Brittany Basek and Becky Ryckman don’t speak with each other as much as in the past.
That’s because the former club teammates are rivals now.
Their club careers ended last summer, so now the only time they see each other on the softball diamond is when they’re competitors. But even then, it wasn’t very often since they play for teams in separate divisions in the West Suburban Conference.
Basek is a senior shortstop for Hinsdale South and Ryckman is the center fielder for Lyons. For the past four years, the pair were teammates with the LT Blazers and traveled across the Midwest for summer tournaments. Other members of the Blazers included
Hinsdale South center fielder Emily Mihalkanin and Lyons reserve outfielder Meghan Klima.
In the final high school meeting between the former club teammates, Basek and Mihalkanin’s Hornets earned a thrilling 5-3 victory in
nine innings May 23 in the Class 4A Lyons Regional semifinal.
“I like playing old teammates,” Ryckman said. “You see the girls in a different set of positions.”
Ryckman said it was entertaining to watch Mihalkanin in the outfield since she played catcher and third base during her career with the Blazers.
Basek puts her priority on winning when it comes to facing her former teammates.
“It’s a really big competition [now],” Basek said of Ryckman. “Last year, we were on the same team. We were old friends.”
The Hornets managed to turn the tables on Lyons, which had swept the Hornets in a pair of 3-2 games near the end of the regular season. In the regionals, Ryckman batted leadoff for seventh-seeded Lyons (20-13), going 0-for-4 against winning pitcher Jess Buckridge, but did put down a sacrifice bunt to move Katie Hogan to second base in the seventh.
Basek, Hinsdale South’s leadoff hitter, scored the tying run in the top of the seventh on Lauren Cairo’s two-RBI double with two outs. Basek then contributed to the winning rally in the ninth when her bunt sent Sydney Kopp to second base. Kopp and Kailey Hoel each eventually scored to advance ninth-seeded Hinsdale (12-21).
The Hornets defeated McAuley 2-1 on Saturday and were to face sixth-seeded Sandburg in the Richards Sectional semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The sectional final will be 1 p.m. Saturday.