Softball fortunes go Northern
Photo: Lexi Roach places a bunt in the perfect spot to beat out the throw in the sixth inning of Kaneland’s 8-1 home win against Yorkville on Thursday. Photo by John DiDonna
KHS nine continues to roll after securing NIB-12 East title
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Right now, there’s no stopping the KHS softball team.
For proof, you can look at the record of 27-5, or the Northern Illinois Big XII East Division mark of 10-0, or ask what was left of the Yorkville and Plainfield North lineups after meeting the Lady Knights this week.
An 8-1 solving of the visiting Yorkville Foxes on Thursday and a five-inning, 15-5 slaughter of Plainfield North has the Lady Knight lineup sitting pretty with two regular season games left.
The Lady Knights are currently ranked third in the Illinois Coaches’ Association Class 3A poll, with former Western Sun Conference mate Glenbard South at No. 1.
The Lady Knights also learned a week ago that they’ll carry the top seed in the Class 3A IMSA Regional in Aurora, and play the winner of IMSA and Rosary next week. KHS already defeated the slated second seed, Yorkville, this week.
Against Plainfield North, Kaneland fell behind 3-0 after the first inning.
Kaneland proceeded to plate six in the bottom of the second, and after allowing two more in the top of the fourth, KHS turned offensive with three runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth for the walk-off win.
Alexis Villarreal allowed five runs on 10 hits, but still earned the win.
Yorkville took a 1-0 lead on Thursday in the first inning, but Paige Kuefler’s RBI single drove home Allyson O’Herron with a single to tie the score.
In the bottom of the third, Kuefler and Lanie Callaghan added RBI doubles for a 3-1 lead.
Callaghan, who went 3-for-3 with an RBI, was glad to get an important win over a conference rival this late in the season enroute to NIB-12 supremacy.
“We might come up against them again, and we knew we had to come out strong. Right now, our hitting is on fire,” Callaghan said.
“I’ve contributed, but I feel I’ve been in some slumps and try my best to work out of them. It was hard for me to wait.”
In the sixth inning, four of the first five batters slapped hits past Yorkville, with RBI coming from Haley Contorno and Sarah Grams, and the Lady Knights’ lead increased to 8-1.
What lies ahead for Kaneland is a doubleheader at Rosary on Saturday, May 19, before traveling to Aurora for the IMSA Regional. The first test is Wednesday, May 23, with the regional title game scheduled for Saturday, May 26.