CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Diamond meets Kennett in Springfield for 3rd time in 4 years

May 20—SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Three years ago, Diamond and Kennett met in Springfield in a third-place game. Kennett won.

Two years ago, the two softball programs met in a semifinal match. Diamond won.

For the third time in four seasons, the Wildcats and Indians are going to meet for the postseason.

On Monday, both teams earned semifinal wins at Killian Softball Complex. Kennett topped Lone Jack 11-4 and Diamond defeated Willow Springs 13-3 in six innings.

The Indians (25-8) and Wildcats (37-1) face one another at 11 a.m. Tuesday for the Class 2 state championship.

"Kennett's a solid ball team. We have to go in there with a strategy and mindset that anybody can be beat and play our ballgame. Today we got the nerves out and we can go play ours tomorrow," Diamond head coach Kelsey Parrish said Monday.

Kennett head coach Logan Dollins added his thoughts on facing the Wildcats.

"The biggest thing when it comes to Diamond is they're a really, really good club," Dollins said. "For us, we're going to have to play flawless defense and put some pressure on them.

"Now that I think about it, it's kind of neat that we've met that many times here."

Dollins believes his pitcher Handley McAtee did well attacking hitters of Lone Jack on Monday and needs to see the same from her against Diamond. He thought his offense "handled the bats well" also.

The two teams also met one another on April 5 and Diamond won that contest 11-1.

"Coach Parrish does a great job with them and they have a lot of girls that can play," Dollins said.

He noted that scheduling an opponent like Diamond "had to be" on his regular season schedule in order to get Kennett to where it wanted to be, like this Class 2 state championship game on Tuesday.

The two teams have four mutual opponents this year and Diamond is 4-0 in those games while Kennett is 2-2.