Missouri High School State Championship Final Four Preview – Class 4
By Jeff Strange
The stage is set for this upcoming weekend’s Missouri High School Softball State Championship. Today, we are breaking down the final four teams in Class 4 that will be facing off at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield, MO.
- 10/26 at 1:00pm – Washington (35-1-1) vs. Parkway West (22-9)
- Washington is coming off a 13-0 win over Notre Dame of Cape Girardeau last Saturday. Senior RHP Taylor Brown is having a season for the books, boasting an ERA of close to 0.50 while racking up close to 250 strikeouts for the season. Senior Lauren Opfer and Senior Lacy Monzyk have provided exceptional depth in the circle for the Blue Jays. Washington’s offensive attack is stacked, with a team batting average of over .450 for the season. Brown has exhibited huge power and run production all season, along with Junior Grace Molitor who has been a dual threat showing power and speed. Seniors Christine Gerling (hitting over .500), Maddie Guevara and Lacy Monzyk have also been key contributors on offense for the Blue Jays.
- Parkway West defeated North Point 11-1 in the state quarterfinals on 10/21/23, setting up their semifinal matchup against Washington. The Longhorns feature two dynamic juniors with IF Siena Snyder and OF Alexa Riddel leading the offensive attack. Fellow Junior Lily Bell has put up strong numbers as well with a batting average over .400 and speed to aid in Parkway West’s attack. Senior Mackenzie Brown has been the ace for the Longhorns this season, with an ERA hovering around 1.50. Sophomore hurler Juliet Relihan has provided solid depth in the circle as well.
- 10/26 at 1:00pm – Helias Catholic (21-9) vs. Kearney (26-5)
- In a rematch of last year’s class 4 state championship, the Helias Crusaders are looking to avenge that loss and bring home a title to the state capitol. Led in the circle by Cambri VanLoo and Karoline Klebba, the Crusaders are coming off a win over Camdenton 4-3 on 10/21/23. Key offensive contributors for Helias this season have been Kendyll Rackers, Alex Wilde and Klebba with all three hitting over .400 for the season and providing speed and run production for the Crusaders.
- Looking to defend their crown as state champions, the Kearney Bulldogs roll into the class 4 state tournament with a 14-game winning streak. The Bulldogs boast a strong group of arms in the circle, with Alyssa Quick, Kate Landewee and Sela Lowrance all contributing strong seasons. At the plate, Kearney has received strong offensive seasons from Quick, Brooke Paalhar, Macy Morrow and Morgan Pennington.
Missouri High School State Championship Final Four Preview – Class 5
The stage is set for this upcoming weekend’s Missouri High School Softball State Championship. Today, we are breaking down the final four teams in Class 5 that will be facing off at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield, MO.
- 10/26 at 12:00pm – Francis Howell (25-6) vs. Troy Buchanan (27-6-1)
- Francis Howell comes in fresh off a 3-1 victory over a strong Jackson, MO squad. Led by Senior RHP Lorin Boutte, the Vikings are a well-balanced team with two strong arms in the circle with Junior RHP Elle Glass combining with Boutte to provide a strong 1-2 punch. Offensively, Boutte provides a strong bat along with Freshman Catcher Adelle Metz. Seniors Macey Nix and Natalie Vines have also contributed run production and speed to aid in Howell’s attack.
- Troy Buchanan defeated Francis Howell North 8-0 in the state quarterfinals on 10/21/23, setting up a state semifinal game against Howell. Senior LHP Macie Hunolt has been a staple in the rotation for Troy since her freshman season, breaking the school’s career strikeout record earlier this fall and maintaining an ERA under 1.00 to this point of the season. Hunolt also offers a strong bat in the lineup along with fellow Seniors Gracie Johns, Teryn Brown and Mackenzie Williams. Hunolt, Johns and Williams have provided power and run production, while Brown, senior Autumn Trower and junior Ellee Graff have been key contributors on the basepaths.
- Both teams have met twice this season, with Troy winning 2-0 over Howell on 9/12/23 and Francis Howell defeating Troy 2-0 on 9/28.
- 10/26 at 12:00pm – Blue Springs South (26-2) vs. Raymore-Peculiar (30-2)
- Blue Springs South has only been dealt defeat by one school – Nebraska powerhouse Gretna handed the Jaguars their only two losses of the season, back in late August and then again in early September. Blue Springs South are riding are 20-game winning streak, most recently eliminating Willard 16-2 on 10/21/23. The Jaguars feature a high-powered offense, led by Senior Madison Hoffman, who is hitting well over .400 and providing speed on the bases. Seniors Abby Wilhem, Mya Bristow and Sophomore Kamryn Waters have mashed at the plate, putting up impressive power numbers throughout the course of the season. In the circle, Hoffman has been a true ace with an ERA hovering around 1.00 and averaging well over a strikeout an inning. Senior Maddy Duvall has been very strong as well, with an ERA just under 2.00 along with great command and also averaging well over a strikeout an inning.
- Raymore-Peculiar is coming in hot with an impressive 1-0 victory over Liberty on 10/21/23. The Panthers only two losses of the season have come at the hands of Blue Springs South, with the Jaguars defeating the Panthers 5-3 on 9/18/23 and again 3-1 on 10/2/23. Sophomore LHP Kelsie Donaldson has been a menace in the circle and at the plate for the Panthers, providing power at the plate and overpowering opposing hitters all season. Fellow Sophomore Reygan Ackley has proven capable in the circle and at the plate as well. Senior Hayden Kurtz has put up impressive offensive numbers for the season, showing big power throughout the fall. Other key offensive performers for the Panthers have been Junior Bailey Hummel, Sophomore Carmen Boxberger and Freshman Abbi Schuster.