Softball: Dwight has designs on more good things
By Randy Whalen For Sun-Times Media May 7, 2012 6:50PM
Seneca's Nicole Pihl. | File photo
Updated: June 9, 2012 8:08AM
The only Joliet-area softball team to win a sectional in 2011 was ... ?
The answer: Dwight. The Class 1A power is looking for good things again. The Trojans stood at 21-7 entering the week.
“I think that the season has gone pretty well,” Dwight coach Erik Black said. “We have played a very tough schedule, with six of our seven losses against teams that, at the time we played them, were ranked in the 2A state rankings. We have beaten four 3A schools and have not lost to a 1A school this season.”
This is Black’s first year as head coach. He was an assistant at Farmington in 2001 and ’02.
The leaders for the Trojans include Sarah Butterfield, who had a .520 batting average, 11 doubles, eight triples, 34 runs and 20 stolen bases through Wednesday. Kate Pfeifer was hitting .500 with 14 extra-base hits, Tori Grzincic was at .475 with 18 extra-base hits, including 10 doubles and four home runs, Claire Elsey was at .397 with 10 extra-base hits and Jamie Stanton was at .391 with 11 extra-base hits, including a homer.
On the mound, Erin Gaston was at 17-6 record, 213 strikeouts and a 1.56 ERA through May 2.
The Trojans have a 6-6 record in the Interstate Eight, all the losses to Class 2A teams. They’ll host their own regional and, if they win, would play in the LeRoy Sectional.
“We are looking forward to the postseason,” Black said. “I think that we could do very well if we play up to our capabilities. Our regular-season schedule has really benefited us in that I feel that we have competed against some really good pitchers with some good success.”
Still getting her fill
In 2011, Seneca’s Nicole Pihl set a state record with 19 homers in a season. The junior pitcher may break her own mark this season. In an 11-4 victory Saturday over Somonauk, she belted her 15th home run and added five RBI as Seneca improved to 22-9.
Big wins for Plainfield Central
After losing twice in the first round of Southwest Prairie play, Plainfield Central had a pair of huge wins last week. The Wildcats dispatched Plainfield South 8-2 on Wednesday, then a day later rallied to defeat Minooka 10-7.
The Minooka game featured five ties and five lead changes, and both teams committed five errors.
Central scored four runs in the top of the seventh, and the Indians, who had taken a 7-6 lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, were held scoreless in their last at-bat.
“It was a game neither team wanted to lose,” Central coach Anne Campbell said. “They scored the go-ahead run on an error, but we got five hits in the seventh, including big RBI hits from Kaleigh Nagle and Dominique Roa.”
Both Central and Minooka are 8-2 in the SPC, while Plainfield East and Plainfield South are 7-3. If East knocks off Central, and South beats Minooka on Tuesday, there would be a four-way tie for first.
“There is certainly parity with the top four teams in the conference,” Campbell said. “Anyone can beat anyone, it’s just who’s hitting that day.
“But that’s what makes it more fun and exciting. We all have to come out and compete every day and that will all make all of us better teams in the postseason.”