By Marty Farmer
The best high school softball teams in Illinois and Indiana squared off Saturday at Oak Park and River Forest High School.
The teams settled for a split with the host Huskies winning the first game 1-0 in eight innings and Penn (Indiana) routing OPRF 18-4 in five innings in the nightcap.
In Game 1, OPRF second baseman Fiona Girardot (2-for-3) hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Winning pitcher Chardonnay Harris (9-0) turned in her best performance of an already historic season by scattering four hits with no runs, no walks and 20 strikeouts.
"We all agree that Penn is 'state championship material,'" Harris said. "This was a test to see if we could compete with the best and we did.
"We have a lot of talent on our team. I'm excited to show everyone that we are ready to defend our (Class 4A) state title and do it all over again."
While the Huskies (21-1, 9-0 West Suburban Silver) remain the favorite to win another state championship, Penn dealt OPRF its first loss this season in the second game.
In fact, the Kingsmen snapped the Huskies' 47-game winning streak dating back to last season. Over the last 60 games, OPRF is 57-3.
Girardot went 3-for-3 at the plate against Penn, while teammates Annie Deamer-Nagle (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) and Maeve Nelson (1-for-3, 2 runs, RBI) also contributed for OPRF.
"We try not to think about our past success because we know there are challenges ahead," Girardot said. "Everyone who faces us will give us their best game so we have to be ready to respond."
The Huskies resumed conference play on Monday, May 8 with another convincing victory. The Huskies crushed Proviso West 15-1 as starting pitcher Emily Cekander improved to 10-1 this spring. Allison Smart (2-for-2, 4 RBIs, 2 runs scored), Abra Kaplan (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) and Sydney Babbington (3-for-3, 2 RBIs) led offensively against the Panthers.
The Friars overwhelmed Chicago Intrinsic 15-0 in four innings Saturday at the Priory in River Forest.
Cassandra Lee and Alyssa Stramaglia turned in outstanding performances for Fenwick (13-9-1, 4-8 GCAC Red). Lee threw a no-hitter and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Stramaglia finished 2-for-2 with two home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored. Maura Groom chipped in two hits, an RBI and run scored.
Fenwick girls track & field
Fenwick sophomore Colleen Grogan was selected "Athlete of the Meet" at the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference meet. She finished first in the 300-meter hurdles (48.63 seconds), second in 100-meter hurdles (16.13 seconds) and third in 100 meters (12.80).
For the sixth straight year, the Huskies are heading downstate to compete in the badminton state tournament. The doubles teams of Maria Krunic/Gabby Simone and Halley Bergen/Maeve Heflin placed second and third, respectively, at the New Trier Sectional on Saturday, May 6
Krunic and Simone advanced to the sectional final via a bye and two impressive wins at New Trier. The Huskies lost in the final to New Trier sophomores Tess Fallon and Holly Fessler 21-15, 20-22 and 21-15.
Bergen and Heflin won four or five matches to finish third.
Fenwick boys volleyball
Will Sophie dished out 22 assists and James Brosnan had 15 digs during the Friars' 25-17, 25-16 win over Mount Carmel on Senior Night. Offensively, Conner Lillig had seven kills and Jack Lulich six kills against the Caravan.
OPRF girls water polo
The Huskies (16-12) split a pair of matches at the West Suburban Conference Invitational to close out the regular season. Held at the Lyons Township South Campus, the Huskies cruised past Hinsdale South 17-6 in a conference crossover matchup.
Addie Steward-Nolan and Chloe Pimentel led OPRF in scoring with three goals apiece. Tamsen Cronin and Eliana Torero added two goals each. Julia Thomason, Ellie Kennedy-Wood, Lizzy Silber, Katie Roberts, Kathryn Raeder, Jenna Somberg and Abby Hever all scored one goal. Goalies Kaitlyn Peterson and Sara Flynn finished with three saves each.
In its second game, OPRF lost to York 5-4. Cronin and Peterson excelled for the Huskies with four goals and 10 saves, respectively.