The Black Widows 18U Exton select softball team has put up big results this fall after sporting a 10-2 record and posting nice showings in a pair of tournaments, including capturing the championship in Pitch for the Cure in St. Peters, Mo.
The 18U Black Widows are under the direction of head coach Greg Exton — who is also the head softball coach at Highland High School — and includes Highland senior Aubrey Hacke and sophomore Lily Garbett as well as players from around the Metro East.
In their first tourney this fall, the Black Widows went 4-1 at the fifth annual St. Louis Showcase II Oct. 14-16 in Chesterfield, Mo.
Then Oct. 21-23, the Black Widows posted a sporty 6-1 record and brought home the Pitch for the Cure tournament championship held at the Woodlands Sports Complex in St. Peters, Mo.
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At the Pitch for the Cure tourney, the Black Widows dropped their first game 2-1 to the Full Swing
Connection out of Columbia, Mo. However, that would be their only defeat as they cruised
the rest of the way to the title.
Along the way, the Black Widows beat the Missouri Heat 7-4, St. Louis Stingers 6-1, St. Louis Academy McCarl 10-3, the Missouri Heat again 6-3, Illinois Esprit Corby 4-3, and Full Swing Connection 12-3 in the championship game.
Garbett, who had a breakout season at HHS last spring as a freshman shortstop, has been the top hitter for the Widows with a stellar .571 batting average to go along with two home runs, 13 RBIs and nine runs scored. She also plays second base when called up to do so.
The Widows only had two pitchers for their tournament, but both threw very well. Hacke, a University of Nebraska-Omaha recruit who will be a four-year ace for the Bulldogs this coming spring, and Paige Nash, a pitcher/outfielder from Fox High School in Arnold, Mo. each strung together three wins apiece. Hacke, who also plays outfield for the Widows, posted a 1.91 ERA while Nash logged a 2.72 ERA.
Other heavy hitters on the Black Widows include Bunker Hill High School center fielder Mallory Schwegel (.455), Hacke (.400), Columbia High first baseman/third baseman Calli Wibbenmeyer (.400 with three doubles and one homer), East Alton-Wood River High outfielder Haley Shewmake (.368 with three doubles and three stolen bases), and New Athens High third baseman/first baseman Sophie Cooper (.300.), a Lakeland College pledge.
In addition, Highland senior catcher Jill Garbett, who is Lily’s older sister, subbed in one game for and was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.
The rest of the roster for the 18U Black Widow Exton team includes: East Alton-Wood River catcher/first baseman Carly Campbell, who has committed to Wabash Valley College; Belleville West catcher/utility player Kiri Evans, a Kansas City Rockhurst recruit; Alton shortstop/second baseman Savannah Fisher; and Lincoln Land College pitcher/first baseman Brittany Roady.
In addition to head coach Exton, the Black Widows include manager Alex Radae and assistant coaches Todd Kruse and Bryan Roady (pitching coach).
The Black Widows went on to compete his past weekend at the USA Elite Select National Qualifier at Legacy Fields in Kansas City, Mo.