Jacobs third baseman Alyssa Lach and Marengo outfielder Veronica Ruelius were among eight area girls selected to the Illinois Coaches Association All-State softball team that was recently announced.
Northwest Herald All-Area first team
When Stacey Stepek took over the Hampshire softball program last year, her goal was to change the culture with the belief wins would follow.
ALGONQUIN – Alyssa Lach refused to be content with past success.
Johnsburg is beginning its search for a new softball coach following Wally Warner's resignation.
MARENGO – Through four innings of Saturday's Class 3A sectional final against host Marengo, Sterling struggled to solve Indians freshman pitcher Mariah Dionne.
MARENGO – The last time the Marengo softball team played Sterling remains fresh in the minds of the Indians, particularly Marengo senior catcher Taylor Carlson.
MARENGO – Marengo softball coach Dwain Nance doesn't usually let his players swing away when they're ahead 3-0 in a count.
ALGONQUIN – McHenry couldn't find a way to end its fifth-inning nightmare.
Each year when the softball season arrives, there really is only one goal if you’re a Marengo softball player.
McHenry had just suffered its third loss in four games that Thursday afternoon in April, and the season outlook suddenly was turning bleak for a softball team with high expectations.
Jeremy Bauer likely has coached his last softball game and golf match at Jacobs, as sources within District 300 have said that Bauer will take over as the school’s athletic director.
HUNTLEY — Entering the Huntley Regional championship, the Huntley softball team knew that three runs could win the ballgame against DeKalb. That is exactly what DeKalb scored.
McHENRY – When McHenry’s senior Megan O’Donnell stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with a teammate at first and no outs in a tie game, she had no intention of swinging the bat.
WOODSTOCK – Marengo catcher Taylor Carlson switched to a split grip at the plate – to counteract a recent tendency to pop up – on Saturday in the Class 3A Woodstock North Regional softball final against Richmond-Burton.
Class 3A Woodstock North softball final: Marengo 11, R-B 1 (5 innings)Class 4A DeKalb Regional baseball final: Huntley 3, Dundee-Crown 2 (8 innings)Class 4A Crystal Lake South baseball regional final: Jacobs 7, Barrington 2Class 4A Grayslake North baseball regional: Prairie Ridge 1, Grant 0 (9 inn.)Class 4A McHenry Regional softball final: McHenry 2, Grant 1Class 3A Harvard Regional baseball final: Woodstock 2, Richmond-Burton 1State Track: McHenry's Jesse Reiser wins state 3,200
CARY – The Cary-Grove softball team knew it could not let Barrington take an early lead, no matter how small, in Friday’s Class 4A C-G Regional final.
CARY – There were no secrets when Cary-Grove and Crystal Lake South stepped onto the field Thursday for their Class 4A regional semifinal game.
McHENRY – There wasn’t much that McHenry’s Kristin Koepke couldn’t do Wednesday during her softball team’s Class 4A McHenry Regional semifinal. Koepke had three hits, including a triple and a double, pitched a two-hit shutout and caught a screaming line drive right back at her as the top-seeded Warriors shut out No. 4 seed Grayslake North, 10-0, in five innings.
BELVIDERE – Season-ending losses do not come much harder than the one Marengo suffered at the hands of Boylan Wednesday.
WOODSTOCK - Nine Woodstock North batters settled in at the plate against Marengo freshman pitcher Mariah Dionne during the first three innings Wednesday.
Through six innings of Wednesday’s McHenry Regional semifinals, the Prairie Ridge girls softball team failed to figure out Grant pitcher Caitlyn Moran.
CARY – Jacobs saw Barrington pitcher Keenan Dolezal for two innings on Tuesday and had an extra night to try to figure the Fillies’ right-hander after heavy rain suspended the Class 4A Cary-Grove Regional semifinal.
Athlete of the Week
At Belvidere, the Marengo baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning Monday and led the rest of the way for a 6-5 victory over Belvidere in the Class 3A Belvidere North Regional play-in game.
ALGONQUIN – Monday’s Class 4A Cary-Grove Regional softball play-in game saw fifth-seeded Crystal Lake Central have an inning to forget on defense that sealed its fate.
WOODSTOCK – Woodstock North came up one win short of the school’s first regional softball championship a year ago. This season, the Thunder are determined to get back to a regional final.
Hampshire softball coach Stacey Stepek is meticulous at preparing her team.
At Algonquin, Riley Rowan and Matt Toomire won the doubles championship for Jacobs on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Huntley’s Matt Frederick and Jake Grabner at the Jacobs Sectional.
EAST DUNDEE – Alden-Hebron’s softball team collected 10 hits in Saturday’s Class 1A Westminster Christian Regional final against Hiawatha. But when they needed it the most, the Giants couldn’t come through with the clutch hit.
Danny Vandewalker hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning Thursday in Carpentersville to lead Jacobs to a 4-2 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division victory over Dundee-Crown in the resumption of a suspended game.
RICHMOND – The bats from Richmond-Burton were held silent for most of Thursday’s Big Northern Conference East Division softball game against Genoa-Kingston.
ALGONQUIN – Hampshire's softball team wanted to eliminate any lingering disappointment when it played Thursday against Jacobs.
Win or lose, Alden-Hebron’s senior-less softball lineup can hit the ball.
Athlete of the Week
EAST DUNDEE – The Alden-Hebron softball team will have to wait an extra day to try to advance to Saturday's Class 1A Westminster Christian Regional final.
Jack Glosson scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning to give the McHenry baseball team a 6-5 win over Crystal Lake South in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division play in Crystal Lake.
HUNTLEY – Senior Adam Kalish pitched six innings, allowing one run and striking out three, in Huntley's 6-1 Fox Valley Conference crossover baseball win Saturday against Woodstock, keeping the Red Raiders (20-6-1 overall, 12-4 FVC Valley) at the top of the FVC Valley Division with three games to go.
Josh Smith pitched a complete game Friday, allowing one earned run and striking out four for Crystal Lake South, as the Gators beat Cary-Grove, 3-2, in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game at Cary.
Harvard’s Matt Piechocki threw a no-hitter, striking out nine, in an 11-0, six-inning Big Northern Conference East Division win against Marengo (8-13 overall, 4-9 BNC East) on Thursday.
WOODSTOCK – The offensive onslaught had been building all season for the Woodstock North softball team.
The Woodstock girls soccer team clinched the first Fox Valley Conference Fox Division title in school history in its 3-2 win in penalty kicks against Grayslake Central in Grayslake Tuesday night.
CRYSTAL LAKE – Whenever Sammy Hempen and some of her Prairie Ridge teammates feel a little off when hitting, they waste no time getting in extra swings during a game by using the cage next to their dugout.
Athlete of the Week
McHENRY – McHenry senior Rachel Ford isn’t a prototypical No. 9 hitter.
At West Chicago, Mason Martin was in control from the first pitch for Huntley. The senior pitcher threw a six-inning perfect game against Wheaton Academy, striking out seven in Huntley's 6-0 nonconference win Monday afternoon.
CRYSTAL LAKE – There are times when an injury changes an entire game. That happened during Monday's Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game between Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge when Gators pitcher Hailee Massie took a hard grounder off her left knee and left the game in the third inning.
McHenry (15-6) swept both games of a nonconference doubleheader against Wauconda on Saturday.
Sammy Hempen hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Prairie Ridge softball to an 8-7 win against Jacobs in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division play in Crystal Lake.