Softball: It’s St. Bede vs. Illini Bluffs for the State title

Illini Bluffs is the two-time defending champion

St. Bede's Reagan Stoudt reacts while walking off of the field after defeating Goreville in the Class 1A State semifinal game on Friday, June 2, 2023 at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria.

PEORIA - The St. Bede softball team has reached the State Championship game for the first time in school history.

To win their first State championship, the Bruins will have to beat the champion.

The Bruins (25-7) will face two-time defending state champion Glasford Illini Bluffs (25-5) in Saturday’s title game at 11:30 a.m. at the Louisville Sports Complex.

Illini Bluffs beat St. Bede, 5-1, in the Class 1A State semifinals in 2019 on the way to a runner-up finish to Goreville. Despite being no-hit, the Bruins beat Hardin Calhoun, 2-0, to finish third.

St. Bede opened the day Friday with a 4-1 win over Goreville in the first semifinal of the day. The Blackcats scored in the first inning, but the Bruins bounced back with three runs in the fourth inning with RBI hits by Madelyn Torrance, Bella Pinter and Lily Bosnich.

The Bruins scored another run in the sixth on a slap single by Emma Slingsby and junior ace Ella Hermes took it from there to send the Bruins to their first title game appearance.

Illini Bluffs beat LeRoy in Friday’s second semifinal, 10-0, in five innings. Bluffs freshman pitcher Cora Ellison scattered three hits and struck out seven.

St. Bede coach Shawn Sons said Saturday’s pitcher will be a game-time decision. Hermes was the winner in both sectional games and Friday. Reagan Stoudt pitched the Bruins to State by winning Monday’s supersectional.

In their first State appearance, St. Bede finished fourth in the Class 2A tournament in 2013.

Class 2A: There will be two Three Rivers Conference teams playing for State Championships Saturday.

Two-time Class 2A defending champion Rockridge punched its ticket back to the state finals with a 6-2 win over Effingham St. Anthony in Friday’s second semifinal.

The Rockets (37-1) will face Beecher (36-4-1) in the 2A title game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Beecher rolled to a 7-3 win over Johnston City in the first 2A semifinal on Friday.