Softball notes: St. Charles East, Aurora Central Catholic having early success

Grace Hautzinger, potent offense leading Saints

St. Charles East's Grace Hautzinger (8) delivers a pitch against Oswego East during a March softball game at Oswego East High School.

The 2024 softball season has been underway for a few weeks, with a couple of teams showing great potential early on. Here’s a look at some of the top teams in Kane County so far:

St. Charles East’s Grace Hautzinger stays hot

The Saints are off to a solid start thanks to a combination of a high-flying offense and solid pitching, most notably from reigning DuKane Conference Pitcher of the Year Grace Hautzinger.

In three starts, the senior has a 3-0 record, 0.82 ERA, 26 strikeouts and only two walks in 17 innings. While she hasn’t been entirely lights out – hitters have a .265 batting average against her – Hautzinger has allowed only four runners to cross home plate.

The offense also has been a big help to Hautzinger. The Saints have outscored opponents 25-9 in games she has started.

On offense, three infielders have led the charge for the Saints. Third baseman Katie Morgan has been the main catalyst. The senior is batting .571 with a home run, four doubles and seven RBIs in the first four games. Batting right behind her is Alyse Price, who’s done just as well. The second baseman boasts a .467 batting average and a team-high two home runs. At the top of the lineup, shortstop Abby Wolf has provided some fire power with a .429 batting average, three extra-base hits and a team-leading six runs.

The only sore spot early in the season has come in the field. The Saints have committed 10 errors that have led to 10 unearned runs.

Aurora Central Catholic junior Kate Gambro

Aurora Central Catholic off to fast start

Camaraderie has led to good early season results for the Chargers, who had no seniors on the team last season. Aurora Central Catholic is ranked 18th among Class 3A teams, according to MaxPreps.

Offense has been no problem for the Chargers. The team has a .431 batting average and reached double-digit scoring in five of its seven games, including a 21-1 win to open the season against Plano.

Leading the Chargers is Kate Gambro, who’s been a problem for opposing teams in the batter’s box. Gambro has a .565 batting average, leads the team with 13 hits, nine of which have gone for extra bases, and has three home runs to go with 10 RBIs.

Another standout player on offense is junior Ashley Moore, who is batting .545 and leads the team with 13 RBIs to go with two home runs and three doubles.

Grace Grunloh (.636 batting average, home run, six RBIs), Sophia Delgado (.429 batting average, eight RBIs) and Amelia Lohrey (.316 batting average, four extra-base hits, seven RBIs) also have played big roles in the Chargers’ offense.

In the circle, Aurora Central Catholic has gotten a lot of success from pitchers Gambro, Corina Miller and Charlotte Brummel.

Brummel has led the way with a 2-0 record and 0.58 ERA in three appearances. She leads the team with 24 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Miller has a 2-1 record and 2.88 ERA and has 20 strikeouts under her belt.

Gambro has recorded a win in both of her appearances and has a 2.33 ERA.

St. Charles North’s Ginger Ritter makes contact during a Class 4A St. Charles North Sectional final against Lake Park on Friday, June 2, 2023.

Spring weather limits teams around Kane County

Spring conditions in the early weeks of the season have not been nice to area softball teams.

The weather at times has been below freezing, pouring rain and even snow.

Many area teams had played only three games, including Kaneland (2-1) and Burlington Central (1-2).

In an extreme case, St. Charles North had yet to take the field with its first three games postponed.