Opening Week of Softball


Lily Bakulski, Reporter

Opening week of the spring season has been a rough ride for the Belvidere North softball team, but being a young team has its strengths and weaknesses.

On Friday, March 16, North played Huntley High School in the first game of the season. Playing a school that is known for their softball program, Coach Brian Hilden put his best defense and offense out on the field to try and take on Huntley. Casey Neiber (‘20) was the starting pitcher and she came out strong in the first inning.

“It felt really good to be the starting pitcher in the first game of the season. I knew my team was behind me and would back me up when I needed it most. Even though we lost, we all stayed in the game and stuck together to compete against a really good team,” said Neiber.

Belvidere North ended up losing 16-4, being outnumbered by hits and defensive outs.

On the following Monday afternoon, North faced Elgin Larkin for day two of opening week. Mac Orozco (‘19) battled through the cold as she started pitching for North in this game. The entire team came out swinging, racking up runs one by one. Alyson Mcnabb (‘19) had some clutch hits for her team, one of them being a home run. The final score of that game was a close one, 18-17, but Belvidere North managed to hold them at their last at bat in the last inning.

The softball team took on Rochelle High School the next day at home, hoping to come out with a win. Starting off with good defense, North took on their opponents, having faith in their defense even though it hadn’t been doing very well this year. Beating Rochelle by two runs, the ending score was 14-12, Kylie Johnson (‘18) coming in clutch with a walk off homerun to end the game in the seventh inning.

“It was a really good game for us. Even though our hitting wasn’t great until the last few innings, we were still able to back our pitcher up and get the runs when we needed them most. When the pitcher is tossing in meatballs, you have to make them pay and we did just that,” said Johnson.

Neiber also came out strong on defense for pitching, getting strikeouts and allowing her defense to make plays.

Tuesday’s game on March 20 was cancelled due to cold weather, so it was rescheduled to Thursday, playing at Cary Grove High School at 4:30 p.m. Thursday evening, Belvidere North took on Cary Grove, a team undefeated so far into their season. Watching the team warm up, including the pitchers, North knew they were going to have to bring their “A” game in order to compete with this team. Scoring first in the first inning was huge for the team and gave them a lot of energy that they brought with them out into the field. Cary Grove was able to rack up runs, but when North was able to make plays, they did. Although they lost 15-5, they competed throughout the entire game and showed Cary Grove that they weren’t going to just hand the game to them.

“Although Cary Grove was really good, I believe that we did all we could to compete. They were just better and sometimes that is going to happen. We are a young team, we have our flaws, but we push through them and always try our best and people notice that,” said centerfielder, Bella Tauscher (‘19).

On April 9, Belvidere North softball will be taking on their first conference game against Hononegah High School, a team known to be good. April 9 will be a good day for the team to bring their focus and their game faces, all to start with a win for their conference record.

“Watching my teammates get to play their first games out on the field makes me wish I was in uniform too. I am counting down the days and can’t wait to be back,” said Kaci Tomman (‘20).