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East softball aims at supersectional title

St. Charles East (31-5) takes on Downers Grove South (22-10) in a Rosemont Supersectional at 4:30 p.m. today. Here are some notes to get you ready:

Looking South: East has not faced DG South this season, but coach Kelly Horan and players are confident in the feedback they've received from Saints assistants.

Then again, inside info during this time of year only goes so far in Horan's mind.

"At the end of the day, when you come into the postseason, when you're in the top eight teams in the state, it's really who comes to play," she said. "Scouting reports are thrown out the window. Thrown out the window 110 percent. It is who comes to play on a given day, and I'll take my 13 kids anywhere."

The Mustangs, who start three freshmen, started 4-5 before finding their groove. That run included an upset of Naperville North, the top seed in the Neuqua Valley Sectional, in the regional final.

Holtz's confidence catches on: Horan has lauded the contributions of senior Shelby Holtz, the team's catcher and No. 9 hitter, throughout the season. Holtz certainly kept up appearances Saturday, as her opposite field single to right started an eventual five-run rally in the fifth.

The Saints entered the inning trailing, 5-2, and left it leading, 7-5, before holding on for a 7-6 win against Glenbard North.

"I can count on Shelby having a quality at-bat every time," Horan said. "She'll take the ball, and she's going to give the best swing at the strikes. What a fire-starter that is. … Man, I love everybody in my lineup, but if our No. 9 gets on and then we have the top of our lineup going in, wow, that really sets up some nice things for us."

For Holtz, it's a matter of approach.

"Me personally, I just have a lot of confidence," she said. "If I've got two strikes on me and no balls and everything, I just have the mentality that I'm going to get a hit. I'm going to get on no matter what it takes or how I do it."

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