Kaneland’s dominating season continued to look rosy as the first six innings of the state championship against Montini whittled away in June. With a 16-game winning streak, the Knights racked up seven runs in the first three innings. Montini trailed 8-3 heading into the seventh. Kaneland was three outs away from the title.
In the seventh, Montini pushed across 12 runs for a stunning 15-8 win.
Knights starting pitcher Emilee Erickson, then a sophomore, finished the season by winning 20 games and losing only five. Erickson struck out a whopping 211 batters en route to a 2.28 earned run average. She has committed to Winona State.
“I’m super proud of what the kids have done this year, taken a midseason slide down to the state finals,” Kaneland coach Mike Kuefler said. “At the beginning of the year, if you would have asked me if we would have made it this far, I knew we were talented enough to do some damage and to win some games, but at some point midseason these ladies decided they weren’t going to lose anymore. And they took it all the way to the state finals.”