The East Peoria Central Junior High School softball team won the program's first state championship since 1996.

The Wildcats defeated Morris Shabonna, 3-2, Homer Glen Homer, 4-0, and Mt. Zion, 3-1, in weekend games at the Illinois Elementary School Association Class AA state tournament at Champion Fields in Normal.

The East Peoria Central Junior High School softball team won the program's first state championship since 1996.

The Wildcats defeated Morris Shabonna, 3-2, Homer Glen Homer, 4-0, and Mt. Zion, 3-1, in weekend games at the Illinois Elementary School Association Class AA state tournament at Champion Fields in Normal.

The team, led by head coach Nicole Duncheon, finished the season 24-0.

It was the first state title for East Peoria Central in any sport since the cheerleading squad placed first in 2002.

A pep assembly was scheduled for yesterday afternoon at the school to honor the softball team.

In the quarterfinals, Ashley Emert was 3-for-4 with a double for the Wildcats, and Ashlynn Uppole and Kat Smith added two hits.

Alyssa Graves struck out 14 with two walks going the distance in the circle. She added a double.

Graves used 12 strikeouts to blank Homer Glen Homer, and Remi Ferguson drove in three runs for East Peoria.

Emert had the team's lone extra-base hit, a triple.

The Wildcats went ahead to stay with two runs in the third inning in the state final against Mt. Zion (18-4).

Emert knocked in a run, while Madison Bambrick and Ferguson had triples.

Graves fanned 10 and worked around seven walks, while surrendering four hits in a complete game.