MAPLE PARK – Kaneland pitcher Ellissa Eckert dominated the DeKalb softball team Thursday, lifting the Knights to a Northern Illinois Big 12 East title-clinching, 4-0 win.
The senior didn’t allow a base runner until the fourth inning, when DeKalb’s Sabrina Killeen finally broke through with a single. By the time DeKalb reached base, the Knights (21-3, 9-1 NI Big 12 East), who won their second straight conference title outright with the win, were already ahead, 3-0.
Lexi Roach singled and scored on an error in the first inning to open the scoring for the Knights. The junior reached base on a bunt in the third inning and scored on a wild pitch before Paige Kuefler drove in Allyson O’Herron with a double.
Lanie Callaghan homered in the sixth inning, and Eckert’s performance along with a great defensive showing gave the Knights a shutout.
“I thought she pitched the ball phenomenal, best game she’s ever pitched for us today,” Kaneland coach Brian Willis said. “She’s not going to blow people away, we know that, she’s not going to get 100 strikeouts a game, but she’s going to throw strikes, and you can see how good our defense is. When [teams] put the ball in play, our defense has been outstanding.”
Eckert replaced Delani Vest, who now plays for Northern Illinois, in the circle this season. Even though she had quite an act to follow, Eckert has made a name for herself.
“It’s hard coming back after [Vest], but it’s nice to know that I just helped keep the team going,” said Eckert, who only allowed five hits. “I felt awesome today.”
St. Charles North 14, Streamwood 1 (5 inn.): At Streamwood, Erin Nemetz (four RBIs) and Kaitlyn Waslawski (three RBIs) drove in half of the runs for North (21-5, 16-2 Upstate Eight Conference River), while Mickey Goetz and Emily Brodner added home runs for the North Stars.
Geneva 9, Yorkville 7: At Yorkville, Geneva (14-15) rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Yorkville. The Vikings’ Madison Keith homered while Amanda Ebert notched three hits and two RBIs.
Batavia 4, Streamwood 3 (9 inn.): At Streamwood, Batavia clinched at least a share of the UEC River title with an extra inning win. Micah Coffey’s sacrifice fly to the warning track scored Laren Eustace in the top of the ninth, and Austin Van Kempen retired the Sabres on three pitches in the bottom of the ninth.
Van Kempen pitched the eighth and ninth innings to get the win in relief of starter Austin Shanahan. Batavia (25-6, 19-6 UEC River) swept the three-game series after scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to send the game into extra innings.
St. Charles East 12, Larkin 4: At St. Charles, Anthony Sciarrino and Ben Smith each had three hits and Sean Dunne and Joe Hoscheit hit two-run doubles as East (21-10, 18-6 UEC River) stayed alive in the conference race by sweeping Streamwood.
The Saints need to beat host St. Charles North in a resumed game today to tie Batavia. The East-North game was stopped in a scoreless tie with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The game will be resumed at 4:30 p.m. today.
IHSA Class 2A Westminster Christian Regional: Aurora Christian was eliminated in the regional semifinal by St. Edward, 3-2. JT Baksha took the loss for the Eagles. St. Ed advances to face Aurora Central Catholic in Saturday’s regional final.
Burlington Central 4, Prairie Ridge 2: At Burlington, Danny Gerke threw a complete game, shutout while Mike Lee, Josh Lung and Drew Wiss each had two hits for Central (14-9).
Aurora Christian strong in state prelims: At Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Aurora Christian registered the top preliminary marks in the 100-meter hurdles (Peyton Wade, 15.12) and 4x200 relay (1:43.57) to highlight the Eagles’ haul of seven entries to qualify for Saturday’s Class 1A state finals.
Wade also advanced in the high jump. Other ACS finalists included pole vaulter Taylor Knauf and the 4x100 relay.
Prelims for Class 2A and 3A are set for today.
Glenbard West 2, St. Charles North 0 (25-15, 25-18): At Glen Ellyn, North closed the regular season with a nonconference loss despite Pat Misiewicz notching 15 assists and Ryan Dal Degan’s 10 digs.
• Anthony Zilis contributed to this report.