Softball: Maine West upsets New Trier in 10 innings for first sectional title

Updated: June 2, 2012 5:59PM



Maine West didn’t need a lot of rest to pull off a school milestone.

The day after prom, many players on three hours sleep, the Warriors won their first sectional title in school history, defeating New Trier 4-2 in 10 innings Saturday morning at Niles West.

“It doesn’t really feel real,’’ said Maine West’s Katie Fitzgerald, who knocked in the game-winning runs in the 10th. “For a bunch of seniors who haven’t won regionals before, this is just awesome.

‘‘Playing on short sleep wasn’t that hard. It wasn’t as exhausting as I thought it’d be.’’

For the first four innings, Maine West pitcher Ariel Valles continually fooled the Trevians. Despite allowing six hits in the first four frames, only two batters reached scoring position before the Warriors’ defense defused the threat.

Maine West (27-10) got on the board in the second inning, when Renee Pond knocked home the first of her two RBI, doubling home Fitzgerald, who walked to start the inning.

The Trevians’ bats came to life in the bottom half of the fifth inning, as they strung together two hits and an error, which helped them get their first run of the game. Jackie Stern knocked in Molly Morrison with a single to tie the game. More damage was averted by the Warriors when center fielder Abbey Harling made a diving catch to rob Eileen Hurley of an extra-base hit and two RBI.

After Pond plated Fitzgerald again on a single in the top of the seventh, Maine West looked to have the game locked up. New Trier (31-6) was down to its final out and a 2-1 lead. But Megan Neuhaus brought home Jackie Stern on a double to tie the score at 2-2 and send the game into the eighth.

Neither team was able to muster much offense until the top of the 10th, when Maine West had its first three hitters reach base against Trevians pitcher Allison Quigley. That’s when Fitzgerald stepped in and put the game in her hands. Fitzgerald ripped a double to drive in Holly Wengarski and Angela Cruz and give the Warriors a day they will always remember.

“It was a lot of redemption,’’ Fitzgerald said, talking about the game-winning hit. “We’ve never beat New Trier so this is awesome.’’

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