York (23-14) vs. Minooka (21-8)
When: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Eastside Centre in East Peoria.
How they got here: York beat Lincoln Park 12-0, Whitney Young 5-4, Maine West 2-0, Trinity 7-5 and Sandburg 8-1. Minooka beat Joliet West 9-1, Lincoln-Way East 3-1, Lockport 15-14, Plainfield Central 4-2 and Normal West 8-0.
Coaches: York coach Drew McGuire holds a 41-33 record in two years at the helm. Mark Brown is 74-23 in three seasons at Minooka.
Tournament history: York advanced to the 2003 Class AA quarterfinals. This is Minooka's first state appearance.
Inside York: Can the Dukes be this year's Marist? Marist, 15-15 at one point last year, won its last 12 games to win the Class 4A title. York, with just one senior starter, was 5-9 at one point and took 14 losses into the playoffs. The Dukes rallied past Whitney Young in the seventh inning to win a regional, then stunned Trinity with another seventh-inning comeback in a sectional final. Junior center fielder Angela Scalzitti, committed to DePaul, sparks York's offense and is batting .509 with 35 stolen bases and 47 runs scored. Freshman Abby Solem is hitting .403 with 5 homers and 35 RBI, and another freshman Isabella Jaeger .349 with 33 RBI and homered Monday. Sophomore lefty Brooke Bandy, 15-7 with a 1.98 ERA, has pitched her best softball late in the year.
Inside Minooka: Minooka owns the comeback of the playoffs, rallying from down 13-4 in the fourth inning to beat Lockport 15-14 in a sectional semifinal. Senior Sara Novak is hitting .422 with 6 homers and 24 RBI. Senior Jackie Lilek is 13-3 with a 1.73 ERA and also had a grand slam in the Lockport comeback.
York coach Drew McGuire said: "This really does seem like a dream. We told them all season they had the talent and the ability, and now they're putting it together. These kids are just fearless."
Scouting the Barrington-St. Charles East semifinal: Power vs. speed? Barrington (35-1), whose only loss was a 15-inning marathon to Marengo, seems like the team to beat in the Class 4A field. The Fillies have slugged 54 home runs, joining Trinity's 60 long balls in rewriting the previous state record of 51. All nine starters have homered, led by Arkansas-bound Loren Krzysko, hitting .504 with 18 doubles, 20 homers and 59 RBI. Morgan Olszewski, another one of seven senior starters, has hit 9 homers with 41 RBI while sophomore Keenan Dolezal is 28-1 with a 0.82 ERA and 222 strikeouts. St. Charles East (32-5) has only hit 22 homers, but it is 29-2 since a 3-3 start, both losses to St. Charles North. First baseman Kate Petersburs anchors the Saints' lineup hitting .514 and Alex Latoria has 10 homers for St. Charles East coach Kelly Horan, who played for Glenbard West's 1999 girls basketball team that took third in Class AA. Junior Haley Beno is 21-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 198 strikeouts.
-- Joshua WelgeCopyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.