Defense hasn’t been the strong suit for the Evanston girls softball team this year.
But defense made a difference Saturday as the Wildkits completed a doubleheader sweep of visiting Wheeling and snapped an 11-game losing string.
After winning the opener 10-8, Evanston turned an inning-ending double play in the top of the seventh inning in the nightcap, then pushed across the winning run in the home half on a Maddy Managlia triple and Hannah Schaps’ RBI grounder to earn a 4-3 victory.
The sweep lifted ETHS to 4-12 on the season.
Wheeling bunted twice for hits in the top of the seventh, and a sacrifice move the potential go-ahead run to third base. But third baseman Gina Hopf threw out the next hitter, and a return throw from first baseman Emma Maxwell to catcher Schaps preserved the 3-3 deadlock.
Managlia went 3-for-4 at the plate for Evanston in Game 2.
In the opener, Evanston rallied from an 8-4 deficit in the fourth inning behind Jessica Garcia (4-for-4, 5 RBI) and Maxwell (3-for-5, 3 RBI).