2-for-2 with three runs.

Dudzinski suffered the loss against the visiting Indians on Thursday.

In underclass action on Thursday, the JV team put up 14 runs in the first inning en route to a 29-2 win over Rockford East.

The sophomores swept host Rosary, 5-3 and 11-10.

Scheduled for Thursday, May 26, was Kaneland’s first regional test as the No.3 seed in the Kaneland Regional against second-seeded Sycamore. The winner of the Sycamore-Kaneland matchup was slated to face either No. 1 Burlington Central or No. 4 Rochelle for the regional title on Saturday, May 28, at 11 a.m.

The Kaneland Regional winner moves on against potential opponents like Sterling or Geneseo in the Rochelle Sectional on Thursday, June 2.

Softball suffers setbacks to Minooka, Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—There’s still a little bit of time to make Maple Park feel like home-field advantage, but not much.

With three regular season contests left, the Lady Knights are trying to put three losses behind them.

On Thursday, the Lady Knights were defeated by host Yorkville in the bottom of the eighth inning, 6-4, and were swept by Minooka on Saturday, 7-1 and 11-5.

Kaneland now sits at 12-17 with a 3-7 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Against the Lady Foxes, the hitting was supplied by Andrea Potts, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Delani Vest scattered six runs on nine hits while pitching all eight innings.

The lone run in game one on Saturday was supplied by a steal of home from Lanie Callaghan.

Alexis Villarreal fanned three and gave up seven runs on nine hits, but has shown a tendency to put a losing effort behind her.

“She threw the ball well today, it’s those one or two bad innings that we have,” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “We executed, had the right defense out there. We missed a couple clutch hits, but you’re playing a quality team out there.”

In game two, KHS was up 5-1 before allowing 10 runs in the sixth inning.

Kaneland hosts Marengo on Thursday, May 19, at 4:30 p.m.

Lady Knights sweep Dixon

KANELAND—Only one way to make any headway on spring cleaning.

If you’re KHS softball, get out the brooms. That’s exactly what the Lady Knights did in a pair of doubleheader wins over host Dixon High School on Saturday.

The fortunate 8-0 and 6-1 doubleheader wins came on the heels of an 8-5 loss to the host Ottawa Lady Pirates on Thursday.

Kaneland’s current mark is 10-7 (2-2 Northern Illinois Big XII), and looked to steady itself after the loss to Ottawa had them in a six losses-in-seven games quagmire.

In the first game on Saturday, Kaneland posted a six-spot in the top of the first inning and two more in the second.

Alexis Villarreal scattered just four hits and fanned three on the way to victory in the pitcher’s circle.

At the plate, Allyson O’Herron was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Andrea Potts went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, while teammate Lanie Callaghan went 2-for-3 with a triple and two driven in.

Game two was won by Brittney Miller at the pitching post, as she went six innings with seven K’s and seven hits surrendered. Callaghan went 2-for-3, and Potts hit her second homer of the twinbill, a three-run dinger in the top of the first.

Against Ottawa, Kaneland led 3-2 in the fourth until Ottawa plated three in the fourth to put the Lady Knights behind 5-3. After scoring once in the top of the fifth, Ottawa came back with two more in the fifth to hold off Kaneland’s one-run rally in the top of the seventh.

Kaneland’s Rilee Vest went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the losing effort.

In underclass action, the sophomore Lady Knights executed a 7-1 and 8-6 doubleheader victory over Dixon. Elyssa Eckert struck out 10 and doubled for KHS, while Sarah Grams tripled and homered in a two-RBI effort. In game two, Maddy Hester went 3-for-4 with a triple.

Softball stops skid vs. Hubs

KANELAND—Kaneland used a solid pitching performance from junior Alexis Villarreal and two downright offensive innings at the plate for a 9-1 win in Rochelle on April 13.

Softball stopped a five-game losing skid with the triumph and improved to 8-6 with a 2-2 record in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Kaneland used five runs in the top of the third inning, coupled with a four-spot in the top of the sixth to cinch the win.

With the bats, Andrea Potts went 3-for-4, while teammate Katy Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and 5 RBI.

In the sophomore tilt, Kaneland took Rochelle to an 8-4 loss. Elyssa Eckert earned the win with eight strikeouts to her name, and Aly Harner went 2-for-3. Sarah Grams contributed a triple.

The Lady Knights take a trek to Ottawa Township High School for a meeting with the host Pirates on Thursday, April 21.

Firepower
When Kaneland softball finds itself on the winning end of things, these three
Lady Knights have a good afternoon.
• Andrea Potts—
.500 AVG., 5 HR,
25 RBI
• Katy Dudzinski—
.436 AVG., 5 HR,
16 RBI
• Allyson O’Herron—
.354 AVG., .483 OBP.,
12 RBI

Softball off to 6-1 start as Northern Illinois Big XII slate begins

Photo: Taylor Velazquez deals toward the dish in a 9-5 game-one victory over host Oswego on Saturday. The Lady Knights also took the second game, 14-8. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—It appears that Kaneland High School softball was happy to get acquainted with Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action.

On Tuesday afternoon down Route 47 in Morris, Kaneland began new conference play with a 20-9 victory over the host Morris Lady Redskins, making good on its first conference action of 2011.

Kaneland had previously played four seasons in the former Western Sun Conference.

Now, the Lady Knights, with some holdover veterans but skewing young, sits at 6-1 after the win over Morris and a Saturday doubleheader sweep of the host Oswego Lady Panthers on Saturday morning, 9-5 and 14-8.

KHS also disposed of host Sandwich, 8-0 on Monday.

While Taylor Velazquez started the game, Katy Dudzinski earned the win in the pitcher’s circle after 2.2 innings of relief, allowing just one run on four hits.

Dudzinski also walloped two home runs and a double in a 3-for-4, six RBI afternoon.

Teammate Brittney Miller went 3-for-5 with two doubles and 3 RBI.

Slugger Andrea Potts went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs driven in.

After taking a 4-3 lead after three innings, Kaneland plated one in the fifth for a 5-3 advantage before Morris scored five in the bottom of the frame to lead 8-5.

Kaneland then took to the bases and scored seven runs each in the sixth and seventh to put the game away.

Taylor Velazquez was the game-one winner against Oswego, while Alexis Villarreal was the game-two beneficiary.

Velazquez also took the win against the Lady Indians.

KHS was set to travel to Hoffman Estates on Wednesday before hosting conference rival DeKalb on Thursday, April 7.

Softball hopes ‘young guns’ are consistent

Photo: Senior Rilee Vest will be an offensive leader for the 2011 Lady Knights softball team. Vest will also see more time behind the plate, catching for a pitching staff that head coach Brian Willis hopes will find some consistency. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the younger core of softball players will get a chance to get some more playing time in 2011.

Kaneland looks to avenge a regional championship loss to Sycamore and get back to the heights of a 20-11 season of a year ago.

They’ll have to replace three valuable seniors of a year ago, and 13 wins from former pitcher Delani Vest.

“We are still young, and only two seniors here,” said second-year coach Brian Willis. “This team will be a lot like last year’s team. Hopefully somebody will surprise with pitching. Offensively, we’ll be fine, defensively we’re a work in progress.”

Luckily, the two seniors on the team are noted contributors: Rilee Vest and Andrea Potts, whom Willis regarded as quality catchers who supply offense.

“We have pitchers that can throw the ball well, but we are looking for some consistency,” Willis said.

In the mix for the pitchers’ circle is junior Alexis Villarreal, junior Katy Dudzinski and sophomore Taylor Velazquez.

McKinzie Mangers plays the third baseman role as a junior, highly touted sophomore Allyson O’Herron is at shortstop, freshman Allison Miller debuts at second, and Potts at first.

The outfield shows the returning Samantha Hansen, a junior, while freshman Lanie Callaghan takes the centerfield slot and junior Brittney Miller in right.

Shoring up the infield is junior Sarah Kitz and freshman Lexi Roach.

Willis mentioned Miller and Hansen as players that eased into varsity roles last year and will make the most of their opportunities in 2011.

Kaneland hopes the lineup comes together in the midst of the new Northern Illinois Big XII arrangement.

“It gives us a lot to live up to, and I hope softball can play up to the level of the other sports who have done well in conference,” Willis said. “We’ve simplified a lot of things offensively and defensively, where they might have been too complicated a year ago. I think that’s going to help us.”

KHS hands out year-end awards for athletes

Rose, three others highlight senior banquet
MAPLE PARK—The end of the year awards and spring awards were handed out on June 9, recognizing the year-long effort of Knight athletes.

At the Senior Athletic Banquet awards, Knight awards were handed out to the five three-sport athletes from the class of 2009: Katie Hatch for tennis, basketball and track, Chassidy Mangers for cross country, basketball and softball, Curtis Lubic for golf, basketball and baseball, Chris Ott for football, soccer and basketball and Matt Weaver for cross country, wrestling and track.

The female Birkette award went to Mangers, while the male Birkette award found its way to Lubic.

Sara Rose was named the female athlete of the year at KHS, while Mike Pritchard was named male athlete of the year.

For boys track and field, Logan Markuson took the Track MVP, while Nick Sinon won the Field MVP.

Weaver took the Drendel Award home, and seven captains were recognized in the form of Lucas Ross, Weaver, Brendan McCarthy, Colin Zagel, Hayden Johnson, Paul Davies and Joshua Bloome.

Taylor Andrews won the Ron Probst Award.

The boys track had a glut of Western Sun All-Conference reps in the form of Derek Bus, Johnson, Edgar Valle, Markuson, Andrews, Sinon, Bloome and Matt Reusche.

Markuson, Johnson, Valley, Davies, Sinon, Bloome, Bus, Sean Paulick, Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were also highlighted for qualifying for the State gathering at Eastern Illinois University.

For the soccer squad that earned a berth to the regional title match at Burlington Central, Megan Gil, Sarah Goodrich, Paige Rogers and Bridget Crosby were recognized as captains. Crosby was also named most improved player. Savannah Webb took home the rookie of the year. Shelby Koester and Haley Johnson took the coach’s award, while Colleen Gebauer and Gil won the Lady Knights awards. Emily Heimerdinger was named team MVP. Girls soccer had three members named to the All-WSC roster in the form of Gil, Koester and Heimerdinger.

In the freshman soccer ranks, Haley Garcia was awarded Team Leader, Tatiana Brown took home the most improved honor, while Maggie Ruppel won the team spirit award.

In softball, the best offensive player award went to Jessica Lubic and Andrea Potts.

Brianna Hurst was given the best defensive player award. Rose took home the team MVP award, while Jordan Herra took home the most improved honors after her showing at the plate and in the field.

Erin Heyob, Hurst, Mallory Huml, Rose, Mangers and Herra were honored as captains.

Huml, Rose, Potts, Delani Vest and Lubic also brought home All-WSC honors.

For baseball, Curtis Lubic earned the Mr. Kaneland Baseball award, while Pritchard and Joe Gura took the Offensive MVP awards. Jeff Smith won the Defensive MVP award. Joe Spitzzeri took the 41 award, in honor of late teammate Jeff Malewig. Pritchard, Gura and Smith were named to the All-WSC team.

For girls track, Lindsay Gierke, Lisa Roberson and Andie Strang were given the track MVP award, while Kelli Patterson and Jordan Pinkston were named field MVP’s.

Patterson was honored with the Most Improved award.

Laney Deliginais, Alyssa Galvan, Gierke, Patterson, Roberson, Katie Weiss and Lauren Whittaker took home nods for captain.

Named to the all-conference group for the WSC were Whittaker, Gierke, Patterson and Pinkston.

Gierke, Pinkston, Strang, Roberson, Kris Bowen, Sara Wallace and Kelly Evers were also recognized for their State-going effort.

Lady Knights softball putting the hurt on

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland softball is on a tear and it couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

The Lady Knights now sit at 23-7, with an 9-3 record in the Western Sun Conference.

This past week saw KHS sweep non-conference Minooka on Saturday in Maple Park by slim 2-1 and 1-0 margins.

Those close victories were balanced by a power-fueled 11-1, six-inning rout of host Sycamore on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Lady Knights got past Rochelle by a 2-1 (eight innings) margin.

In game one against the Indians, Delaney Vest earned the win and scattered just two hits. The freshman also had a double at the plate and struck out seven on the mound.

Andrea Potts went 2-for-3 with a double, and the Lady Knights broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh with a Jessica Lubic double that scored Chassidy Mangers.

In game two, Mallory Huml shut down Minooka with a two-hit shutout that was accented by three strikeouts.

Potts went 3-for-3 with a double, and Brittany Davis’ double in the bottom of the sixth scored Mangers with the deciding run.

Vest (17-4) had a five-strikeout effort against the Spartans but showed prowess at the plate with a two-run homer hit in the second inning, which gave the Lady Knights a 3-0 edge. The Lady Knights struck gold in the first when Davis drew a bases-loaded walk.

Mangers came home on a fielding error to make it 4-0 before a Sycamore homer in the bottom of the fourth made it 4-1.

Jordan Herra’s two-run shot in the fifth made it 6-1.

In the sixth inning, Lady Knight Lubic hit a homer before Potts singled and Herra slammed her second round-tripper of the afternoon.

“It felt great,” Herra said. “The first one I knew I had it, but the second one I was thinking I needed to get down the line as fast as I can. (The win) was a big boost of confidence, and we’re ready for regionals.”

Sycamore’s failure to score in the bottom of the sixth shut the contest down after six innings.

“We’ve been starting to hit better, and we have other people in the lineup starting to get on base,” interim coach Ken Neahring said.

The sophomore Lady Knights dropped a 5-1 meeting with Sycamore and the freshmen took care of the Spartans 14-6 in five innings.

Against the Lady Hubs, Rochelle got on the board in the top of the first, but Kaneland put one up in the bottom of the fourth and sent everyone home in the bottom of the eighth on a Rilee Vest base hit.

Rilee Vest went 4-for-4 with two RBI, while Potts went 3-for-4 with a double.

Kaneland attempts to handle host Batavia on Thursday, May 21, and has a makeup game in Glen Ellyn against Glenbard South on Friday, May 22.

19-7 Lady Knights cross plate often

Kaneland softball made certain that opponents like DeKalb, Oswego East and Yorkville remembered who they were up against.

The Lady Knights were firing on all cylinders this past week with a 7-0 trouncing of Oswego East on Monday and a 10-1 handling of visiting Yorkville.

KHS improved to 19-7 and 7-3 in the Western Sun Conference.

Mallory Huml earned the win in the non-conference affair. The Lady Knights put up three runs in the top of the third, one in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Jessica Lubic went nuts at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a homer and a double. Jordan Herra had a triple.

Against the Lady Foxes, Kaneland put up a four-spot in the fourth and a six-run outburst in the sixth inning.

Delani Vest earned the win with a four-hit effort. The hurler fanned six batters. Andrea Potts went 2-for-4 with a homer.

At the home of the Lady Barbs, the Lady Knights went back to Maple Park with an 8-3 victory, thanks to Potts’ grand slam. The blast was the second bases-loaded round-tripper of the season.

In lower-class action, the freshmen took care of Oswego East 12-0, thanks to an outstanding effort from Sarah McGinnis. McGinnis went 3-for-3 at the plate, and struck out six on the mound.

The sophomore’s lost to Yorkville by a 7-2 final, while the freshmen used a four-run seventh to win 4-1. Alexis Villarreal earned the win.

The softball roster heads to Sycamore on Thursday, May 14, and Glenbard South on Friday, May 15.

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 couldn’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.

“We’ve done a pretty good job this last week of hitting the ball,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said after the output on Thursday. “We get some people hot up and down the order, and our pitching has been good.”

Vest, only a freshman and counted on for big innings, has come through thus far.

“My screwball was really working today. I struck out a lot of girls with that. It’s different every game depending on how I warm up. Whatever works in the first inning, I try to stick with that,” said Vest, who K’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

Softball enjoys 3-game win streak

by Mike Slodki
On a windswept sunny Saturday, Kaneland softball kept Oswego’s head spinning.

A steady sweep, 17-0 in a six-inning game one, and 3-1 in game two. An additional 5-4 victory in eight innings over Glenbard South on Tuesday elevated Kaneland’s mark to 4-1 (1-0 Western Sun Conference).

In the first game, freshman hurler Delani Vest improved to 2-0 while striking out four batters.

Vest also went 3-for-4 while Brittany Davis went 2-for-3.

The Lady Knights scored one run in the first inning and one in the third inning. A five-run fourth inning made it 7-0. Up 8-0, Kaneland poured on the offense and put up nine runs to send the game into retirement early.

In game two, Kaneland put up a three-spot in the third inning and freshmen Katy Dudzinski gave up only one run in her first varsity start en route to a 3-1 win.

Vest went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Tara Groen went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

The two freshmen pitchers did their part in place of pitching staff anchor Mallory Huml, away in Texas as part of a choir competition.

“They both did well,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “Usually, we’re fighting to find pitchers. We didn’t hit as well in the second game, but we got what we needed.”

The three-run rally in the top of the second inning began with a leadoff double by Andrea Potts and a single by Vest. Rightfielder Kristen Stralka drove Potts home with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. After a passed ball put runners at second and third, centerfielder Groen knocked a single to bring the other two runs in.

The Lady Knights were supposed to battle Sandwich on Monday, but the game was postponed due to weather.

Against the visiting Raiders, Kaneland found itself down 4-0 until scoring two runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the eighth for the win.

Huml earned her first win of the season on the mound and struck out three. Sara Rose went 2-for-5 with a double and RBI. Potts went 1-for-4 with a two run double.

Kaneland was set to visit the Hoffman Estates Hawks on Wednesday before heading to Geneva for a Western Sun Conference clash on Thursday, April 9.

Photo: Delani Vest, seen throwing in the first game of a Saturday softball doubleheader at Oswego High School, delivers a winning effort in the 17-0 rout. Photo by Mary Herra