On a day where temperatures reached into the mid-90s, the idea of being doused with water probably didn’t sound too bad to New Trier coach John Cadwell. And it was only that much sweeter when it came with a Super-Sectional championship.
New Trier rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning to force extras and Molly Morrison came up with the game-winning RBI double in the eighth to cap a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory for the Trevians against Lake Zurich in the IHSA Class 4A Glenview Super-Sectional.
“A lot of it has to do with attitude and stuff and it all comes from Dave Snyder, the assistant coach,” said Morrison, a junior catcher. “He really works on how we approach things, our mental game, and I think that’s pulled us through in some big games.”
With New Trier’s Brigit Ieuter and Lake Zurich’s Megan Mattera on the mound, both teams knew hits would be hard to come by. Both pitchers held the opposing team scoreless through three innings, but Lake Zurich would push across a run first when Alli McGinnis lined an RBI double to left-center to score Maria Schroeder from second. New Trier escaped further trouble when Ryan Lee’s relay throw gunned down Ashley Pettinger at home and Ieuter induced the next batter to foul out.
The Trevians threatened in the fifth inning, but couldn’t push across a run. Mattera got out of a jam with runners on first and second by striking out Jackie Stern and Ieuter to end the inning.
Mattera helped her own cause with a home run in the sxith, giving Lake Zurich a 2-0 lead. Ieuter, who had trouble with illegal pitch rulings in Saturday’s sectional final against Glenbrook South, was called for another one during Mattera’s at-bat. The illegal pitch ruling turned what would’ve been a 1-2 count to 2-1 and Mattera homered on the next pitch.
“We saw it the other day in the GBS game. She doesn’t let it bother her,” New Trier coach John Cadwell said of Ieuter. “I think she was a little bit flustered today after that home run pitch, but she took some deep breaths, got herself re-centered and went right back at them.”
But as New Trier has done throughout this season, the Trevians battled back. Raechel Cloud started the inning with an infield single and Chelsea Delaney walked to put runners on first and second. Following a strikeout by Lee, Morrison walked, loading the bases for Berceau and the senior right fielder lined a two-run single up the middle to tie the game.
“I saw it coming it in and I knew that this was the opportunity that I had,” Berceau said. “[Mattera] was a really good pitcher and I just needed to jump on the first good pitch that I saw so I just drove it up the middle.”
After Ieuter held Lake Zurich scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings, Delaney led off the eighth inning with her fourth walk of the game. Lee sacrificed her to second, setting the stage for Morrison’s walk-off double down the right-field line.
“I just approached it the same,” said Morrison, who was 0-for-2 with a walk going into the eighth. “I knew kind of what she was working on and then I just made the adjustments. I saw it outside and went with it.”
Hurley finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Ieuter gave up only six hits and had seven strikeouts in eight innings pitched.
This marks New Trier’s fifth trip to the state semi-finals in program history, including fourth-place finishes in 2006 and 2008. The Trevians will face St. Charles North on Friday night and will play in either the third-place game or state championship on Saturday.
“Final four, anything can happen down there. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be down there,” Cadwell said. “This is a group that made its goal in the beginning to win conference, to win sectional and try to get down state.”