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Christina Stankus and Bartlett beat Waubonsie Valley

young pitcher Christina Stankus For Bartlett, it is often heard before it is seen.

He’s not shy about making his presence known on the softball field.

“I’m a pretty extroverted person,” Stankus said. “I like everyone to know I’m here. I’m very loud and I like to be a leader on the court, especially when I’m in the rim.

“I just feel an extra level of excitement.”

Stankus showed all facets of his game and personality during the Hawks’ 14-4 five-inning victory over host Waubonsie Valley in Aurora on Wednesday afternoon.

young defender Emma English and senior fielder Ellie Klein They each had two RBIs as Bartlett (1-0) exploded for a nine-hit, nine-run fourth inning. senior field player Lauren Liqueurs Two pairs added.

senior field player Hannah Laub He allowed two hits and two RBIs to Waubonsie Valley (0-2).

Stankus struck out four, walked one, struck out six and allowed two earned runs. As a cleanup hitter, he hit an RBI double, scored a run, and also had a stolen base.

From the start, he put aside concerns about season-opening excitement. He was locked in and ready to play.

Bartlett’s Lauren Ligouri (2) completes second base against Waubonsie Valley in a non-conference game on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 in Aurora. (Troy Stolt/The Beacon News)

“I was so excited because I missed playing softball for the last few months this offseason,” Stankus said. “My role has changed now that I am an upperclassman. “I love being a leader.”

Indeed, he also surprised the Warriors with his command and versatility.

“My shooting style has definitely changed over the years,” he said. “I really started to use my change to my advantage.

“I am more of a spin bowler than a power bowler. I gained a lot of speed last year, so I know my speed helps.”

Meanwhile, the sales pitch is the family’s calling card. older brother RobertA member of Loras, he pitches for Bartlett’s baseball team. Her mother, AngieHe is the assistant coach of the Hawks’ softball team.

Christina, who also plays forward in basketball, has been playing softball since she was 4 years old.

Bartlett's Christina Stankus (8) runs to second base in the fifth inning of the game against Waubonsie Valley on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 in Aurora.  (For Troy Stolt/Aurora Beacon News)
Bartlett’s Christina Stankus (8) runs to second base in the fifth inning against Waubonsie Valley in a nonconference game on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Aurora. (Troy Stolt/The Beacon News)

“I’m a very competitive person; I love playing and competing,” he said. “I also like that this is a team sport. I love working with the people around me.

“These girls are like my sisters. I spend all my time with them.”

twin sisters Grace And Julia Wilkens two of his closest friends. Veteran outfielders watched Stankus develop as he came of age.

“Christina has grown tremendously as an actress in the last six years that I have played with her,” Julia Wilkens said. “He powers from the left side of the plate and moves quickly down the line.”

Grace Wilkens praised Stankus’ versatility and ability to influence things front or back.

“He is someone we can always count on,” Grace said. “His enthusiasm on and off the field gives the team the energy it needs.”

Christina Stankus (8) of Bartlett throws the ball during a game against Waubonsie Valley on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Aurora.  (For Troy Stolt/Aurora Beacon News)
Bartlett’s Christina Stankus (8) throws against Waubonsie Valley during a non-conference game on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Aurora. (Troy Stolt/The Beacon News)

Stankus became a full-time starter as a sophomore. He learned how to face the pressures and demands of the position.

“It was definitely an adjustment going into last year knowing I was the starter,” he said. “I had to get used to working full time and playing multiple games a week.

“I’m really getting used to it now. I’m really enjoying this job.”

Stankus is also a training fighter. He is methodical and dedicated to the intricacies of shooting as well as working out in the gym.

Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith appreciated his tenacity and approach.

“Christina has a great combination of talent and work ethic,” he said. “He is constantly working on his physical fitness.

“I have had the opportunity to coach other Division I-level girls who have spent a lot of time getting better.”

Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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