In motion: Trinity pitching ace Chase Machain prepares to unload an offering during last week's Class 4A Sectional Championship.Photos by J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

The Trinity softball team’s third and final game this season against Mother McAuley was a thriller, but the outcome wasn’t anything to celebrate for the Blazers.

A wild pitch with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning led to a 6-5 loss that effectively ended Trinity’s debut in the Class 4A playoffs. But the Blazers, who split two games against their Girls Catholic Athletic (Red Division) Conference rivals earlier in the season, battled once again.

Down 5-3 with two outs in the top of the seventh, Trinity’s Nicole Evans got the go-ahead on a 3-0 count and knocked the next pitch over the fence for a two-run homer. The smash took the wind out of the Mighty Macs, but it didn’t last long.

Mother McAuley (28-9) bounced back in the final frame with a double by Megan Bush, who was replaced with pinch runner Caroline Usher. A single by Alex Raske moved Usher to third and Ashley Rogers forced a walk to load the bases. A pitch by Trinity’s Chase Machain, who as a freshman last season led the Blazers to second place in the Class 3A State Tournament, sailed over the catcher’s head, allowing the game winning run to score.

“It’s a difficult way to lose a game, but the girls really played their hearts out,” said Trinity head coach Bob Osborne. “I give Mother McAuley a lot of credit. They played well.”

Trinity’s bats struggled against Rogers. The Blazers scattered just five hits off the junior, but received help from their opponent in the form of five errors.

Trinity closes out the season with a record of 29-4. With just four seniors on the squad, the Blazers, who dismantled Mother McAuley 8-3 to win the GCAC Red Division title just a few weeks ago, will likely remain a force to be reckoned with again next year. Machain, Evans and sophomore Abby Ramirez, who hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning during last week’s loss, are all expected back.

“The advantage here is that this team is young and they know how to stand up to some very good teams,” added Osborne. “They’ll just continue to get better, and learn from the mistakes. As I said after last season, the future looks good.”

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...