STE. GENEVIEVE – The Mineral Area softball team was limited to two hits during a season-ending loss, and finished as NJCAA Division II Region 16 runner-up.
Top-seeded St. Louis grabbed a first-inning lead on a two-run homer, and topped the Cardinals 3-0 to repeat as region champion on Saturday.
Annie Waites pitched her second complete game of the day in defeat, allowing three runs on seven hits while giving Mineral Area (12-33) a chance to spring an upset.
But the offense struggled to produce. Chloe Coppedge finished 1-for-2 with a single and walk, and Emma Pouvaranukoah had the only other hit by the Cardinals off their bench.
The outcome ended the 14-year tenure of Dave Guemmer, who announced his retirement earlier this season, as the lone head coach at MAC since the program inception in 2009.
Guemmer guided the Cardinals to three consecutive Region 16 titles at the outset, plus a fourth in 2016, but six straight losing seasons followed.
Sophomore third baseman Amber Cage and first baseman Zoie Hudson were selected to the all-region First Team from Mineral Area.
Mineral Area 6, East Central 0
STE. GENEVIEVE – Annie Waites confounded East Central for a fourth consecutive appearance from the circle, and Mineral Area avenged its first-round loss in the Region 16 Tournament.
The Cardinals scored during four separate innings, and eliminated the Falcons 6-0 on Saturday afternoon as the teams evenly split six meetings during the season at three wins apiece.
Taylor Henson finished 2-for-3 while outfielders Amy Holmes and Macy Houart each provided an RBI single and walk as Mineral Area notched eight hits overall.
Waites followed up five scoreless innings of relief on Friday by throwing a shutout with just four hits and four walks allowed. Middle infielders Brittney Kreitler and Cate Davis turned two double plays in support.
Davis went 1-for-2 with a stolen base and one run scored. Chloe Coppedge and Amber Cage had RBI singles, and Zoie Hudson added a hit.
MAC extended a 2-0 lead with two runs in the fourth inning, then tacked on two more in the fifth.