The Mid-Suburban League has had its share of high-scoring softball games this spring.
But Tuesday's Mid-Suburban West showdown at the Fields of Dreams brought back memories of yester-year when the pitcher's mound was 40 feet away from home plate instead of 43.
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A pair of juniors, both Division I recruits, faced off in a terrific pitchers' duel that win eight innings before Loyola-bound Keenan Dolezal shutout visiting Schaumburg and Illinois State bound Shannon Felde, 1-0.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Erin Ward reached on an infield error.
The senior shortstop stole second, raced to the third on a wild pitch and then came home when freshman Carly Kordich finished off a long at-bat by reaching on an infield error.
The Fillies improved to 18-8 and 8-2 in the Mid-Suburban West while Schaumburg slipped to 15-5 and 7-1.
Felde (7-2) tossed a 1-hitter. The right-hander struck out the side in the first two innings and finished with 12 strikeouts.
Dolezal (17-7) struck out 10, did not walk a batter and allowed only 3 hits.
"We were pumped up to play and knew it would be a good game," Ward said. "Schaumburg played great and their pitcher was great. She was on her game."
The game was finally settled when Ward became only the sixth Filly to reach base off Felde with two outs in the eighth.
Her stolen base set up Kordich's big at-bat.
"I love stealing," Ward said. "Coach P (Perry Peterson) has been stealing me a lot and I love it."
While at third base, Ward watched Kordich work the count to 2-2 and then foul off a handful of pitches.
"That was super impressive for a freshman to come through in the clutch like Carly did in that situation," Ward said. "When she hit it, Coach P just kept saying 'crash the plate, crash the plate' so I took off."
Kordich also had a key sacrifice bunt in the third inning which gave Barrington its best scoring chance of Felde with runners on second and third one out.
"Carly is such a gamer," Peterson said of the rookie right fielder. "I knew she would come through."
Peterson remembers when his 1997 team came through against a powerful Thornwood team in a similar game at the Fields of Dreams. The Fillies scored in the bottom of the seventh to win on that early May afternoon 1-0 without a hit in the game.
"This game (Tuesday) reminded me when the mound was 40 feet away," Peterson said. "It was a tremendous pitcher's duel between two D-I recruits. I loved when pitchers threw from 40 feet years ago."
Schaumburg's hits were a one-out single to left by sophomore catcher Christina Candotti (third inning), a one-out infield hit by Felde (seventh) and a leadoff single to center by freshman Natalie Napier in the eighth inning.
But in the eighth, Dolezal didn't let the runner past second base after a strikeout, 2-3 sacrifice bunt and another strikeout.
"She's (Dolezal) a good pitcher," said Schaumburg coach Ellen Abreu. "We had to go after it a little more against her. We needed to do a better job of adjusting.
"Shannon pitched great. Everything was working for her and she stayed confident throughout the game."
The only hit off Felde was Kat Panos' two-out double to left in the second inning.
"You just take what you can from this, and move forward," said Abreu, whose team visits Buffalo Grove today and then hosts Conant (14-1, 7-1) on Thursday. "You learn from it and move on."