A late-game rally that produced three runs in the top of the seventh inning pushed the Trinity softball team to a 5-3 win over Riverside-Brookfield and a Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional Championship title on Monday.
The Blazers (32-5) advanced to take on Guerin in the Class 3A Judson University Supersectional Championship last night (Tuesday, after deadline).
Tied 2-2 with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, freshman Abby Ramirez drove in a run with an RBI single. Nicole Evans then provided some insurance runs with a double that scored both Abby and her sister Amanda, who had reached on a single.
Trinity pitcher Chase Machain (23-5) fanned an RB batter in the bottom of the inning to close out the win.
Riverside-Brookfield and Trinity were scheduled to square off on Saturday, but the game was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
After falling to Glenbard South in a supersectional matchup last season, Trinity denied the Raiders a fifth consecutive sectional championship with a 6-2 win in this season’s semifinal game.
The Blazers scored two runs in the first inning as Abby and Amanda Ramirez reached base via a pair of singles. Both players stole a base and ultimately scored on defensive miscues from the Raiders. In the third, Evans hit a leadoff double and scored on Erin Baldwin’s single to push the lead to 3-0.
After Glenbard South whittled the score to 3-2 on Danielle Chitkowski’s two-run homer, Trinity responded with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth for a 6-2 advantage.
Machain, a left-handed freshman who has made an immediate impact for the Blazers, came up big by tossing a complete game five-hitter with no walks.
“I thought we played the type of game we wanted to play,” Trinity coach Bob Osborne said after the win. “We played aggressive, we attacked and we were confident. I think Glenbard South is the team to beat [in the sectional], but I also feel like if we play our game nobody can beat us.
“Every team has great hitters one through four,” Osborne noted, “but the biggest difference for us is everybody can hit in our lineup.”
Trinity has never had a softball team advance to the state finals.
Brad Spencer contributed to this report.