EAST PEORIA — On the final day of the girls softball season, the Barrington Fillies kicked up their heels for a final victory dance.
This one came in the Class 4A third-place game on Saturday afternoon at the EastSide Centre, and it ended with a 5-1 victory over York.
The Fillies’ 36-2 final record gave them the best single-season winning percentage (.947) in the 45-year history of the program.
It also gave them a 9-9 record in eight trips to the state final, seven under Hall of Fame coach Perry Peterson.
The Barrington softball players will ride a fire truck through Barrington on Sunday, and the presentation of the third-place trophy to Barrington principal Steve McWilliams will take place at noon at the Fillies’ home turf, the Fields of Dreams.
“It’s so difficult to win any game at the state finals,” said Peterson, whose team’s 2013 state trophy will join two other third-place hardware pieces, two second places and one fourth in the school’s softball trophy case. “But I’m so happy how our team was so resilient on the field today.”
Keenan Dolezal completed her sophomore season with a 29-2 record, tossing a no-hitter for 41⁄3 innings before York junior Taylor Pankau singled sharply to left.
Dolezal got all the runs she would need in the first inning, when the Fillies scored twice.
Tess Bolger reached on an infield hit and was sacrificed to second by classmate Krista Moore. Loren Krzysko reached on an error and stole second, giving the Fillies runners on second and third.
Katie Dehnert (2-for-4) reached on an infield error, scoring Bolger, before Raegan Fingerman (2-for-4) belted a double to left-center to score Krzysko for the 2-0 lead.
The Fillies’ final 3 runs came in the top of the third when Krzysko and Dehnert led off with singles to right and center , respectively. After a flyout, Maggie O’Hara (2-for-4, 2 doubles) doubled to left, scoring Krzysko for a 3-0 lead.
Morgan Olszewski followed with a bloop single to right to score pinch runner Alexa Rebecca, and Erin Ward’s sacrifice fly to right drove in O’Hara for the fifth run — and the team record 367th of the season.
“We still came through scoring runs in our last game,” said Olszewski, who will attend Miami of Ohio. “We were hoping for first place, but we’ll take third. No. 3 in the state isn’t all that bad.”
“It’s definitely an accomplishment, but bittersweet,” said Fillies senior Sam Rosenfeld, a No. 9 hitter who produced 27 RBI and singled to center in her last high school at-bat. “But it’s good that we made it down here. It’s an experience we will never forget. I’ve been playing with these seniors since sixth grade.”
Nine seniors, including Cassidy Kraimer (who finished 7-0 on the mound), graduate from the Fillies.
One of them, Krzysko, will move on to Division I Arkansas after belting a school-record 42 homers in her career.
“It’s been a great season,” Krzysko said. “These girls are my family. I love them so much. It’s been our goal ever since sixth grade to get down here. It’s awesome that we won our last game and great way to finish a season I’ll never forget.”
It was a season in which Dolezal lost only two games, one by 1 run in 15 innings to Marengo, and one by 1 run to state runner-up St. Charles East.
Dolezal’s 29 wins matched the most her sister Kiley won in 2010.
Barrington’s 54 home runs are the second-most in an IHSA single-season behind the 60 that Trinity belted this spring.
Coincidently, it was Trinity who York eliminated in the Resurrection sectional final.
“The girls just started believing in their ability,” said York coach Drew McGuire. “After we rallied to defeat Whitney Young in the regional, they kind of grew and started to jell and knew they could be something special.”
The Dukes (23-16) were indeed special, becoming the first team in program history to play in the final four of the state tournament and only second to make it to the quarterfinals.
“I’m so happy for my teammates” said senior Gracie Sullivan. “We’ve played awesome and Brooke (Bandy, a sophomore who ended up 15-9) has pitched real well. Not many teams get to end their season playing downstate.”
Barrington was back for the eighth time — this time with a team that set 13 single-season offensive records, including most extra-base hits. That number grew to 162 with doubles on Saturday by O’Hara and Fingerman.
Krzysko’s 20 doubles led the Fillies this season, as did her 18 home runs. Olszewski’s 9 homers were second best.
“Our goal since freshman year was to get down here with a phenomenal team,” Olszewski said. “We definitely did it this season.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.