ST. CHARLES – Paced by Sabrina Rabin’s season-high 12 strikeouts, the St. Charles North softball team blanked West Chicago, 9-0, in an IHSA 4A St. Charles North Regional semifinal on Tuesday.
The North Stars, seeded third in the St. Charles East Sectional, will face the winner of today’s semifinal between Elgin and South Elgin for the regional crown Saturday.
“Sabrina was dominant,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “Plus we got production from top to bottom of the order and we were rock solid defensively.”
Rabin, a junior, allowed two hits, gave up one walk and improved her record to 18-3. Eight of the first 10 Wildcat batters went down on strikes.
“I just kept mixing it up, trying to keep the hitters off balance and knowing that I had a team behind me just in case,” Rabin said.
“Definitely her fastball was working and her curve was really nice,” said her batterymate, catcher Emily Brodner.
Tatiana Rich coaxed the only walk out of Rabin to start the fourth inning for the Wildcats (8-19). She was forced out when teammate Ariello McComb grounded to North Stars third baseman Erin Nemitz, and the sophomore opted to throw to second base.
Morgan Dastych collected both of West Chicago’s hits, which came on singles – one in the second and the other in the seventh – as Rabin had control throughout.
“She kept the ball down and away and we couldn’t get to it enough,” West Chicago coach Kim Wallner said. “When we did hit the ball, they make the plays.”
North (24-5) wasted no time in taking the lead, scoring a run in the first inning.
Rabin opened the game with a bunt single, advanced to second on Kaitlyn Waslawski’s groundout and scored on Mickey Goetz’s single. Goetz finished 3 for 3 with two doubles.
After failing to take advantage of a scoring opportunity in the second inning, the North Stars broke the game open in the third when they reached West Chicago starter Jenna Foreman (1-2) for three runs.
“We were a little irritated early on leaving a runner on second and we didn’t get that clutch two-out RBI,” Poulin said. “But then it came later in the game.”
Goetz opened the frame with a double to right field. She scored two batters later on an Abby Howlett single. Howlett and Alexandra Millett scored on Nemitz’s double, part of her 2-for-2, two-RBI day.
North added three runs in the fifth and two in the seventh.