The Fenwick High School softball team outhit Benet Academy nine to eight in its IHSA Class 3A sectional semifinal game May 31 at Glenbard South.

Fenwick softball coach Bryan Hoffman | File

But the Friars couldn’t cash in on a few scoring opportunities, leaving the bases loaded twice. Those missed chances loomed large in a season-ending 7-1 defeat.

“We couldn’t come up with that big hit,” said Fenwick coach Bryan Hoffman. “We weren’t able to execute our game plan early on.”

Junior pitcher Talia Lorenzo, the Friars’ ace, had a tough outing against the Redwings. Three wild pitches in the first inning gave Benet its first run and foreshadowed what was to come. She allowed seven runs on seven hits with a pair of walks in just 1.2 innings as the Redwings took control early.

“Talia’s had an awesome year and she’s a great pitcher,” Hoffman said of Lorenzo, who made the All-Girls Catholic Athletic Conference team. “There were some nerves involved as it was her first time in the sectionals.”

A bright spot was sophomore Sophie Stone, who came on for Lorenzo and tossed 4.1 scoreless innings of one-hit relief.

Fenwick (14-15-1) left the bases loaded in the first inning, then Emma Meehan got thrown out trying to score on a Benet error in the second. The Friars’ only run came in the third when Gabrielle Simon, who led off with a double, came around to score on singles by the next two batters, Kailey Janda and Madelyn Entler.

With one out, Sophie Stone sacrificed the runners into scoring position, but Caity Barganski struck out to end the inning. Fenwick also loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. But Teresa Nevarez struck out and Simon grounded out to end the Friars’ last real threat.

Nevarez and senior Marisa Sena each had two hits for Fenwick. The Friars also surely missed the presence of Maddie Krzak, according to Hoffman. An all-conference selection in 2021, Krzak missed the 2022 season due to injury and served as a student assistant.

“Marisa would always be the first one to practice and was a great leader this year,” Hoffman said. “Had Maddie been healthy this year, we would’ve won four or five more games and gone further in the sectional. It was tough to see her sidelined.”

Fenwick fielded a young squad this season, with six freshmen and two sophomores in the field during Fenwick’s 6-5 victory over Trinity for the regional title May 27. Hoffman couldn’t help but look ahead to see what the Friars can do next year with virtually the entire roster returning.

“This is a great experience for us, being able to get to the sectional this year,” Hoffman said. “Now we’ve got a chance to continue to build and make a name where people are going to come to Fenwick and be part of a great program. The bar is going to be higher next year, a plus-.500 record and at a minimum a regional championship.”

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