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Blazers blow past last year’s win total

AT softball looking for more after competitive start

Addison Trail left fielder Kelly Delawder makes a leaping catch at the fence during a game last month at Glenbard West.
Addison Trail left fielder Kelly Delawder makes a leaping catch at the fence during a game last month at Glenbard West.

ADDISON — After winning two games last year, Addison Trail softball is already well passed that, and they’re looking for more.

The Blazers sit at 5-6 after Monday’s 4-0 loss to Willowbrook, which was the West Suburban Gold opener for both teams. The district-rival Warriors have emerged as the favorite to win the Gold, but even playing tight with them showed how far the team has come in a year.

First-year coach Mark Olson has noticed the shift in both attitude and expectations within the team.

“I think the mentality has changed,” Olson said. “The girls have realized they are capable of more.”

After an 0-4 start, the Blazers won five of their next six games, scoring 52 runs over that stretch. Crystal Marinelli, Bri Murray, Alex DeSilvio and Kelly Delawder have been among AT’s standouts during the recent run.

That run also included some late-game dramatics. The Blazers have won two games on their final at-bat.

“We keep the fans excited,” Olson said. “Three of our five wins have been by one run.”

The most recent one-run win was a 9-8 win over Lakes on Saturday. Rachael Baumgartner was the winning pitcher and also had two hits and an RBI. Ari Renc added three hits.

In the second game of a tournament in Antioch was a 5-4 loss to Grant. Delawder had a triple and two RBIs and Murray had two hits.

After opening the Gold schedule, the Blazers are scheduled to see league-rivals Downers Grove South and Morton next. The Morton game has been rescheduled for Tuesday from its original date of this past Wednesday.

That means AT will be jumping into the deep end as far as the conferences goes. All three teams are quality opposition that expect to be in contention.

Regardless of what happens in those games, the Blazers have already improved their stature by far surpassing last season’s success.

“I’m just happy for the girls,” Olson said. “They’ve put the work in. There’s always room for improvement, but they deserve it.”

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