2019 IHSA 3A - Journeys to the State Semifinals

The Class 3A IHSA final four teams are set to play Friday, St. Francis will take on McNamara and Mt. Zion battles Sycamore to advance to the State Championship on Saturday.

Take a look at the schools’ postseason runs to the State Semifinal.

St. Francis

The St. Francis Spartans have had an exciting year as they sit at 28-3-1 overall and they went 9-2 in Metro Suburban Conference play.

St. Francis started their run with two run-rule victories over Intrinsic Charter and Noble/Muchin in the Regional round of the playoffs.

In the Sectional Semifinal, the Spartans defeated Trinity with a score of 3-0. They then went on to face Glenbard South in the Sectional Final where they won again 3-0.

St. Francis would then play Lemont in the Super-Sectional.

The Spartans would run out to a 2- 0 lead in the bottom of the third. The inning started with a walk to Kelly Griffin. Then with two outs, Kristina Sherwin kept the inning going with another walk. Bridget Rath would then break the stalemate delivering a two-RBI triple.

Lemont would answer back in the top half of the fourth as Kylie Mooney walked to put the first baserunner on. A batter later, Maggie O’Brien delivered a double to right cutting the lead to just one run.

St. Francis would get that run back, as Caroline Caesar led the bottom of the fourth off with a triple. Caesar would score on a sac fly to left off the bat of Annika Norman.

The Spartans would break the game open putting a three-spot up in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Kristina Sherwin hit a triple and would later score on a wild pitch. Bridget Rath walked, and Carlee Jo Clark followed with a single. Caroline Caesar would then make the game 6-1 delivering a double to plate two runs.

In the bottom of the sixth, St. Francis would tack on three more runs. A leadoff double from Tarin Mallory and two walks issued to Kelly Griffin and Riley Banigan loaded the bases for the Spartans. Kellyn Langton would drive a double to left scoring two runs, and the final run was brought in on a Kristina Sherwin sac fly.

Lemont was unable to get much going off of the Spartans’ pitcher Carlee Jo Clark. In the circle, Clark went seven innings allowing only three hits and striking out six.

Bishop McNamara

The Bishop McNamara Fightin’ Irish have continued the success they have had all year as they are 28-8 overall and went 12-3 in Metro Suburban Conference play.

In the first round of Regional play for the Irish, they defeat T.F. North 15-0 and then took home the Regional Championship 11-4 over Manteno.

They then defeated Joliet Catholic Academy 8-7 in the Sectional Semifinal. In the Sectional Championship, Bishop McNamara beat Ottawa 8-3.

In Super-Sectional play, the Irish would take on Pontiac to decide who head to the State Semifinals.

Bishop McNamara would score eight runs on eight hits and take advantage of five Pontiac errors.

In the top of the second inning, the Irish would plate two runs with two outs. Riley Ford started things off with a single and then would advance to third on a drop third strike. Bishop McNamara would score two runs on an error.

The Irish would add on three more runs in the third inning. Back-to-back singles from Jaelyn Vickery and Leigha Campe started things off. Gillian McDermott bunted and reached on an error to load the bases for Kylie Sullivan. McNamara would score three runs increasing their lead to 5-0.

Bishop McNamara would add on another run in the sixth inning. Riley Ford started with a single and would come around to score on a double to left off the bat of Kenna Klienett.

In the seventh inning, the Irish would add on their final two runs to advance to the State Semifinals. Jaelyn Vickery would get on base with a dropped third strike and would score when an errant throw on a bunt. Gillian McDermott would drive in another run with a single to left giving the Irish an 8-0 lead.

Bishop McNamara pitching staff would only allow four hits. As Jocelyn Clodi went 2.1 innings allowing one hit while Jaelyn Vickery finished the final 4.2 innings allowing three hits with two strikeouts.

Mt. Zion

The Mt. Zion Braves have had an impressive 30-4-1 overall record while going 11-1 in Apollo Softball Conference play.

The run to the State Semifinals started against Rantoul and Paris in the Regional round. Mt. Zion defeated Rantoul 13-3 and the Paris 4-0.

In the Sectional Semifinal game, the Braves beat Rochester 3-0 and then defeated Charleston 5-2 to advance to the Super-Sectional.

The Braves would have to play Centralia in the Super-Sectional round.

Mt. Zion would get on the board in the top of the first inning. Audrey Eades would start the inning off with a single to center, and the Braves would sit with runners on first and second after a catcher’s interference. Eades would then advance to third on a flyout off the bat of Ally Bruner. Mt. Zion would have their first run across the plate after a single from Isabel Shafer.

In the fourth inning Mt. Zion would add two more runs giving them a 3-0 lead. With a runner on third and two outs, Audrey Eades tripled, and she would later score on an error.

The Braves would add five in the fifth started by an Isabel Shafer single then was advanced to second after Bailey Davis bunted to move the runner. Mt. Zion would then have runners on the corners after a single from Stephanie Hurm. They would both come in to score as Chayse Ramey tripled to right. Ramey would later score on a double from Emma Ewing, and she would score on another double from Dayna Kennedy. The final run of the inning came on a single from Kynzie Wrigley single.

Audrey Eades went seven innings strong, for Mt. Zion, allowing only one run, four hits with three strikeouts.


The Sycamore Spartans have had an impressive 2019 season as they are 31-6-1 overall and they went 8-4-1 in Northern Illinois Big 12 - East Conference play.

The Spartans started in the Regional defeating Rochelle and Rock Falls. In their first game against Rochelle, Sycamore rolled to an 8-0 victory. In the Regional Championship, they beat Rock Falls 11-0.

In the Sectional Semifinal, the Spartans defeated Crystal Lake South 5-4 and then beat Sterling 2-1 in the Championship game.

In the Super-Sectional round, Sycamore took on Marengo.

The Spartans would take an early lead in the first inning. Haley Trela singled to lead things off for Sycamore, she was followed by a walk to Amanda Swedberg. A bunt single put down by Faith Reynolds gave them their first run of the game. Gracyn Gabriel would then send a sac fly to center to make the score 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, Allison Polly started the inning with a single to left she advanced to third on a bunt and an error. Polly would then score on a ground out, giving Sycamore a 3-0 lead.

Faith Reynolds started the top of bottom of the fourth off with a single. Then with two outs, Erin Simmons was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second. Allison Polly would then single to center score the Spartans final run.

Marengo would score their lone run in the top of the sixth. Sycamore’s pitchers combined for seven innings allowing only four hits and striking out six. Faith Reynolds went five innings allowing two hits and striking out three. Milani Sablan went two innings also allowing two hits and striking out three.