Athlete of the Week
Richmond-Burton, jr., SS
Bannon is on a tear at the plate, going 12 for 19 in six games last week with five home runs, three doubles and 16 RBIs. For the season, the Rockets shortstop is batting .606 with eight homers, seven doubles, 27 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
The Wisconsin commit has six homers over her last eight games and has yet to strike out in 42 plate appearances with seven walks.
Northwest Herald Power Rankings
1. Crystal Lake South (13-0): The Gators rallied for four runs late in a 4-3 win over Huntley to stay unbeaten through 13 games and lead the Fox Valley Conference at 3-0. South has a pius-129 run differential.
2. Huntley (13-6): The Red Raiders lost another lead late Wednesday against Jacobs, falling 9-7, to drop back-to-back FVC games and fall to 3-2.
3. Richmond-Burton (9-1-1): The Rockets lead the Kishwaukee River Conference at 3-0 and are hitting .404 with 49 extra-base hits and 45 stolen bases.
4. Cary-Grove (6-4): The Trojans picked up back-to-back FVC wins against Dundee-Crown, 5-1, and Crystal Lake Central, 10-5, moving to 2-1 in conference. C-G and Jacobs are tied for second place in the FVC.
5. Marengo (10-9): Since a season-high six-game winning streak, the Indians have lost four in a row, including an 11-10 KRC loss to R-B on Tuesday. Hannah Ritter (32 runs, eight doubles) has 15 walks batting leadoff.
Statement win: The Rockets lead the KRC at 3-0 but their 11-10 victory against Marengo may have been the biggest conference win for R-B in quite some time. The Rockets had not beaten Marengo in over a decade, according to R-B's softball Twitter account.
Bannon (.606), Jesse Klicker (.564), Bella Spittler (.561), Kaitie Regnier (.486) and Caitlin Pruitt (.483) lead R-B offensively. Klicker (5-0) and Bailey Jones (4-1) have identical 3.28 ERAs in the circle.
"We have a hitting team," Rockets coach Vicki Klopf said. "They started last year, and they've kept it going this year. One through six can hit bombs. If one hits them, it's usually contagious."
Marengo has won five consecutive conference titles, including all three years since the seven-team KRC formed in 2016.
Defense matters: In Crystal Lake South's 4-3 win against Huntley, the Gators made two stellar defensive plays in the fifth inning, cutting off a run at home plate and getting another out at third base when Emily Sulikowski dived and stopped the ball with her arm and tagged a runner going from second to third.
The out at home proved to be a big play for the Gators, who scored four runs in the sixth take a 4-2 lead.
With one out in the fifth, Huntley's Teagan O'Rilley pulled a ball through the right side of the infield with Marley Reicher racing home from second. Right fielder Nikki Benoit got the ball into first baseman Baylee Kassel. She then fired home to catcher Alexis Pupillo, who applied the tag for the second out, keeping the score at 2-0 at the time.
"That's this team. Nobody is not going to do everything they can to help somebody else out," South coach Scott Busam said. "...Whatever it takes. That's just how we've been rolling this season."
What to Watch
Crystal Lake Central at Crystal Lake South, 4:30 p.m. Monday: The Gators look to stay unbeaten in conference play against their crosstown rivals.
Woodstock North at Marengo, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Both teams have KRC championship hopes and meet for the first of two pivotal conference games.