OPRF's third baseman Taylor Arends tries to put the tag on a Glenbard North baserunner. (David Pierini/staff photographer)

Taylor Arends earned her way to third base three times in the OPRF softball team’s doubleheader against Glenbard North on Saturday, but victory slipped away from the Huskies in both games. 

OPRF (3-5) lost to the Panthers 6-4 in the opener and 10-4 in the nightcap in Oak Park. Down 6-2 to start the seventh inning of Game 1, junior Libby Foster got things going with a lead-off walk. Senior Caroline Kelty singled with one out to set up a two-RBI triple down the left field line from senior infielder Mariah Weinand. But that would be all that the Huskies’ offense could muster in the seventh as the next two batters struck out to end the game.

“We battled hard the entire game,” said Huskies head coach Mel Kolbusz. “I liked the rally we had in the seventh inning, one or two more hits and we would have been right back in it. Losing to (Glenbard North) is not a disgrace, but we just have to get a little better.” 

Arends went 2-for-4 for the Huskies with two triples and two RBIs, while Weinand went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

“Taylor is batting third and Mariah is batting first for a reason,” Kolbusz said. “Taylor is a really good athlete. We just need to get more kids hitting in our lineup, but that will definitely come.”

The Huskies got things started early in the first inning, when Weinand led the game off with a single and was knocked in by a triple to right-center from Arends. The sophomore also put the Huskies up 2-0 with another RBI triple to center field after junior pitcher Emma Baldwin drew a walk.

“I was excited,” Arends said of her first two at bats of the game. “They gave me good pitches right on the outside, and it worked out.”

Baldwin went 5 and 2/3 innings for the Huskies, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out three. Freshman Emily Richardson came on in relief and threw 1 and 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits with a strikeout and a walk.

“Our pitchers pitched really well,” said Arends. “And that says a lot about (Glenbard North’s) hitting too. They hit line drives that were good because of the wind, and they definitely hit balls that would have gone over the fence if we had one.”

The Panthers tied the game at two in the fourth inning on three straight hits with one out. They added two more in the sixth and two in the seventh to seal the victory. Aside from the seventh inning rally for the Huskies, it was tough to get the offense going late in the game.

“The wind made it really hard to get those outfield hits because it was blowing in,” said Arends. “(Glenbard North) played a really good field, too.”

The Huskies also dropped Game 2 of the doubleheader, 10-4, as Glenbard North scored three unearned runs in the first inning. Weinand went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while senior first baseman Jenna Rouse went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Arends notched yet another RBI triple in the nightcap, and junior pitcher Emily Munz pitched 1 and 1/3 innings before Richardson came on in relief to finish the game.

Earlier last week, the Huskies slipped past Leyden 2-1 as Baldwin went the distance. The senior allowed one earned run on four hits, while striking out four and walking one in seven innings.

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