[Steve Bittinger - For Shaw Media]
Mount Zion Braves
Coach: Greg Blakey (28th year, 691-275-1)
Path to the state tournament: Beat Rantoul, 13-3; Paris, 4-0; Rochester, 3-0; Charleston, 5-2; Centralia, 8-1.
State history: Fourth in 2018.
Keep an eye on: Audrey Eades has emerged as the ace of the Braves with a 12-1 record and a 2.08 ERA, striking out 109 and walking 26 in 872/3 innings.
Also: Eades is one of three Braves with at least 50 innings this year. Chayse Ramey is 9-0 with a 1.03 ERA in 14 appearances this year, and Ally Bruner is 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA. … Of the nine players with at least 65 at-bats, eight are hitting at least .300. Kynzie Wrigley is hitting .486 with nine homers, 49 runs scored and 42 RBIs. Dayna Kennedy has blasted 10 home runs, driven in 36 and scored 46 times while hitting .431. Eades gets it done at the plate, too, hitting .417 with five home runs. … The Braves lost the regular-season finale and two of three, and are on a five-game winning streak.