CAMANCHE — With a shot at the Big East Conference softball title still within reach and a matchup with the league leaders awaiting them next week, the Camanche Indians are determined to have a say in what happens in the conference’s final season.
The Indians improved to 9-1 in the Big East on Thursday with a 10-6, 10-3 sweep of Preston, setting the stage for a home doubleheader Monday against No. 12 (Class 1A) Marquette Catholic, which leads the Big East standings with an 11-1 record.
“We knew coming in we were going to play a good team, even though they lost a key player,” Camanche coach Erin Schlotfeldt said. “We still can make a run at the conference championship, and we’re starting to pull everything together.”
It was the fourth consecutive conference sweep for the Indians (17-8) and their 10th win in the past 12 games overall.
“I’m very happy with the way things are going,” said Indians junior second baseman Kylie Vogel, who had five hits and smacked a two-run double in each game. “With every game, I think we’re improving.”
The losses eliminated Preston (14-3, 9-5) from the conference race. The Trojans, who have been ranked as high as No. 13 in Class 1A, have lost 11 of 14 games and dropped out of the rankings this week. They are 7-10 without senior pitcher-second baseman Cassie Aldis, who suffered a season-ending broken hand.
“We should not be playing like this, whether she is here or not,” Preston coach Tim Zeimet said, referring to Aldis’s absence. “We’re not making plays we should.
“We just don’t have anybody willing to take charge. We’re looking for someone to be a leader. We have good-enough players.”
The Trojans’ problems began in the first game after they scored four times in the top of the third inning. Emily Rittmer had the big hit, a two-run triple that broke a scoreless tie.