Red-hot hitters spark Kits to 5th straight softball win

Scientists have finally tracked down the source of the global warming issue to the city of Evanston.

Why Evanston? Because currently, the Wildkit softball lineup features four of the hottest hitters on the planet.

The Wildkits clubbed Niles North 16-2 Monday in Skokie for their fifth consecutive victory and took one step closer to a possible Central Suburban League South division championship. The foursome of Lucy Hart, Molly Chambers, Zoe Canafax and Chloe Haack supplied more robust offense as Evanston’s TEAM batting average climbed over .400 on the season with another double digit hit outburst.

Hart, the senior first baseman, actually lifted her season average above .700 before popping up in her final at-bat. She went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and 3 runs-batted-in and Chambers hit her 5th home run of the season as the winners pounded out 13 hits in the 5-inning victory.

Both players entered the season as established varsity stars, but the emergence of Canafax (.407 batting average) and Haack (.429) has helped take the ETHS attack to another level following a rocky start to the season.

Now 9-6 overall, the Wildkits are scheduled to play at Maine South Tuesday and host Niles West on Thursday if weather permits. They also need to finish off a suspended game with South, which leads 2-1 in the 5th inning of that contest.

Title talk would have been almost unheard of two weeks ago, but now the Kits are a different team, according to first-year head coach Amy Gonzales.

“Now our entire 9 players in the lineup are all doing a better job of just putting the ball in play,” said Gonzales of a unit that struck out repeatedly during a 3-6 start to the season. “It was just a matter of time, and a matter of them getting comfortable playing with each other.

“If they take 3 good swings and strike out, I’m fine with that. But if you just put the ball in play, statistically things are going to work out. Both Chloe and Zoe started slow, but they’re two of our best hitters and once they started hitting, the others followed along.”

Tuesday, ETHS scored 4 runs in the first inning, 8 more in the third and 4 in the fifth to make things easy for No. 2 hurler Anne Porter. Porter only allowed 2 hits and shut out the Vikings over the first 4 frames before weakening a bit in the fifth.

The visitors set the offensive tone in the first inning. After Haack reached on a dropped fly ball to start the rally, Zoe Landolt followed with an RBI single, Hart hammered a run-scoring double, and Chambers deposited a blast just over the short porch (175 feet) in right field.

In the third, the Wildkits sent 12 batters to the plate against losing pitcher Julia Kendziora. Canafax and Hart each had a double and a single --- in the same inning --- as the Kits pulled away to a 12-0 advantage.

Canafax, Chambers, Jessica Parcell and freshman catcher Katie Patton contributed 2 hits apiece for ETHS.     

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