Through a third of the season, Elgin senior catcher Kelly Bremer carried an astronomical .690 batting average. She came back down to Earth and finished the regular season as a .494 hitter.
She batted roughly .340 last year and credits her increased ability at the plate to one of the tried-and-true tenets of hitting.
“I relaxed,” Bremer said. “I stopped thinking about where I wanted to hit the ball. I started to focus on making contact and not where the ball would go. If you relax and have fun, it gets easier.”
Through 32 regular-season games, Bremer also had six home runs and 33 RBI, both team-leading totals.
“As well as she hit, she’s been an even better leader,” Elgin coach Nick Bumbales said. “It will be hard to replace her. She has caught two of the best pitchers Elgin has ever had in Hannah and Jenna Perryman and they trusted her knowledge of the game.”
Like many of Illinois’ softball-playing seniors this year, Bremer will not play in college. It’s not that she couldn’t walk on at Grand Valley State in Michigan, which she’ll attend next year, with a .500 batting average that would be enough to at least raise the eyebrows of the Lakers’ coaching staff.
But Bremer is ready to say goodbye to the sport she loves.
“I’m not going to walk on,” Bremer said. “I’ve been playing probably since I could walk and it will definitely be a life-changing thing not playing. But it’s such a huge commitment in college.
“The game has given me so many lessons about leadership, and teamwork, and I’ll miss the friendships and the bonds we’ve all made.”
St. Charles East finally got the monkey off its back. No one on either side knew for certain when St. Charles East last beat St. Charles North, but the Saints’ 1-0 win was definitely their first over the North Stars in any of the current players’ careers.
“I’ve probably pitched against them five or six times,” East’s Haley Beno said.
“So this feels really good, especially because now we can win the conference.”
Too good to waste
Two mistakes equal two home runs. Hampshire pitcher Haley Widmayer pitched a gem in a 6-2 win over Jacobs — except for two pitches.
After the Golden Eagles’ Alyssa Lach hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, Hampshire coach Stacey Stepek had no intention of having Widmayer give Lach a good pitch in the sixth.
“We gave her a waste pitch,” Stepek said. “But she found it and she absolutely crushed the ball.”
Lach’s second home run of the game was her 10th this season.