Softball: Barrington clinches MSL West title
Senior Ellie Wintringer said her Barrington softball team has spent a lot of time working on its chemistry in its most recent practices.
"We've just been making sure we're making good contact with the ball," said the Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) recruit. "We're trying to make the other team make errors and trying to hit the ball hard."
The Fillies certainly did that on Friday at Fremd, smacking three home runs and collecting 17 hits in a 15-4 six-inning triumph over the Vikings.
The Fillies' three long balls by Wintringer (seventh of the season), Ainsley Muno (12th) and Emma Kavanagh (12th), gave them 59 for the season, just three shy of the program's record of 62 set last season.
But most importantly, it helped Barrington (24-4, 14-1), the state's No. 10-ranked Class 4A team, secure its 20th Mid-Suburban League divisional title (12 in the West and 8 in the old North division).
Barrington junior Allie Goodwin raised her record to 20-4 by tossing a 7-hitter with 4 strikeouts.
"We are in a spot where we are learning to love playing under the pressure of the moment," said coach Perry Peterson (899-199 in 30 seasons, including one at St. Viator), who on Monday tries to become only the third Illinois softball coach to win 900 games when the Fillies wrap up MSL West play. "That's what we are working on really hard. We've ramped it up in practice and we are pushing really hard as a group. We are at the point of the season where there are plenty of built-in distractions and we're asking for more from our kids. I'm really proud of the group and how they stuck with it today."
Muno and Wintringer each went 4-for-5 while leadoff batter Brynn Nevers was 3-for-5 and No. 6 hitter Nikki Vojack went 3-for-4 with an RBI double. Goodwin and Teagan Buckley also had hits for the Fillies.
Fremd (20-7, 12-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Kalyn McCarthy (2-for-3) singled to center, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ava Jordan (2-for-3, double), third on Elaina Kraus' groundout and home on a wild pitch.
"I thought Kalyn had a really nice game especially after she was a little frustrated the last time we played them," said Fremd coach Josh Teschner. "I thought she did a fantastic job today. Obviously, Ava Jordan had a really nice day, too. She put down that really nice bunt in the first inning and then moved on from there. Those are the two kids who jumped off the page to me to get us out of the gates."
"Fremd was excellent at the beginning of the game and we had to keep competing," said Peterson, who won his 16th divisional title in his 29 seasons at Barrington. "Then our offense got on track and things kept going."
The Fillies batted around in the third (5 runs) and fourth (6 runs) innings, scored twice in fifth and once in the sixth.
Muno's grand slam to left center made it 4-1 in the third and Wintringer's solo blast to right center followed for a 5-1 lead.
Kavanagh's rope over the center field fence in the fourth, a 3-run blast, made it 8-3.
"We knew coming into the game that we would have to execute at the highest level possible," Teschner said. "The reality is that Barrington is Barrington. They've got great hitters, disciplined hitters. And they played defense. They've got kids who right now executed at a higher level and that was it."