Huskies find solace after loss

?Team bounces back later in day with 2-0 shutout of Downers South.

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By CHRIS PUMMER

After a small setback Saturday morning, the Oak Park and River Forest softball team had washed away the taste of disappointment by afternoon.

The Huskies (23-6) were stunned when New Trier's Mari Jo Long tossed a four-hitter at them to pitch the Trevians to a 4-1 win. But OPRF hurler Holly Roadruck answered back by throwing a one-hitter at Downers Grove South in a 2-0 victory that let the Huskies' escape the triangular series with a split.

"Winning that second game sure makes the loss easier to take," OPRF coach Mel Kolbusz said. "Downers South is a really good team?#34;one of the top 20 teams in the area. We're really happy to get the win, especially since it kept us from being swept. We left the day feeling better about ourselves."

Jane Nightingale (6-2) pitched for the Huskies against New Trier and gave up a run in the first inning. OPRF answered in the fourth after Stephanie Bernthal led off with a single and moved to second base on a fly out.

The Trevians' backstop would try to catch Bernthal off second, but the throw went into center field. Another throwing error, this time by New Trier's center fielder, allowed Bernthal to score.

But the Trevians, who had 11 hits, would break through against Nightingale with a pair of runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. Meanwhile, Long remained a mystery for the Huskies. She would induce 12 fly-ball outs from OPRF on the afternoon.

"It's not like she went out and dominated us," Kolbusz said. "We only struck out four times, so we were competitive with her. It was just one of those games where we couldn't put two or three hits together to get the job done."

The Huskies thought they might be in trouble when they watched Downers South crush the Trevians 8-0 in the second game of the triangular. But that was before Roadruck toed the rubber and struck out eight Mustangs to get OPRF back on the winning track.

Kealan Waldron led off the second inning with a single and went to second on an error. After a wild pitch put her on third, Waldron scored on an RBI groundout from Nightingale.

One run was all Roadruck would need, but the Huskies added an insurance run in the sixth after an Ann Schraufnagel sac fly scored Aly Euler. Euler reached base on a single to start the inning.

The Huskies were rested going into Saturday's doubleheader after Friday's game was rained out. OPRF had last seen action on May 11 when they demolished Proviso west 22-1 in five innings of West Suburban (Silver) Conference play.

The Huskies have a Friday match-up against Glenbard South and possibly a makeup game with York before beginning the postseason Tuesday, May 14.

As the top seed in its own sectional, OPRF will begin with a game against 16th-seeded Chicago-Orr. Should they advance, the Huskies will play the winner between No. 7 Payton College Prep and No. 15 Kelvyn Park.

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