Warmups prior to the start of the MSHSAA Softball State Championships on Friday at the Killian Sports Complex in Springfield, Missouri.
Stay tuned for full stories from all of today's games throughout the evening.
Chaffee failed to secure a spot in the Class 1 state championship, falling 4-1 to Pilot Grove in this afternoon's semifinal.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the Red Devils buckled down and held the game in that state for the next four innings.
That was until, in the bottom of the fifth, Pilot Grove applied some pressure and got a couple of big hits from its two best hitters — Samarah Bailey and Melanie Wolfe — to extend the lead to 4-0.
Chaffee got one run back in the bottom half of the frame, but couldn't cut the gap any closer.
Much of that had to do with Bailey, who got the win in the pitcher's circle for the Tigers and struck out 12, allowing just three hits.
Kylie Wilhite took the pitching loss in her final game as a Red Devil.
Chaffee will face North Harrison in the Class 1 third-place game tonight at 7. The Shamrocks fell to Canton, 4-2, in the other semifinal.
A mid-day update:
• Notre Dame will return to the Class 3 championship game after a 4-1 victory over Incarnate Word in a semifinal.
The Bulldogs were state runners-up in 2015. Last year, they fell in the semifinal and finished in third place.
ND will be looking for their second state championship and first since 2009.
Hailey Kutz was the standout performer for the Bulldogs, as the freshman struck out 14 batters in the victory.
Notre Dame will now face Monett in the title game after the Cubs edged Smithville 2-0 in the other Class 3 semifinal.
• Kelly dropped a back-and-forth contest to open the day, falling to Bowling Green 7-6 in a Class 2 semifinal.
The Hawks took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning and extended that to 6-2 in the fifth thanks to a three-run home run by Marissa Worth, but the Bobcats answered. Bowling Green began the fifth inning with four straight hits, tied things at 6 in the inning and then jumped on top in the bottom of the sixth to move into the title game.
BG will face Blair Oaks, a 2-1 winner in nine innings over Lathrop in the other semifinal, in the Class 2 championship Saturday at 10 a.m.
Kelly will be starting the third-place game momentarily (1 p.m.) against Lathrop. The Hawks extend their state record for most third-place game appearances, playing the consolation contest for an eighth time.
Greetings from the Killian Sports Complex in Springfield, Missouri.
Today is the start of the MSHSAA Softball State Championships, as the semifinals and third-place contests take place.
If you haven't been paying attention, our region is represented by Notre Dame (Class 3), Kelly (Class 2) and Chaffee (Class 1). You can read our state preview, with capsules on all the teams in Classes 1-3, HERE.
Overlapping games makes it unlikely I'll be able to update too much here, but you can follow me on Twitter — @semoballJosh — to get live, ongoing updates throughout the day. And, of course, we'll have postgame stories here.
Here is today's schedule that affects our Semoball teams.
Chaffee (18-11) vs. Pilot Grove (20-7), 2 p.m. (Field 3)
Canton (19-5) vs. North Harrison (21-6), 2 p.m. (Field 4)
TBA vs. TBA, 7 p.m. (Stadium Field)
Kelly (23-6) vs. Bowling Green (24-4), 10 a.m. (Field 1)
Blair Oaks (27-5) vs. Lathrop (27-1), 10 a.m. (Field 2)
TBA vs. TBA, 1 p.m. (Stadium Field)
Notre Dame (26-3) vs. Incarnate Word (21-6), 11 a.m. (Field 3)
Monett (20-10) vs. Smithville (23-7), 11 a.m. (Field 4)
TBA vs. TBA, 3 p.m. (Stadium Field)