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Aside from winning as many games as possible, the Evanston Township High School softball team has one main goal in mind: for each player to help the rest of the team get better every game.
“The collective goal of our team is to do whatever you can to help out the rest of your team. Our captains are doing a great job instilling that idea in the rest of the team,” said head coach Kristen Proffitt.
This year’s team features three freshmen and four sophomores in the starting lineup, and Proffitt feels her new players have done well so far.
“[Aside from Allie Nortz] every other defensive position either has someone new to that position, someone new to varsity, or someone new to high school softball in general,” said Proffitt. “They have put in a great deal of work and are really performing at a high level in these positions.”
The Kits certainly performed at a high level on April 17 when they beat Central Suburban League South Conference foe Glenbrook South, 7-3. In that game, Allie Managlia picked up her fourth win of the year while striking out 10 batters. At the plate, Maddie Reiches went 3 for 3 with an RBI, Caitlin Boer went 2 for 4 with a double and Emma Maxwell went 2 for 3 with two RBIs to lead the Kits. The win marked the first time the Kits had beaten the Titans in Proffitt’s tenure in Evanston.
“Allie has been doing a great job this year, as have all of our pitchers. She works really hard all year long and it shows when she’s on the mound,” said Proffitt. “She is a junior and is in her third year on varsity. She is doing a good job of stepping up and taking a leadership position, especially when she’s pitching.” She added, “Her pitches keep batters off-balance and our defense has done a great job behind her to make tough plays on off-balance hits.”
Coach Proffitt said, “We have been working on catching up to the top-notch pitchers and I think this game proved that our hard work is paying off. We had 12 hits and only struck out five times. That shows great improvement. I really like the direction in which we are headed.”
With the victory over Glenbrook South, the Kits record stood at 6-10 overall and 2-1 in CSL Conference. Even though the Kits are slightly below .500, Proffitt says she is pleased with how her team has progressed, especially given the fact her team has played a tough schedule early on.
“I feel that the season is going very well for us so far. We made our schedule much tougher this year than it has been in the past,” said Proffitt. “The goal is to make our program one of the best in the area, so we need to be playing the best teams in the area. We also want to win more conference games, so we are taking the opportunity to play tough teams for our non-conference matchups.”
In a recent non-conference game on April 14, the Kits took on one of those tough teams in Oak Park-River Forest and the Kits fell, 3-2. Managlia limited the visitors to three runs, but Boer going 2 for 3 at the plate was not enough to get the victory. On April 19 the Kits fell to archrival New Trier 13-0, falling to 6-11 on the season.
On April 21 the Kits lost the first game of a double header to Rolling Meadows, 15-9, but they bounced back to win the second game, 11-8.
With just over a month and a half remaining in the regular season, Coach Proffitt feels the young Kits can continue to improve and be playing their best softball come playoff time in late May.
“I hope that we continue to grow and improve as the season goes on. Everyone on the roster knows that we are young and that we are learning. None of the players are getting down and they are all very eager to continue to grow as a team,” said Proffitt. “We do have a tough schedule the whole season, so we will continue to learn and improve throughout the schedule. The way that we are competing against teams like Schaumburg and Oak Park shows promise and shows that we are getting to where we want to be.”
Next up for the Kits is a matchup with Maine South today followed by a double header with Leyden on April 28.