ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles North softball team handed previously unbeaten Naperville Central its first loss of the season Saturday, rallying for a 5-4 victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader after losing the opener, 10-4.
North trailed, 4-3, with two outs and the bases empty when it struck in the seventh inning of Game 2. Amanda James' bloop single to right field started the charge before Sabrina Rabin walked and a Kaitlyn Waslawski hit produced an obstruction call against the Redhawks (27-1) that led to the game-tying run. Rabin scored the winning run on a passed ball with Abby Howlett at bat.
"Our kids really believe now that until that 21st out is in the books that they have the chance to win," North Stars coach Tom Poulin said. "They showed a lot of character and a lot of heart. This was big."
The North Stars (18-5) were playing without regular cleanup hitter Emily Brodner, who was out of town on a family obligation. North trailed the first game, 5-3, after five innings before Naperville Central pulled away.
"I think we can draw so much confidence from this," Poulin said. "We haven't seen anybody on the level of Naperville Central yet this season, so it was good to compete against somebody like that before the [state] tournament."
Geneva 8-17, Rosary 0-3: At Aurora, Emily Plocinski pitched a two-hitter for Geneva (11-14) in the opener before the Vikings struck for 19 hits to win the nightcap in five innings.
The Vikings' Anna Geary finished the day 8 for 10. Rosary fell to 9-14.
Kaneland 5, Sterling 4: At Sterling, Kaneland pitcher Ellissa Eckert threw home to catcher Paige Kuefler to start a game-ending, 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded to seal the Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover.
"We were pretty much in control," Knights coach Brian Willis said. "They were trying to rally in the bottom of the seventh after we made it interesting, but we ended it in nice fashion."
Lanie Callaghan doubled twice for 19-3 Kaneland.
Wheaton Academy 14, Aurora Central Catholic 10: At Aurora, left fielder Bridget Koehler's diving catch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh helped Wheaton Academy (6-9, 6-6 Suburban Christian Conference Gold) hold on to win. Jess Bosse was 3 for 4 with four RBIs to pace the Warriors. Paige Miller and Andrea Bieritz doubled for ACC.
St. Francis 13, Aurora Central Catholic 1: At Aurora, St. Francis romped in the SCC crossover to improve to 20-3. ACC (7-14) hosted the Spartans after the Wheaton Academy game.
Geneva 6-12, Elgin 3-1: At Geneva, Geneva scored a conference sweep behind a pair of complete games. Jordan Touro scattered two hits and five walks in seven innings in the opener, while Tony Landi pitched five innings of three-hit, one walk-ball in Game 2, which ended via the run rule.
Dan Berendt and Bobby Hess homered in both games for the Vikings (16-13, 13-11 Upstate Eight Conference River Division).
Kaneland 2, Streator 1: At Streator, John Hopkins spaced one run, five hits and eight strikeouts in a complete-game victory for Kaneland in the NI Big 12 crossover. Hopkins also doubled and drove in a run for the Knights (11-14), who also got a double from Josh Cohrs.
Marmion takes SCC title: At Wheaton, Marmion boasted four of five champions – including Ricky Angsten and Kevin Hoss at No. 2 doubles – to win the Suburban Christian Conference title for the fifth straight season.
The Cadets totaled 17 team points to top co- runners-up St. Francis and Wheaton Academy, who both had 12 points. Aurora Central Catholic took sixth in the eight-team event with two points.
Chris Chacko placed second at No. 1 singles for host St. Francis. Wheaton Academy had a pair of second-place doubles teams, including the No. 1 tandem of Reid Bertsche and Jack Bell.