Teams set to compete in district softball championship games
By: Warren Mayes
Rain on Friday moved the majority of district softball championship games to Monday (Oct. 8).
Here is the schedule of district championship games:
Class 4 District 3 will have Lafayette playing at Eureka at 4:15 p.m.
Class 4 District 5 will have Parkway North meeting St. Joseph’s at Incarnate Word at 4 p.m.
Class 4 District 7 will have Marquette hosting Francis Howell at 4:15.
Class 3 District 4 will have Visitation playing at Kennedy at 4:15 p.m.
Here’s a look at the games:
Lafayette (17-7) vs. Eureka (17-1)
Not getting to play Friday upset his girls, Eureka coach Mark Mosley said, but they are over it and looking forward to hitting the diamond Monday.
“The girls are excited for the game. They were very disappointed we couldn’t play Friday,” Mosley said. “I told the girls at the very start of the year that districts would come down to us playing Lafayette, so we’ve been expecting this game for a long time. The girls are amped up for Monday.
Despite the delay, Mosley said his girls are ready and know what the game means.
“I don’t need to tell the girls much about this game,” Mosley said. “They know what’s at stake, they know how strong of a team Lafayette is, and they know what we need to do. The girls are as ready as they can be, so hopefully their work will pay off on Monday.”
The top-seeded Wildcats dispatched Washington 9-2 in the semifinals. Second-seeded Lafayette defeated Parkway South 3-2 in its semifinals game.
Mosley said the score in Eureka’s game was misleading.
“The final score of the Washington game doesn’t really reflect how tight of a game it was,” Mosley said. “We were down 1-0 until the fourth. It was a good game overall. Our defense played well and our hitters adjusted to the pitcher, so I was very happy.
“Samantha Witte got us going with a long home run. Her hit was a really big deal because it broke the tension and pressure. We hadn’t played for a week and a half, so we were a little tight. The floodgates opened after her hit though.
“Allie Webb drove in 3 with a couple hits, and Maddie Krumrey once again did a great job for us in the circle, throwing to Syd Tockman, who always calls a great game. But all of our girls came together for the win. We didn’t get any cheap runs — we hit the ball hard.”
Suburban West Conference teams Eureka and Lafayette did not meet in the regular season. The game was rained out and the two teams could not get a makeup date.
“Any time Eureka plays Lafayette in anything it is interesting,” Mosley said. “We’ve had success against them, and they’ve had success against us. It will be a great game.”
The keys to victory are simple, Mosley said.
“Like any other game, we need our defense to execute and our hitters to make adjustments,” Mosley said. ” Just like us, Lafayette has a strong defense and a great pitcher, so we know that we have to play up to our highest potential to walk away with a win.”
Parkway North (10-11) vs. St. Joseph’s Academy (13-8)
Second-seeded Parkway North whipped Normandy 17-0 and slipped past Pattonville 2-1 to earn a berth in the championship game against defending district champs St. Joseph’s Academy. The Angels beat 4-2 to reach the title tilt.
The two teams played once this season. St. Joseph’s beat Parkway North 3-2 at home in the regular season.
“St. Joe’s will no doubt be tough,” Parkway North coach Amy Doyle said about Monday’s game. “The regular season game was certainly a heartbreaker. We had bases loaded with one out in the top of the seventh inning when a line drive was caught on the infield and our runner at third was doubled off. We were so close to pulling ahead, but didn’t do it in the end.
“We know that we need to make the adjustments early in the game and come out and play our game. The biggest advantage for us is that we know that St. Joe’s is beatable.”
Angels coach J. P. Cummings recalled the regular season game was a close one. St. Joseph’s can use some things from that game in the district title game.
“Our previous game with Parkway North was just a good solid game,” Cummings said. “We try to use every game to get better.”
For the Vikings, this is a big opportunity, Doyle said.
“We have been working all season to put ourselves in a position to advance into postseason play,” Doyle said. “I have told the girls that they need to approach this game just like they have approached other games this season in which they have done well — they have to play focused and with nothing to lose.
“As a team, they perform much better when they don’t press too hard and stay within themselves. This is an extremely talented team with so much potential. If they come out and play their game, they will do great. They have worked hard all season and as such we talked about the fact that they need to trust in the training that they have done all season and play relaxed.”
The win over a good Pattonville squad was boost for the Vikings. After Pattonvile scored in the top of the fourth, Anna Chisolm answered with a home run, her ninth of the season, in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, sophomores Madison Eacret and Emily Evans were on third and second respectively when our lead off batter senior Kara Montgomery hit a ball to the outfield to win the game.
“Standouts in the first two district games have been sophomore shortstop Anna Chisolm and junior pitcher Courtney Norris,” Doyle said. “Anna is an outstanding hitter and has come through for us countless times this season. In our two district games alone, Anna has hit three home runs, a triple, and a double.
“Courtney Norris has been extremely consistent for us on the mound, striking out 6 of 6 batters faced in two innings against Normandy and posted another 6 strikeouts against Pattonville. She has been the glue for us in the field. Her consistency and calm demeanor have kept us in many games throughout the season.”
For the Vikings to win some hardware Monday, Doyle said the team must be able to adapt during the game.
“Focus, communication, and teamwork have been the must haves for us this season,” Doyle said. “In order to win the title game, we will need to make the adjustments early at the plate and we will need to execute offensively. Our defense, which has been strong all year, will have to go to work. We will also need to see the consistency that we have seen from pitcher Courtney Norris all season.”
Cummings said his Angels have to “play smart, play together, play hard … .just like all season, play it pitch by pitch, want the ball, want to hit.
“To win, we will need solid pitching, great defense, and finish our hits off in order to drive the ball,” Cummings said. “This group loves to play, so yes they are excited to play.”
Doyle’s Vikings are excited about to play as well.
“Everyone is very excited about the chance to win a district title. The girls, our seniors especially, realize the significance that such a chance affords,” Doyle said. “The girls have worked so hard all season and they are really excited about the chance to win a district championship for Parkway North. Amidst this excitement, the challenge the girls have ahead is to play with the same focus and intensity that they have demonstrated all season.”
Playing in the district championship shows how far the Vikings have advanced.
“Winning only two games in the 2009 season, this team has come along way in the last three years,” Doyle said. “The fact that these players have put themselves in a position to win a district championship is a testament to how hard they have worked to improve over the last few years. The turning point for us this season was playing 11 innings against Webster Groves. Twice this season we have scored 5 runs against Webster.
“I am so fortunate and so proud to coach such a great group of student-athletes who have proven throughout this season that they can go toe-to-toe with the best in the area.”