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Parkerson, Miener lead Highland into 3A softball state championship game

Parkerson, Miener lead Highland into 3A softball state championship game

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PEORIA — Sydney Parkerson and her Highland High softball teammates were in a hurry on Thursday morning.

"If the first pitch is good, go after it," Parkerson said.

The Bulldogs followed that rule to perfection.

Parkerson kick-started a four-run uprising in the opening inning to lead Highland to an 8-1 win over Sterling in a Class 3A softball state semifinal at the Louisville Slugger Softball Complex.

Highland (24-1) will face Lemont (28-4) in the title game at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Bulldogs will be searching for their first state championship in their initial final four appearance.

Parkerson led a 14-hit assault with a pair of two-run hits. She also singled in two in a four-explosion in the fourth.

Highland needed just 11 pitches to take a 3-0 lead as the first three hitters reached safely and scored.

Maci Miles and Emma Strubinger singled to start the game. Parkerson followed with a double into the gap in left center. Miener added a hit for a 3-0 cushion. Faith Hickam completed the blitz with single.

Parkerson and Miener added big blows in the fourth.

Hickam, Miener, Parkerson, Strubinger, Miles and Bre Habermehl had two hits each.

Miener allowed just one hit and struck out 10 in improving to 24-0. She retired the final nine hitters.

"We're very confident," Parkerson said. "Confident, but not cocky."

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