Alex is a sports writer for the Northwest Herald with a focus on preps. He has been with Shaw Media since 2014.
Huntley’s Briana Bower (Class 4A), Crystal Lake South’s Brooke Kuffel (3A), Johnsburg’s Kate Linkletter (2A) and Richmond-Burton’s Jesse Klicker (2A) were named to the Illinois Coaches Association’s All-State first team. 20 players from the Northwest Herald area were selected to the all-state softball teams, which were released Sunday.
Huntley finished its march back to the Class 4A state tournament with a 4-3 win over Minooka in the third-place game, earning its second state trophy in as many seasons. Senior pitcher Briana Bower struck out 18 and also homered in the season-ending victory.
Huntley fell to Marist, 1-0, in the Class 4A state semifinals Thursday at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. Marist's Abby Dunning threw a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts.
Huntley's Briana Bower has enjoyed a record-setting season for the Red Raiders, winning 30 games and striking out 434 batters in 207 2/3 innings. The senior ace leads the Raiders back to the Class 4A state tournament in Peoria on Thursday.
Briana Bower struck out 16 and Abby Simandl put the finishing touches on a wild 6-5 victory in 11 innings over Barrington on Monday in the Class 4A Barrington Supersectional with a walk-off home run, sending the Red Raiders back to the state tournament.
Huntley lost to Hononegah, 3-2, on a walk-off single by Hononegah's Ryan Anderson with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday.
Huntley's Katie Mitchell hit an inside-the-park home run, and the Raiders scored six runs in the fifth inning, all with two outs, on their way to a 7-1 win against Harlem in a Class 4A sectional final.
Marian Central's Peter Walsdorf won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races at the Class 2A Richmond-Burton Boys Track and Field Sectional on Wednesday to qualify for state in both long-distance events.
Reese Hunkins hit a solo home run to center field in the second inning and nailed a a three-run shot in the fifth, finishing the day with five RBIs and leading Huntley to an 11-0 win over Jacobs in the teams’ Class 4A sectional semifinal.
Huntley defeated Hononegah, 12-1, in five innings Friday to capture its sixth straight regional championship. Briana Bower tossed a no-hitter, and Bower and Madi Smith each hit home runs for the Red Raiders.
McHenry defeated Grant, 7-1, on Thursday to capture its fourth consecutive Class 4A regional championship. The Warriors now have won regional titles in eight of the past nine seasons.
Cary-Grove freshman Madilynn Crick hit a three-run home run and Becca Weaver fired a complete-game shutout for the Trojans in a 10-0 win over Dundee-Crown in the teams' Class 4A regional semifinal on Wednesday.
Crystal Lake Central's Brooklynn Carlson scored a golden goal to lead the Tigers past Prairie Ridge, 3-2, in their Fox Valley Conference tournament semifinal on Thursday.
Johnsburg pitcher Addison Mass has enjoyed a breakout junior season for the Skyhawks, who have yet to lose in the KRC. Plus more notes on Huntley and Richmond-Burton.