WESTERN SPRINGS – The college recruiting process is a fickle thing and sometimes all it takes is a random coincidence to work out to give a player a break.
York’s Brooke Bandy got spotted by her future college team, DePauw, when she was pitching against Oak Park-River Forest last year. Then-OPRF senior Emma Baldwin was set to join the Tigers the following spring and is now the team’s top pitcher as a freshman.
Bandy impressed the DePauw coaches in attendance that day enough to draw some interest, later went to a camp at the Greencastle, Ind., school and liked it enough to pull the trigger on making it her future school.
“It’s always something I wanted to do, but I definitely wanted to find the right fit because academics are important to me so I’m glad I found that school,” Bandy said of playing in college. “It’s great softball, great academics.”
Bandy is hoping to go from one strong team to another. Bandy’s dominant performance against Lyons Township in a 7-1 win Wednesday, which featured home runs by Sarah Maciejewski and Gabby Magnifico, moved York’s record to 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the West Suburban Silver. Meanwhile, the Tigers are currently 33-13 and just won an NCAA Regional in the Division III tournament.
York’s senior lefty said she has been pitching since third grade and taking lessons since fifth or sixth grade. All those years of pitching have paid off. Bandy is in her third season on varsity and helped pitch the Dukes to state in 2013. This season she sports a 13-0 record and a 2.17 ERA.
“She’s executing and she’s working really well with [catcher] Sarah [Milkowski],” York coach Jenna Bode said. “They’re talking in between innings, trying to figure out what they want to do.
“She’s a smart pitcher. I think she studies her batter. She knows who’s coming up to bat and what they can do. And she knows what she wants to do with the ball.”
York leads the Silver with three games left. The Dukes still play Proviso West, Hinsdale Central and OPRF to close conference play. OPRF trails the Dukes by one game in the conference standings so that May 20 meeting could decide the league title.
After that, York will head into the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Niles West sectional.
“We’ve just been playing as a team and obviously they’re hitting a lot, so that’s nice,” Bandy said. “We’ve worked hard this season and it’s nice to be rewarded with a No. 1 seed. Hopefully it just means we can do well.”