The Waterloo High School softball team had defeated defending state champion Highland earlier this spring, providing hope entering Saturday’s regional final “Battle of the Bulldogs.”
It’s always hard to take down a champion, however, as Waterloo learned the hard way.
The Class 3A Highland Regional championship was scoreless through three innings before Highland plated two runs in the fourth inning. Highland added to its lead late.
Waterloo, which handed Highland a 2-1 loss back on April 18, was unable to muster much of anything on offense. Highland pitcher Sophia Donoho allowed just three hits on the day – two by junior Jada Voelker.
In the end, Highland prevailed at home by the score of 4-0, ending Waterloo’s season at 18-11.
Last Tuesday, Waterloo advanced to the regional final by virtue of a 1-0 victory over Mascoutah.
Mia Miller, a sophomore, pitched a complete game two-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead the orange-and-black Bulldogs.
Maddie Davis, a graduating senior, had a hit and scored the game’s only run.
Davis led the ‘Dogs in hitting this season at .462 with an on base percentage of .533 and 33 runs, five home runs and 22 RBIs.
Voelker hit .429 with 22 RBIs and was 3-0 in the pitching circle with a 2.86 ERA in just under 15 innings pitched.
Miller hit .383 and was 13-7 as a pitcher with a 2.22 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 135-plus innings.