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LHS Softball Heads To IHSA State Finals For 1st Time Since 1989

Patch logo Patch 6/16/2021 Andrea Earnest
a group of people posing for a photo: Head coach Chris Traina’s team topped Washington, 8-0, at the IHSA Ottawa Super Sectional on Monday to earn a berth to the 2021 IHSA Class 3A State Finals. © Lemont High School Head coach Chris Traina’s team topped Washington, 8-0, at the IHSA Ottawa Super Sectional on Monday to earn a berth to the 2021 IHSA Class 3A State Finals.

LEMONT, IL — For the first time in 32 years, Lemont High School’s softball team is headed to the state finals. The school said head coach Chris Traina’s team topped Washington, 8-0, at the IHSA Ottawa Super Sectional on Monday to earn a berth to the 2021 IHSA Class 3A State Finals, which will be contested at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria on Thursday.

Lemont will open against Ridgewood in the state semifinals at 10 a.m. Thursday, with Sterling and Highland squaring off in the other contest, according to the school The third-place game begins at 1:30 p.m., while the state championship game is set for 2 p.m.

Lemont jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning at the super sectional, as RBI triples from freshman Avaree Taylor and senior Kaylee Purgatorio sandwiched a run-scoring single from sophomore Sage Mardjetko, the school said. That score held until the seventh, when Lemont pushed across five runs on two-run doubles from Taylor and senior Emma Kucharski, and an RBI double from sophomore Frankie Rita.

That was more than enough for Mardjetko, who tossed her third no-hitter of the year, fanning 16 and walking just one, the school said.

Lemont enters the state finals with a 27-4 record, which included a perfect 19-0 record in South Suburban Conference play. Traina’s squad averages 9.6 runs per game and is batting .390 as a team, and has outscored its opponents by a 36-1 margin in four postseason games, according to the school.

Mardjetko has emerged as one of the state’s top pitchers in 2021, posting a 15-1 record and 0.25 ERA with 239 strikeouts in 110.1 innings (15.16 per seven innings). She has reached double figures in strikeouts in 13 of her 16 starts, and has allowed just five hits while striking out 45 in 21.0 innings in postseason play, according to the school. She’s also batting .368 with 13 RBIs.

Senior Maddy Wallace was tabbed as the 2021 SSC Player of the Year, and enters the state finals hitting .398 with 24 RBIs and 16 extra-base hits, the school said. In the circle, she is 9-3 with 94 strikeouts in 49.2 innings.

Sophomore Rita leads the team with a .562 batting average, 588 on-base percentage and 37 runs scored and is slugging .820 thanks to a team-high 17 extra-base hits, the school said. Kucharski leads the team with five home runs and 38 RBIs and hits .370, while Taylor bats .367 and is tied for the team lead with five homers and slugs a team-high .898.

Every regular starter is hitting at least .333, including Purgatorio (.365), senior Lily Schuit (.372), and freshmen Raegan Duncan (.413) and Allison Pawlowicz (.333), according to the school.

IHSA State Finals are $10 and must be purchased through the GoFan app or online. There will be no cash ticket sales at the gate. Separate tickets will be required at the IHSA State Finals for the semifinal games and trophy games.

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