Willowbrook pulls even with Addison Trail in WSC Gold

  • Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comWillowbrook's Sonia Ruchala (51) hit a home run in the third inning and is greeted at home plate during Wednsday's softball game against Addison Trail in Villa Park.

    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comWillowbrook's Sonia Ruchala (51) hit a home run in the third inning and is greeted at home plate during Wednsday's softball game against Addison Trail in Villa Park.

  • Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comAddison Trail's Brianna Matthews, left, makes it safely to first base on a hit as Willowbrooks's Lindsey Rugg (40) waits for the throw during Wednsday's softball game in Villa Park.

    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comAddison Trail's Brianna Matthews, left, makes it safely to first base on a hit as Willowbrooks's Lindsey Rugg (40) waits for the throw during Wednsday's softball game in Villa Park.

  • Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comWillowbrook pitcher Caitlyn Kulczyski throws to an Addison Trail batter during Wednsday's softball game in Villa Park.

    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comWillowbrook pitcher Caitlyn Kulczyski throws to an Addison Trail batter during Wednsday's softball game in Villa Park.

  • Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comAddison Trail right fielder Erin Parker tries to grab a foul ball but it was a little out of reach during Wednsday's softball game against Willowbrook in Villa Park.

    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comAddison Trail right fielder Erin Parker tries to grab a foul ball but it was a little out of reach during Wednsday's softball game against Willowbrook in Villa Park.

  • Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comWillowbrook's Hannah Kenny, left, pulls in the throw but not before Addison Trail's Brianna Matthews makes it safely to second base during Wednsday's softball game in Villa Park.

    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.comWillowbrook's Hannah Kenny, left, pulls in the throw but not before Addison Trail's Brianna Matthews makes it safely to second base during Wednsday's softball game in Villa Park.

 
By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/11/2022 9:57 PM

Two quality softball teams met Wednesday in Villa Park, with one team increasing the horsepower on its offense.

Host Willowbrook scored 10 runs on nine hits in the third inning to beat Addison Trail 10-1 and tie the Blazers for second place in the West Suburban Gold. Each team stands at 6-3.

 

First-place Downers Grove South was 7-1 going into Wednesday's game against Leyden. Addison Trail travels to Downers South on May 19.

Willowbrook (12-7) finished with 14 hits on the afternoon.

"We were not hitting well (going into the game). We were doing enough to win," said assistant coach Jim White. "We changed our strategy and be a little more patient and it worked today."

The Blazers (16-5) took the lead right at the start as leadoff hitter Gia Napoli put down a well-placed bunt in the first and beat the throw. She stole second and third and with one out, Taylor Gloms scored her on a single to right.

Willowbrook's big third started when winning pitcher Caitlyn Kulczyski walked and Kayleigh Dennison was hit by a pitch.

That set the table for Grace Hayes who doubled to right, scoring them both. Hayes would hit a 2-run single later in the inning.

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Catcher Isabella Dugo singled to left and that brought Hannah Kenny to the plate. She sailed an 0-1 pitch over the right-field fence for three more runs that put the Warriors in the driver's seat.

"I try to focus on the ball all the way. I took the first pitch and the second one I connected on," Kenny said.

The Warriors were far from done.

Zaida Serrano singled to center with one out and that scored Lindsey Rugg, who had walked. Next came leadoff hitter Sonia Ruchala whose homer to left brought home Serrano.

Kulczyski earned a complete-game win, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 10.

"My change-up and curveball were working. This was a good team effort," she said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Blazers had beaten the Warriors 11-9 on April 25 in the first of the two conference encounters.

"It feels real good coming back stronger and better than the first time," Kenny said.

Gloms singled again in the sixth for Addison Trail and Erin Parker had an infield hit in the second.

"This is a young crew. We start six freshmen. but we have good senior leadership," said Addison Trail coach Mark Olson. "Our future is bright, but there are growing pains to go along with it."

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