Huntley’s Jori Heard fired 17 strikeouts in seven innings, walked no one and completed her fourth perfect game of the season in a Fox Valley Conference win against Jacobs on May 14, going 4-0 during the week and throwing 24 scoreless innings with 54 strikeouts.
Heard ended a fantastic regular season last week with a five-inning no-hitter – her seventh no-no of the spring – in a 14-0 win over South Elgin.
Entering the postseason, the Red Raiders ace and Valparaiso commit is 23-6 with a 0.40 ERA, 366 strikeouts and 18 walks over 173 2/3 innings. Heard’s 366 strikeouts rank seventh most in the country, according to MaxPreps.com, and she also leads her team with a .430 batting average and 22 doubles.
Huntley (28-6) captured back-to-back FVC titles with a perfect 18-0 record and enters the playoffs as one of two No. 1 seeds in the Class 4A Huntley Sectional. The Raiders, who took third in state last season after winning it all in 2019, have won six straight regional, two straight sectional and two straight supersectional titles.
Huntley begins its postseason journey in the DeKalb Regional this week.
For her standout performance, Heard was voted the Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week by readers. She answered some questions about the Raiders’ season so far, her funniest teammate, how she gets ready for a big game and more.
What is your favorite memory from the season so far?
Heard: My favorite memory from the season is from senior night. It was so much fun getting to be with all of my teammates and seeing all of my friends and family support me and my teammates.
Who is the most difficult batter to face in the Fox Valley Conference?
Heard: I would say the most difficult batter to face in the FVC would be [Crystal Lake South’s] Alexis Pupillo.
If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be?
Heard: [Softball players] Jennie Finch, Montana Fouts and Kelly Barnhill.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What would be your walk-up song?
Heard: “Jumpin” by NLE Choppa.
What’s a sport that you are bad at?
Who is your funniest teammate?
Heard: [Junior outfielder] Alyssa Ekstrom.
How do you prepare to start a game?
Heard: I make sure I get good sleep before a game, eat healthy and drink lots of water.
Who was the toughest pitcher you have faced this season?
Heard: A pitcher from Lemont [junior Sage Mardjetko].
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Heard: Whatever you are doing or trying to achieve, always give 100% of your effort!
What’s your favorite fast food?