Plainfield East softball overpowers Naperville Central to win the regional championship 9-5

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Naperville Central softball is ready to battle for the regional championship against Plainfield East from Pioneer Park in West Chicago. The Redhawks looked sharp in win over Naperville North in the semifinals while the Bengals look to turn their recent run of hot play into another upset victory. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Plainfield East bats erase early deficit

The game is tied at 1-1 in the top of the third as Plainfield East begins to chip away at Naperville Central starter Avery Miller. Joey Erkenswick hits a two-out single into right field to keep the inning alive.

Next up is Corrine Garmon who powers a booming drive to deep center field that soars over the fence. The Bengals take a 3-1 lead after the big blast from the right-fielder.

The hits keep coming for the Bengals as Giselle Ascencio drives a single into left as Plainfield looks for more runs. Avery Welsh heads into second base.

Next up is pitcher Maya Patel who skies one the other way. Cali Lenz charges in but misjudges the ball and it deflects off her glove as Welsh comes in to score to make it 4-1 Plainfield East.

Into the top of the fourth inning where sometimes it’s not how hard you hit it, but where you hit it. Ashley Plzak bloops one into short right-field and Sydney Hurst can’t make the diving snag. Natalie Utrata comes around to score to give the Bengals a 5-1 lead.

Up next is catcher Rhiannon McKay who takes the pitch the other way, over the fence in right. The second two-run homer of the game for the Bengals who lead 7-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

Naperville Central begins to chip away

Two outs in the bottom of the fourth and the Redhawks look to get a rally going as Avery Hayward singles into left field for her second hit of the game.

Sydney Hurst follows with a line drive pulled into left as the senior keeps the inning alive.

Natalie Lau is up next and she slaps a ball the other way into right field. It gets down and rolls near the wall. Hurst and Hayward score as Lau motors into third for a triple. Naperville Central is back in the game down 7-3 as Coach Nussbaum is fired up at third base.

Same score in the bottom of the fifth. Jamie Saran with her second hit of the game to lead off the inning as the Redhawks look to cut further into the lead.

Following walks to Shea Meech and Cali Lenz to load the bases with one out, Meredith Cann pops a ball over the drawn in infield and it falls in for a single. Saran scores and everybody is safe. The Redhawks add one more run in the inning and trail 7-5 heading to the sixth.

The Bengals get some insurance from Ashley Plzak

In the top of the seventh, following doubles from Meranda Abante and Natalie Utrata, Ashley Plzak singes into left to score them both as Plainfield East gets some huge insurance runs to go up 9-5. However, Shea Meech is able to stop the damage there despite the bases being loaded with nobody out.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Avery Miller singles on a line drive into left as the Central offense continues to get runners on base. Cali Lenz follows with a walk.

However, Avery Welsh is able to shut the door with a pair of strikeouts to end the game. Plainfield East softball wins the regional championship as a 14 seed over Naperville Central. The Bengals move on to face the top seed, Wheaton North in the sectional semifinals.

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