HUNTLEY – As Barrington posed for pictures on the Huntley infield, the Red Raiders said their goodbyes in short left field.
For the third year in a row, Barrington ended Huntley's season in the sectional round. This time, the Fillies used a four-run second inning to propel them to a 5-3 victory over Huntley on Saturday in the Class 4A Huntley Sectional final.
The Raiders (32-6), who are still searching for their first sectional championship, finish the season with a program-record 32 wins, their fourth straight regional title and third straight Fox Valley Conference title.
"The season was really exciting, and we did almost everything we wanted to do," said senior Tiffany Giese, who ends her four-year varsity career with a program-record 89 wins. "We got the wins record, we did amazing things with our bats, and we just had an all-around great season. It's awesome to go out with that, because high school seasons really are exciting. It's a family."
Barrington scored four runs in the bottom of the second against Giese, all with two outs. In the top of the third, Huntley responded with all three of its runs, also with two outs. No. 9 hitter Kendra Mitchell and Giese led off with back-to-back hits before Marley Reicher flew out to left and Sofia Tenuta grounded out to second.
The Fillies (33-3) intentionally walked Autumn Kasal to load the bases for junior designated player Grace Kutz, who doubled to center field, clearing the bases and cutting the Fillies' lead to 4-3.
"I got really nervous, so I called a timeout to talk to (assistant coach) Matt (Langton)," Kutz said. "He said, 'Make them pay for it. Don't let them treat you like that.' I got the right pitch and drilled it."
Huntley freshman pitcher Briana Bower entered in relief of Giese in the second inning and held Barrington to a run over 4 1/3 innings. She scattered four hits, struck out five and walked none.
"For a freshman to come into that situation and only give up a run was fabulous," Raiders coach Mark Petryniec said. "Tiff has set the bar for what expectations are at Huntley, and I'm sure that was a little bit of the passing of the torch to Bri."
The Raiders stranded seven baserunners. In the fifth, they had runners on second and third with two outs, but were unable to score either as Barrington's Tori Meyer (DePaul) held Huntley scoreless over the last four innings. She allowed two hits and struck out four.
Catherine McMahon threw the first three innings and picked up the win, scattering five hits.
"We had a big chance in the fifth, and we probably needed to capitalize to be successful," Petryniec said. "But it's nothing that we didn't do today. It's one thing to lose a game, and it's another thing to get beat. Barrington beat us today."
For Barrington, Kendall Peterson was 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Abbey Jacobsen, Jenna Patino and Jessica Bellis each drove in one.
The Raiders brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the top of the seventh, but Meyer retired Huntley's No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Tenuta and Kasal, to end the game and the Raiders' record-breaking season.
Giese and Kasal, both four-year varsity starters, see a very bright future for the Raiders.
"Hopefully, they can come back and get (Barrington) next year," Kasal said. "They're going to be awesome. They're all mature, and play well above their age, I think. I see big things for them."
"I told Bri (Bower) that she better kill it next year," Giese added. "They're going to do great things, and I'm going to come back and see. I hope they make it farther than we did this year."
STAR OF THE GAME
Grace Kutz, Huntley, jr., DP
Kutz drove in all three of Huntley’s runs with a bases-clearing, two-out double following an intentional walk to No. 4 hitter Autumn Kasal in the top of the third inning.
3: Barrington has knocked Huntley out of the playoffs for the past three seasons.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Freshman Paige Berkmeyer won’t be back with the Red Raiders next year. The second baseman is moving to Ohio. “We knew that early and treated her like a senior this year,” Huntley coach Mark Petryniec said. “What she did defensively for us, she leaves a big hole at second base.”
Class 4A Huntley Sectional
Barrington 5, Huntley 3
Huntley 003 000 0 – 3 7 0
Barrington 040 010 X – 5 9 1
WP: McMahon (3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K). LP: Giese (1.2IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 0K).
Top hitters–Huntley: Kutz 1-3 (2B, 3RBI), Reicher 2-3, Giese 1-4 (R), Kasal 0-2 (R), O’Rilley 1-3, Berkmeyer 1-3, Mitchell 1-3 (R). Barrington: Peterson 3-3 (2 2B, 2RBI, R), Jacobsen 2-3 (RBI), Patino 1-4 (RBI, R), Stagnito 2-3 (R), Bellis 1-2 (2B, RBI, R).