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Bats falter for Hornets in league loss to Mustangs

The growing pains continue for Hinsdale South’s softball team.

DARIEN — The growing pains continue for Hinsdale South’s softball team.

Playing just their second game in nine days since an April 6 doubleheader split with Lemont, the Hornets fell to Downers Grove South 11-1 in a West Suburban Gold conference game Tuesday.

The four seniors in Tuesday’s starting lineup — Brittany Basek, Jessica Buckridge, Lauren Cairo and Emily Mihalkanin — were offset by starting freshmen Sarah Hanson, Holli Jones and Sydney Kopp.

“We’ve had one practice on our field, so the weather hasn’t allowed us to really get everyone on the same page,” coach Kelly Van Hout said. “Eventually things will turn around. We just have to keep at it and keep working.”

The Hornets (3-8 overall, 1-1 WSG) found themselves in a 7-0 hole Tuesday before they pushed a run across in the bottom of the fourth inning. They mustered just three hits, which was in contrast to their performances so far this season.

“We’ve been doing pretty decent hitting this season. I don’t know what happened today,” Cairo said. “We have a mix of young and old on our team and we’re just trying to find the right combination.”

The stop-and-go nature of the season has made it harder to get into a rhythm at the plate. The four errors committed Tuesday didn’t show it, but the defensive chemistry has continued to develop throughout the season.

“We definitely have a chemistry out on the field and we’re feeling good,” Cairo said. “We’re gaining more confidence.”

The Hornets have a weekend away from competition with prom happening Saturday, but they are scheduled to play four games in five days next week, including WSG conference games against Leyden (4:30 p.m. Monday in Darien) and Morton (4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Cicero) sandwiched around Tuesday’s home game against Hinsdale Central. Right now, the more games South can play, the better.

“We’ve all kind of had cabin fever,” Cairo said. “We want to see as many games as possible. The more games we play during the week, the better we’re going to feel when we go out there.”

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