ELMHURST – The future is arriving early for York’s softball team.
With no seniors on the roster, the Lady Dukes are playing like old pros. A 6-4 win over Riverside Brookfield in Game 2 of a doubleheader April 15 gave them a strong 7-3 record heading into West Suburban Silver conference play.
“We have a lot of young talent on the team,” said York junior Kyra Kroll, whose two-run home run highlighted a decisive four-run first inning against RB.
“Izzy Smith’s hitting has been absolutely phenomenal, Lauren Wojick [5-2 record] is doing great pitching, and we have a lot of energy. We’re able to pull through and pick each other up. That’s what’s been getting us through a lot of these games.”
Smith (2-for-4) and Kroll (2-for-3) each scored two runs in the win against RB. Mia Tran also was 2-for-3, and Madison Collins belted a two-run home run to put York up 6-2 in the third inning.
Add in sophomores such as No. 2 pitcher Julia Derkowski (nine strikeouts in the win vs. RB) and shortstop/leadoff hitter Katherine Karnatz, and York has a deep arsenal of star underclassmen.
“There’s a number of girls playing really well, and they’re coming together as a team,” York first-year coach Elizabeth Munn said. “We had six returners and six new players, so some adjustments playing different positions. But they’re doing a great job. They’ve had some good wins that are giving them confidence.”
York also is showing big-time fight. Down 4-1 to RB in Game 1, the Dukes used two walks, a hit batter and hits by Andrea Meager and Wojick to draw to within 4-3 and load the bases in the bottom of the seventh before coming up just short. Karnatz also doubled and scored in the game.
“We always have high hopes and we never give up,” said Kroll, a third-year varsity standout. “We always push through, and we never stop playing our hardest. It says a lot about us.”
“Kyra’s been pretty consistent, a big hitter in the four spot for us,” Munn said. “Izzy is strong, too [hitting third].
“I’ve been around the last couple of years [as an assistant] so I know a lot of the girls. We’re just building on what we’ve been working on before – adjusting as hitters to the riseballs and change-ups, and then improving defensively.”
Kroll also credits offseason work for York’s success so far this season.
“We worked out a lot in the weight room in the mornings,” she said. “It’s tough to get up early, but it’s starting to pay off. The team’s doing very well.”
IC Catholic softball
The Knights broke out the bats for back-to-back big wins against Riverside Brookfield (12-2 April 18) and Ridgewood (11-7 April 17).
Against RB, Josie Lytton was 4 for 4 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored. Kaitlyn Falduto drove in two runs and scored once, and Natalie Murillo and Daniela Murillo each scored twice and dove in one run to make a winner of Kayla Faber-Cournane in the pitching circle.
Lytton hit two home runs and drove in six to lead the way against Ridgewood.