The Incarnate Word Academy Red Knights head into Class 3 sectional play fresh off winning their fourth consecutive softball championship.
The Red Knights (19-4) rolled to a 15-0 victory over Clayton to claim the District 6 title.
Incarnate Word will face the Rosati-Kain Kougars (8-11) in the sectional round Wednesday (Oct. 11). The 4:15 p.m. game will be played at Rosati-Kain in Affton.
The game is a rematch from last year. The Red Knights beat Rosati-Kain 15-0 in the sectional last fall. The two teams also met during the regular season. Incarnate Word scored an 11-1 victory in that matchup.
“We expected Rosati to win their district,” Incarnate Word coach Rachel Gill said. “The 11-1 score of the regular season game with Rosati does not show what type of game it actually was. We were losing 1-0 to them through three innings and then it was 1-1 after four innings.
“We didn’t really start scoring until the fifth inning. I expect the contest to be a good one.”
The Red Knights won’t overlook their opponent, Gill said.
“We just need to continue taking it one game at a time,” Gill said.
The Red Knights have been playing well this fall, Gill said.
“We are in a good place right now. I like how the team is playing,” Gill said. “We are trying to continue to play as good as we can regardless of our competition.”
After Incarnate Word dispatched University City 15-0 in the district semfinal, the Red Knights were ready to play Clayton for the district crown.
The Red Knights defeated the Patriots twice in regular season. However, Gill was not concerned with her squad being overconfident.
“Clayton has some very good players on their team. We are trying to take it one game at a time and we keep reminding them that every game we have once postseason starts is the biggest game of the year,” Gill said. “Overconfidence is definitely something that concerns us when you make assumptions about certain teams, but we decided that regardless of the opponent we will show no mercy.”
The Red Knights came out and overwhelmed Clayton. Gill was caught off guard by the Incarnate Word onslaught.
“I did not expect the game to be over in three innings,” Gill said. “It was truly a team effort, both offensively and defensively. Our pitcher threw a great game and everyone was having great at-bats.”
The victory was a big one for the team and the seniors on the squad.
“Our seniors were especially excited because with this district win, they have won districts all four years,” Gill said.