EAST PEORIA | Despite coming up short of winning the program's third state softball title, Beecher has a good team coming back next year.

It loses star pitcher Sarah Crews (Clarke College), shortstop Isabella Woolslayer and infielder Savannah Lowe, but the rest of the team is underclassmen.

"We wish we could have went out with a state title, but we have a good team for next year," junior catcher Emily Landis said. "We had a good year and not a lot of teams could say they made state."

Another is freshman Taylor Johnson, who hit a program-record 18 home runs. The state four-year softball record is 53.

"We are looking forward to next year, but we wanted to win state,"Johnson said.

"We have a good (youth) program," coach Kevin Hayhurst said. "We have kids who want to win and our schedule every year prepares us well for the postseason.

"I am going to miss these seniors because they were leaders for us."

Tough way to end: Beecher ended the season with two losses and it lost two in a row once before this weekend.

The Ladycats dropped a doubleheader to Class 4A Moline on April 5. Prior to this weekend, the LadyCats had won 13 of 14 games.

Food for thought: Catcher Emily Landis explained why she is called "Breadsticks."

It has to do with the team going to Olive Garden and her being the No. 2 hitter in the lineup.

"The breadsticks are the second course of the meal and I am No. 2," Landis said. "Iced tea is the first course so Isabella (Woolslayer) is the iced tea. It goes on with the main course all the way to the dessert."

Class 2A title game: The third-place and championship games were played simultaneously due to weather.

With a storm coming in, the Beecher-Monticello game was moved from 3 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Rock Island Alleman won the 2A title with a 9-6 win over the Teutopolis Lady Shoes. That game was delayed by lighting in the seventh inning.

Beecher's game finished just as the lightning flashed and the rains came.

Jim is a sports writer for The Times who works out of Valparaiso. A South Central High School (1984) and Ball State ('89) grad, he’s covered preps most of his career. He received the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Media Award in 1997.