LOMBARD – Even after an eight-run first inning spotted her team a nice early lead, Amanda Frieden didn’t feel all that great after host Glenbard East closed to within 8-5 after two innings, so Frieden and her Bartlett softball teammates just kept on hitting.
The Hawks snapped the Rams’ 3-game winning streak by hitting throughout the order on their way to a 16-5, five-inning Upstate Eight Conference win in Lombard. Frieden led off the game with a double, then added another doubled as Bartlett batted around in an eight-run first inning.
“It was a good first inning and good to start with that lead, but once they came back it got nervous,” said Frieden, who went 3-for-4 and scored three times. “This may have been our best offensive day ever.”
The Hawks, who improved to 4-5 on the spring and 3-2 in conference, belted out 19 hits in just five innings, with right fielder Julia Wilkens going 4-for-4 with three RBIs from the No. 8 spot in the order.
“Our approach at the plate, especially in the first inning, was really good today,” Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. “This (Glenbard East) team shut out Fenton, but we got hit, after hit, after another hit.”
To the Rams’ credit, the home team scored once in the first and four more times in the second to close to within 8-5. Ella Brooks and Raya Schwebl each walked with the bases loaded in the second before Hawks’ freshman Grace Wilkens came on in relief. The reliever closed out the second and then blanked the Rams the rest of the way.
“I felt consistent out there,” said Wilkens, who has fit in nicely as a newcomer on varsity. “I pitch to strikes and it’s nice to have that defense behind me. It’s also great to have the hitting adding on all those runs.”
Glenbard East was missing four-year varsity catcher Katie Mulatz, who was on a college visit, and lost shortstop Giana Raitano when she was injured running the bases in the second inning. Freshman Ally Block, who hit a pair of grand slams earlier this week, took over behind the plate on Thursday.
“We battled back and tried to make it a game, but when we lost our shortstop that took the wind out of our sails,” Glenbard East coach Victor Swanson said. “We had a good week with wins over East Aurora, Fenton and Streamwood, but Bartlett hit the ball pretty well today.”
Alexa Burzawa and Annette Mazzei each went 3-for-4 for Bartlett, which tacked on four runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to win the contest in five innings. Glenbard East (3-7, 3-3) leadoff hitter Anna Cameron reached safely three times with two walks and a double.