Kee earns shot to repeat in 1A

Defending champion Kee High of Lansing continued to live up to its top-ranked billing here on Thursday, as the Hawks again advanced to the Class 1A title round with a 7-3 victory over Westwood at Rogers Park.

No. 9 hitter Sydney Strong went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI to help Kee (37-2 overall), which had out-scored its four postseason opponents by a combined total of 51 runs to 1 before the semifinals. Makayla Walleser and Courtney Cooper each drove in two runs, with Walleser homering as well.

Cooper, meanwhile, struck out 10 and allowed only two earned runs in a complete-game win from the pitcher’s circle. She is now 19-1 on the year.

The Hawks plated two runs in the third inning, and led 4-1 before seventh-rated Westwood of Sloan (30-11) got within a run in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by Brooklyn Topf. Kee pulled away almost immediately, however, with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame.

The Hawks, who are now 76-8 over the last two seasons combined, will meet either Sigourney (23-11) or Clarksville (28-2) at 2:39 p.m. on Friday for the 1A crown. That semifinal contest was delayed by lightning multiple times on Thursday night, and didn’t finish before press time.

The Rebels play in the third-place game at 1:30 p.m. Friday on Diamond 2.

KEE 7, WESTWOOD 3

Westwood 100 002 0 — 3 5 0

Kee 002 113 x — 7 6 1

WP–Courtney Cooper (19-1); LP–Katelyn Martian (21-7). 2B–K: Casey Welsh. HR–K: Makayla Walleser. SB–W: Kelsey Shilling, Alyssa Mendenhall, Shelby Skinner; K: Sydney Strong.