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Panthers round third, extend win streak : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Panthers round third, extend win streak
Big hits lead to 21 runs over two games, team moves to 6-8 overall

by Kristin Sharp


The Oswego softball team is closing in at the .500 mark, building a three-game win streak heading into Wednesday's postponement at Plainfield Central.

The Panthers (6-8, 4-2 Southwest Prairie Conference) were set to close out the first half of conference play on Tuesday, but rain delayed the meeting by 24 hours, and results were unavailable at press time.

"The hitting really has been key," Oswego head coach Denise McCance said. "We've scored (21) runs in two games and we've had a lot of hits - good hits. We're not getting on base with errors. We're getting on base with solid hits."

Oswego followed up an April 22 win over Romeoville (13-10) with an 8-3 victory over Plainfield East last Thursday. The Panthers scored first when junior Diamond Owens led off with a single and advanced to second on an infield ground out. Owens eventually scored on an error.

The Bengals responded with two runs in the top of the second and one in the top of the third to lead 3-1.

Oswego put together five hits in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 lead and never looked back. Oswego senior pitcher Stephanie Prentice led off with a single. Senior Abby Etheridge reached on a fielder's choice before singles from senior Brooke Riess and junior Savanna Brady. Junior Jessica Lofthouse hit a two-run single, and Kirsty Tracy also singled, but Lofthouse was left stranded at third, and Tracy at second after a ground out to second base to end the inning, but Oswego had added four more runs to the scoreboard.

In the fifth, Tracy hit a one-out single to right field, senior Beth Figgins singled to move the runner and junior Taylor Foy singled to shallow right. Prentice also knocked out a hit in the inning before Plainfield East fielded two ground outs.

Riess hit 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Tracy (2-for-3) and Prentice (3-for-3) were also credited with RBIs.

Prentice went the distance on the mound, scattering four hits - including a home run by freshman Bianca Vozenilek, while allowing two earned runs and striking out seven.

"She gave up four hits, and one was a home run, but I take the blame for that. I called a pitch, and (Vozenilek) a good hitter. She's a freshman. That was more of a mistake on the pitch call. She pitched a nice game," McCance said.

Following Wednesday's contest with Plainfield Central, Oswego will begin the second half of the season today, Thursday, hosting Plainfield South at 4:30 p.m. The Panthers will look to improve upon a 12-2 six-inning loss to the Cougars dating back to April 8.

"These are going to be two tough games with Central and South. We're just trying to get ready to play two complete games, keep our hitting going and consistent defense," McCance said. "We're getting more confident as the season goes. We're putting wins together. Right now we're 4-2 in conference, and our goal is 10-4. We're one win away from being halfway toward our goal."

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