The Riverside-Brookfield High School softball team continued their dominance both on the mound and at the plate on June 3, defeating Hinsdale South 5-2 in the regional final round of the IHSA Class 3A Sectional 4 tournament 

The top-seeded Bulldogs (23-5) put up four runs in the first inning, capped off by a home run by junior third baseman Elena Pinedo to salt away the win early.

“Going into the game, we had been going over the necessity of winning the first inning, because that is what is going to set the tone for the game,” said senior first baseman Isabella Garcia. “If we come out hitting and scoring, it adds pressure to the other team while helping build our team’s confidence and energy for the game.”

Pinedo went 1-for-2 with three RBI and a walk in the regional final win, while freshman Catcher Zoe Lavine went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Junior Hannah Organ pitched 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on one hit while notching four strikeouts. Senior Hannah Smith pitched 2.2 innings, giving up a hit and striking out three.

“Both pitchers did a wonderful job,” said RBHS coach Doug Schultz. “That combination is a great one to have, I trust both of them and always know they can get the job done.”

The Bulldogs advanced to host the sectional semifinal round on June 8, after the Landmark’s press time, against St. Ignatius, seeded fourth in the sectional. The winner of that game will advance to the sectional finals on June 10.

OPRF trips up Lions on third try

The Lyons Township High School softball team learned just how tough it is to be the same team three times in a season on June 3, falling to Oak Park and River Forest High School 6-3 to end their state tournament run in IHSA Class 4A Sectional 6.

During the regular season, the Lions triumphed over the Huskies twice, but in their postseason showdown, No. 5-seeded OPRF built a 6-1 lead over the host Lions, who drew the No. 4 seed. 

LTHS got an early RBI single from Lily Hanafin, and then rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning. Junior Emily Joseph drove in Joanie Machaj, who reached on an error, and junior Anna Bryant brought in Joseph on an RBI single to make the score 6-3.

Hanafin led the offense going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, while Joseph, Bryant, and junior Sarah Karlson all added hits. Senior pitcher Ava Kostecki threw four innings and gave up three earned runs while striking out 10.

“From this game, we will take with us the idea of never giving up, seeing that we scored a few runs in the bottom of the seventh inning,” said LTHS coach Nicole Paluch said. “We look forward to the very strong group of (now) seniors we have coming back, and very talented juniors/sophomores.”