PEORIA - St. Charles North broke up a pitcher's duel with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, while Edwardsville lost a chance to take the lead in the top of the fifth when Zoie Boyd was called out at third as the Stars defeated the Tigers 2-0 in the second semifinal of the IHSA Class 4A state tournament Friday evening at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria.

The two-run sixth for North broke up a great pitcher's duel between Edwardsville's Ryleigh Owens and SCN's Ava Goettel and later Paige Murray as the Stars advanced to Saturday afternoon's final.

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The Tigers had the game's first opportunity in the top half of the third when Boyd singled and was sacrificed to second by Owens. Avery Hamilton grounded back to the box, with both runners advancing, but Lexie Griffin grounded to third to end the inning.

North had a chance to take the lead in the fourth on a one-out single, but Hamilton turned a nifty double play to end the inning and keep the game scoreless. The Tigers had their best chance to score in the top of the fifth, starting with a leadoff single by Boyd, who stole second. Boyd then caught the Stars' defense napping and raced over to third, but after a considerable discussion by the umpiring crew, Boyd was called out at third, which the Tiger coaching staff vehemently protested, but the decision stood. Owens grounded to third and Hamilton struck out to end the inning.

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St. Charles North started the home half of the sixth with a Margo Geary hit to center. Leigh VandeHei grounded back to Owens for the first out, with Geary taking second. Ashlee Chantos then singled to center and took second on a strong throw to the plate, with Geary holding at third. Julia Larson then grounded back to the box, but the throw to the plate was high and wide, allowing Geary to score the first run. Chantos was thrown out in a rundown between third and home, but Larson alertly came home to score the second run on the same play. Sophia Olman struck out to end the inning.

Murray came on in the sixth in relief of Larson and set down six of the final seven Tiger batters, allowing only a walk to Brooke Tolle as the Start took the 2-0 win and advanced to the final.

St. Charles North is now 26-4 and will play Chicago Marist Catholic, a 6-5 winner over Barrington in the first semifinal, in Saturday afternoon's final at 3:30 p.m. The Tigers are now 32-4 and will play Barrington in the third and fourth place game at 1 p.m.

In the Class 3A semifinals earlier in the day, Lemont went through to the final with a 3-1 win over Antioch and Chicago St. Ignatius College Prep Catholic defeated Mahomet-Seymour 3-0.

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