A late game blast helps Downers Grove North get by Benet Academy in the softball sectional semis

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Bridget Chapman and the Benet Academy Redwings come into the Marist sectional semifinal fresh off their first 4A regional title since 2013. Downers Grove North is next on the opponent on the Benet softball checklist, as the Trojans are eying some revenge after falling to the Redwings on April 23rd. The Redwings have won 19 of 20 games heading into this game. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Trojans get swinging early

The Trojans start the game with a bang as Ella Bonk smashes the ball to the left, soaring over Hannah Baer’s head. This allows Maya Rodriguez to sprint towards home plate, securing the game’s first run for Downers Grove North

Still in the first and the hit parade continues with an Ashlynn Durkin grounder and here comes Bonk to make it 2-0 Trojans.

In the bottom of the frame, Bridget Chapman gets a base hit, and turning the corner to score is on base machine Nina Pesare, and it’s a one-run game.

Downers North keeps the flow with Avery Perkins hitting one out to left and bringing in another run. It’s 3-1 DGN.

Gianna Horejs is hoping for a spark in the third and this single out to rightfield does the trick.

However, pitcher Ava Gusel will not allow any momentum, as she gets a punchout to retire the side.

Fast forward to the sixth inning, and Sophia Rosner helps the Redwings with a strikeout of her own.

In the bottom of the sixth, fasten your seat belts, everyone. Grace Babich pops one up and Maddy Surowiec tries to catch it but she can’t and Babich is safe.

Aliana Rosner gets a swing, the ball goes over the fielder’s head, and pinch runner Olivia Opalacz scores. It’s just a 3-2 deficit.

Marikate Ritterbusch gives the Redwings the lead

The Wings have two on, and here’s Marikate Ritterbusch with a blast-off hit out to left center and goodbye. Ritterbusch, with a three-run dinger, gives Benet Academy the lead 5-3 after six innings.

Down to their final three outs, the Trojans keep on fighting with Libby Encina, who launches this ball out to center, and it just misses Pesare’s glove for a double.

Sophia Barofsky says hold my Gatorade

Then Sophia Barofsky steps right up with a shot out to left, and that one is gone. Hold my Gatorade, says Sophia Barofsky, because she hits a three-run bomb, and the Trojans retake the lead 6-5. What an unbelievable turn of events.

Benet with one last chance, and Bridget Chapman keeps the season alive with a base hit and represents the tying run.

Downers Grove North to the softball sectional final

With two outs, Gusel throws the knockout punch on Gianna Horejs, and this ballgame is over. Downers Grove North is moving to the softball sectional final for the first time since 2017 after a 6-5 win over Benet. The Trojans will face defending State champions Marist. The Redwings end the final season of coach Jerry Schilf’s career with a 22-7 record.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!