Barrington's home-run hitting parade continued in its semifinal game of the Rolling Meadows Class 4A softball sectional on Tuesday.
And so did the top-seeded Fillies' run through the state tournament with a 5-1 triumph over their Mid-Suburban West rival Fremd.
With a solo home run by Loren Krzysko and a 2-run blast by Krista Moore, the Fillies came to within 1 homer of tying Antioch and O'Fallon high schools, which entered the season with the IHSA state single-season record of 51.
But those numbers were the least of MSL champs' worries on Thursday.
Fremd had given the Fillies two of their toughest games of the regular season, 3-2 and 1-0 wins for Barrington.
In fact, after starting the season at 6-6, Fremd's only losses in its next 20 games were to Barrington.
"We were just trying to play to the best of our ability," said Barrington coach Perry Peterson, whose 33-1 team advanced to Saturday's 11 a.m. championship against the winner of today's semifinal between No. 2 New Trier (28-2) and No. 6 Lake Zurich (21-9). "We just have so much respect for what Jim (Weaver, head coach) does and what Fremd is all about. It is always one of the most challenging games we play."
This game, the Fillies were able to get the early jump on Fremd as Morgan Olszewski belted a double to the center field fence with two outs in the bottom of the second for a 1-0 lead. Katie Dehnert scored after reaching base with a leadoff single to center and advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Raegan Fingerman.
Shortstop Erin Ward (2-for-4) made it back-to back doubles when her ball landed down the right field line to bring home Olszewski for a 2-0 lead.
Those 2 runs proved to be enough for Barrington sophomore ace Keenan Dolezal, who improved to 26-1 with a 4-hitter and 9 strikeouts.
"Keenan was awesome," Peterson said. "I'm so proud of her mental toughness. She is a fierce competitor."
As usual, Fremd (24-8) competed right to the end, getting runners on first (freshman Alyssa Garcia singled to center) and second (Tracy Welninski walked) before the final out was made on an interference call.
"We challenged them in the seventh," said Fremd coach Jim Weaver. "We almost had the tying run at the plate.
"I'm proud of this group. To go from 6-6 and end up 24-8 took a lot of hard work by the kids. They did a really good job. You've got to give Barrington credit. They are the only team to beat us in the last two months."
The Fillies' lead grew to 3-0 in the third inning when Krzysko (2-for-3) belted her 42nd career homer and 18th of the season to left-center with two outs.
"Fremd is always tough," said the Arkansas recruit. "Every time we play them it's a great game. We knew we would have to play our hardest. It was important for us to get the lead early and hit hard the whole game."
Olszewski almost had her second extra base hit in a row in the fourth inning when she drove the ball deep to left. But a courageous Garcia, who went 2-for-3, slammed into the fence and held on to the ball for a crowd-pleasing catch. That ended the inning after Fremd ace Ashlynne Schwantz had struck out the first two batters.
Schwantz (23-5) had 5 strikeouts and no walks as she ended her stellar career by winning 17 of her last 19 games.
Fremd scored its run in the top of the fourth when catcher Kristine Herdegen doubled with two outs to the left field corner. That plated Michelle Mazur, who had reached on a fielder's choice.
The Fillies' final 2 runs came with two outs in the fifth.
Senior center fielder Tess Bolger doubled to left. Moore then drove her third homer in two games over the left field fence to make it 5-1.
"I'm really proud of our senior second baseman," Peterson said of Moore. "She is playing her best softball at the biggest time of the year."
It was Moore's fifth home run of the season.
"I'm just trying not be nervous and having confidence at the plate," she said. "Fremd is great competitor and always makes it a tough game for us. We have fun playing them."
In addition to Herdegen's double, Fremd also received a double from junior shortstop Leigh Farina, who was 1-for-2 with a walk.
"They (Barrington) hit the ball hard but we had much better at-bats than the last time," Weaver said. "And we played better defense.
"We've got a good group of girls coming back and hopefully that will lead us to another good season."