Big inning propels Buffalo Grove girls to softball regional title win over Libertyville

By Lou Nunez Jr.
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/28/2022 8:46 PM

Fifty-one years ago Ringo Starr had his first post-Beatles solo hit, the No. 4 smash "It Don't Come Easy."

That seemed to fit the struggle the Buffalo Grove softball team had in their Class 4A Stevenson Regional final Saturday against Libertyville.


Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth with one out and the bases loaded Wildcats junior hurler Finley Olsen faced Buffalo Grove's Alyssa Fontanetta, who grounded out to shortstop two innings earlier.

Fontanetta thought it might be better to take a different approach in how she took a swing at the softball.

"They were pulling me left, so I thought maybe pull it right and I did pull it right and it scored two and was really beneficial to the game," she said.

Fontanetta's double turned out to have more than just an immediate benefit. It served as a game-changing moment that led to a four-run tear and a 6-2 win over the Wildcats. It was Buffalo Grove's second straight regional title and fourth in program history.

Buffalo Grove (25-4) meets Loyola (16-12) Tuesday in the Glenbrook North Sectional semifinal.

"That's been our thing all year," BG coach Caitlin Carpenter said. "We keep fighting. We keep going. We came up with those big ones (hits) when we needed them from all over the lineup."

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It also got a complete game from junior pitcher Kate Ryan, who took a line drive to her lower leg in the top of the first.

"We had a strong defense and we were very confident in Kate," Carpenter said. "She's a super tough kid. I knew it would take a ton for her to not want to stay out there. It was a scary moment that as soon as she was laughing, I knew we were OK and she just went back to being her."

Libertyville (18-17) had baserunners in scoring position picked off in the first, second and sixth innings, wiping out scoring opportunities.

Wildcats coach Sean Farrell was happy with his team's 11-4 finish after dropping a doubleheader to the Bison a month ago that left them at 7-13.

"I just told them that I'm really proud of them. We've come a long way as a program and we have a really good foundation to build off," Farrell said. "Congratulations to Buffalo Grove. That's a really good team. I give their pitcher a lot of credit.

"That can be us next year. It's not unrealistic. We really have a good core of kids."

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