North Softball Wins State Championship


Dan Dolney

The softball team receives the state championship trophy.

Tyler Moore, Managing Editor

North’s softball team won the 4A state championship on June 11, defeating Chicago Marist 3-2. The team has many returning players and is looking for further success in the upcoming season.

This was the team’s first time winning state. They ended the season with a record of 27-4.

“I’ve never been a part of a team that came together like this one did,” said softball head coach Thomas Poulin. “They did a great job of coming together and being a true team.”

The team last went to state in 2011, where they narrowly lost. They have reached super sectionals five times since then, including in the 2021 season. Their loss at the previous season’s super sectionals became a motivation for players looking to advance the team to state.

“We made goals at the beginning of the year, and our last goal was to get to state,” said Leigh VandeHei, a senior on the softball team. “When we knew we were going to state, we freaked out because that’s what we’d been wanting for a while.”

The players put in effort to support each other both on and off the field. Many of the players gained confidence as they played more games.

“This team represented St. Charles North to the highest degree,” said Poulin. “They did things the right way, they treated opponents with respect, they played the game the right way, the things that champions need to do.”

At the state final, North faced Chicago Marist, which had won state the previous season. After a close game, North broke a 2-2 tie in the final inning to win the championship with a run driven in by junior Maddie Hernandez.

“Going into that at bat I knew that my team trusted me and knowing that they had confidence in me gave me some of that confidence,” said Hernandez.

After the game ended with a score of 3-2, the team celebrated their first win at state.

“We never really had a doubt that we would win,” said VandeHei. “We knew Marist was very good, but we were confident in our playing.”

Of the fifteen players on the softball team’s roster during their state-winning season, only four were seniors, meaning that most of the team in the upcoming season will be made up of returning players.

“We are going to set the same goals for ourselves this time,” said Hernandez. “One step at a time. First win conference, and then go to regionals, then sectionals, just trying to get back down to state.”

Poulin hopes that the team will continue to improve on what they learned in the previous season.

“They gained a lot of experience last year and a lot of confidence, so I’m excited to see what we can do,” said Poulin.