Prior to the start of the season, freshman catcher Rachel Krzysko spent three straight days working on a particular drill with assistant Barrington softball coach Jon Sander.
More than a month later, it won a game for the Fillies at Fremd on Friday.
With two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, Krzysko raced back to the fence to grab a wild pitch.
She cleanly scooped it up, turned and flipped a perfect strike to pitcher Keenan Dolezal, who put the tag on the runner trying to score from third base for the final out in Barrington's nerve-wracking 4-3 triumph.
The narrow win kept the Fillies (20-8, 10-2) within 1 game of first place in the ever-so-competitive Mid-Suburban West, where they trail Conant (17-1, 11-1). Schaumburg (16-7, 8-3) is third, followed by Fremd (16-8, 8-4) .
"Jon Sander and I have been working on that (wild pitch drill) forever," Krzysko said. "He kept telling me if the ball gets by, just get it and flip it back."
Krzysko and Dolezal executed perfectly, just three innings after their first try in the bottom of the seventh when Tracy Welninski slid home safely on a wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3.
"I was definitely ready for it again," Krzysko said. "And I was really rooting for Keenan."
Dolezal, whose winning tag gave her win No. 19 for the season with 8 losses, gave all the credit to her teammates.
"My team was behind me the whole game," said the junior and Loyola recruit. "And Rachel really talked me through everything and then she stepped up and really hustled on that last play."
Krzysko also stepped up in the batter's box where she belted her sixth homer in the second inning, a two-out solo shot over the 200-foot sign in center field.
Krzysko also produced the game-winning RBI in the top of the 10th when her groundout to first baseman Lauren VanHavermaet scored Kat Panos from third base.
Panos had reached on a one-out error, went to second on Kelly Katis' single to left and took third on a wild pitch.
"I'd like to think we work incredibly hard in practice to put the team in a position to win," said Barrington coach Perry Peterson, whose club reached 20 wins for the 22nd consecutive season. "To the credit of the girls, they got it done when we needed it most."
The Fillies needed defense for the final three innings.
In the eighth, Fremd got its first two batters on base with Kayla Kaufman (2-for-5) and Molly Muhs (2-for-4) getting base hits.
But Dolezal got out of the jam with a 5-6-3 double play as third baseman Jennifer Inamoto field a grounder, threw to shortstop Erin Ward who covering third for the force out and then threw to first baseman Katie Dehnert.
In the ninth, the Fillies pulled off an inning-ending double play when center fielder Kat Panos caught Leigh Farina's sharp liner and threw a perfect strike to Dehnert at first to double up the runner.
Then came the game-winning play on the wild pitch in the tenth.
"That was awesome," Ward said of the Fillies' defensive prowess. "Our offense wasn't there right away in this game but the defense made up for it."
Fremd tied the game in the bottom of the third when Farina singled home Alyssa Garcia, who had reached on an error with one out and stole second.
Barrington reclaimed the lead with 2 runs in the fifth inning on 4 hits.
Taylor Moran (2-for-4), Ward and Carly Kordich (2-for-5) all singled to load the bases with no outs.
Inamoto (2-for-5) then lined a single to center scoring Moran for a 2-1 lead. After a bases-loaded walk to Panos made it 2-1, Vikings junior Lea Barrett came in to pitch and got the next two batters on a strikeout and groundout to second baseman Welninski (2-for-3, 2 walks).
The Vikings came back to tie the game with runs in the sixth and seventh.
Kaufman (2-for-5) led off the sixth with a blast over the right center field fence, giving her a home run in each of the last three days.
"Kayla had some good at-bats and she made a nice catch in the outfield (clutch grab on Krzysko's long blast near the fence in the eighth )," said Fremd coach Jim Weaver. "Our outfield did a nice job. Lea came in and did a great job. "But we have to play together and talk together. Until then, we're not going to get better."