Four teams from the Kaskaskia Division of the Cahokia Conference won regional championships Saturday, including Lebanon, Dupo, Steeleville and New Athens. They, along with Nashville will advance to 1A and 2A sectional semifinal games this week.
New Athens 7, Gibault 3
Senior Abby Marlow struck out 12 Gibault batters while lead-off hitter Alina Lance collected four hits and scored three runs to lead the New Athens to a 7-3 win over Gibault and the championship of the Marissa 1A Regional.
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New Athens (20-5) , which plays host to the section round, will meet Edwards County in the semifinal Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets lost to Edwards County (18-5) and pitcher Olivia Loudermilk two years ago at the Okawville Sectional, but are looking forward to a rematch on the home turf.
“They are a very good team and will have their same pitcher back as a junior,” said New Athens coach Conrad Widdersheim. “We’re really excited to be able to see them again and to be able to have the sectional back on our home field. It should be a really good game.”
Marlow allowed Gibault three earned runs on six scattered hits while walking six to go with her 12 strikeouts.
Jenna Alfeldt helped the cause with three hits, including a double, and two RBIs for the Yellow Jackets. Third baseman Sophie Cooper drove home three runs on three hits.
Gibault’s season ended at 6-21-1. The Hawks got RBI hits from Sidney Wightman and Lexi Poepper. Morgan Wiegand also tripled and scored and Katie Knese had a hit, walked twice and scored a pair of runs.
With its win Saturday, New Athens clinched its third straight season of 20 or more wins.
Lebanon 7, Metro East-Lutheran 0
Freshman Emily Reinneck pitched a no-hitter while her Greyhound teammates banged out 12 hits in a 7-0 shutout of Metro-East Lutheran at the 1A Regional.
Lebanon (10-19) advances to the New Athens Sectional and will face Clay City in the semifinals, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Reinneck entered the game with a 3-5 record, 3.62 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 48.1 innings. The Greyhounds have won five of their last six.
Mallory Schmitt had two hits and four RBIs for Lebanon; Kendra Bass was 2-for-4 with an RBI; Britanny Ogden was 2-for-3; and Olivia Cruthis was 2-for-3.
Steeleville 8, Goreville 0
Steeleville improved to 21-7 with its dominating 8-0 victory over host Goreville to win a 1A regional championship.
The Warriors, which has no seniors and just two juniors, entered the regional on a four-game skid after starting the season 20-3. They advanced to the Cobden Sectional and a semifinal game against the host Apple Knockers Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Sydney Hood got the win in the pitcher’s circle, helping herself with a three-run home run. Lexi Middendorf was 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
Dupo 5, Staunton 2
Dupo got solid defense and timely hits in a 5-2 win over Staunton in the Southwestern 2A Regional final.
Pitcher Jessica Stansch lasted the full seven for the Tigers, allowing two earned runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out five.
“She pitched real well,” said Dupo coach Greg Pennock. “It’s just always nerve-wracking when it’s close. It was much tighter game than the score even shows.”
Defense got Stansch and the Tigers out of tight situations at least twice. Up 3-1 with the bases loaded and one out, shortstop Skylure Barlow fielded a tough hop on a hard-hit ball up the middle and forced out the lead runner at home.
“I don’t know if anybody else noticed, but it was the play of the game,” Pennock said. “The hop was insane. The defense all around was very good today.”
Staunton had its cleanup hitter on deck as the tying run with two on and two out in the seventh when Dupo catcher Rachael Donald picked off the runner at first to end the game.
Alyssa Strubberg was 2-for-3 with an RBI. She also stole three bases and scored two runs, including what proved to be the game winner.
Barlow had an RBI bunt single with two outs; Taylor Esmon was 2-for-3 with a run; and Megan Brown, last year’s BND small-school player of the year, belted a two-run home run.
Dupo (17-5) has now won five in a row. The Tigers advance to the Gillespie Sectional, where they will face Buffalo (Tri-City Co-Op) in the semifinals Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Nashville 3, Pinckneyville 1
Deidra Holzhauer tossed a complete game and contributed two RBIs as Nashville defeated Pinckneyville, 3-1, Saturday in a Class 2A regional softball championship matchup.
The Hornets, defending state champions, will host the 2A sectional where they will face Carmi (White County) in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal game Tuesday.
It was a 1-1 game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth when Mackenzie McFeron reached base on a bunt single, stole two bases and scored on a single from Paige Kasten.
Holzhauer followed with an RBI double to make it a 3-1 game. McFeron also singled, stole two bases and scored in the first inning.
Pinckneyville finished the season with a record of 24-7.