SPRINGFIELD – Kassidy Klocke's game-winning RBI hit in the top of the 13th inning brought home Grace Baalman and sent defending IHSA Class 1A softball champion Hardin-Calhoun back to this weekend's state tournament in East Peoria's EastSide Centre.
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Calhoun defeated Casey-Westfield, traditionally one of the top small-school softball programs in the state, 1-0 in the University of Illinois-Springfield Class 1A Supersectional Monday morning; the win advanced Calhoun into Friday's state semifinal contest, scheduled for 10 a.m., against the winner of the DuQuoin Supersectional between New Athens and the winner of Monday's scheduled Cobden Sectional final between Campbell Hill Trico and Steeleville; the Cobden final was set to be played at DuQuoin High School, the site of Tuesday's supersectional game.
Grace Baalman gave up four hits for Calhoun and struck out 26 to get the win; Casey's Lexie Black conceded a run on eight hits while fanning 15 in taking the loss. Grace Baalman went 2-for-4 at the plate in addition to scoring the only run of the contest.
Friday's other state semifinal game between the winners of the Geneseo and Bloomington (Illinois Wesleyan) supersectionals is set for 12:30 p.m. Friday; Friday's winners square off for the state title at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
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