Softball: Young hitters power Larkin to strong start

By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/26/2022 7:03 PM

Things continue to look bright for Larkin (8-4 overall, 4-2 Upstate Eight Conference), who beat Glenbard East in Lombard 12-7 recently for a big conference win.

At the plate, underclassmen are getting it done for coach Anne Vogt. Freshman Mya Bermudez was hitting .677 with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 10 runs scored and 11 RBI. Junior Baylei Johnson was at .537 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, 18 runs scored and 20 RBI. Freshman Julissa Aguinaga was hitting .519 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 15 runs scored and 10 RBI. Vogt also has been pleased with freshman Kaitlyn Neubert, who was hitting .462 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, a homer, 17 runs scored and 11 RBI, "playing a rock-solid center field," Vogt said. Senior pitcher Kailey Cronin is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA and has 2 game-winning hits to her credit.


"We are off to a great start," Vogt said. "We have a solid group of contributors this season."

Huntley update:

The Huntley softball team continues to be on point, coming off a split against Lincoln-Way East and St. Charles East -- two of the top programs around.

Jori Heard's perfect game in the circle propelled the Red Raiders to a 1-0 win over Lincoln-Way East. Huntley lost to St. Charles East 1-0. "That was a very big win over Lincoln-Way East," Huntley coach Mark Petryniec noted.

Petryniec added Huntley has been helped on the offensive side by the likes of Reese Hunkins and Zoe Doherty. Huntley was 12-5 to start the week.

St. Charles East update:

The wins continue to pile up for the St. Charles East softball team.

After a Monday win over town neighbor St. Charles North, the Saints were 14-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. East is on an 8-game winning streak, that included a big 1-0 win over Huntley.

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At the plate, Cici Wilson started the week hitting .488 with 5 doubles and 3 home runs. Sam Gaca was hitting .378 with 3 doubles and a homer. Nicole Johnson was at .375 with 1 double and 4 home runs.

Izzy Howe was 8-1 with a 1.91 ERA at week's start -- with 128 strikeouts in 62 innings. Grace Hautzinger was 5-1 with a 2.94 ERA to go with 55 strikeouts against 7 walks.

Also of note, Stephanie Schnite had a key 3-run homer against Wheaton Warrenville South, while Bri Risley had a 2-run shot against Glenbard North. "Both homers proved to give us a comfortable lead that we were able to hold the rest of the game," East coach Jarod Guetsha said.

Guetsha likes the balance the Saints have presented so far this season. "We have a balanced team and have been highly productive offensively and defensively, and our pitching has been excellent. We have played a strong schedule that has prepared us to enter the heart of our conference schedule. Our offensive lineup is full of players who have the ability to put a charge into a ball."


Aurora Central Catholic update:

ACC started the week 4-1 in Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division play (7-4 overall) thanks in part to some lofty hitting numbers from the trio of senior Olivia Hernandez (.531, 3 HR, 14 RBI), sophomore Amelia Lohrey (.483, 12 runs, 10 RBI) and freshman Ashley Moore (.400, 11 runs, 10 RBI).

The Chargers also been bolstered by the pitching of Lohrey (4-0), Kate Gambro (3-0, 1.15 WHIP) and freshman Brooklyn Marks (36 K in 22 IP).

Coach Mark Pasqualini has been pleased in particular of late with the play of Hernandez and Lohrey. "Every ball Olivia hits is solid and hit hard," he said. "Teams are pitching around her. At catcher, very few runners will take a chance to run on her arm. She's one of the top players in the state. Amelia has been consistently producing all season on offense."

To end last week, ACC was still in the hole in games played (11) vs. games canceled (12).

Burlington Central update:

After a 1-2 start, the Rockets were 5-1 over their last six and came into the week 6-3 overall and 2-3 in Fox Valley action. Anna Sanders is leading the way, hitting .387 with 12 hits in 31 at-bats to go with 13 runs scored. "With such a late start due to bad weather and bad luck, we haven't really figured out who we are," coach Scott Richman said. "Every day we add another piece to the puzzle."

Dundee-Crown update:

The Chargers (6-7 overall, 3-4 FVC) picked up a pair of big conference wins last week against Jacobs and Crystal Lake Central.

In those two wins, McKayla Anderson was the winning pitcher and also hit a grand-slam home run over the fence vs. Crystal Lake Central.

St. Charles North update:

To start the week, Leigh VandeHei was leading the North Stars in hitting at .563 (1.329 on-base plus slugging percentage) with 21 runs scored and 8 stolen bases. Sophia Olman was at .519 (1.198 OPS) with 12 RBI, while Morgan Lahner was at .400 (1.033 OPS).

In the circle, Ava Goettel was 6-0 in 6 starts with 42 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA for North, which started the season with 8 wins in its first 9 games.

South Elgin update:

Weather continues to be a battle for all teams, including the Storm, who logged only a pair of games last week (lost to West Chicago and beat Glenbard South). South Elgin came into the week 11-4 overall and 4-1 in Upstate Eight play.

Hannah Harms and Cara Cruthers continue to tear it up. Harms was hitting .569 to start the week with 6 doubles, 7 home runs, 20 RBI and 23 runs scored. Cruthers was at .542 with 9 doubles, 8 home runs, 22 RBI and 26 runs scored. Sammy Jimenez was right there as well, hitting .468 with 7 doubles, 5 homers, 22 RBI and 21 runs scored.

Pitching-wise, CeCe Bell was 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA and had 39 strikeouts in 41 innings of work, while Anna Kiel was 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 34 innings.

Hampshire update:

The Whips started the week on a 3-game winning streak that put them at 7-6 overall and 3-3 in Fox Valley play. Elyse Garcia is leading the team in most offensive categories, while Bria Riebel also has played well. "Both girls are hitting really well and playing great defense," Hampshire coach Jeremy Bauer said. "We are getting better defensively and our pitching is keeping us in games. We will need to continue to make improvements as the season goes on, but I like where we are right now."

Elgin update:

The Maroons recently notched a win over St. Edward in the Larkin Slugfest and played a strong game against Dundee-Crown.

"We really needed these games for the girls to see what they are capable of doing and to see how far they have come so far this season," Elgin coach Monica Stockman said. "The girls ae still growing in their softball abilities. We are working on situational plays and having more hustle to fly balls. We are taking baby steps, but stepping in the right direction."

Freshman Ali Sondergaard was hitting .500 to start the week, while sophomore Madison King and freshman Braedyn Tetrev have both been contributors in the circle.

Sophomore Monica Martinez has done well in the outfield, while freshman Grace Tetrev has helped on the bases.

"Monica stepped up to play outfield and is now one of our best girls at tracking fly balls," Stockman said. "Grace is super speedy when running the bases."

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