St. John Lutheran School in Chester defeated Jonesboro and captured the 2021 SIJHSAA Class S State Softball Championship Title -- the first team in St. John history to win a state title.
The team beat Coulterville, Summersville and finally Jonesboro to take the trophy.
"These girls are a great group of athletes and we are very proud of them and their historic run!" said St. John Principal and Athletic Director Kayla Powley.
Assistant Coach Jeff Mott said the girls played good defense throughout the tournament and had timely hitting.
"They held all three teams we played to a combined two total runs," he said proudly. "Lexi Mott recorded a total of 47 strikeouts in three games at State and that helped the cause. We are very proud of all 12 players on this championship team!"
The Lady Hornets regular season with an Ohio Valley Conference record of 3-2 and an overall record of 13-3. They aren't
loaded with upper classmen, either: five 8th graders, three 7th graders, three 6th graders and one 5th grader.
Throughout the season everyone has contributed and added to the "team" concept. According Mott, the girls never stop playing and do not give up. They all support each other and help each other out regardless of age or ability.
These players are 8th graders Aubrey Coleman, Macy Bert, Lexie Mott, Lillian Diskey and Camryn Wolff; 7th graders Joella Eggemeyer, Avery Hasemeyer and Aubrey Colvis; 6th graders Hannah Crow, Mallorie Homan and Addison Coffey and 5th grader Brystol Stellhorn.
The coaching staff are the dedicated Head Coach Justin Frazer and assistants Jeff Mott and Tracy Mott.
Just two weeks ago the Lady Hornets came out on top of the 2021 Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association Class S Regional Softball Tournament. That event was a 7-team event that included New Athens, Prairie Du Rocher, St. John Lutheran of Chester, St. Boniface Catholic of Edwardsville, Valmeyer, Red Bud Catholic and Red Bud Lutheran.
The girls from Chester beat Prairie Du Rocher, 18-1, St. Boniface, 7-6, and Red Bud Catholic, 7-1.
That got them to the state tournament.
The Lady Hornets first met Coulterville on Oct. 4 and won, 5-1, in seven inning. The Lady Hornets got one run in the first inning, one in the third, and three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Lexi Mott and Lillian Diskey led the Hornets with two hits apiece. As a team Chester recorded 11 hits and just two errors.
Coulterville scored one run in the bottom of the sixth with just four hits as Lexi Mott pitched a great game with 14 strikeouts. Joella Eggemeyer and Lexi Mott each reached base on balls. Avery Hasemeyer and Lexi Mott each recorded RBIs in the win.
In the semifinals, the Lady Hornets played a talented team from Summersville, winning a thriller 1-0.
Lexi Mott struck out 16 batters and allowed just two hits. Chester recorded six hits led by Lexi Mott with three and Addison Coffey with one.
And now, the championship game.
Chester was the home team on Oct. 8. Jonesboro batted first and scored one run in the top of the first inning. The Lady Hornets answered in the bottom of the first, scoring four runs to set the tone for the game.
Chester held Jonesboro scoreless the rest of the game and scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead, 5-1.
Chester had seven hits, led by Joella Eggemeyer and Lexi Mott with one RBI apiece. Lexi Mott led in pitching with 17 strikeouts. Mott went the distance for Chester on the mound.