Softball: Barrington gets No. 800 for Peterson
Last spring, St. Joseph-Ogden softball coach Randy Wolken won his 1,000th game and Elk Grove's Ken Grams won his 900th.
On Friday at the Fields of Dreams in Barrington, Fillies coach Perry Peterson posted his own big, round number, winning his 800th as the Mid-Suburban West leaders posted an 8-1 win over Schaumburg to raise their record to 21-2 and 11-0.
Hall of famers Wolken, Grams and the 48-year-old Peterson are the three winningest coaches in IHSA history.
Peterson, in his 27th season (including one at St. Viator) is now 800-186.
Fillies catcher Abbey Jacobsen, who had the game-winning RBI with a 2-run single to left in the first inning, still remembers when Peterson got No. 700 during her freshman year.
"So it's really cool that we got to reach No. 800 with this group of girls who he has known, forever, too," said the Loyola recruit, who went 2-for-4. "I just think his success is how he runs practices and how we have to push ourselves to work hard at practice. That makes the games a lot easier. We are able to come together as one and we just succeed."
Success is the norm under Peterson, who has won at least 20 games for 26 straight seasons.
A pair of 1997 all-area players who are part of the winning tradition were on hand for No. 800 on Friday.
"Perry has always been so passionate about the game and his players," said all-area pitcher Christine Pedersen Vlaming, now a teacher at Fremd. "He is a phenomenal coach. He cares about everything that he does for the game and his program."
Vlaming was asked if she noticed any changes at her former ballpark.
"A few more banners up there on the fence," she said with a smile.
Among those banners are a pair of state-runner-up finishes in the state tourney.
"I'm not surprised in the slightest he has won this many games," said Erin Doyle Malinowski, an all-area second baseman for Peterson and former Schaumburg softball head coach. "He is a phenomenal coach. He puts everything into it. Anyone who has ever played for him is lucky to have had him for a coach. He's a great person, too, He cares about each player individually as people and players."
Schaumburg coach Ellen Abreu actually played for Peterson's Barrington Hurricanes summer team years ago.
She also played against Peterson as an all-area pitcher for Fremd.
"Congratulations to Perry," Abreu said. "That is awesome."
Barrington got an awesome start to the game from winning pitcher Caroline Hoppe (5-0), who was throwing a no-hitter for 4⅓ innings.
Other multiple hitters for Barrington were Jenna Patino (2-for-4) and Rachel Mori (2-for-3) while Leyden Atlas had a big 2-run single in the second inning. Tori Meyer (2 walks) also had a RBI single in the sixth inning.
Abreu was proud of her team's effort against the Fillies.
Saxons sophomore shortstop Talia Torosian belted her third homer, a one-out solo shot to right-center in the top of the fifth inning.
Senior catcher Janalee Lyke, who threw out two runners trying to steal for the first time in her career, also had one of the 5 hits for the Saxons (1-9, 1-15) along with Tatiana Cooper, Megan Pasquarelli (first varsity hit) and Sage Morton.
"We've we've been trying to emphasize tough defense," Abreu said. "And we played better, cleaner defense this game. We had only one error. At the end of the day, I'm pretty happy with how we played."
The Fillies will play today on the field today where it all started for Peterson. His Fillies visit Prospect at 10 a.m.
Peterson was an assistant coach for Bruce Bazsali's varsity softball team while he was student at Prospect.
Some 31 years later, he is the third-winningest coach in IHSA history.
No. 800 was made even more special by his daughter Kendall (2-for-4) playing third base for the Fillies and his wife, Jennifer, serving as the public address announcer.
"This is really special for me because I've seen my father win so many benchmark games," said Kendall, a Northwestern recruit said. "Finally, to be a part of one, really means a lot to me."
Assistant coach Dennis Sander and his wife Sarah (scorekeeper) have been part of 784 of Peterson's wins.
"In the beginning, I was just trying to have one successful season," Peterson said. "It's been a fun ride, a great ride. We have a lot of people to thank in this town -- great families, amazing administration and dedicated assistant coaches. We've got more than 100 combined years of coaching Barrington softball on our current staff."