Notes: Three area teams punch ticket to state

Rockridge seeks fourth straight state softball title; Marquette (1A), Newman (2A) advance in baseball

Newman’s Brendan Tunink (left) and Isaiah Williams celebrate with the super-sectional plaque Monday, May 27, 2024 during the Class 2A super-sectional in Rockford. The Comets beat Chicago Hope 6-2.

Two teams from the Three Rivers Conference are going back to the state baseball and softball tournaments.

The Sterling Newman baseball team returns to state, this time in Class 2A, while the Rockridge softball team seek its fourth straight Class 2A State championship.

They will be joined over the state weekend by the Ottawa Marquette baseball team in Class 1A.

1A baseball: Marquette rode senior right-hander Carson Zellers’ two-hit, 10-strikeout 5-0 shutout over East Dubuque in Monday’s Rockford Supersectional to their fourth state appearance in six seasons.

The Crusaders (29-2) will meet Jacksonville Routt (32-7) at 10 a.m. Friday at Dozer Park in Peoria. Routt won 4-1 in eight innings over Father McGivney at the Springfield Supersectional.

Marquette won the 1A State title in 2019. The Crusaders placed third in 2022 and fourth in 2018 and 1999.

2A baseball: Sophomore Evan Bushman pitched Newman back to state with a complete game, 6-2 win over Chicago Hope Academy in Monday’s Rockford Supersectional.

The Comets (22-4-1) will face Maroa-Forsyth in Friday’s 2A state semifinals at 4 p.m. at Dozer Park in Peoria. Maroa-Forsyth beat Litchfield 10-4 at the Springfield Supersectional.

Newman placed third in Class 1A last year. Newman coach Kenny Koerner said there were some people who didn’t think the Comets could make it back in 2A.

2A softball: Rockridge advanced to the state tournament for the sixth straight year, winning its 27th straight postseason by defeating Beecher 6-2 Monday at the East Peoria Supersectional.

The Rockets are two wins away from first 4-peat in IHSA softball history. They will face Carterville (35-1) at 3 p.m. Friday at the Louisville Slugger Complex in Peoria.

Rockridge won its eighth straight sectional championship, 14th in history by defeating Three Rivers rival Riverdale 11-2 on Friday in Peoria.

A/W falls in 1A supersectional

GCMS 3, A/W 0: Annawan/Wethersfield wasn’t able to carry over its success from Saturday’s 4-2 sectional championship win over St. Bede, falling 3-0 to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley in Monday’s Bloomington 1A Supersectional back at Jack Horenberger Field.

The Titans bow out at 20-18-1.

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