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2017 Class 1A & 2A SOFTBALL State Final Preview

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The 2017 IHSA Class 1A & Class 2A Softball State Finals return to the award-winning Eastside CentrePark complex in East Peoria on Friday and Saturday, June 2-3.

All eights games this weekend will be broadcast live by the NFHS Network on www.IHSA.tv by presenting sponsor Country Financial as IHSA TV veteran Beau Spencer brings viewers all of the action.

Goreville and St. Joseph-Ogden will certainly Play in Peoria this weekend, as both schools' baseball teams also qualified for state, and will be in action just across the river at Dozer Park.

A brief synopsis and stat leaders on each of this weekend's finalists is provided below:

CLASS 1A

CALHOUN WARRIORS (30-8) vs.
PRINCEVILLE LADY PRINCES (25-8)

One of the greatest student-athletes in state history, Grace Baalman (28-4, 455 K, 0.40 ERA) fittingly closes her career on the state final stage. She has led the Warriors to six state final appearances (3 in basketball, 3 in softball), including on basketball state title. A year ago, Baalman set a state final record with 39 strikeouts in a 17-inning semifinal win, leading the Warriors to their second straight state championship the next day. The Kentucky Wildcat commit is also hitting .564 with 31 RBI.

The Lady Princes first trip to state a year ago resulted in a berth in the finals, where Princeville fell to Baalman and Calhoun 3-0. Chad Gardner’s squad is ready for another shot at the champs with a team that is still relatively young. Senior lefty 2B Natalie Cokel (.521, 51 R) sets the table for the offense, while sophomore Haley Holt (22-5, 143 K, 1.56 ERA) has effectively taken over the pitching duties this season.


HEYWORTH HORNETS (22-10) vs.
GOREVILLE BLACKCATS (24-8)

The Hornets were 8-7 through 15 games, but now find themselves in the state finals for the first time in program history. The early season bumps in the road were no surprise, as George VanWinkle’s club has been led by a freshman pitcher in Adyson Slayback (15-6, 172 K, 2.44 ERA). Slayback, senior catcher Maddie Sims (.472, 47 RBI) and the rest of the Hornets have found their groove in the postseason, outscoring their five opponents 45 to 13.

Goreville returns to state for the first time since Shana Massey’s club came in 2012 and 2013, including a state title in 2012. After a 3-5 to start the year, Goreville enters on a 13-game win streak that includes six shutouts and 11 runs per game on offense. Left-handed sophomore Alexandria King (.606, 49 RBI) leads the team at the plate and in the pitching circle (10-5, 1.94 ERA), while fellow sophomore Cheyenne Walker (9-3, 2.29 ERA) provides pitching depth.



CLASS 2A

PINCKNEYVILLE PANTHERS (33-6)  vs.
ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN SPARTANS (33-4)

Perennial power Pinckneyville makes its first state final trip under fourth-year head coach Alan Engelhardt after the program collected seven trophies in nine previous state trips from 1987 to 2005. The only thing missing for the Panthers is a state championship, which junior pitcher Mariah Clark (25-1, 224 K, 1.19 ERA) and junior 1B Daisy Dudek (.458, 31 RBI) hope to lead the program to this weekend.

Legendary coach Randy Wolken collected his 1000th career victory earlier this year, and now hopes to win the final game of the season to win the school’s second state title. Freshman SS Bailey Dowling (.661, 22 HR, 66 RBI) is already committed to the University of Alabama, while the Spartans have gotten nearly identical pitching production from the Witruk sisters, as senior Tori (15-1, 1.63 ERA) and freshman Zoey (15-1, 1.49 ERA) share time in the circle.


BEECHER LADYCATS (29-7)  vs.
MORRISON MUSTANGS (22-2)

Kevin Hayhurst led Beecher to state titles in 2004 and 2007, and is now in search of his first state championship in the four-class era. With senior pitcher Kayla Hon (15-3, 113 K, 2.25 ERA) and senior infielder Jessica Lee (.491, 39 R, 33 RBI) leading the way, the Ladycats haven’t lost to a Class 2A opponent all year long. Not to mention that Beecher’s potent offense has plated double-digit runs in 14 contests this season.

Tammy Deter returns Morrison to the state finals for the fifth time in program history and first time since 2011, when her Mustangs won the Class 2A state title. The Mustangs avenged their lone 2A loss this season in the Super-Sectional, topping Rockridge 9-6. Senior Lauren Rice leads as a pitcher (21-2, 204 K, 1.09 ERA) and hitter (.493, 32 RBI), while senior 2B Emma Melton (.474, 31 R) is the catalyst for the Mustang offense.






TOURNAMENT HISTORY
42nd annual State Series
10th year of 4-Class Series
17th year at Eastside Centre


SITE
Eastside Centre (East Peoria)
Directions


HOST
East Peoria HS
PACVB


WEATHER
Updates/delays posted on Twitter at @IHSAWeather


SCHEDULE
Friday, June 2
Class 1A Semifinals

10:00 a.m.
Calhoun vs. Princeville

12:30 p.m.
Heyworth vs. Goreville

Class 2A Semifinals

3:00 p.m.
Pinckneyville vs. St. Joseph-Ogden

5:30 p.m.
Beecher vs. Morrison

Saturday, June 3
Class 1A Finals
10:00 a.m. - Third-Place
12:30 p.m. - Championship

Class 2A Finals
3:00 p.m. - Third-Place
5:30 p.m. - Championship


TICKETS
$6 per day


WATCH
All games available live on www.IHSA.tv


LISTEN
WBBA 97.5 FM (Pittsfield)
Online Broadcast
Calhoun games

WWHP 98.3 FM (Farmer City)
Online Broadcast
Heyworth games
 
WPXN 104.9 FM (Paxton)
Online Broadcast
St. Joseph-Ogden games

WXAN 103.9 FM (Ava)
Online Broadcast
Pinckneyville games


RESULTS & BOX SCORES

IHSA Softball Page


SOCIAL MEDIA
#IHSA
on Twitter
Twitter - @IHSAstate

Twitter Weather Updates

Instagram - @IHSA_IL

Facebook.com/IHSA.IL

Classic IHSA YouTube Video


OFFICIAL STATE FINAL
Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

Balls from Wilson

Souvenir Program


STATE SUPPORTERS
Country Financial

Wilson Sporting Goods

Gatorade

MaxPreps


STUDENT SAFETY
Play Smart. Play Hard.

Take the PSPH pledge...


HISTORY & RECORDS
2017 1A State Series

2017 2A State Series

Record Book & Past Champions