SOFTBALL — Chelsea Delaney struggled to be patient at the plate Monday at Glenbrook South.
New Trier’s best batter wasn’t getting the pitches she wanted, but the senior wasn’t going to cave in to Lake Zurich’s Megan Mattera.
“I was not going to give her anything too good,” the Bears’ senior pitcher said. “She’s their big hitter.”
Even though Delaney, in fact, went hitless, she reached base all four times with walks and ended up scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning on Molly Morrison’s one-out double to right field. New Trier’s 3-2 win in eight innings over the Bears earned Delaney and the Trevians their second trip to the state tournament in four seasons. New Trier finished fourth in 2008.
The Trevians face St. Charles North in the Class 4A semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at East Peoria’s EastSide Centre.
“Every girl wants to get the hits,” said Delaney, whose team won its sixth in a row and improved to 23-11. “But it was better for me to get on base than to swing at anything.”
Delaney led off the eighth with a walk and moved to second on Ryan Lee’s sacrifice bunt. Morrison then delivered the opposite-field hit to set off the celebration in Glenview.
“Molly did a great job and really stayed on that pitch,” said Delaney, who’s been part of three sectional championships at New Trier. “I sprinted my hardest to get home.
“This feels so good. It’s really meaningful to us because I don’t think we were considered to get this far.”
For most of the game, it appeared the Bears were destined to head to East Peoria this weekend. They went up 1-0 in the fourth on Alli McGinnis’ double. Two innings later, Mattera helped her cause with a two-out homer for a 2-0 lead.
But the Trevians loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth before Hurley’s game-tying hit up the middle.
Brigit Ieuter took care of the rest. The junior ace retired the final five batters she faced, three of them with strikeouts, to earn the victory.
Mattera, a three-year starter who will play college ball at Miami (Ohio), struck out seven and collected two hits at the plate.