Possibly the best softball pitcher in Kansas history may not play the sport in college.
Senior Sydnee Eck pitched Andale/Garden Plain (Andale, Kan.)
to a 3-1 victory over DeSoto (Kan.) on Saturday for its third consecutive state championship. It marked the final game not only for her, but for coach Doris Hein, who is retiring. The Indians, who were seeded only fifth, finished the year with a 25-1 record.
Eck, who finished the year with 207 strikeouts and an earned run average under 1.00, had not planned to play softball in college, but she did tell the Hutchinson News, "It (the title) makes me want to play. But I haven't gotten any calls."
Sounds like some smart college coaches need to jump on the phone today!
Despite hindered by a heavily-taped right forearm from stress fractures, Eck won three games over the two-day Class 4A state finals. In the semifinals, she stopped previously unbeaten Labette County (Altamont, Kan.) 5-2. One day earlier she stifled Paola (Kan.) 2-0 on a two-hitter with 18 strikeouts and also slammed a sixth-inning home run to break up a scoreless game.
*Switching to baseball, a pair of 15-inning thrillers were played in New Jersey.Sayreville (Parlin, N.J.)
outlasted Phillipsburg (N.J.) 5-4 in 15 innings during the North Jersey Group 4 quarterfinals. The game was suspended by rain, tied at 4-4 in the 14th inning, and finished the following day. Vinnie Gambardella
opened the final inning with a double and eventually scored the decisive run on a bloop hit just inside the left field line by No. 8 batter Anthony Ungano
The loss spoiled a superb effort by Phillipsburg's Anthony Ciavarella
, who threw 161 pitches and struck out 18 in the first nine innings while also slamming a three-run homer. Livingston (N.J.)
nipped Montclair (N.J.) 2-1 when Connor Kimmel
tripled leading off the 15th and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Haberman