COLUMBIA — Brianna Weilbacher surrendered four hits and struck out seven as the Columbia Eagles held off the Waterloo Bulldogs 3-2 on Saturday in the championship game of the Class 3A Columbia Softball Regional.
"Honestly, I didn't expect it to be easy,'' Columbia coach Rhonda Major said of her team winning its second straight regional title. "It's always hard when you have that next-town rival. We held on and got the job done.''
Weilbacher set down the Bulldogs in order in the seventh after they'd scored two runs in the sixth to cut the Eagles' lead to 3-2.
"Bri did a great job of keeping it together and took care of business,'' Major said.
The Eagles (32-2) advance to play Highland (20-10) at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Class 3A Centralia Sectional.
Waterloo ended its season at 22-11.
Waterloo pitcher Kasey Bradley allowed eights hits, while striking out three.
The Eagles scored all of their runs in the second inning with Kaylee Bastien and Kalli Farmer both delivering RBI singles during the rally.
Caitlyn Touchette started the inning with a single. Touchette moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kelly Metter and Courtney Weilbacher drew a walk.
Kaitlun Storm sparked the rally with a duble.
Bradley singled, Taylor Yearian reached on an error and Madison Kruse singled.
Dupo 3, Williamsville 2
The Dupo Tigers scored two runs in the fifth inning to beat the Williamsville Bullets in the championship game of the Class 2A Litchfield Sectional.
The Tigers captured their first sectional title since 2008 when they placed fourth in the Class 1A State Tournament.
Rachel Donald and Megan Brown each had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Tigers.
Dupo pitcher Megan Brown finished with a four-hitter. She allowed no earned runs, while striking out 10 and walking two.
The Tigers (29-6) will play Monticello(28-4) at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the University of Illinois in the Champaign Super-Sectional.
Monticello beat Tremont 4-2 Saturday in the championship game of the Class 2A Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional.
The Bullets, who were denied their third straight sectional title, ended their season with a 16-12 record.
Class 1A Okawville Sectional
New Athens 4, Edwards County 3
Courtnie Niederbrach had a triple and two RBIs as the New Athens Yellow Jackets edged Edwards County Lions in the championship game of the Class 1A Okawville Sectional.
It was the first-ever sectional title in softball for the Yellow Jackets.
Aleen Dutkanych and Ashley Rast also drove in runs for the Yellow Jackets, who used a three-run, third-inning rally to erase a 2-1 deficit.
New Athens pitcher Abby Marlow allowed only three hits and one earned run. She struck out four and walked five.
The Yellow Jackets (21-13) will play Trico at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the DuQuoin Super-Sectional.
Trico extended its winning streak to 25 games with a 2-1 win over Goreville in the championship game of the Cobden Sectional on Saturday.
Class 3A Triad Sectional
Highland 6, Civic Memorial 3
Mallory Rutz, Caitlin Lammers, Lauren Wright and Kayleigh Hester all had two hits to pace an 11-hit assaut as the Highland Bulldogs beat the Civic Memorial Eagles in the championship game of the Class 3A Triad Regional.
Wright had a triple and two RBIs, while Rutz had a double and two RBIs.
Winning pitcher Aubrey Hacke threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Bulldogs. She yielded two hits, while striking out two and walking one.
Class 4A Edwardsville Regional
Edwardsville 11, Alton 2
Kallen Loveless had a big day on the mound and at the plate as the Edwardsville Tigers rolled past the Alton Redbirds in the championship game of the Class 4A Edwardsville Regional.
The regional title was the ninth in the last 10 years for the Tigers, who scored five runs in the fourth inning to take command.
Loveless gave up six hits, including a solo homer by Morgan Butler in the first inning, while striking out seven and walking none.
Loveless also had two hits and collected three RBIs to give her 55 RBIs on the season.
Megan Radae went 3-for-4 to lead Tigers' 14-hit attack.