The 2015 IHSA Class 1A & Class 2A Softball State Finals return to the Eastside Centre in East Peoria on Friday and Saturday, June 5-6. Friday’s semifinals will unfold at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively, with the Class 2A semifinals following at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Saturday’s game times remain the same as Friday, as the Class 1A third-place game will be followed by the 1A state championship, before the Class 2A third-place and title games in the afternoon. All eights games this weekend will be broadcast live by the NFHS Network on www.IHSA.tv as Beau Spencer returns to call the action.
A preview is below (note that statistics are through Sectionals for teams who played Super-Sectionals on Tuesday):
Class 1A Semifinals
CALHOUN WARRIORS (31-4) vs.
WAYNE CITY LADY INDIANS (22-2-1)
The tandem of co-head coaches Tony Richardson and Karen Johnson has paid dividends in year one for Wayne City, as the school reaches state for the first time ever after topping 2014 state runner-up Trico in the Super-Sectional round. The Lady Indians haven’t lost since their third game of the season, thanks in part to the play of senior outfielder Tori Pasley (.495, 5 HR) and junior pitcher Claire Miller (20-2-1, 0.63 ERA, 331 K), who is also hitting .500 with 32 RBI.
Four of the five starters who led Calhoun to a Class 1A Girls Basketball runner-up finish in February are key contributors on head coach Matt Baalman’s state final Calhoun squad. That group starts with sophomore Grace Baalman, who has posted eye-popping stats as both a hitter (17 home runs) and a pitcher (414 strikeouts) playing for her father. Grace’s cousin Emma Baalman (.418, 38 RBI, 5 HR) gives Calhoun another potent bat in the lineup.
SOMONAUK LADY BOBCATS (26-4) vs.
NEWMAN CENTRAL CATHOLIC LADY COMETS (20-9)
The Lady Bobcats and head coach Scott Siuda came up one victory short of reaching the state finals a year ago, but reach state for the first time in school history behind a potent offense that has posted double-digit runs in 15 games this season. Juniors Nicole Krupp (8-2, 1.22 ERA) and Bailee Krantz (12-2, 2.08 ERA) share pitching duties for the team, and also team-up to terrorize opposing pitching, as both enter hitting over .500 with a combined 77 RBI.
The Lady Comets make their first state final trip in school history under second-year head coach JD Waldschmidt. Waldschmidt’s daughter, sophomore Lakyn Waldschmidt, has starred for Newman Central Catholic in the pitching circle (17-6, 1.78 ERA, 109 K) and at the plate (.512, 35 RBI). Senior third baseman Jenna Stevens (.521, 43 RBI) is one of three hitters in the lineup hitting over .500 on the year. After starting the season 7-9, Newman enters on a 13-game winning streak.
Class 2A Semifinals
ELMWOOD/BRIMFIELD COOP LADY INDIANS (29-5-1) vs.
BISHOP MCNAMARA FIGHTIN’ IRISH (26-10)
Kurt Juerjens led Elmwood/Brimfield to the Super-Sectional round a year in his first year at the helm and has guided the school to its first state final appearance in year two. Morgan Florey is enjoying a monumental senior campaign, having hit 17 home runs at a .517 clip, while adding a 21-3-1 record with 378 strikeouts and a 0.36 ERA as a pitcher. Junior first baseman Morgan Ledbetter (.393, 36 RBI, 7 HR) isn’t too far off her teammates pace at the plate.
Bishop McNamara and head coach Laura Harms won a state title in the school’s first state final appearance in 2013. Third baseman Corrine O’Connor (.438, 38 RBI) is one of two remaining links to that title team, and a memorable one at that as the then leftfielder robbed a home run in the title game two years ago. Two pitchers have split time for the Fightin’ Irish in 2015, with freshman Alex Storako (11-7, 2.41 ERA) emerging to get the Super-Sectional start.
ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN SPARTANS (32-3) vs.
NASHVILLE HORNETTES (36-2)
Legendary coach Randy Wolken has St. Joseph-Ogden back at state for the eighth time in his career in search of the program's second state title (2006). The 2015 edition of the Spartans has rolled through the postseason, outscoring their five opponents by a combined score of 51-12. Leading the way for St. Joseph-Ogden has been senior shortstop Maddy Poulter (.532, 59 R, 48 RBI, 7 HR) and sophomore Andrea Coursey (.478, 67 RBI) , while sophomore pitcher Tori Witruk has won 31 games.
Nashville head coach Dempsey Witte has the Hornettes back in the state finals for the third time since 2012 and has experience where it counts. Maci Ingram dazzled as a freshman in 2012 when she pitched Nashville to the state title, and has been outstanding in her senior campaign (30-2, 0.62 ERA, 396 K). Meanwhile, seniors Jordi Harre (.510 61 R) and Emily Thompson (.408 54 RBI) both boast state final experience and have grown into the squad’s offensive leaders.
40th annual State Series
8th year of 4-Class Series
15th year at Eastside Centre
Updates/delays posted on Twitter at @IHSAWeather
Eastside Centre (East Peoria)
Friday, June 5
Class 1A Semifinals
Calhoun vs. Wayne City
Somonauk vs. Newman Central Catholic
Class 2A Semifinals
Elmwood/Brimfield Coop vs. Bishop McNamara
St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Nashville
Saturday, June 6
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
All games available live on www.IHSA.tv
WVYN 90.9 FM (Wayne City)
Wayne City games
WSDR 1240 AM (Sterling)
Newman C.C. games
WSPY 107.1 (Plano)
WNSV 104.7 FM (Nashvlle)
WPXN 104.9 FM (Paxton
St. Joseph-Ogden games
RESULTS & BOX SCORES
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2015 1A State Series
2015 2A State Series
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