Mike Marrese was on the losing side of Monday’s Class 3A supersectional loss to defending state champion Glenbard South, but even the first-year Fenwick coach could appreciate what it was like to watch the 11-inning contest.
“I told the kids, ‘This was like a prizefight, one boxer punching the other,'” Marrese said.
The Friars (21-16) managed only two hits off Glenbard South’s two pitchers, but Fenwick showed plenty of savvy in the field with a pair of pick offs at third base in extra innings and memorable defensive plays by center fielder Jenna Cairo, third baseman Jess Mrozek and shortstop Ashley Parenti.
But the Raiders (29-5) eventually earned the right to play Tinley Park in Friday morning’s semifinals in East Peoria with another game-saving rally in the bottom of the sixth. Glenbard South came back to beat Lemont in Saturday’s sectional final.
Glenbard South is looking to win its fourth state trophy in five years this weekend. All of the trophies have come since the IHSA went to a four-class system for softball. Check out coach Julie Fonda and the Raiders’ previous finishes:
2008 Third place (29-7)
2009 Fourth place (24-14)
2011 Third place (29-6)
2012 Championship (36-4)
If you haven’t seen the last out from last year’s state championship game, here it is: