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Norridge / Harwood Heights Little League

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28

Apr, 2016

Playing for Reckless softball club gives Ridgewood players an edge

Glaub is in his first season back coaching the Ridgewood softball team, he previously served as coach from 2000-05, and nearly every player on the Rebels' roster this season played for Reckless.

The deep, talented Ridgewood team entered the week 14-5 overall and 4-0 in Metro Suburban East play. Part of the reason for the Rebels' success can be attributed to Reckless.

"Playing for a travel team is much different than the Norridge house ball I was in," junior second baseman Jillian Lazzara said. "(In house ball) I would have to play with kids my own age as I was always ahead of everyone else. It was simply easy for me when it wasn't a competitive game. Playing a competitive game (with Reckless) was never easy, everyone was around the same level and no one had fear."

When Glaub started Reckless for players his oldest daughter's age, it was just one team. Parents of players expanded it to teams for three different age groups.

"The community feeds the high school, and parents have continued this travel ball program that gives the kids experience that is more than just the little league level," Glaub said. "They get to play a lot more games so by the time they get to high school they have a little bit more talent and knowledge of the game."

The talent is evident in the Rebels' lineup. While many high school softball teams have at least one batter who struggles at the plate, Ridgewood senior infielder Lexie Crotty doesn't think that's the case with the Rebels.

"Almost every batter in the lineup can hit for power, while at the same time hit for the base hit," Crotty said. "We all have decent speed. There's just no weaknesses."

The Rebels' pitching staff is similarly deep.

"I have three strong pitchers. I'm blessed," Glaub said. "We have two other good ones that don't even get to pitch."

Reckless has provided the Rebels with another advantage. Players have been together for so long that the current team has strong chemistry.

"We all know each others' weakness and strengths," Lazzara said. "No one is left out in the bond we have as a team."

Jakub Rudnik is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Twitter @jakubrudnik

 
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