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Hilltoppers seek consistency ahead of league opener

GLEN ELLYN — After watching an inconsistent start to the 2013 campaign, Mary McGrane hopes her Glenbard West softball team has things figured out by the time the Hilltoppers open conference play on Monday.

“We have this week to figure it out,” McGrane said. “It’s about getting the kids to start playing the game like I know they can before we start conference.”

Competing at the Providence Catholic Tournament over the weekend, Glenbard West finished with a 1-2 mark. The Hilltoppers lost 10-0 to Lockport on Friday then beat Wheaton North 9-3 Saturday. Caity Schoenfeld tossed a complete game to record the win against the Falcons while Stacy Borneman and Julia Waggoner had three hits apiece.

The squad ended the event with a 4-2 loss to Neuqua Valley and then dropped a 7-0 decision to Lake Park Monday.

“Our pitchers have been great,” the coach said. “They are throwing strikes, mixing up speeds. If anything, they are making hitters put the ball in play. Defensively, we are struggling right now. Some of our players are thinking too much out there.

“Offensively, we are up and down. Sometimes we are aggressive and sometimes we are not.”

Last Thursday, Glenbard West defeated West Chicago 3-1 as Natalie Noland, Rachel Terwilliger and Shelley Warmolts each had multiple hits. Schoenfeld was the winning pitcher, yielding just four hits in five-1/3 innings. Taylor Langtry notched the save, striking out three.

Two days earlier, the Hilltoppers dropped a 9-0 decision to Naperville North.

Glenbard West will be busy the rest of the week with matchups against Hinsdale South (Wednesday), Wheaton North (Friday) and Wheaton Warrenville South (Saturday). League play begins Monday with a game against Downers Grove North, whom the Hilltoppers shared the West Suburban Silver title with last season.

“They are very good,” McGrane said. “They have a tough pitcher (Elaine Heflin) and they swing the bat hard. They have the attitude that they believe they will win every time they step on the field. We have to come out with that same attitude.”

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