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Harlem tallies first undefeated conference record since 2008

Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 9:50 PM CDT
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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - In the mid to late 2000′s Harlem softball dominated the NIC-10, going undefeated in conference play for three consecutive years. For the first time since that impressive run, Harlem won 18 NIC-10 games in a row in 2021.

“My senior year varsity conference was kind of up for grabs,” Former Harlem pitcher Brittany Andrews said.

In 2008 the Huskies entered the year on a 38 game conference win streak. Brittany Andrews was the star pitcher on the team and says it came with some pressure.

“There was a lot of buzz about oh is this team going to be able to do it three years in a row,” Andrews said.

“Our whole team was an underdog that season,” Former Harlem catcher and current Assistant Varsity Coach Jessica Pagel said.

Andrews and Pagel led the Huskies to another undefeated season in the NIC-10 in 2008. It capped off a 50 game conference win streak.

“We were both tight-knit teams,” Pagel said. “We played for each other we didn’t focus on stats we didn’t focus on selfish stuff we worked together.”

Pagel says both teams are special, but it is hard to ignore one huge similarity both teams had an ace.

“They’re both leaders they both took on the circle pretty good,” Pagel said.

In 2008 Andrews pitched every game for the Huskies, leading them to 18-0. This year, pitcher Cheyenne Nietz has won 18 games for Harlem.

“The biggest thing for me is that it’s one pitch at a time,” Nietz said. “Even when I get a bad call or I make a bad pitch it’s the next pitch that really counts.”

“Talent hard work there’s got to be a lot of dedication a lot of things going on behind the scenes that people don’t see,” Andrews said about Nietz

Nietz says an undefeated season is a special achievement, but still believes bigger things are ahead.

“We’re not done with the season so we just got to keep running for it,” Nietz

Harlem continues its playoff run Tuesday, June 8. The Huskies welcome Mchenry to the Harlem Community Center for a sectional semi-final game.

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