The St. Elizabeth Hornets will continue their bid for a second consecutive Class 1 state baseball championship Monday when they take on the Leeton Bulldogs in a semifinal contest.
Game time between the Hornets (20-5) and the Bulldogs (15-7) is 1:30 p.m. at U.S. Baseball Park in Ozark.
St. Elizabeth, making its ninth Final Four appearance in program history, won the state title in 2019 before the 2020 season was called off due to the pandemic.
The Hornets have outscored their opponents 51-1 in their four postseason games this season. St. Elizabeth won the District 8 title by blanking Tuscumbia 15-0 and topping Calvary Lutheran 11-1, then beat Weaubleau 11-0 in the sectionals and Lockwood 14-0 in the quarterfinals.
St. Elizabeth was 2-4 after its first six games, but has rebounded to win 18 of its last 19. The only loss for the Hornets since early April was a 4-1 decision to Linn, a qualifier for the Class 3 Final Four to be played later this week.
Leeton, the District 10 champion, will bring a seven-game winning streak into the contest. Leeton edged Pilot Grove 2-1 n the sectionals before topping Wellsville-Middletown 9-8 in nine innings in the quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs have scored in double-digits nine times this season, while allowing one run or less 12 times.
This is Leeton's first Final Four appearance since 1990 when the Bulldogs finished fourth in Class 1A.
The other Class 1 semifinal will pit the Oran Eagles (22-4) against the Green City Gophers (12-3) at 11 a.m. today.
St. Elizabeth, Oran and Green City all were in the Class 1 Final Four in 2018. Oran defeated Green City in the semifinals 7-1 that year, while St. Elizabeth downed Walnut Grove 4-2. Oran then topped St. Elizabeth 4-1 in the title game, while Green City took third with a 14-2 victory against Walnut Grove.
The semifinal winners will play for the state championship at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The third-place game is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday.