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Downers Grove North softball 'pleased' despite rare early losses

Downers Grove North's softball team isn't used to suffering its third loss so early in the season.

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 2:26 p.m. CDT
(Mark Busch)
Mark Busch — mbusch@shawmedia.com Downers Grove North's Elaine Heflin delivers a pitch against Wheaton Warrenville South April 1 at home.

DOWNERS GROVE — Downers Grove North's softball team isn't used to suffering its third loss so early in the season.

The Trojans topped Manteno but fell to Andrew and Lockport at the Providence tournament over the weekend. But considering the circumstances, the Trojans will take it.

"All in all, I think we're trying to find our positions," head coach Mark Magro said. "I was pleased with the way we played. I wasn't disappointed with the way we played. We haven't lost three games this early for a long time, but with Dale (Ryndak) being hurt we're finding our way."

Elaine Heflin struck out 12 and had nine put-outs in pitching a perfect game in the Trojans' 3-0 win over Manteno Friday. She suffered the loss as North (5-3) fell to Andrew 2-1 Saturday morning. If not for Ryndak's season-ending knee injury, she and Heflin would be splitting pitching duties. Instead, junior Anne Lusher has moved into the Trojans' No. 2 pitching role. She was in the circle for North's 11-8 loss to Lockport in the tourney finale, but she was the victim of six unearned runs in the first inning.

"She's been put in a tough spot but she's doing well," Magro said of Lusher. "She's usually an outfielder, but now as a pitcher she's gaining confidence and keeping us in games."

Offensively, leadoff hitter Carolyn Nojiri is batting at a .720 clip so far this season, while Kelsey Gockman, Brittany Nagy, Madeline Wojciak and Hannah Mrazek are providing some pop further down the lineup.

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