Eureka, St. Joseph’s Academy, Kennedy all earn No. 1 seeds in district softball
By: Warren Mayes
The Eureka Wildcats reached the Final Four in Class 4 high school girls softball last year and would like to go back.
The journey starts with district play which begins Wednesday (Oct. 3) and ends Friday. Eureka (16-1) is the top seed in Class 4 District 3.
Eureka coach Mark Mosley said his club is deserving to be seeded first in the district.
“I feel like we’ve earned it through what we’ve done this season,” Mosley said. “Our only loss was to a great pitcher and a very good Parkway South team, and we’ve been playing pretty consistently all season, and I think I’d argue that we’ve actually improved as the year has gone on.
“I’m not sure the last time Eureka was the No. 1 seed. It’s a nice accomplishment because our district is so strong. But it doesn’t mean anything unless we take advantage of it.”
To other area teams — St. Joseph’s Academy and Kennedy — earned top seeds in their districts.
St. Joseph’s (7-8) is top-ranked in Class 4 District 5. Kennedy is No. 1 in Class 3, District 4.
“The No. 1 seed is great to have,” said St. Joseph’s coach J.P. Cummings. “It’s one more day of rest for pitcher, one more day of practice and review, and a game at home. We are glad to have earned that seed.”
It’s nothing new for the Angels to be the No. 1 seed in their district.
“Consistency is what we work for,” Cummings said. “We were the No. 1 seed in 2010 and 2011. We want to compete, compete at a high level, and compete every time. I think we are getting that.”
Kennedy coach Troy Ufert agreed his team earned its No. 1 seed.
“The girls are deserving of their No. 1 seed. They are 14-4,” Ufert said. “Overall, the ladies have played well this season. They have continued to improve since the first day they started.
“It is a nice accomplishment to be the No. 1 seed, but once the district starts, the seeds really don’t mean anything. Everyone is back to a 0-0 record. The last time we were the No. 1 seed in 2010 we ended up winning the district.”
Kennedy also won the district in 2009.
“Our two seniors (Michelle Silva and Macy McAndrews) have a chance to become the first girls to win three district championships in softball at Kennedy,” Ufert said.
Here are the seedings for Class 4 District 3: 1. Eureka. 2. Lafayette . 3. Parkway South. 4. Washington. 5. Rockwood Summit. 6. Pacific.
Parkway South faces Pacific at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 3) in an opening-round game. The winner will face Lafayette at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Eureka meets the winner of the Washington-Summit game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The district title game is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Eureka will be ready who wins the Washington-Summit game,” Mosley said.
“We’ve played Summit and beaten them twice, and it’s always difficult to beat a team twice in one year, let alone three times, so we cannot look past them,” Mosley said. “We played our very first game of the season against Washington, and they are a great team. They have a strong pitcher and their defense makes you work for your runs, so we will not look past them either. Both teams would be tough to face, and it will be a tough first game no matter who it is.”
To win the district will take some solid play from his Wildcats, Mosley said.
“Our offense needs to be able to score runs off great pitchers. There are at least four pitchers in this district that can shut down a team, so our offense will need to work,” Mosley said. “Also, our defense needs to make the routine plays and make the opposing hitters earn their ways on. And state playoffs come down to hot teams, so hopefully we can catch lightning in a bottle again.”
But his squad is not looking past the district to state. Rather, it’s play the game that is at hand. There’s no chance Eureka will be looking ahead.
“We can’t look ahead to the Final Four. Even if we get out of districts, we would then have to, most likely, beat a good Webster Groves team,” Mosley said. “Our focus right now is districts. Nobody in this district can look beyond their first game because of the competition. Any district that has Parkway South as the No. 3 (seed) and Washington as the No. 4 (seed) is difficult to come out of. That speaks to the strength of this group of teams, so we won’t even be looking beyond our first game.”
Here are the seedings for Class 4 District 5: 1. St. Joseph’s Academy. 2. Parkway North. 3. Ladue. 4. Ritenour. 5. Incarnate Word Academy . 6. Pattonville. 7. Normandy.
Parkway North will play Normandy and Incarnate Word Academy will meet Ritenour. Both games will be played at 4 p.m. Wednesday. St. Joseph’s will meet the winner of Parkway North-Normandy at 4 p.m. Thursday. The championship game is set for 4 p.m. Friday.
Cummings said his Angels will be ready to play.
“Our semi-final will be against the winner of the Ritenour-IWA game. What do we know?” Cummings asked. “We approach every game as if we are playing the best team in the state. Our goal is playing our best softball now and to keep playing our best softball.”
To succeed, St. Joseph’s had to remain focused, Cummings said.
“We emphasize it is about focusing one pitch at a time,” Cummings said. “You have to want to get the hit, you have to want to field the ball, you expect to get the big hit, you expect the ball for the big defensive play and then prep to do it again.”
Here are the seedings for Class 4 District 7: 1. Francis Howell. 2. Marquette. 3. Francis Howell Central. 4. Parkway West. 5. Francis Howell North. 6. Fort Zumwalt East. 7. Parkway Central.
Parkway West meets Francis Howell North and Marquette meets Parkway Central. Both games are Wednesday.
Here are the seedings for Class 3, District 4: 1. John F. Kennedy. 2. Westminster Christian Academy. 3. Visitation Academy. 4. Clayton. 5. University City. 6. Villa Duchesne. 7. Soldan.
Westminster will meet Soldan at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will meet the winner of the Visitation-Villa Duschesne game at 4:15 p.m. Thursday. Kennedy will play the winner of the Clayton-University City game at 4:15 p.m. Thursday. The championship game is set for 4:15 p.m. Friday.
The opponent does not matter, Ufert said.
“Our playoff run will depend on how we play as a team,” Ufert said. “If we keep playing good defense, put the ball in play on offense, put some pressure on the opposing teams defense when we are on the bases, and keep getting timely hits I like our chances to make a run in the playoffs this season.
“Our goal is the same every year — to try and improve everyday so we can be playing our best softball in October and make a run in the playoffs.”
To do that, the Celts must remain dedicated.
“If we can stay focused, play solid fundamental softball — play good defense, put the ball in play on offense, put some pressure on the opposing teams defense when we are on the bases, and keep getting timely hits — we have a good opportunity to win our district and make a run in the playoffs.”
Here are the seedings for Class 2 District 11: 1. Elsberry. 2. Lutheran (St. Peters). 3. Principia. 4. Louisiana. 5. Van-Far. 6. Montgomery County.
Principia meets Montgomery County at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will play Lutheran (St. Peters) at 7 p.m. Thursday.