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Suburban Showdown championship (7).JPG

Marquette's Annah Junge starts her wind up during the Suburban Softball Showdown Championship game on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at Kirkwood Athletic Association in Kirkwood, Mo. Randy Kemp | Special to

The defending Class 4 state softball champions are still in the game.

Marquette stayed alive Wednesday with a 3-0 shutout on the road against Webster Groves in a Class 4 sectional.

Mustangs coach Amy Doyle said the team's offense played a sturdy game behind senior pitcher Annah Junge as she threw a one-hitter while striking out 13 to improve to 17-2 in the circle.

“We were able to put it together in the circle and defensively,” Doyle said. “Annah really had a good game.”

The win means Marquette (22-3, No. 2 in the large-schools rankings) will return home at noon Saturday to face Oakville (19-8, No, 7 LS).

While Junge cruised, Marquette scratched out single runs in the first two innings.

Junge had a RBI double in the first while senior catcher Tabby Cacheris added a run-scoring hit in the second.

“Webster was ready today," Doyle said. "They always do a good job getting their kids ready.”

Senior first baseman Eileen McGinnis capped the scoring with a seventh inning home run. It was her sixth of the season.

As far as facing Oakville, which beat Marquette 6-5 on Sept. 6 at home to hand the Mustangs the team's first loss of the season, Doyle said she expects another challenging game.

“Oakville is going to be tough,” Doyle said. “They do good job and have a lot of talent this year. We lost to them already and we'll have to come out ready.”

Troy 3, Jefferson City 0 • Senior Kiersten Nixon did it all.

Nixon made her fourth inning home run stand up with 11 strikeouts as she allowed two hits to help Troy (24-4-1, No. 3 LS) win its Class 4 sectional.

“She hit a blast,” Troy coach Lance Richardson said. “It was scoreless into the fourth inning and, once we got that, it was like OK, here we go.”

Troy, which won the Class 4 title in 2011 and 2016, returns home at 2 p.m. Saturday to host Howell Central (17-10).

“We know they're going to be prepared and that we have to execute because Howell Central is such a well-coached team,” Richardson said. “We're blessed to have had the talent and the success we've had. That's given us great opportunities.”

Since 1999, Troy has been dominant against Howell Central, going 24-3 over that span.

Hillsboro 5, Perryville 0 • Senior Emma Nichols started Hillsboro off with a bang.

Her two-run, first inning blast gave Hillsboro (20-9) all the offense it would need while she was nearly unhittable in the circle, striking out 10 Pirates batters.

“Emma had a good game,” Hillsboro coach Kevin Lucas said. “She hit that home run and we were able to relax from there. She had quite a few strikeouts in the circle along the way.”

After the Hawks scored a run in the fifth, senior outfielder Reagan Short finished the scoring with a two-run home run of her own in the sixth.

The win means that the Hawks will travel to Notre Dame at 1 p.m. Saturday for a spot in the Class 3 state semifinals next weekend in Springfield.

“We're excited,” Lucas said. “We're going to get back to work (Thursday). We'll come back in and get focused.”

Mexico 8, St. Dominic 1 • Junior shortstop Natalie Schellert scored in the top of the first to help the Crusaders (15-9) take an early lead, but that was all the good news they got.

Mexico (24-4) hit three first inning home runs to quickly seize the lead.

St. Dominic coach Noah Duncan praised the Bulldogs for the team's effort.

“They are very good all the way around,” Duncan said. “When a team hits three home runs in the first inning, that's tough to overcome.”

Duncan said that, regardless of outcome, the team's body of work this season was special.

“I was really proud of girls and they way they played all season,” Duncan said. “They played as a team came together. There were outstanding defensive performances and the pitchers stepped up. We picked each other up.”

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