ROSEMONT – The qualities that make the St. Charles North softball team’s offense so dangerous were all on display Friday afternoon as the North Stars pummeled Montini, 13-4.
North (3-0) sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning at the Dome at Rosemont, scoring nine runs on nine hits to chase Montini (1-2) starter Lauren Trojnar.
North’s lineup has blazing speed at the top, highlighted by leadoff hitter and Northwestern recruit Sabrina Rabin.
The senior had a pair of slap base-hits and a stolen base in the first inning while scoring two runs.
The North Stars also feature a formidable middle of the order with immense power anchored by Mickey Goetz, Abby Howlett and Emily Brodner, who each collected an extra-base hit and RBI during the first inning explosion.
“We expect to be successful because we hit the ball hard,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “We can hit it to the gaps and hit it over the fence, but we also have the most team speed we’ve ever had. We think we should be very successful every day because of the offense that we have.”
The offensive outburst was more than enough for starting pitcher Allison Hausl, who threw for the first time to twin sister and catcher Samantha at the varsity level.
Allison Hausl, who made a few spot starts as a freshman a year ago, figures to play more prominently into North’s pitching plans this year.
Poulin sees a noticeable difference in the sophomore’s velocity and attributes it to the hard work put in for her travel team, the Wasco Diamonds.
“She got out of some jams. I thought she was around the plate and changed speeds well,” Poulin said. “She started a couple of games last year as a freshman. She has improved so much – she was good last year – but she has improved because of the travel season. It’s a good feeling to know you have her behind Sabrina.”
Even if North has a tough day in the circle, it’s probable its loaded lineup will help the team keep up with opponents offensively.
Brodner, an Illinois recruit, went 3 for 3 on the afternoon with a double and an RBI to help pace North’s 18-hit attack. Brodner, who slid into the designated player spot in the lineup to makeroom for Samantha Hausl, thinks North will be “pretty good” offensively.
“We’ve had a really good season so far; we’ve won all three games and we’ve been really powerful with our hitting,” Brodner said. “Our defense has done really well, too, but we’ve been coming out with the bats, too.”
Save for a late Montini rally, North nearly wrapped up the game with the first-inning outburst. After singling to lead off the inning, Rabin stole both second and third before scoring – along with Mickey Goetz – on Howlett’s opposite-field triple.
Brodner, Erin Nemetz, Samantha Hausl, Allison Hausl, Andrea Beal and Kaitlyn Waslawski followed with RBI hits to chase Trojner after just two-thirds of an inning.
Allison Hausl took care of the rest, earning the win with a complete-game effort, allowing just one earned run while striking out five.
North will be busy next week with six games in eight days, including the beginning of Upstate Eight Conference play that features crossover contests against Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley.