Softball: Lots of change at No. 1
By Randy Whalen For Sun-Times Media April 16, 2012 7:28PM
Sara Novak and her Minooka teammates occupy the top spot in the Herald-News Softball Top 10. | Paul James Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 18, 2012 9:48AM
The softball season isn’t quite at its midway point and already it’s been a wild ride.
No team has established itself as the top one in the Joliet area. In fact, Minooka moves into the top spot in the rankings this week, making the Indians the fifth different team to occupy No. 1 this season.
“There’s so much parity this year,” Plainfield Central coach Anne Campbell said. “It’s day to day. Anyone can beat anyone; it’s whoever is hitting that day.”
Campbell and the Wildcats found that out firsthand last week. After looking great in defeating Minooka 6-0, Central lost to Providence 5-2 and Plainfield East 6-5. That was East’s first-ever win over Central.
Last season, Minooka and Plainfield Central made the Southwest Prairie Conference a two-team race. Each team already has lost a league game this season as Plainfield South and Plainfield East have served notice it’s going to be a battle.
The SouthWest Suburban Blue figures to be wide open, too. Joliet West showed that with a huge 9-2 win over defending league champion Sandburg in its conference opener.
Sandburg travels to Lockport on Tuesday for a key meeting between the only two teams that have won the league title since its inception in 2006.
“The time that the kids have put in and the work has shown throughout the area,” Lockport coach Marissa Chovanec said. “There’s not a dominant pitcher, and one or two runs isn’t enough to win most games.”
No family match-up
Joliet Central stands at 10-6 this season. That’s already a big improvement over last year’s 3-26 mark.
Don’t expect Steelmen coach Erin Douglas to schedule a game against her dad, Joliet Catholic coach Dave Douglas, any time soon.
“No Joliet Catholic game this year,” she said. “Don’t you think my conference (SouthWest Suburban Blue) is hard enough?”
A Dyer homecoming
When Stagg played at Lockport on April 5, there was a familiar face in the Stagg dugout — Erin Dyer, an All-State catcher who helped Lockport to the 2004 Class AA state championship.
Dyer, who went on to have a stellar college career at Northwestern, is in her first season as Chargers assistant.
“I did a little coaching at Oak Prairie Junior High, but this is my first time coaching high school. It’s been fun to get the experience,” Dyer said. “It’s been phenomenal to work with (Stagg) coach (Missy) Mason and (assistant) coach (Sarah) Bryers. I’ve learned a lot from them.”
Over the summer Dyer will move to Wisconsin and will be getting married next year.