TIGERS BATTER BIRDS – Top-seeded Edwardsville scooted past Alton, 25-8, 25-16, on Tuesday in a semifinal match of the Class 4A Granite City Regional. The 26-6 Tigers will play city rival Metro East Lutheran at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the regional title.
The 9-8 Knights downed East St. Louis, 25-18, 22-25, 27-25 in the other semifinal. MELHS lost to Edwardsville last season in the finals of the Edwardsville Regional.
Alton, a first-year varsity program, finished its season with a 4-16 record. The Redbirds defeated Granite City twice, including their regional play-in game. They also beat MELHS and North County Tech of St. Louis.
The Birds scored the opening two points of their first game with the Tigers, but Edwardsville tallied nine of the next 10 points for a 9-3 advantage. The Tigers boosted their lead to 16-5 and coasted to the victory.
In Game 2, the Tigers maintained their control, building a 13-5 lead. The Redbirds got to within 21-13 on a kill by Vincent DeFranceso, but Edwardsville opened a 24-14 advantage and registered the win.
Jack Grimm collected nine kills to pace the Tigers. Joe Brammeier and Jake Vandever both accumulated nine service points. Vandever contributed 30 assists.
A.J. Risavy, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, amassed 11 kills in MELHS’ three-game win over East St. Louis. The Knights trailed 22-16 in the third and decisive game before going on a six-point spurt to tie things. The Flyers then forged ahead 25-24, but the Knights scored the final three points.
WARRIORS FALL IN REGIONAL – Top-seeded Edwardsville scored early and often to pound Granite City, 12-2, in a five-inning semifinal game of the Class 4A Alton Regional.
The 26-4 Tigers advanced to the championship game and will play at 11 a.m. Saturday against the Alton-Quincy winner. The 18-14 Redbirds and 8-24 Blue Devils are scheduled to play at AHS in a 4:30 game Wednesday. The Birds beat the Blue Devils, 16-4, on March 23, in Quincy.
Edwardsville, the undefeated champion of the Southwestern Conference, beat Granite City for the third time this season. The Tigers have won 14 of their last 15 games. The Warriors finished their season with a 7-25 record.
Morgan Tanskley absorbed the defeat, though a leaky defense cost her. Granite City committed three errors in the first inning and she allowed only six hits, though seven runs, in four innings. Overall, the Warriors made seven errors.
Cierra Yon stroked a two-run home run for the Warriors in the top of the fifth off Edwardsville reliever Jordan Garella. The Tigers then scored five in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal their victory.
Allison Loehr was the winning pitcher. She struck out five in four perfect innings. Morgan Fazio had the other Granite City hit off Garella.