Downers North softball makes deepest playoff run since 1979

DOWNERS GROVE – There wasn't a dry eye among the players when Downers Grove North's softball season came to an end.

The 3-2 loss to Downers Grove South in the sectional championship game June 1 brought things to a sudden conclusion, but head coach Mark Magro reminded his Trojans there was a lot to like about the 2013 campaign.

"They're all crying and I said to them, 'I hope you're not crying because you lost. I hope you're crying because it's over,'" Magro said. "They did great. They battled hard and left it all on the field. What more could you ask?"

North finished the year 26-9, and won its fourth straight West Suburban Silver title rather comfortably – the Trojans finished 11-1 in the league while runners-up York and Glenbard West were 8-4. And a year after winning 30 games but failing to win a postseason title, the Trojans captured a regional title and enjoyed their deepest playoff advancement since 1979.

Saying goodbye to a handful of seniors, including major contributors Elaine Heflin (pitcher), Brittany Nagy (third base), Carolyn Nojiri (second base and leadoff hitter) and Maddie Wojciak (shortstop), will be tough. Yet North is slated to bring back a slew of other starters plus Dale Ryndak, the Purdue-bound pitcher and fielder who missed all but one game of the season with a knee injury.

"It was a great bunch of girls. They were a tight-knit group. I'm going to miss them," Magro said of the senior class. "We're going to be good again next year. We've got some talented freshmen and Dale's coming back. We lost Dale the first game of the year, we didn't have Hannah (Mrazek, catcher) for a while, and we kept battling (all season)."