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|Class 1A, 2A Softball State Semifinal Games Feature Teams with State Experience
|POSTED 1:50 p-m, UPDATED 2:20 p-m 6/3/10 Three of the four teams in the Class 1A state softball semifinals have been to state frequently the past few years while the other team is experiencing a first. All four of the Class 2A teams have been to state, although it's been a while for one of them.
United (30-5) squares off for the third straight year Friday against Cobden (31-4) at state.
This year it's in a state semifinal game while the past two years it was for the state title, both won by the Appleknockers. Cobden won a 1-0, 19-inning marathon game against United for the state crown last season.
The Red Storm comes in with nine straight victories. Cobden's winning streak is 14.
Katie Bertelsen has 28 wins in the pitching circle, 420 strikeouts and a microscopic 0.57 earned run average for United. Sommer Foster leads the offense with 48 hits, including eight home runs and a .444 average. Gina Long is hitting .420 with six home runs and has 47 total hits. Bertelsen has helped herself out at the plate with 47 hits and a .420 average.
Cobden's Dakota Knop leads the pitching staff with 14 wins. Two other hurlers have seven wins each. Ana Duda and Taylor Orsburn have 47 hits apiece to lead the Appleknockers on offense. Orsburn is hitting just under .500 and has seven home runs.
Neither United or Cobden had ever advanced to state before the 2008 season.
The game is at 9:30 a-m and the winner advances to Saturday's championship game at Noon. The loser plays for third place Saturday at 9:30 a-m.
State Semifinal #2
Lebanon (34-4), which handed Cobden one of its four losses earlier this season, squares off against Serena (20-12) in Friday's other semifinal at Noon.
Lebanon is making its third appearance at state in the past four years and sixth overall. The Greyhounds finished fourth in 2008 and did not place in 2007. Lebanon's highest finish was second in 1997.
One of Lebanon's victories was against fellow state semifinalist Cobden, 4-1 on April 10th.
Serena rolled off six straight wins to get to state for the first time in school history.
The Huskers ended the regular season with a pair of losses against Class 2A state semifinalist Coal City by combined scores of 28-3 before bouncing back to win their own regional. Serena then won the Woodland Sectional and the Gibson City Supersectional to advance to the state semifinals.
The winner plays for the state title while the loser plays Saturday at 9 a-m in the third place game.
@State Semifinals at EastSide Centre in East Peoria:
State Semifinal #1
Coal City (38-0), which placed third last season, plays Alton Marquette (29-5), which is making its first state appearance since 1991. 4:30 p-m
State Semifinal #2
Johnston City (34-3), making its fifth appearance at state and first since 2001, meets Morrison (19-12), which returns for the third time in the last four years. Johnston City's best finish was 2nd in 1998 and Morrison placed third in 2008. 7:00 p-m
*The winners play for the state title Saturday after the third place game at 4:30 p-m