Softball teams roll into regionals

Waterloo’s Bethanie Ahne lays down a bunt during a recent home game. 

Only a few games remain in the regular season for high school softball, so local teams are fine tuning for regional play.

Waterloo (15-8) posted a 6-1 victory over Mississippi Valley Conference foe Mascoutah on Monday. Maddie Davis and Lilly Heck anchored the Bulldogs offense, each going 3-for-4. Mia Miller went 2-for-2 and also struck out 10 in six solid innings pitched. 

On Tuesday, the Bulldogs won 11-5 at Waltonville. Waterloo scored six runs in the seventh inning to break a tie.

On Wednesday, Waterloo won 6-0 on senior night over Jerseyville. Miller pitched a complete game and the Bulldogs got two hits each from Davis, Maddie Gummersheimer and Jada Voelker.

Last Wednesday, Waterloo dropped a 6-3 contest to Highland despite getting homers from Davis, Miller and Raelynn Melching. 

Davis leads the ‘Dogs in hitting this spring at .458 with a .541 on base percentage, four home runs, 16 RBIs, 26 runs and eight stolen bases. Miller is hitting .425 with 16 RBIs. In the pitching circle, she’s 11-5 with a 1.96 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 103 and two-thirds innings. Voelker is hitting .400 with 17 RBIs.

Waterloo plays Thursday at Murphysboro.

 Columbia (15-9) lost 8-3 at one-loss Freeburg on Monday, but pulled off a 3-2 win over Breese Central on Tuesday. The Eagles plated a run in the seventh to break a tie game. Sam Augustine pitched a complete game Tuesday with nine strikeouts and went 3-for-3 at the plate.

On Saturday, the Eagles dropped three games at the Triad tournament. Columbia lost 6-3 to Murphysboro, 11-2 to Triad and 3-1 to Hardin-Calhoun. Karsen Jany smacked a two-run homer in the loss to Triad and collected the only two hits for the Eagles against Hardin-Calhoun. 

Last Wednesday, Columbia won 5-2 over Roxana. Kaitlyn Bearley and Jaylyn Brister had two hits each for the Eagles.

Columbia may face Freeburg in regional play. The Eagles are in the Class 2A Marquette Regional and will battle Marquette this coming Tuesday. With a win, Columbia would play for the regional title at 11 a.m. May 21, likely against Freeburg. 

Jany is hitting .452 with five homers, 29 RBIs and 28 runs. Brister is at .434 with a .500 on base percentage, four home runs, 18 RBIs and 23 runs. Bearley is hitting .397 with 21 RBIs and 25 runs. Augustine is 7-3 with a 1.76 ERA.

Valmeyer (8-6) lost two one-run games recently but posted wins Tuesday and Wednesday over Dupo.

On Monday, the Pirates dropped a 2-1 battle against Lebanon despite 11 strikeouts from pitcher Brooke Miller and a 2-for-3 day at the plate by Sophie Seidler. Kylie Eschmann tripled. 

Last Wednesday, Valmeyer lost 5-4 to Wesclin. Eschmann, Mia McSchooler and Peyton Similey all had two hits for the Pirates, who battled Dupo on Tuesday. 

Valmeyer won 9-5 at Dupo on Tuesday. Miller went 3-for-4 with a homer and Eschmann went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. On Wednesday, Valmeyer won 8-3 at home over Dupo on senior night. Miller and Similey each hit inside-the-park homers and Markee Voelker went 3-for-4 with a triple.

On Thursday, Valmeyer dropped a 6-2 contest to Marissa.

Miller leads Valmeyer in hitting at .500 with a .523 on base percentage, seven home runs and 19 runs. She has a 2.17 ERA in the pitching circle. Eschmann is hitting .429 with 16 RBIs. Voelker is hitting .425 with six stolen bases.

Valmeyer will compete in the Class 1A Dupo Regional that begins next week and also includes Gibault and Dupo. 

Valmeyer battles Odin in regional play at 6 p.m. Tuesday. 

Gibault will open against Dupo at 3 p.m. Monday. 

The Hawks (6-9) won 9-0 on Monday against Cahokia. Emma Schmidt went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Emma Steibel went 1-for-1 with three stolen bases and two runs. 

Last Wednesday, Gibault lost 15-6 to Mater Dei. Schmidt went 2-for-4 with two homers and six RBIs.

Schmidt, a junior, leads Gibault in hitting at .595 with a .688 on base percentage, five homers, 20 RBIs, 19 runs and seven stolen bases.

Libby Mesch is hitting .405 and Steibel is hitting .350.

Prior to the regional, the Hawks close regular season play Wednesday and Sparta and Thursday at Father McGivney. 

Dupo (2-12) closed regular season play Thursday at Lebanon, falling 10-0.

Kyann Prater is hitting .400 and Steffany Stansch is hitting .429 to lead the Tigers this spring. Stansch also has a 3.22 ERA as a pitcher.

Class 3A regional pairings have not yet been announced. 

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