SouthtownStar’s three things to know

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1. The rest is gravy. Lincoln-Way Central won just 11 games in 2013 as tons of youth had their growing pains against the tough competition in the SouthWest Suburban Conference. Tuesday, the Knights stood at 13-9 behind big offensive numbers from Jacquelyn Farbak (.508, 5 HR) and Nicole Rote (.442). Sarah Mikolajczak and Hannah Dallio have done well in the circle with Melanie Bakotic (tendinitis) on the mend.

2. And then there’s Thornwood. The Thunderbirds also are ahead of last year’s six-win plateau at 8-9 as Hannah McPherson (.467) and Fantasia Ojeda have wielded impressive bats. Coaches Mark Anderson and Gary Lagesse aren’t miracle workers. There have been days when Thornwood has been totally overwhelmed by some of its SouthWest Suburban opponents, but the Thunderbirds have done their share of dominating, too, as in Monday’s 22-7 win over Thornridge.

3. West goes long. Beecher’s Taylor Johnson is the runaway home leader in the Southland with 13, but in team production Lincoln-Way West is tops as Rachel Andrade, Amanda Ruskowsky and Dani Morgan all have six. Add in Morghan Dieringer and her stingy 0.86 ERA, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise the Warriors are 22-1.

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