Downers South’s Ryndak sidelined with torn ACL

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Downers Grove North junior Dale Ryndak loves to play softball and was looking forward to complementing fellow pitcher Elaine Heflin as one of the most dynamic pitching duos in the state.

That wish came to an end on Monday when Ryndak’s received MRI results showing she has a torn ACL with a possible torn meniscus. The Purdue-bound Ryndak will have surgery at the end of the month and is expected to be fully recovered by November.

“She has had a positive outlook since it happened,” Dale’s mother Stacy said. “I feel sorry for the first batter she faces when she comes back. She is so determined and has laser-like focus and is already asking when she can start pitching again.”

Ryndak and Heflin were a big reason the Trojans were ranked third in the Chicago Sun-Times preseason rankings. Both were also selections for the Top 100 player list.

In the first game of the season against Nazareth, Ryndak rounded third base and jammed her right knee. She crawled back to the base to avoid the out but had to leave the game.

“I put my foot down and it felt like everything grinded together and I knew something was wrong,” Dale Ryndak said. “I’m just thinking how fast I can get back for the summer. But that will be tough. I plan on making that first batter’s life hell when I come back. I plan on coming back hard.”

She was originally scheduled for an MRI on March 28, but the family opted to have it done on April 1 so they can get the MRI and results the same day.

When Ryndak wasn’t pitching she played shortstop and hit third in the lineup. She has started on varsity since her freshman year when her sister Kendall was a senior on the team, and has been an impact player since. She plays summer ball for the Beverly Bandits travel team.

“She is so young and strong and in good shape and will be okay,” Downers North coach Mark Magro said. “We’ll be okay pitching with Heflin but there is no replacement for Dale.”

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