DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove South’s softball team didn’t necessarily play its best Saturday, which makes the Mustangs’ doubleheader sweep against a very good DeKalb team all the more impressive.
They won 6-4 in the first game and took the nightcap 4-0.
“They’re good. They’re very good,” South head coach Ron Havelka said. “They made it to a sectional final last year, and they have two good pitchers. We’re happy to get out of there with a couple of wins.”
After grabbing a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1, the Mustangs (4-0) were staring up at a 4-3 deficit in the middle of the fifth inning. Kaley Smith’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth plated Caitlyn Daly with the tying run.
Kristin Lea doubled leading off the bottom of the sixth, and Kristen Bialek reached first on a bunt single. Melissa Orton then laced a double as Lea and Bialek scored to give South the lead for good.
The Barbs put two runners on in the seventh, but pitcher Payton Buresch, who spelled starter Caroline Hedgcock, got out of the jam to earn the win.
“She came on in the fifth inning with nobody out and gave up only one hit, no runs and she struck out five,” Havelka said.
Buresch also had a big impact on the second game. She got the start in the pitcher’s circle and yielded just three hits while striking out seven.
“She was tough for us,” Havelka said.
The second game of the day was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when Dana Kremer reached on an error and Bialek’s double plated courtesy runner Megan LoBianco.
The Mustangs added insurance runs in the sixth on Nicole Bowman’s two-run homer followed by Rebekah Ondracek’s solo shot. In both games, nearly every player on the team had a hand in the wins.
“We have a good bench this year. It’s pretty strong,” Havelka said. “It’s nice to know we have girls who can fill in if we need them. We’ve got depth.”
South was scheduled to play five games this week. After Monday’s clash with South Elgin, the Mustangs were set to host Bolingbrook (Wednesday) and Sterling (Saturday doubleheader) while hitting the road Friday to take on Plainfield North.
“Hopefully the kids can keep this going,” Havelka said. “We’ve been facing some good pitching. Early in the year, we try to set the schedule so we’re playing good teams to get us ready for conference, and we like to play good teams at the end of the year to get us ready for the state tournament.”
Downers Grove South 6, DeKalb 4
• Kristen Bialek: 2-for-4, two runs
• Melissa Orton: 1-for-4, two RBIs
• Zahrya McFarland: 2-for-3, two RBIs
• Caitlyn Daly: 2-for-3, two runs
Downers Grove South 4, DeKalb 0
• Nicole Bowman: 1-for-3, run, two RBIs
• Jess Andree: 2-for-3, run
• Rebekah Ondracek: 1-for-3, run, RBI