With one more weekend of play to go, the Illinois State baseball and softball playoffs are almost in the books and so far the southern half or third of the state is pretty well represented again.
In the Class A State Championship game, Goreville's Lady Blackcats played "possum" for five innings and surprisingly trailed 2-0 to a young bunch of girls from Glasford, located 10 miles or so southwest of Peoria, and their school, Illini Bluffs High School, before the offense woke up and put four big runs on the board in the sixth inning.
Senior pitcher Lexi King put things in order in the Illini Bluffs seventh inning, needing only a dozen or so pitches to retire the side, and Goreville had the big trophy. The Lady Blackcats finished with a record of 31-9.
In Class 2A action, Pinckneyville's magical season came to an end in the title game at Peoria's East Side Centre with an 8-0 loss to Beecher.
Beecher and Pinckneyville were both familiar with their surroundings at Peoria as Beecher was last year's second place team and Pinckneyville had finished fourth the last two seasons.
The larger schools -- 3A and 4A -- will finish up this weekend in both baseball and softball.
In 3A softball, Centralia was eliminated by Mt. Zion 8-1 in super-sectional action. Centralia brought the curtain down earlier on Carbondale.
On the hardball diamond, surprising Steeleville finished third in the Class A playoffs. In final four action, Steeleville lost 12-4 to Waterloo Gibault then doubled up Elgin's Harvest Christian Academy 12-6 to take third.
In 2A play, Teutopolis brought home the second championship trophy with a 12-6 win over Pleasant Plains. T'Town had earlier eliminated SIRR champ Harrisburg 3-0 in the Sauget super-sectional.
3A play has reached the final four as well and Waterloo High is the "South's" standard bearer. The Bulldogs ended Carbondale's season with a 3-1 win in the Salem sectional.
Waterloo now faces Burbank-St. Laurence in the finals at Peoria.