Softball: Glenbard East falls at South Elgin

Glenbard East leftfielder Raya Schwebl can’t reach a sinking drive from South Elgin’s Madison Hunt in a softball game in South Elgin on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

SOUTH ELGIN – With two outs in the second inning and the bottom of the order coming up, it didn’t look like South Elgin would add to its one-run lead against Glenbard East.

But the Storm rallied for four two-out runs and cruised to an 8-0 Upstate Eight win in South Elgin.

Eighth-place hitter Adriana Jimenez started the rally by lining a single to left field. Brianna Wascher and Madison Hunt walked, and Mia Speidel cleared the bases with a double to right center. Anna Kiel singled in Speidel and suddenly the Storm led 5-0.

South Elgin (5-6, 2-0) added a run in the third and two more in the fifth.

Kiel, starting in the circle for the second day in a row, showed no signs of fatigue. She allowed just three hits while striking out 13.

After allowing a leadoff single to Lilly Carver in the fourth, Kiel proceeded to strike out the side. She struck out the side in the fifth and the leadoff hitter in the sixth as well, with only an error breaking the strikeout streak.

“I was just focusing on hitting my spots, not pitching for strikeouts,” Kiel said. “If they swing and miss, they swing and miss, but just hitting spots and it causes weak contact.”

“We’re gonna go as far as she can carry us,” said South Elgin coach Brad Reynard of Kiel. “She gets better as the game goes on. And when you’ve got a strikeout pitcher, you can’t teach that, right? You can get yourself out of jams and stuff like that.”

Kiel got plenty of help from the offense. Jimenez wound up 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Speidel, Jenna Sheehan, and Kiel had two hits apiece. Leadoff hitter Hunt reached base four times with a double and three walks.

The Storm could have had a few more hits but hit some rockets right at people.

“Poor Ava [McDaniel] had three line drives and three outs today,” Reynard said. “Softball’s a finicky sport, just like baseball.”

Sophia Opela had two of Glenbard East’s three hits but the Rams couldn’t get anything else going offensively. They never had two baserunners in an inning until the seventh when they got a hit batter and a walk with two outs, but Kiel got her 13th and final strikeout to end the game.