Surviving a late surge, the Sullivan softball Lady Eagles captured their 10th district championship in a row Friday.
Sullivan (26-2) held off second-seeded Helias (19-5) to win the Class 3 District 9 title Friday in Sullivan, 3-2.
“It has been a super exciting year for us,” Sullivan Head Coach Ashley Crump said.
The Lady Eagles will host Osage (13-10) in a sectional game Wednesday.
“We have gathered a small amount of information on Osage,” Crump said. “We know they have strong pitching and a solid catcher. We are going to work on the little things in practice these next two days and will hopefully be able to make big things happen in the game on Wednesday.”
Sullivan never trailed in the game, taking the lead in the bottom of the opening frame on an Addison Purvis home run.
The Lady Eagles added two more runs in the fifth.
Sullivan needed all of that to squeeze past the Lady Crusaders after Rylee Kolb blasted a two-run home run in the top of the sixth.
Helias threatened in the top of the seventh, but Sullivan escaped the jam with a runner stranded on second.
Purvis went the distance in the circle for the win, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. She struck out seven Helias batters.
“I feel like we knew a lot about Helias going into the game having played them last year,” Crump said. “They lost only one senior, so we knew what to expect. Addison did a great job moving pitches and even her velocity had increased from the night before against Salem.”
Lauren Howell of Helias allowed three runs on seven hits, one walk and one hit batter over six innings. She struck out seven.
Purvis was Sullivan’s hitting star as well. She had three hits, including the home run and a double. She scored once and drove in one.
Kloey Blanton and Hanna Johanning each doubled. Hannah Cox and Abbey Daniel added singles.
“Addison’s 3-3 night was a real gamechanger along with our lineup behind her who was able to move runners over and eventually get a much needed sac fly from Morgan Bobbitt and an RBI single from Hannah Cox,” Crump said.
Madison Decker added a walk. Daniel was hit by a pitch. Kamryn Lohden put down a sacrifice bunt and Bobbitt hit a sacrifice fly. Reagan Thomure stole a base.
Sullivan’s other runs came from Thomure and Payton Counts.
Cox and Bobbitt also drove in runs.
“Our goal was to put the ball in play and keep our strikeouts down, which we did,” Crump said.
For Helias, Abbi Pringer, Taylor Woehr and Riley Heckenkamp also singled. Heckenkamp added a walk.
Woehr and Kolb scored the runs. Kolb drove in both.
“Emma Weirich had five crucial assists and with the help from Kloey Blanton, they really shut that side of the field down,” Crump said.