The state championship road continues as seven teams looking to win a state title as the Missouri State High School Activities Association state finals head to the Worldwide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo., this weekend. Plus, John Burroughs started the weekend off with a state title on the diamond.
The John Burroughs baseball squad won their first state championship in baseball since 2002 and their fourth overall crown with a 9-4 victory over Springfield Catholic Thursday evening at Sky Bacon Stadium in Ozark, Mo. The Bombers advanced to the state final game with a 5-1 win over Fulton as John Schenck earned the win on the mound with a complete game outing while striking out seven batters to finish his year with a perfect 7-0 mark.
In the championship game, John Burroughs left no doubt early on as they exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 6-0 lead. The Irish cut the lead in half in the top of the second as they plated three runs of their own to make the score 6-3 but that would not be enough as the Bombers added a run in the third and a pair of runs in the fifth to bring the title home. Griffin Barnett paced the Burroughs attack by going 2-for-4 at the plate with a pair of RBIs while Ahmad Muhammad went 2-for-2 with two runs batted in as well to lift the Bombers to the title. Jack Brantingham was outstanding on the mound as he moved his season record to 10-0 with a 6.1 inning outing that saw him surrender three hits and strikeout 13 batters.
The weekend at the Worldwide Technology Soccer Park will start Friday at 10 a.m. with Villa Duchesne heading to the state semifinals for the first time in school history after they defeated Borgia 1-0 in the state quarterfinals last weekend. The Saints scored an early goal by Hope Kleeman off an assist from Taylor Brown to give Villa an early 1-0 lead and leaned on Grace Banac in goal to secure the win. Villa Duchesne heads into the state finals with a 9-11-1 record and will face off against Saxony Lutheran out of Cape Girardeau who defeated Metro 2-0 in the quarterfinals. The Crusaders come in with a record of 12-8 and will make their third trip to the final four as they look for their third state championship. The winner of this semifinal will face the winner of Tolton and Bishop LeBlond Saturday at 11 a.m.
In Class 2, we will see Clayton making their first trip to the state semifinals as they will face defending state champions, Whitfield Friday at 2:30 p.m. The Greyhounds moved on in the state tournament with a thrilling 3-2 win over St. Pius X out of Festus. The two teams scored a pair of goals in the first half before the Greyhounds scored the winning goal early in the first overtime period to gain the win. Lucy Melander, Rachel Van Rhine, and Stella Whitney all scored for Clayton as they improve to 11-10 on the year. The Warriors needed to head to penalty kicks in their contest as they defeated Orchard Farm 2-1 to improve to 15-1 on the season. Mia Devouax scored to aid the Warriors to their second straight semifinal appearance as Whitfield will look for their second straight state championship. The winner will face either Pleasant Hill or St. Pius X of Kansas City Saturday at 4 p.m.
In a loaded Class 3 field, Ursuline will take on two-time defending champion Fort Zumwalt South in the first semifinal Friday at 11 a.m. The Bears are coming off a 7-0 win over St. Vincent in which Mary Claire Imig and Katherine Kozeny each scored a pair of goals to aid Ursuline to a 16-5-1 record on the year. The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals with a 7-1 win over Incarnate Word Academy in the quarterfinals. Brooke Cattoor and Audrey Smith paced the Bulldogs with a pair of goals as Fort Zumwalt South improved to 20-4 on the year. The winner will face off against either Union or Smithville Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The Class 4 semifinals are loaded as well as Nerinx Hall will face Lafayette in the first semifinal Friday at 4 p.m. The Markers are looking to avenge a pair of runner-up finishes over the past two years as they knocked off Jackson in the quarterfinals 2-0 this past Saturday. Emma Gianino and Nina Preusser each scored in the quarterfinal win as the Makers improved to 18-2-1 on the year. Lafayette moved on to the state semifinals for the first time in 17 years with a 3-2 victory over upstart Liberty. Allie Kinner paced the Lancers, who scored a pair of goals while Hadley Hendrickson added another score to aid the Lancers to an 18-3 record on the year. The two teams matched up earlier this year with Lafayette gaining a 1-0 win. The winner of this match will face either Kickapoo or Liberty North Saturday at 7 p.m.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at email@example.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan