When Oak Park and River Forest High School softball pitcher Cassie Metzger arrived at Glenbard West High School to pitch during the Huskies’ game on May 3, she wasn’t sure how she would fare against the host Hilltoppers.
“I was nervous and wondering how I would throw. During warm-ups, I felt good and didn’t think I would throw a bad game,” Metzger said.
Not only did she throw a good game, it was perfect. Metzger retired all 21 batters she faced as the Huskies (9-2) blanked Glenbard West 8-0.
“I felt decent early on, and then in the fourth inning, I thought to myself, ‘Something’s going on,’” said Metzger, who registered eight strikeouts. “At that point I thought I was going to throw a no-hitter, and I felt excited.”
When a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter in Major League Baseball, it’s customary for teammates not to talk to the pitcher or distract them. But that wasn’t the case with Metzger and the Huskies.
“Luckily, they didn’t shun me in the dugout,” she said. “[My teammates] came over and said I was throwing pretty good. At the time I didn’t know, but in retrospect, they were trying to hint at [the perfect game] without saying anything. It was kind of funny.”
Usually, a bid for a perfect game is filled with late drama, and this was certainly the case as in the bottom of the seventh, Glenbard West’s leadoff batter went to a 3-1 count before being retired, and the final batter fouled off a pair of 1-2 pitches before lining out to right fielder Bella Reniva.
“My heart was beating fast; I didn’t want to screw things up,” said Metzger. “The last pitch was a curveball, and Bella caught it. I told her she saved my perfect game. I’m super pumped about it.”
OPRF coach Mel Kolbusz thought Metzger was “really, really good.”
“She battled the whole way, especially late,” he said. “She knew by the seventh inning she could do it. There were a couple of times late when I thought Cassie might lose it, but she didn’t. We also made some good defensive plays behind her.”
Offensively for OPRF, Maddie Grant belted a pair of homers and Sydney Ross also went yard.
Metzger’s perfect game was the start of a hugely successful week for the Huskies as three more wins followed, including a dramatic 11-10 comeback win against Downers Grove North on May 4. Alex Prouty got the win in relief and also starred at the plate with a pair of Homer’s, including a walk-off grand slam.