The NUIC was well represented in the Super-Sectional round of the small school baseball and softball playoffs. However, both Forreston baseball and Orangeville softball couldn’t send their seasons to the state series on Memorial Day, both losing in their respective Elite Eight games.
The 1-A baseball Super-Sectional at Benedictine University in Lisle saw the Forreston Cardinals play in this round of the playoffs for the first time in program history, fueled by a 1-0 thriller in the sectional final against Aquin over the weekend. After falling behind 1-0 to Aurora Christian, Mitch Heinz tied the game in the third inning, and then it was a all pitching and defense in a defensive slugfest between the teams.
The Cardinals got out of a bases loaded jam and tagged out the potential go-ahead run at home in the fifth and sixth innings, sending a 1-1 ballgame to extras. An inning-ending double play in the bottom of the eighth continued Forreston’s stellar defensive effort, but the magic ran out in the bottom of the ninth, as Aurora Christian walked off the Cardinals for a 2-1 victory, ending a historic year for Mike McClellan’s crew.
The 1-A softball Super-Sectional sent Orangeville to Sterling against North Fulton. This was a historic moment for the Lady Broncos as well – they won their first sectional title in a decade in Freeport the prior Friday to bring their season to the brink of state, with two seniors, and a talented underclassmen corps. The Lady Wildcats broke open a 6-0 lead, and held it into the top of the seventh, when the Lady Broncos mounted a rally and put two runs on the board, but that’s where it ended as North Fulton beat Orangeville, 6-2.