St. Charles East coach Kelly Horan can’t help but be impressed by the four teams left standing at this year’s Class 4A Bartlett Sectional.
Glenbard North, Conant, and St. Charles’ East and North are seeded first through fourth at Bartlett.
“If you played a ten game series against any one of those teams, you’d probably split every time,” Horan said. “But we’re not playing ten games. We’re just playing one so it will come down to who plays well in a single game.”
The third-seeded Saints (30-6) reached Wednesday’s sectional semifinal against second-seeded Conant (25-5) thanks to a 5-2 win over Elk Grove in the Class 4A St. Charles East Regional title game.
Mackenzie Lofgren hit a game-tying home run against Elk Grove to spearhead a four-run fifth inning for the Saints.
East won this year’s UEC Valley title and Conant won an MSL title this season.
“We know Conant has a ton of wins against quality opponents, they have some power hitters and they’re real aggressive on the bases,” Horan said. “We’ll do our best to play solid defense to keep their kids off the bases and try to get some timely hits of our own.”
Fourth-seeded St. Charles North (23-8) plays its sectional semifinal Tuesday against top-seeded Glenbard North (26-5). The North Stars won 5-2 over Bartlett in the Class 4A Addison Trail Regional championship game, with pitching ace Sabrina Rabin improving to 16-6 on the year.
“Our girls stayed the course for seven innings and finally broke through against Bartlett,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “Defensively we were good enough and I thought Sabrina pitched well.
“Glenbard North is very impressive. They beat us 5-3 early this season and they’re solid at every position. They’ll be a challenge and they’re always well-coached.”
St. Charles North and East split their two-game UEC series this season. East advanced to the 4A state title game last season.
Burlington Central won 6-5 over Kaneland in the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional title game on Saturday, when Courtni Neubauer scampered home with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pitcher Brooke Gaylord also entered the game late and struck out two to stifle a seventh-inning threat from Kaneland.
The win sent the Rockets to a semifinal game Tuesday at the Class 3A Marengo Sectional. Marengo plays Belvidere Wednesday in the other semifinal.
All four teams present were top regional seeds and Central coach Wade Maisto knows what he’ll get from Sterling on Tuesday.
“They have a great program and a nice team,” Maisto said. “We lost to them two weeks ago in extra innings so it’s two pretty comparable teams. It should be a close game and I expect both teams to play well.”