Softball: Barrington caps 35-win season taking 4th in state
Another stellar season for the Barrington softball program went into the books on Saturday, with the final chapter ending in a 2-1 loss to Oak Park-River Forest in the Class 4A third-place game at the Louisville Slugger Stadium in Peoria.
The Fillies (35-7) loaded the bases with no outs to start the game.
Center fielder Mimi Cline and pitcher Allie Goodwin walked followed by an infield single from catcher Emma Kavanagh. Northwestern-bound Ainsley Muno was then hit by a pitch to score the Fillies' only run.
Oak Park (31-8) escaped further damage with a 1-2-3 double play and a strikeout.
The Huskies answered with 2 runs in the bottom half of the inning and neither team scored again.
But the Mid-Suburban West champions gave it their best shot in the bottom of the seventh.
Sophomore third baseman Reese Cullen began with a single to left and advanced to second on Tessa Peterson's sacrifice bunt. She took third on Hannah Fors' groundout to the pitcher before senior shortstop Nikki Vojack flew out to center.
"Nikki played very well in Peoria," said Fillies coach Perry Peterson, who led Barrington to its 10th state trophy (five fourth-place, three third-place and two seconds) in his 31 years at the school.
"She was very smooth defensively, making a lot of great plays in her final weekend of high school softball. And she hit the ball well, In her four at-bats, three of them were shots to the outfield. So she did a good job with that."
Also doing a good job with the bat this weekend was Cullen, the only player with 2 hits. She got them both on Saturday with her first being a single in the fourth inning.
"I was just trying to help contribute the best I could for my team," said Cullen, a first-year starter for the Fillies. "I was so honored to play with such a great group of seniors and I am really going to miss them. It was great to be able to play with them in the state finals and I'm really excited looking forward to the next two years."
This year marked the 24th time the MSL has been represented in the softball state finals, with 12 of those appearances from Barrington (first one in 1976).
The hall of famer Peterson (943-209 in 32 seasons, one at St. Viator), who is third on the all time list for IHSA coaching wins behind St. Joseph-Ogden's Randy Wolken (1,044) and Elk Grove's Kens Grams (1,119), has been the architect of 11 of the Fillies' downstate berths.
"One of the things I'll remember about this team was the players' willingness to adapt to the changes we made along the way," he said.
One of those changes involved his Princeton-bound pitcher Goodwin and her catcher Kavanagh, a junior who will play at Arizona.
"I didn't call the pitches in the second half of the season," he said. "We allowed the pitcher and catcher to do it and that seemed to be a positive. They had a lot of self-confidence and seemed to enjoy it."
Goodwin (23-7) enjoyed a terrific career on the mound (65-14), moving into a tie with Catherine McMahon for fifth on Barrington's all-time win list behind Keenan Dolezal (90) Abby Reed (80), Claire Voris (75) and Christine Pedersen (72).
In her final performance on Saturday, Goodwin threw a 7-hitter with 6 strikeouts. She pitched the Fillies to back-to-back downstate berths for the first time since 07-08 (Fillies were second both years).
"It was another exciting season," Peterson added. "We were organizing things with a lot of new faces although we also had a lot of returners who were trying to carry on the tradition of succeeding on the field.
"We had some goals. We wanted to get back to Peoria and we did. We hoped to get further but we competed well so it was good."