St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin wasn’t sure if his North Stars had won five or six consecutive Upstate Eight titles heading into this season, or if they had a seven- or eight-year win streak against crosstown rival St. Charles East.
But the point was moot.
East won 1-0 Tuesday over North behind a whale of a pitching performance from Haley Beno, putting an end to both of the North Stars’ win streaks.
“Beno was lights out. She gets all the credit,” Poulin said. “We played very well defensively. We just couldn’t hit Beno. She had ten [strikeouts] and only gave up two hits.”
Beno struck out the side in the fifth and seventh innings in improving to 17-4.
“I’m a senior and I’ve never beaten them,” Beno said. “This means a lot to me. I was just throwing what the coach was calling and our defense was making great plays behind me. That always helps.”
No. 9 St. Charles East (27-5, 17-2) scored the game’s lone run in the fifth. Tess Hupe reached first on a two-out bunt to set up an RBI double to the wall in left field from Sarah Collalti.
“Tess got on base twice before that and I didn’t move her around, so I couldn’t do that a third time,” Collalti said. “It just feels amazing to be able to finally beat (North). It took eight years, but we did it.”
Hupe had three hits to lead all players.
“When you talk about who played great you’re talking about Tess, Beno, Sarah Collalti, and what’s consistent about those three?” East coach Kelly Horan asked. “They’re all three-year varsity starters and they’ve played in a ton of tough situations.
“The key with Beno was that she let her defense help her. She was hitting her spots, and when you play a good team, you have to play good defense. But it started on the mound.”
In the loss, St. Charles North (18-7, 14-3) got a solid performance from ace Sabrina Rabin (12-6) . North second baseman Kaitlyn Waslawski also made two fine defensive plays and Andrea Beal made a diving grab in center field in the fourth.
East went into Tuesday on an eight-game win streak since losing 5-1 to North on April 29. The Saints need to beat Larkin on Friday to clinch the UEC River title outright and are aiming for a second consecutive trip to the Class 4A state title game.
“We’re really excited about beating them today but our big goal is to get back to state again,” East third baseman Alex Latoria said. “It’s a nice win. Beno pitched awesome and everyone stayed up the whole game.”