Huskies plow through regional

? Team gears up for steeper competition.

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By BRAD SPENCER

The OPRF softball team wrapped up its own regional last week by annihilating two Chicago Public League schools by a total score of 19-0. The victories advanced the Huskies (29-6), last year's State runner-up team, into the St. Ignatius Sectional where they'll face Elmwood Park today (Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.) at UIC.

Jane Nightengale (8-2) tossed a one-hit shutout with no walks and eight strikeouts in the win over Schurz on Saturday. Unlike in their 11-0 clobbering of Prosser on May 24, it took the Huskies a few innings to get the bats heated up. OPRF took a 1-0 lead after three innings and never looked back. Erika Rosenwinkel went 2-for-3 with a double. Kealon Waldron also went 2-for-3, as did Kaitlin Morocco, who had an RBI.

"I told the team we weren't so much going to prepare to play these teams in the first round," said OPRF head coach Mel Kolbusz.

"That's not to say we were going to look past them, but we were going to let our skills and our talent speak for themselves in these games."

A.J. Snow improved her perfect record to 4-0 with the win over Prosser. Snow pitched a no-hitter with two walks and 12 strikeouts. Leah Swestka went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the win, while Snow helped her own cause with a triple that drove in two.

OPRF crushed Elmwood Park 12-0 back in early April, but Kolbusz said he doesn't think he'll see the same opponent.

"That was early in the season, and they're a young team. There's no doubt in my mind they have improved since then," he said.

Pitcher Seana Stillson, who has done the bulk of the pitching for the Huskies this season, did not attend Saturday's regional title game due to a bout with the flu. Kolbusz said he expects to have his freshman pitching ace back in the lineup for today's game.

"It was one of those things where she had the flu and I just told her to stay home and rest," he said. "She'll be ready to go by [this] week."

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