The Okawville Rockets have been in payback mode throughout the baseball playoffs.
Last season they lost to New Athens in the regional championship, then knocked the Yellow Jackets out of the playoffs Friday in the regional semifinals Friday with a 7-0 victory.
Valmeyer had beaten Okawville 4-3 in nine innings early this season, but the Pirates also felt the Rockets’ power as Okawville posted an 11-5 victory Saturday to win the Class 1A Marissa Baseball Regional.
It was the fifth straight win for Okawville after a mostly inconsistent spring.
“We struggled early on and part of that was four of our five basketball starters were guys I looked for in baseball to produce,” Okawville coach Jackie Smith said, noting the Rockets’ basketball team reached the super-sectionals before losing. “We just never found a rhythm because we didn’t have time to practice.
“Here lately we have an abundance of hitting and it all seems to be just at the time we need it.”
It was the first baseball regional championship since 2011 for Okawville, which will take on Carrollton at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Class 1A Carlinville Sectional at Blackburn College.
Many of the Rockets big hits are coming from junior Brad Fuhrhop, who had a grand-slam Saturday that erased an early 3-0 Valmeyer lead. He also had a two-run homer Friday in the 7-0 semifinal win over New Athens.
“He’s kind of been a man on fire,” Smith said of Fuhrhop, who was 2-for-5 with the grand slam on Saturday.
Eight of the Rockets’ nine starters scored Saturday as Okawville scored five times in the second inning, two more times in the fourth and tacked on four more in the seventh.
Shane Ganz was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Okawville, Alec Wisneski was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Mason Drury was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Drury and Nick Strubhart split up the pitching duties Saturday.
Nashville 6, Red Bud 1
Nashville (34-2) advanced to the Class 2A Carterville Sectional with a convincing 6-1 victory over Red Bud on Saturday to win the Nashville Regional.
Senior Daley Buchanan led teh way by going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Her two-run double in the fourth inning helped ignite the Hornettes’ offense.
Nashville will face Pinckneyville at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Carterville Sectional. Nashville beat Pinckneyville twice this season in Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference games.
Nashville scored three more runs in the fifth, including two on the same sacrifice fly. Paige Kasten scored from third on the play and Jordi Harre scored from second. Hornettes pitcher Maci Ingram scattered four hits and struck out 12.
Dupo 1, Wood River 0
A two-out RBI single in the eighth inning by Dupo’s Rachael Donald pushed the Tigers past Wood River in the championship game of the Class 2A Roxana Regional. Dupo (21-7) advances to the Williamsville Sectional and will face Pleasant Plains in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Central 6, Carlyle 1
Central celebrated softball and baseball regional titles on the same day as the Cougars’ softball team knocked off Cahokia Conference rival Carlyle to win the Class 2A Greenville Regional.
Kaylee Schrand allowed only one earned run on five hits and struck out 10 to gain the win for the Cougars (18-14), who broke on top with four runs in the first inning and added two more in the fifth.
Central’s Jessica Ellers had a two-run single in the first while Abby Ratermann, Kirsten Thomas and Courtney Fisher each had two hits.
Central will face Tuscola at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Teutopolis Sectional.