State Stories

07

Class 3A & 4A SOFTBALL State Final Preview

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The 2017 IHSA Class 3A & Class 4A Softball State Finals return to the award-winning Eastside Centre complex in East Peoria on Friday and Saturday, June 9-10.

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 Lee Hall brings viewers all of the action.

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


CLASS 3A

ROCHESTER ROCKETS (30-7-1)
Three months after its girls basketball team placed second in the state, the Rocket softball team finds itself in the state finals for the first time in program history. Seventh year head coach Lindsay Howard depends on sophomore pitcher Reagan Miles (19-5, 1.85 ERA, 156 K), while senior 3B Nicole Robinson (.589, 59 R) sets the table for an offense that has averaged over 10 runs per game in the postseason so far.


EAST PEORIA RAIDERS (30-4)
East Peoria High School has hosted the state finals for nearly two decades, and will finally have a chance to play in the event on their home field, as Denee Menzione’s Raiders qualify for the first time in school history. East Peoria enters the weekend on a 25-game winning streak and has outscored their five State Series foes 43-0 behind the play of senior lefty Alyssa Graves (28-1, 0.75 ERA, 304 K) and senior infielder Ashley Emert (.426, 40 R, 37 RBI).


NAZARETH ACADEMY (31-6-1)
A year ago, Nazareth fell to Montini in the Super-Sectional and watched the Broncos go on to win the Class 3A title. This time around, Emily Matthews’ squad knocked off the champs 3-0 in the Super round to punch the school’s first-ever ticket to state. The Roadrunners have a pair of standout senior pitchers in Krystal Levitske (17-2, 2.43 ERA, 147 K) and Devyn Zuro (14-4, 1.50 ERA, 152 K), the latter of whom also leads the team at the plate (.474, 44 R, 38 RBI).


MARENGO INDIANS (33-6)
The lone team in the Class 3A field with previous state final experience, Dwain Nance has made state final appearances a habit of late, as the Indians are back for the fifth time since 2008, including one win in three state championship game appearances. Senior pitcher Mariah Dionne (18-5, 2.62 ERA, 197 K) started the 2015 championship game, a 2-1 loss, and has hit 17 homers this year, while sophomore Hannah Ritter (.447, 36 R, 35 RBI) is another offensive leader.


CLASS 4A

BARRINGTON FILLIES (36-3)
Perry Peterson has built Barrington into one of the top softball programs in the state, as the Fillies make their ninth state final appearance under Peterson since 1993, and tenth overall. The Fillies now hope to capture their first state championship with junior pitcher Catherine McMahon (25-2, 1.72 ERA, 121 K) and junior catcher Abbey Jacobsen (.481, 46 RBI, 7 HR) leading the way.


OAK PARK-RIVER FOREST HUSKIES (35-1)
Legendary coach Mel Kolbusz (711 career wins) captured his second state championship and fifth trophy overall a year ago, and has several key returnees back to defend the Huskies title. None is more important than lefty senior pitcher and Auburn commit Chardonnay Harris (17-0, 0.27 ERA, 207 K), the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year, while sophomore 2B Finoa Giradot’s (.627, 55 R, 59 RBI) extra inning RBI double plated the winning runs in last year’s state championship game.


MARIST REDHAWKS (25-7)
The RedHawks make their third state final trip in school history and second under third-year head coach Colleen Biebel. The emerging perennial power program enters 2-for-2, having won the class 4A title in each of its two previous state final trips. To go 3-for-3, the RedHawks will need big performances in East Peoria from sophomore Angela Zedak as a pitcher (19-5, 1.52 ERA, 139 K) and hitter (.520, 56 RBI, 11 HR), as well as from freshman OF Brianna Brown (.402, 29 R).


LINCOLN-WAY EAST GRIFFINS (29-3)
Elizabeth Pawlick has Lincoln-Way East back in the state finals for the third time since 2014, and in search of the program’s second state title. Its semifinal matchup against Marist is a rematch of an April 11 loss (7-3), which senior catcher Christine Malito (.453, 32 RBI, 4 HR) and company will be looking to avenge. Junior Alex Storako will have a big say in that outcome as a pitcher (21-2, 0.89 ERA, 270 K) and hitter (.433, 35 RBI, 4 HR).

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


SITE
Eastside Centre (East Peoria)
Directions


WEATHER
Updates/delays posted on Twitter at @IHSAWeather


SCHEDULE
Friday, June 9
Class 3A Semifinals

10:00 a.m.
Rochester vs. East Peoria

12:30 p.m.
Nazareth vs. Marengo

Class 4A Semifinals

3:00 p.m.
Barrington vs. Oak Park-River Forest

5:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Lincoln-Way East

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

Class 4A 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
WFMB 104.5 FM (Springfield)
Online Broadcast
All Rochester 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 3A State Series

2017 4A State Series

Record Book & Past Champions