After missing nearly the entire second half of last season due to knee surgery, Barrington senior shortstop Liz Sweeney has made a terrific comeback on the softball diamond this spring.
On Tuesday, she led the Fillies’ comeback in the fifth inning.
Sweeney blasted a one-out, 2-run homer over the right-center field fence to tie the game at 8-8 and spark a 4-run rally which gave the Fillies a 10-8 triumph over visiting Fremd in a match between Mid-Suburban West powers.
The game had been suspended due to rain at the Fields of Dreams on Saturday with Fremd leading 8-6.
But sophomore Catherine McMahon (15-3) did not allow a run in Tuesday’s four innings and got all the support she needed in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Catcher Abbey Jacobsen and third baseman Kendall Peterson followed Sweeney’s big blast with singles to right and center field, respectively.
Carly Kordich then reached on an infield error which allowed Jacobsen to score and Peterson went to third base.
Kelly Katis’ RBI groundout to short brought home Peterson to make it 10-8.
Fremd threatened in the top of the seventh when center fielder Alyssa Garcia and first baseman Julia Wacker began the inning with single to left field.
A bloop single to right by Jessica Mazur loaded the bases before Sweeney let her glove do the work this time.
She fielded a grounder and threw home to Jacobsen for the force and second out.
McMahon then got a popout to Katis at second base giving the Fillies (20-4, 8-2) their 24th straight season with 20 or more wins under hall of fame coach Perry Peterson.
“After the battles Liz has overcome with her ACL tear, I am so happy for her,” Peterson said of the senior who went 2-for-2 in the game with 3 RBI and a walk. “She deserves this.”
Sweeney’s clutch homer came one day after she belted a grand slam in the first inning against Buffalo Grove.
“In that game on Monday (vs. BG), I went in thinking how I hadn’t hit a home run all season after having five before getting hurt last season (at Washington Invite),” Sweeney said. “I kept saying to myself ‘it will come, it will come.’ So I came to the park in a good mindset. And sure enough, I hit one in the first inning.”
Sweeney said it was tough sitting on the sidelines for the end of last season.
“I remember even coming back to watch my first game first game (in a wheelchair behind the backstop) and it was so hard,” she said. “It’s so nice to be able to back for my senior year and I want to go out with a bang.”
Kordich was the other Fillies with 2 hits in the game, going 2-for-2 with a double.
Fremd (16-4, 7-2) had 5 hits in Thursday’s four innings. For the game, junior Ann Marie O’Sullivan (2 RBI) and Garcia each went 3-for-5 with while Mazur (2-for-2) and Lexi D’Ambrosio (2-for-4) were other multiple hitters.
“Offensively, I was real pleased,” said Fremd coach Jim Weaver. “We had four line outs in three innings.
“Give Barrington credit. They played defense. But offensively, I was real happy with our at bats. But we have to get better on the other side of the ball.”