The Fenwick softball team needed two extra innings and two hits by center fielder Jaime Loomis to get the job done last week as the Friars edged their area-rival Trinity by a score of 2-1 in the semifinal of the St. Ignatius Sectional. The Friars fell 7-1 to cross-town rival Oak Park and River Forest in the sectional championship at UIC on Saturday.
"The girls fought hard. We've been playing better down the stretch. We knew it was going to be a tough game today," said Fenwick coach Bill Monaco after the battle with Trinity (19-15).
The game seemed to have everything: great pitching and fielding on both sides and enough hits to show off both offenses.
Loomis tripled in the bottom of the first to get the Friars (12-21) started. Shortstop Bridget Lally then knocked in Loomis with a single.
After allowing two hits in the first, the Blazers' defense and pitcher Karen Wagner settled down to get the next seven batters out. The Friars then had consecutive singles in the bottom of the third by Courtney Monaco and Lally, but couldn't score.
The nail-biting continued as each team got a base runner on, but were unable to capitalize. In the top of the sixth, Trinity leadoff hitter Gina Consiglio walked. Marisa Bertolli then singled to put the runners at the corners with no outs. Kelly O'Brien hit a long sacrifice fly to score Consiglio and tie the game.
In the top of the seventh with one out and two runners on base for Trinity, Fenwick made a pitching change. Erin Kelly took over the mound for Eleanor Comiskey, who finished with five strikeouts.
Fenwick was able to chip out a single in the eighth, but could not score. Trinity threatened in the ninth, but hit into another double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, Anne Loeffler's leadoff walk was followed by Megan Musselman's single. Ann White's sacrifice bunt advanced both runners, and then Julia Maras walked to load the bases. It was Loomis' turn to finish what she had started way back in the first inning for the Friars. She had a solid hit to score Loeffler and win the game for the Friars, 2-1.
"It was exciting. It was a little nerve wrecking in the middle, especially when they scored in the sixth. I figured we'd come through," said Loomis after the big win.
For the Friars, Lally and Loomis each had two hits and an RBI. For the Blazers, pitcher Karen Wagner went the distance with three strikeouts.
"I think our cards didn't fall the right way today, but we ended our season on the best note by giving it everything we had," said Wagner.
Trinity coach Bob Osborne remarked, "We played well. We fought all the way through. I couldn't ask for anything more."
Brad Spencer contributed to this report.