New Trier pitcher Brigit Ieuter hadn’t been called for an illegal pitch all season. So when six of them were called against Ieuter in the sectional championship game on Saturday afternoon, it would’ve been easy for the junior right-hander to become unglued and irritated.
But New Trier’s ace persevered, tossing a complete-game one-hitter, helping New Trier to an 8-1 victory over Glenbrook South in the IHSA Class 4A Winnetka Sectional championship game.
“I give our girls a lot of credit and I give Brigit a lot of credit because she really kept her composure when it’s easy to become a little unnerved given those calls on the illegal pitches,” New Trier coach John Cadwell said.
The illegal pitches were only part of a strange, error-filled game that more resembled a little league game rather than a sectional championship. The two teams combined for six errors and a number of mental miscues, but it was New Trier who was opportunistic, taking advantage of Glenbrook South’s mistakes.
Up 1-0 in the second inning with two runners on, Mimi Morris hit a soft liner that Glenbrook South pitcher Jen Zucker couldn’t hang on to, loading the bases with two outs. Jackie Stern then hit a slow roller to shortstop Maddy Stark, who threw high to the first baseman, allowing two runs to score.
That’s all the run support Ieuter would need. While she didn’t have overpowering stuff – only four strikeouts on the afternoon – there were only a handful of hard-hit balls. Ieuter retired 13 of the last 15 batters she faced.
“I thought Brigit pitched a great game,” Cadwell said. “I thought she stayed in and did exactly what we wanted her to do except for that one inning where she walked a couple batters.”
New Trier tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning thanks to another Glenbrook South error. Brianna Berceau got on with a bunt single and Morris moved her over with a ground out. With two outs, Stern put down a bunt and Glenbrook South second baseman Mykenzie Buzard’s throw to first was high, allowing Berceau to score from second. Ieuter followed with a bloop single to center, scoring Stern.
“Our defense didn’t play like it always does,” Glenbrook South coach Kay Sopocy said. “I felt like we were prepared both physically and mentally and it just didn’t happen. They outplayed us.”
New Trier added another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth inning to close out the scoring.
Glenbrook South’s only run came in the third inning when Ieuter walked two batters and third baseman Eileen Hurley’s throw to first was high on a bunt attempt with two outs.
First baseman Chelsea Delaney was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored while Ieuter finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a stolen base.
The Trevians will face Lake Zuirch on Monday at Glenbrook South in the Super-Sectional.
“I am so excited,” Delaney said. “The team’s doing really well this year and we’re all playing extremely good and I’m just really proud of everyone right now.”