PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Junior Kristen Graham singled home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Illini Bluffs a 3-2 win over Effingham St. Anthony in the class 1A state softball title game at Louisville Slugger Complex.
Illini Bluffs earns its first state championship in any sport. The Tigers, who beat Orangeville 6-3 in a state semifinal earlier in the day, finished class 1A runner-up in softball and volleyball in 2019.
IB scored runs in the first and third innings to jump out to a 2-0 lead. But St. Anthony tied the game with single runs in the fifth and sixth.
Tigers senior Addie Welsh, who scored all three runs in the title game, led off the eighth with her third hit of the game. Emma Hicks followed with a chopper to shortstop which led to a throwing error, Welsh advanced to third, Hicks to second.
Junior Kierston McCoy, the winning pitcher, was walked intentionally to set up a force at home. Graham lined a single to left to score Welsh with the game winner.