The Goreville softball team left little doubt that it was the superior squad at the Johnston City Class 1A Super-Sectional on Monday.
The Blackcats put up nine runs in the third inning on their way to a convincing 13-0 victory over Marissa/Coulterville in five innings.
Lexi King tossed a perfect game and hit a home run as well.
“It’s amazing, and we’ve been working to go to state all year long,” King said. “It’s what we wanted, we expected it, and it just came together today. I was extremely nervous. But after the first inning, my team was hitting the ball well, and I just relaxed. I knew we’d get it.”
Camren Anderson belted a two-run homer off of Isabella Combs to give Goreville a 2-0 edge in the first inning. It stayed that way until the third frame.
Goreville scored all nine runs in the third with two outs. Adrianna Licka got it started with a two-run single, and Payton Sopczak hit an RBI single on the infield as well. Another runner scored on an error to make it 6-0.
The Blackcats continued to pile on. King and Macy Goins each delivered two-run hits during the inning.
“It just seems like they feed off of each other,” said Goreville coach Shanna Massey. “Our bats right now are just so hot. We hope it continues. We don’t want to get flat right now.”
The Meteors needed just one out to stop it from being a huge third inning, but Goreville ultimately sent 14 batters to the plate.
“I went to the Trico sectional, and they did not throw (King), so I was not prepared for her,” said Marissa/Coulterville coach Laura Kohrs. “I thought we made good contact off of her. She didn’t strike a whole lot of us out. We just couldn’t get them to fall.”
After taking an 11-0 lead, Goreville added on two more runs in the fourth inning. King smacked a two-run homer to right field for the final margin.
Goreville previously won a state championship in 2012 and finished third in 2013.
“It’s pretty special,” Massey said. “I’d say probably about half of them went to that state tournament. So, they got to experience it, and that’s all they’ve talked about, especially the two seniors, since they were freshmen.”
It’s not too often that a perfect game is thrown in a deep postseason contest. Massey was quite happy for her talented sophomore.
“Unbelievable,” Massey said. “She’s special. She’s a good pitcher. A super-sectional, to throw a perfect game, that’s surreal to me.”
Goreville improved to 24-8 and takes on Heyworth in the Class 1A state semifinals at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria on Friday.