The Pennant

Penn splits DH in clash of nationally ranked powers

Penn and Oak Park River Forest split a doubleheader in a clash of two nationally ranked high school softball powers on Saturday, May 6.

Penn entered the game ranked No. 14 in the USA Today national softball rankings, and Oak Park River Forest entered the game ranked No. 11 in the USA Today national softball rankings.

“Today was so much fun,” Penn softball head coach Beth Zachary said. “Oak Park River Forest is an incredibly talented team and we had to work hard today in ways we haven’t been pushed yet this season. Playing awesome competition is the only way for us to get better and be ready to perform post-season.

“I think the most important thing we realized today is our depth and our heart,” Zachary said. “We have a whole team of players, not just a few, who can play all parts of the game. We have heart and don’t give up. Our teams flat out battled each other into extra innings in game one and OPRF just executed before we could to end the game.”

Zachary loved the character she saw in the second game as the Kingsmen blasted OPRF from the start.

“We hate losing  and bounced right back and 10-run ruled them 18-4, ending a 46-game winning streak,” Zachary said. “It was incredible effort. Both Danielle Watson and Mackenzie Griman pitched amazing games today.

“MacKenzie Griman broke the Penn Softball all-time home runs in a season record today and didn’t even realize what she had done. We played two games with solid defense and put up a lot of offensive numbers. Needless to say,  I am very proud of our girls and can’t wait to take them into post-season in a few weeks.

“We are grateful to (Athletic Director) Mr. Leniski and (Assistant Athletic Director) Mrs. Williams for making today happen for us!

GAME 1

Louisville recruit Danielle Watson of Penn and Auburn recruit Chardonnay Harris of Oak Park River Forest waged a classic pitchers’ dual in a clash of national powers.

Watson struck out 16 and walked one, giving up five hits.

Harris struck out 20, walking none and giving up five hits.

Katie Quinlan had three hits for Penn.

PENN              000      000      00 – 0 5 0

OPRF              000      000      01 – 1 5 0

Penn extra-base hits: Double – Katie Quinlan.

GAME 2

Mackenzie Griman set Penn’s all-time single-season home-run record with a grand slam, and the Kingsmen ended Oak Park River Forest’s 46-game winning streak with a five-inning victory.

Penn entered the game ranked No. 14 in the USA Today national softball rankings, and Oak Park River Forest entered the game ranked No. 11 in the USA Today national softball rankings.

Griman, a sophomore who has committed to Butler, now has seven homers this season. She finished the game with four hits and five RBI’s. Griman also picked up the victory pitching a complete game.

Danielle Watson also hit a homer.

Brenna Brown had four hits and drove in three runs.

Jessie Buckey had three hits and drove in four runs.

Maddy Newman, Katie Quinlan, Danielle Watson, Sydney Middleton and Lexi Clay had two hits each.

Danielle Watson drove in two runs.

PENN              4(12)0  20 – 18 24 0

OPRF              301      00 – 4 8 0

Penn extra-base hits: Doubles – Katie Quinlan, Danielle Watson, Brenna Brown 2, Jessie Buckey. HR – Mackenzie Griman, Danielle Watson.