(WCIA) — Three WCIA 3 viewing area teams competed in the IHSA Softball State Tournament at the Louisville Slugger Complex in Peoria on Wednesday. Effingham St. Anthony, Unity, and Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond all made their debut at the State Tournament, with their sights set on winning the programs’ first State Championship.
Unity played in the 2A State Semifinals against Joliet Catholic, but lost 5-0 which sent them to the third place game. There they faced Massac County who beat them 5-1, and the Rockets ended their season with a fourth place finish.
“Obviously it’s not the goal to come here and get fourth,” says Unity head coach Aimee Davis. “There’s not too many other teams that can lose their last two games and still be proud of themselves. Just an overall good season, super proud of these girls.”
“It was incredible, I still can’t put it into words. I can’t believe that we’re here,” said Unity senior Taylor Joop.
Effingham St. Anthony made it to the title game, advancing over Arthur-Lovington-Atwood Hammond 5-0 in the 1A semifinal, before falling 3-2 to Illini Bluffs to finish the season as the State Runner-Up.
“It’s truly an amazing start to St. Anthony softball,” Makayla Walsh. “I really hope this shows to the girls that are younger, ‘Hey I want to come play softball and contribute somehow.’ I hope we just make this into something huge.”
In the third place game, ALAH lost 10-5 to Orangeville, as they finish fourth to end their season.
“I hope this is just a huge stepping stone for our program,” said ALAH head coach Jerry Lane “It’s something we wanted to get started, first team ever to go to state. All we hope to do is build on this from here on out.”
“Just the opportunity to be at state is such huge deal, especially for Arthur who has never been before. It’s just a huge deal for us,” says ALAH senior Makenzie Brown.
The fun continues on Thursday as the IHSA State Baseball Finals will be underway, including the 1A Boys’ Track and Field State Finals in Charleston.