Barrington shakes off stubborn Larkin for 20th-straight regional softball crown
The back of Barrington's warm-up jerseys reads "Doesn't Just Happen."
But some amazing things sure have happened for the Fillies softball program.
Just three days after setting the state's single-season record for home runs, Barrington claimed a 20th straight regional title and its 20th 30-win season.
Junior right-hander Allie Goodwin (26-5) hurled a 6-hitter with a career-high 16 strikeouts as the top-seeded Fillies won their own Class 4A regional 7-3 over No. 4 Larkin Friday.
Barrington (30-5) will play Hononegah on Tuesday in the Huntley Sectional semifinal.
The Mid-Suburban League champs survived a young Larkin (15-11) team that made things interesting.
Junior Bayley Johnson (2-for-3) belted her team-high eighth home run of the season with two outs in the first inning to give Larkin a 1-0 lead.
The Fillies answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Ellie Wintringer (3-for-3, 3 RBI) and a two-out RBI double to right center by shortstop Nikki Vojack.
Larkin went ahead 3-2 in the fourth. Johnson drove a one-out double to left center and came home on junior pitcher Chelsea Herrick's single to right to tie the game. Freshman Julissa Aquinaga then doubled to score Herrick.
"Julissa's double was huge," said Larkin coach Anne Vogt, who started three freshmen and two sophomores.
But Goodwin did not allow another run, retiring nine of the next 11 batters (7 strikeouts) to secure the win.
She also did it with her bat, going 2-for-3, and clubbing a 1-1 pitch over the left center field fence for a 3-run homer that scored designated player Teagan Buckley (2-for-2, walk) and Reese Cullen (1-for-2) for a 5-3 cushion in the fourth.
It was Goodwin's team-high 16th homer of the season and extended the Fillies' state record for a single season to 74 long balls.
"Larkin did a nice job and played well," said Barrington coach Perry Peterson, who also got a 3-for-3 day at the plate from sophomore catcher Emma Kavanagh, who picked off a runner at first base in the first inning with Ainsley Muno making the tag.
"We came out here and we took the lead on them," said Vogt, a former Larkin and Judson University standout in the sport. "We held them. They're a great team but we came out here and knew we were going to give them a run and I'm proud of them."
Left fielder Audrianna Escobar and right fielder Ariela Bermudez -- who made a great sliding catch to rob Vojack of a second hit in the bottom of the sixth -- also had hits for the Royals.
"I think Chelsea pitched a great game," Vogt added. "We have a young team with only two seniors (Escobar and Bermudez) in the starting lineup. We'll be back."
"I didn't realize how many (strikeouts) I had because I'm just trying to get outs, especially when we were down," Goodwin said. "I was just trying to keep runners off base."
"Allie did a good job, getting a lot of outs on her own," said Peterson, who won his 905th game. "That was impressive.
"At this time of the season, you've just gotta keep improving. So we'll work hard for two practices and get ready for the sectional."