Photo by Caleb Motsinger
Sophomore forward Annabelle Copeland dribbles the ball downfield Tuesday during the Explorers' 2-1 loss to Rochester in the super-sectional at Edwardsville.
Rochester’s Baylee Smith scored a goal with 4.7 seconds left on the clock to end the Marquette Explorers’ season at 18-6-1 Tuesday night at the Class 1A Super-Sectional at the District 7 Sports Complex in Edwardsville.
The teams were tied 0-0 after 80 minutes of regulation play, but Smith’s goal gave the Rockets, 18-7, a 2-1 victory in overtime, just moments after Marquette’s Kate Sanfilipppo tied the game at 1-1with a goal from 30 feet out.
Rochester’s Ally Milnes scored first in the first of two 10-minute overtimes, with Marquette’s Sanfilippo scoring with 3:24 remaining.
The teams battled in a scoreless tie earlier this season too, with a Rochester victory being secured by penalty kicks. Tuesday, they battled through 80 minutes of regulation time and two minutes of OT minutes before Rochester took the contest.
The Rockets, 18-7, will advance to the Class 1A state semifinals to face Rockford Christian, which beat Elmhurst IC Catholic 2-1 in the Hinckley-Big Rock Super-Sectional. They will square off in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. at North Central College in Naperville. The third-place and championship games are set for Saturday.
Timing is everything. Just ask the surging Civic Memorial High softball team.
The Eagles, 6-23 during the regular season, have fought their way into the championship game of the Triad Class 3A Regional.
After blasting Marquette Catholic, 14-4, in five innings on Monday in Bethalto, the Eagles shocked No. 1-seeded Triad, 4-3 on Tuesday in Troy. While the Knights closed 26-7, the 8-23 Eagles will play either Jersey or Highland at 11 a.m. Saturday for the regional championship.
“We’re trying to figure out that we are a good team,” CM coach Mike Eddy said after the Triad victory. “We’re playing our best softball at the end of the season.”
No kidding. The Eagles sprinted to a 4-0 first-inning lead against Triad as Kelsey Deaton slammed a three-run home run. It was her second postseason blast. She also homered in the five-inning win over Marquette.
Winning pitcher Shelby Whaley limited the Knights to a third-inning run before she had to escape trouble in the seventh. Triad, which defeated CM twice in Mississippi Valley Conference play this season, scored twice and had the tying and winning runners on base.
Yet Whaley worked out of a first-and-third, one-out jam and the Eagles secured a date in the regional championship. Jersey and Highland are scheduled to play at 4:30 Wednesday in the other semifinal.
“We hit the ball hard early in the game and Deaton’s homer sealed the deal,” Eddy said. “Then Shelby got the job done for us. She’s going to be a very good pitcher.”
Triad, which finished 10-0 in the Valley, had outscored the Eagles, 1-9 in the conference, by a 16-0 margin in the previous two meetings. Yet CM got on top early in this game and never relinquished the lead.
It’ll be 18-10 Highland against 17-15 Jersey at 4:30 today in the other regional semifinal. Highland went 7-3 to finish second to Triad in the Valley. Jersey was 4-6, though its 17 wins are a school record. The Panthers and Bulldogs have split two games this season.
Triad 7, Marquette Catholic 1 – One big inning doomed the Explorers, who ended their season at 19-11 after bowing in the play-in game of the Highland Class 3A Regional.
The 15-19 Knights scored all seven hits – on three hits – in a big fifth inning at Troy. Dalton Johnson’s three-run home run highlighted the wild inning for Triad, which finished last in the Valley.
“Johnson capped that inning with a nice swing,” Triad coach Jesse Bugger said of the big blast in the play-in game. “We pitched well and played good defense. That’s what we needed.”
Danny Holtz of the Explorers slugged a solo home run in the seventh, but the Explorers couldn’t put their hits together. They had five against Triad’s Luke Tyre, who struck out four in a complete-game effort.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Marquette coach Tim Fahnestock said. “I thought Carter (Hayden) pitched well, but we couldn’t get timely hits.”
Hayden held Triad hitless through the first four innings of a scoreless game. But he walked three batters and hit another one in the fifth as Triad came to life. Nate Funk and Matt Mersinger delivered RBI singles and Johnson hit his homer off Marquette reliever Max Goepel.
“It’s not the way we wanted to end the year,” Fahnestock said.
Triad now tangles with top-seeded CM at 4:30 Wednesday in a regional semifinal at Highland’s Glik Park. Jersey then battles Highland in the second semifinal. The championship game is set for 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Highland Regional champ advances to the Triad Sectional and plays on Thursday, June 5.