Gaeding’s efforts enough in Fremd ‘W’
Updated: June 1, 2011 11:12PM
Allie Gaeding is a blur of activity on the softball field. The senior Fremd star shortstop is a gazelle in the field and a terror on the base paths.
Her dynamic base running set the team’s aggressive tone and her superb fielding helped nullify several potential Barrington rallies that powered the Vikings’ 4-1 victory in a Class 4A Sectional semifinal at Warren Wednesday afternoon.
Gaeding stole two bases and scored twice on RBI singles by Fremd third baseman Brittany Ciura. She combined with the superb pitching of Vikings’ junior ace Rachel Doering to help Fremd (28-5-1) turn the tables on a Barrington team that swept the Vikings during the regular season in MSL West play.
The defending Class 4A runner-up Vikings advance to play the winner of the Palatine and Lake Zurich semifinal for Saturday’s sectional final.
“We came out with a lot of energy, and I think we were really ready to play,” Gaeding said. “We wanted to be the aggressive team and not wait back and hope for something to happen. We wanted to make plays, which we didn’t really do against them during the season.”
In the bottom of the first, Gaeding led off with a walk, stole second and was advanced to third on a sacrifice by Amanda Matsumoto. She scored on Ciura’s soft liner into left center for the early lead.
In the second inning catcher Janelle Schneider (2-for-3) extended the Vikings’ advantage to 2-0 with a two-out run-scoring double to right center. Gaeding reached first on a throwing error that added another run.
“Gaeding and our second hitter, Matsumoto, really put a lot of pressure on their defense,” Fremd coach Jim Weaver said. “It doesn’t really show, but Matsumoto had a great at-bat in that first inning after Gaeding stole second, fouling off multiple pitches, forcing [Barrington starter Kiley Dolezal] deep into the count and then hitting the ball on the right side that pushed Gaeding over to third.”
In the fifth inning, Gaeding led off with a bunt single, stole second and again was advanced by Matsumoto to third before scoring single by Ciura (3-for-3) for the 4-0 lead.
Doering was not overpowering, recording just two strike outs. She yielded just five hits, all singles, and allowed just two walks. “We were confident and the coaches did a great job of really preparing us to play the game,” Doering said.
Barrington (27-11) mounted its most serious threats in the third and sixth innings. Both times, Gaeding snuffed them out. In the third inning, with one out and Fillies’ runners at first and second, Gaeding snared a ball for a 6-5 force out. With two outs, against Barrington’s best hitter, third baseman Loren Krzysko, Gaeding made a spectacular backhanded stab in the deep hole for another putout.
In the sixth inning, Barrington loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch hitter Jordan Wekony hit a slow roller that scored a run but Gaeding helped avoid a major inning by getting a force out at third. Second baseman Megan Hubbard also helped with a superb stop and flip to Gaeding to get out of the inning with just one run.
“I was kind of lucky because both times the ball went to the right side, or my left, and I just had to get the ball and make the throw to third,” Gaeding said. “That was the natural play to make.”
Doering retired the side in the seventh to close the game out. “Even when they had the runners on, I talked to myself and just settled down,” Doering said. “We have a lot of players that have been in tough situations, especially in the playoffs, and you saw our experience out there today.”