The Waterloo High School softball team knew it faced a tough task against Highland and unbeaten pitcher Sam Meiner in Thursday’s Class 3A sectional final at home. Waterloo lost twice previously this season to the Mississippi Valley Conference foe.
With a large crowd on hand, the orange and black Bulldogs were able to get hits but just couldn’t score in a 3-0 loss to the red and black Bulldogs from up north.
Highland (22-1) plated a run in the first inning on an RBI groundout after a couple of singles.
Waterloo (17-11) had six hits on the day, three from starting pitcher Ashley Steinhardt and two from top hitter Jane Kaniecki. In fact, the ‘Dogs put its leadoff hitter on in four innings.
Following a leadoff triple by Maddie Davis, Highland pulled off a double play that resulted in Davis being out at home.
Meiner, who improved to 21-0 with a 0.08 ERA for the season, struck out 10 and walked none.
With the score remaining 1-0 in the seventh, Highland sophomore Kelly Fuller smacked a two-RBI single to make it a 3-0 contest.
Waterloo was unable to muster a last-ditch rally, marking the end of a successful season that resulted in a regional championship.
Kaniecki, who will play softball at Saint Louis University next season, led Waterloo in hitting at .520 with 40 RBIs and 38 runs. Davis, a junior, hit .456 with 24 RBIs and 27 runs.