It was a pitcher’s duel that resulted in a marathon softball game. In the end, Trinity came out on top 2-1 over Ridgewood in 14 innings to win its second straight regional championship.
A throwing error, a steal, an illegal pitch call and a single translated into the only run for Ridgewood in the third inning. Ridgewood’s pitcher, Trina Fields, was hard on the Trinity batters. Fields had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning until Monica Albano, Marisa Bertolli, and Kelly O’Brien all hit consecutive singles. O’Brien got the RBI to tie the game at 1-1. The Blazers threatened again in the ninth and 11th innings, but could not get a runner home.
Defense ruled on both sides as the innings mounted. At first base, Marissa Felder kept Trinity (22-14) in the game with some dazzling catches, spins, and tags to get the runners out.
“Everybody was so pumped up. We didn’t want to see our season end,” said Felder.
The tie was finally broken in the top of the 14th when leadoff hitter Bertolli stepped to the plate and smacked a home run over the left field fence.
“Once I hit it, I was hoping it would go far,” Bertolli said. “I hit first base and saw that it went over the fence.”
Ridgewood went three up and three down in their final at bat.
Both starting pitchers went the distance. Fields finished with 20 strikeouts, while Trinity’s Allison Hernandez fanned 13.
Hernandez said each inning she prepared herself mentally before taking the mound.
“I just keep repeating in my head, ‘three more strikes.’ In the dugout, I sit down and gather myself and not let anything get to me,” she said.
Bertolli finished with three hits on the day, including the home run. Albano had two singles for the Blazers.
“It was a great win; a come from behind win,” said Trinity coach Bob Osborne. “Hernandez pitched unbelievable and we never gave up.”
Trinity plays Riverside Brookfield at Lyons Township on Thursday (4:30 p.m.) in the Sectional semifinal. A win pits them against either defending state champ Oak Park River Forest or Fenwick in the sectional final on Saturday (11 a.m.) at Lyons Township.