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Baseball: Blake Lawson of Southwestern
The junior shortstop, who can also pitch and play the outfield, is doing plenty for the surging Southwestern Piasa Birds.
The Piasa Birds, 21-11 overall and 7-2 in the SCC, clinched a share of the conference championship last week. They are involved in Class 2A regional competition this week at Metro East Lutheran. Southwestern is the top seed.
Lawson was hitting a team-best .364 with 43 hits, including 16 extra-base hits, and a Piasa-leading 30 RBIs, through Southwestern’s regular-season run.
He went 3-for-4 with a double and drove home a run last Friday when the Piasa Birds defeated Vandalia, 10-0, in five innings to get a portion of their SCC title. He also was 2-for-3 with a double in a pivotal league win over Greenville earlier in the week.
“Blake has been very consistent all season,” Southwestern coach Brian Hanslow said. “He’s a big part of our SCC championship. He has played shortstop very well and overall, he is one of our team leaders.”
Track: LaJarvia Brown of Alton
The multi-talented sophomore was at her best for the Redbirds the past week in the Rock Island Class 3A Girls Track Sectional.
Brown won the triple jump with a personal-best effort of 39 feet. She also finished fifth in the long jump by going 17-8.5 and qualifying for both events this weekend at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. The 3A competition starts Friday and concludes Saturday at O’Brien Stadium.
She will strive to become the first AHS female trackster to win a state championship. Jessica Stockard took second in the long jump back in 2001. And no Alton guy has finished first at state since Larry Perry won the long jump in 1974.
Brown’s skills aren’t limited to track; she’s also a standout basketball player. The 5-foot-2 guard averaged 15 points per game the past season for the 15-13 Redbirds. It was their first winning season in 29 years.