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Sports Briefs: Nov. 27

The St. Joseph’s Angels are the 2019 Class 2 state tennis champions. [Photo provided by team]

High school girls tennis

The St. Joseph’s Angels are state tennis champions again.

The Angels captured their first Class 2 girls team tennis state championship since 2012, blowing away both opponents in the Final Four at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.

In the semifinals, St. Joseph’s defeated Parkway Central 5-0. 

Not to be outdone, the Angels repeated that showing with a 5-0 win over St. Teresa’s Academy in the championship match. In fact, St. Joseph’s won all of its six postseason matches by identical 5-0 scores.

The result in Springfield meant the Angels earned the 16th state championship in school history. St. Joseph’s coach Doug Smith led the Angels to 10 of those titles. 

“In each of the last six years St. Joe has had good teams which enjoyed strong seasons that produced multiple trips to the Final Four and also in which some Angels have had the satisfaction of winning individual titles,” Smith said. “But the Holy Grail of state championships is the team title, which had eluded St. Joe since 2012. 

“Meanwhile, Rock Bridge had been steadily gaining on our MSHSAA-leading total of 15 team state titles, so this one was especially sweet. It’s our sweet 16.”

The state tournament matches were played inside on the Cooper Tennis Complex’s 12 indoor courts because of wet weather in Springfield.

“Dominant is a perfect word for the performance of these Angels throughout the entire season, underscored by the fact that in each of the six rounds that constituted the postseason, St. Joe did not lose even one court, winning every contest 5-0,” Smith said.

This year’s squad will lose two starters and one reserve to graduation. However, no one should count out the Angels down the road.

“The future looks bright for this team,” Smith said. “Of this year’s top eight players, six were either sophomores or freshmen, and another sophomore who will fill in nicely next year is Bella Hong, who as a recent transfers was ineligible to play this year.”

High school boys swimming

Marquette finished second in the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool boys swimming and diving meet.

Kirkwood came in first with 506 points. Marquette was a distant second with 327 points. Eureka came in fifth and Lafayette was sixth.

Marquette earned its best finish in the 200 Individual Medley relay in which the Mustangs came in second place. Phanisri Shaddarsanam, Cody Wheeler, Seth Adams and Sam Maniscalco finished with a time of 1 minute, 42.49 seconds.

High school softball

The 2019 Incarnate Word softball team [Photo provided by team]

The Incarnate Word Academy Red Knights finished the season in fourth place in the high school girls Class 3 state softball tournament played at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield.

The Red Knights [18-9] lost 8-0 to eventual state champion Helias in a semifinal game. Incarnate Word then lost the third-place game 5-4 to Savannah. 

The Red Knights won the Class 3 District 3 title. Incarnate Word scored an 11-0 win in six innings over Parkway North in that contest. 

In the district championship game, junior Lauren Gallagher led the way offensively for the Red Knights. Gallagher went 4-for-4. She belted three home runs and added a double, driving in seven runs. Gallagher leads Incarnate Word with five homers and 31 RBI this fall. 

Junior Mia Boyd allowed just two hits in recording a shutout victory in the title district championship game. 

Incarnate Word then defeated Rosati-Kain 7-0 in the sectional and defeated Cape Girardeau Notre Dame 12-7 in the quarterfinal to earn its berth in the Final Four.

High school baseball

The state high school baseball championship games have a new home.

U.S. Ballpark in Ozark will host the 2020 Missouri State High School Activities Association [MSHSAA] Baseball Championships. The park was awarded the championships for the 2021-25 seasons. 

For the past seven seasons, the River City Rascals have hosted the championships at CarShield Field in O’Fallon. The Rascals recently completed their final season and were not able to complete the final year of their hosting agreement.

“We are very grateful to the Rascals for their assistance in putting on our championships,” said Kerwin Urhahn, MSHSAA’s executive director. “At the same time, we are excited to showcase our championships in a venue like U.S. Ballpark. We are confident that Mark and his staff will help continue to make the MSHSAA Championships a top-notch event.”

The MSHSAA Championships return to southwest Missouri, as Springfield’s Meador Park hosted several championships including from 1968-71, 1973, 1975 and 2007-12. This year’s championships will be June 1-6, 2020.

“Bringing the MSHSAA State Baseball Championships back to our region will no doubt be well received,” said Mark Stratton, U.S. Baseball Park general manager. “We are very pleased and appreciative of the support of the U.S. Baseball Park management team and their commitment to bring this prestigious event to southwest Missouri.”

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