GENEVA – The first three batters the St. Charles North softball team sent to the plate Friday afternoon all scored, and that would be all the offense the North Stars needed in a 5-1 victory against Upstate Eight Conference River Division rival Geneva.
North junior pitcher Sabrina Rabin led off the game with a double to left-center field and scored on Kaitlyn Waslawski’s single up the middle. Mickey Goetz followed with a two-run homer to center.
“I just wanted to hit the ball, basically,” Goetz said. “I’ve been grounding out a lot; I’m too early. But I just waited on it and it happened – what I wanted to happen.”
Waslawski drove in another run in the second with a sacrifice fly to put the North Stars (17-4, 13-2 UEC River) up, 4-0.
The Vikings (9-14, 5-10) got one run back in the third on Kirsten Searcy’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder to third with the bases loaded and one out, but Rabin got out of the jam without further damage. She also pitched around Amanda Ebert’s triple leading off the fifth.
“The leadoff triple still standing there at the end of the inning hurts,” Geneva coach Greg Dierks lamented. “A couple of times we were right in the meat of our batting order, too, when we had our chances. We gave ourselves definitely an opportunity to creep even closer in the game. We just didn’t get that hit we needed.”
Rabin (14-2) allowed only three hits in going the distance. She walked three and struck out five.
Emily Plocinski (2-5) pitched the first two innings for Geneva and took the loss. Haley Orwig threw three scoreless innings of relief and Natalie Erbe pitched the final two innings, allowing one run.
“I thought our defense was solid today and I thought the pitchers all threw well,” Dierks said. “Really, after the first three batters of the game, I thought they settled in and just did a great job. So it’s encouraging that if we throw well and play defense, we can keep a team like that in check.”
Geneva pitchers allowed 10 hits – four of them to surging sophomore Abby Howlett.
“Abby’s just been on an incredible tear,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “She came in batting .547 before today. I think the last four games, she’s like 18-for-21 or something like that.”
It was the 10th straight victory for the North Stars. That streak will be put to the test today when North hosts unbeaten Naperville Central.
“I think we’re playing really well as of late,” Goetz said. “Our confidence is up. We’ve been really meshing as a team.”