Softball: Maine West quiets New Trier hit parade
Skokie Wednesday 05.30.12. New Trier shortstop Ryan Lee dives for a ground ball during their sectional playoff game against Loyola on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, at Niles West High School in Skokie. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:31AM
When you win six sectionals in 12 years and finish fourth in the state three of the last five, success becomes expected.
New Trier came into Saturday’s sectional final having won 26 of its last 28 games and was looking to win its third consecutive sectional title. Maine West derailed those plans, however, upsetting the top-seeded Trevians 4-2 in 10 innings Saturday afternoon at Niles West.
“They’re a nice team,’’ said New Trier coach John Cadwell. “We got our fair share of hits, but couldn’t put anything together. We walked a fine line out there and it hurt us. On a day like today, you have to come up with some plays and we couldn’t do that in critical situations.’’
Maine West, who won their first sectional title in school history, got on the board first in the second inning with a walk and a double.
But after that rough inning, Colgate-bound Brigit Ieuter (21-4) was back to her dominating self, allowing only three more base runners through the sixth inning.
Unfortunately for her, New Trier’s offense couldn’t push any runs across the plate.
Until the fifth inning that is. Molly Morrison reached on an error by the third baseman and came around to score on Jackie Stern’s single. It looked like the Trevians would put up more runs with cleanup hitter Eileen Hurley at the plate. Hurley hit a scorching liner, but Abbey Harling made a miraculous diving catch to rob Hurley of two RBI and a chance for New Trier to break the game open.
Maine West scored in the top of the seventh and looked to have the game locked up as New Trier (31-6) was down to its last out. But Megan Neuhaus doubled home Stern and sent the game into extra innings.
“This has been an aggressive team all year long and every time they’ve made a mistake, somebody has been there to pick them up, but today it didn’t happen,’’ said Cadwell. “The composure, their attitude, they never feel like they’re out of the game.
When Maine West came up in the 10th inning, Cadwell replaced Ieuter with Allison Quigley, who quickly allowed the first two hitters to reach base on an error and a walk. Fitzgerald doubled home both runners, and the Warriors (27-10) retired the Trevians in order in the bottom of the 10th.
“I feel bad for the seniors because these four have been the core of our team,” Caldwell said. “They’ve come to the rescue when we’ve needed them. We just came out a little shy.’’