Softball: Fremd snaps Barrington’s 30-game home streak

Fremd's softball team found the magic spell at the Fields of Dreams and made one of the longest home winning streaks in Barrington history disappear.

The Vikings ended the Fillies' 30 straight wins at home Friday by winning a nifty pitchers’ duel between junior standout Hailey Lucas and sophomore gem Katie Taraschewsky, who suffered her first loss.

Lucas fired a 3-hitter with 13 strikeouts to stop the Fillies, 3-1, and give the Vikings first place in the Mid-Suburban West.

The junior right-hander (9-2) got all the runs she would need before she stopped in the circle.

Fremd (10-2, 6-0) scored twice in the first inning and never trailed in defeating Barrington (14-1, 5-1) at the Fields of Dreams for the first time since April 23, 2012 when the Vikings won 3-0.

"We knew full well that we had to score early," said Fremd coach Josh Teshcner. "Letting a young pitcher get momentum, and letting their bats get comfortable and confident was not going to be something to help us win the game. We knew we were going to have to attack the ball early and put the pressure on them to have to answer to us."

Sure enough, that's exactly what the Vikes did.

Fremd got on the board in the top of the first when junior Taylor Piento led off with an opposite field single to left.

The speedy center fielder advanced to second on Amanda Poniecki's sacrifice bunt and took third on a wild pitch.

After a walk to Lucas, cleanup hitter and catcher Mia Souliotis reached on a 3-2 fielder's choice as Piento slid home safely for a 1-0 lead.

Moments later, courtesy runner Alexa Pazur came home on a wild pitch for the quick 2-0 lead.

"That was definitely a really big start for us," said Piento (2-4), the game's only multiple hitter. "It's always important to get some runs first. I just wanted to be able to do my job as the leadoff hitter and get on base for my teammates, and they have my back, too."

Barrington got a run back in the bottom of the third when senior catcher Emma Kavanagh (2 walks) drew a one-out walk and came home on Reese Cullen's double to the right-center gap.

The Vikings gave Lucas an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Senior first baseman Leah Sheehan singled to right with one out and pinch runner Penelope Schmidt went to second on Claire Kanupke's ground out. Freshman shortstop Avery Sheridan singled home her classmate Schmidt with two outs to make it 3-1 before Lucas retired the side in the bottom of the seventh.

"Hailey is such a great pitcher and keeps herself centered all the time," Sheehan said. "She keeps pushing with everything she has to go through.Our goal is to always score early and score first. We really executed that.

"We were confident coming in that we'd be able to keep pushing and pushing ourselves as a team throughout the game, be resilient and I think we proved that today."

Lucas, an all-stater last spring, has proven she is one of the top pitchers in the state. Her ERA stands at 0.28 and she has 136 strikeouts (double digits in every game).

Lucas, who has given up only 3 earned runs all season, got solid defense, too.,

Piento carefully navigated the windy conditions and made a nice backward running catch to rob Taraschewsky of extra bases in the fourth inning.

Friday marked only the fifth time in its last 100 regular-season conference games that Barrington has lost, dating back to 2017. Fremd defeated Barrington for the first time since May 16, 2016, a 2-1 decision in Palatine.

"In a battle of undefeated teams in the MSL West, , the team that played the best won the game," said Barrington coach Perry Peterson. "So congratulations to Fremd. They played better than us and deserved to win."

Other than Cullen's double, Barrington's only other hits were singles by Shannon Kenney and Taraschewsky.

"Without question, the last week we have played championship-winning softball," Teschner said. "When you play Barrignton, who for me is the best program in the state of Illinois, you have to put the pressure on them because they are certainly going to put it on you. Any time you play Barrington and you hang in the game, that's nice. But we knew coming in that we have been playing a level of softball that we haven't played in quite some time. So we knew that we had every opportunity if we just played strong defensively and let Hailey work."

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.