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BY MICHAEL BOYD JR.
HERALD SPORTS EDITOR
MARBLE HILL, Mo. — No. 6 Ste. Genevieve’s rematch with No. 2 West St. Francois County did not go quite as planned, as the Dragons fell 12-5 during the MSHSAA Class 2 District 2 championship final last Tuesday (May 9) at Woodland High.
The top-seeded Bulldogs (22-3) taxed Ava Greer for 12 runs on 12 hits and never let up in the battle of state-ranked teams, thus ending the second-seeded Dragons’ wonderful softball season.
Ste. Genevieve (18-6), which broke the school record for wins in a season the night before, saw its five-game winning streak snapped. They lost their first three games of the season, before rolling from there.
That last loss? To West County in the championship finals of the Mineral Area Activities Association Conference finals.
West County won its 13th straight game, including SGHS twice.
The Dragons scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning, but the “purple pups” tied it in their half of the frame, then plated four runs in the third.
Ste. Genevieve scored three runs in the fourth to cut their debt to 5-4, but the Frankclay-based Bulldogs scored another in the fourth, then three more in the fifth for a 9-4 advantage.
The Dragons scored their final run in the sixth, but the ’Dogs scored three in the same inning for the eventual final score.
No. 8-batter Mia Schweigert, a senior, went 3 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored.
Sophomore catcher Chloe Staffen (two RBI) had two hits.
Leadoff batter Ava Huber, a sophomore shortstop, reached base safely four times. She had a single, two walks, was hit by a pitch, stole a base, scored two runs and had an RBI.
Junior Hope Schmelzle and sophomore Joliegh Parker both had one hit.
Senior Ava Meyer (walk, run) and sophomore pinch hitter Autumn Werner (stolen base, RBI) also contributed.
West County catcher Grace Barton hit a home run and a double, scored a run a had six RBI.
Morgan Simily (double, walk, stolen base, three runs) and Alexis Hedgcorth (run, RBI) both had two hits.
Winning ace Gracie Wright (stolen base, run) also had a hit. She went the distance, allowing all five earned runs on eight hits, three walks and hit a batter, while striking out 10.
Wright signed a national letter of intent to pitch for Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff.
The pups advance to the state quarterfinals to face District 1 champion Malden this past Tuesday.
The Dragons end the season breaking the program record for most wins in a season (18).
Sophomore shortstop and No. 1 batter Ava Huber broke three single-season records: 43 hits (broke Emily Gielser and Ashley Viox’s 39 set in 2012), 39 runs scored (broke Isabella “Izzie” Basler 37 runs in 2022); and .551 batting average (broke Amy Fahnestock’s .518 set in 2000).
Sophomore catcher Chloe Staffen broke the school record for fielding percentage at .985 on 194 chances.
Dragons 12, Scott City 6
MARBLE HILL, Mo. — Powered by sophomores Ava Huber and Chloe Staffen, No. 6 Ste. Genevieve scored all the runs it needed in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back, defeating the third-seeded Rams last Monday, May 8, during the semifinals of the MSHSAA Class 2 District 2 tournament at Woodland High.
The state-ranked and second-seeded Dragons (18-6) broke the school record for wins in a season in the process. They jumped out to an 8-0 lead after scoring six runs in the first, then added two more in the fifth.
Scott City (16-9), which ends its season losing two of its last three, started a rally in the sixth with five runs, but Ste. Genevieve added four insurance runs in its half of the sixth. Scott City managed one more run in the seventh.
The old record of 17 victories in a season was set last season.
The Dragons, who have won five straight and six of their last seven, are head coached by Rebecca Keim.
Staffen, a catcher, ripped three doubles and drove home five runs, while No. 1-batter and shortstop Huber scored three times and had two RBI). Both had three hits.
Brynna Wehner (run), Mallory Wolk (run, RBI) and Mia Schweigert (walk, two runs) each had two hits.
Alysa Beckerman (walk, run, RBI) and Ava Meyer (run, two RBI) each had one hit.
Hope Schmelzle (hit-by-pitch, run), Joliegh (RBI) and pinch runner Maddie Terry (run) each contributed to the win.
Terry, a senior third baseman, returned for the first time after she received a concussion from a linedrive off her facemask against Valle Catholic a few weeks earlier.
Ava Greer went the distance, allowing all six runs (five earned) on nine hits and three walks, while striking out seven.
Losing pitcher Makayla Lawless (double, run) had three hits. Summer Wagner (RBI) had two hits.
Lawless took the complete-game loss, allowing all 12 runs (eight earned) on 14 hits, three walks and hit a batter, while striking out two.