When she was last on the softball diamond wearing a Barrington uniform, Tori Meyer was putting in the longest stint of her career.
Meyer came in as a reliever in the first inning of the Class 4A third-place game and earned the 7-6 win against Marist, giving up just 1 earned run in 9 innings with 1 strikeout and 2 walks.
This spring, Meyer will be back in the same uniform as a junior for the Fillies.
And she will start the season knowing what uniform she will wear once she graduates.
Meyer has committed to coach Eugene Lenti's DePaul softball team in Chicago.
Meyer becomes the 27th Filly softball player under Hall of Fame coach Perry Peterson to compete in Division I athletics since 1993 and the first Filly to play softball at DePaul University.
"I had heard about the school from my travel softball coach, Brian Bowman, and from my dad (Corey), who went to DePaul Law School," she said. "They explained both the academic and softball programs that DePaul offers and I thought the school would be the best fit for me. Also, I love coach Lenti (NCAA Division I Hall of Fame coach) and the high level competition in the Big East."
The longtime goal for Meyer, also an all-area guard for Babbi Barreiro's girl basketball team, has always been to play softball in college.
"When I was around seven or eight years old, softball was a place where I would hang out with my friends, have fun, and imitate big time softball players, such as Jenny Finch," she said. "Then, as time went on, the game got more competitive and I started to understand that there is more beyond softball than just travel teams and small tournaments."
Meyer began lifting weights, training and pitching almost every day, all helping her get stronger physically and mentally.
"All I wanted to do was get better and keep improving my skills," said Meyer, who plans to study law at DePaul. "I started following all the college softball teams. I admired their confidence and team work. All I wanted to do was be like them one day."
She has earned that chance after helping lead Barrington to a 37-4 record last spring.
"My coaches, from the past and present, have inspired me to be the girl starting in the field, not the one sitting on the bench," she said. "One specific one is coach (Perry) Peterson, who has been coaching me since fifth grade. He is really the reason I stand where I stand today."
Meyer said Peterson taught her that you cannot get better without practice and that failure is not a bad thing.
"Also, he taught me that going through the motions does not get you anywhere in life and focus is key," Meyer added. "He truly inspires me to be the best I can and hold myself to a high standard."
Meyer's parents had her try a lot of different sports and activities as a young girl.
" I did not necessarily like a lot of them but softball was one that I enjoyed and stuck with," she said. "It helped me get through the good times and overcome the bad times. I knew my teammates would always have my back."
That sure was the case in the final game last spring when they rallied for the 7-6 win while Meyer took care of the business on the pitcher's mound.
"We got really close to winning state last season which was a huge accomplishment," she said. "But I am confident in saying that the Barrington Fillies will be working hard to do even better in the spring of 2018."
Grossman to MSOE
Palatine senior pitcher Sarah Grossman is signing her letter of intent this week to play softball at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Grossman was 13-1 last spring and 1-for-1 with save opportunities. She possessed a 1.15 ERA and had 171 strikeouts, the fourth most in a single-season in school history.
Pirate pitching coach Kristen Proffitt said Grossman owns the perfect mentality for a pitcher.
"She works hard all year long and she always wants to do her best for her teammates," said Proffitt, a former all-area pitcher for Maine West. "She is never afraid of any batter and rises to every challenge. She makes it fun to call pitches because she hits her spots so well. She leads the team with her quiet confidence and I am really excited to see what she does in her senior year."
Pirates head coach Nicole Pauly Capalbo, who starred at shortstop for Palatine, calls Grossman a "gamer."
"Sarah thrives in pressure situations and has the confidence to go at and get out any opposing hitter," she said. "Our team was always comfortable with her on the mound and she is one of the reasons our team was so successful last season."
Pauly Capalbo sees MSOE as a great fit for Grossman.
"MSOE not only has a good softball program but is a great engineering school," Pauly said. "Sarah is extremely smart and has a cumulative GPA of 4.435 on a 4.0 scale. The personal qualities she exemplifies on the softball field will help her to succeed at MSOE and in her future career as an engineer."
Trinity International junior Katelyn Sommers (Buffalo Grove) finished the season leading the team in assists and placed in the top five for digs.
The Trojans finished with their best record (16-19) since 2010, barely missing the conference tournament by one set despite having only three seniors. Trinity won only 10 matches in 2016 and had only 3 wins in 2015.
Sommers closed out the season in strong fashion, recording 23 assists and 18 digs in a three-set loss to Olivet Nazareth, 35 assists and 10 digs in a three-set win against Governors State and 35 assists with 3 digs in a season-ending three-set win against Robert Morris.
Washington College Julia Portmann (Fremd) played a big role as the Shorewomen defeated Franklin & Marshall 134-128, to win their first home meet and first Centennial Conference meet of the season. It was also the Shorewomen's first win over F & M in 10 years. Portmann won three events, starting off by winning the 1000 freestyle by seven-tenths of a second in 11:04.00. She also won the 200 freestyle in 2:01.37 and the 500 freestyle in 5:24.08.
Augustana senior defensive end Grant Burke (Hersey) has a team-high 11 tackles for loss. Freshman safety John Kappel (Wheeling) has 56 total tackles.
Vikings sophomore Bobby Jarosz (Prospect) gained 59 yards on 16 attempts in a loss to 24th-ranked Augustana on Saturday.
Illinois State senior Kelli Zickert (Buffalo Grove) received All-MVC First-Team honors.
Zickert led the Redbirds in points and assists, scoring 4 goals and notching 6 assists.
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