1999 IHSA Girls Softball Class AA Championship Game: Harlem vs. Glenwood

(11-6-20) The 1999 Harlem Huskies softball team would end their dream season with an Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class AA state championship when they beat Glenwood 1-0.

In the championship game win Harlem would score the winning run in the top of the 7th inning.

Freshman Amanda Wade (1B) would single to right center to start the inning. Andrea Hamilton (DH) would lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance Wade to 2nd. Jennifer Seipts (OF) would single to left field; advancing Wade to third and she would score on an error by Glenwood’s left fielder.

The unearned run was all Emily Granath would need in the bottom as she would shut down the Redskins and give Harlem the state title.

Granath (25-3) had just pitched the first title-game no-hitter in Class AA history (third overall) and was named the tournament MVP (21 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 25 K). Her throwing error allowed the only runner for Glenwood and kept her from having a perfect game.

Glenwood Coach Shawn Zedric was impressed with Granath’s job in the circle-

” We just never did adjust to her pitch. We could never make the adjustment, it never happened. it happens like that. We have trouble with the rising fastball. We had enough adrenaline. It came down to not adjusting. (Harlem pitcher Emily Granath) she has enough guts and heart. It’s been a fight to get back here for the past three years. We had what it takes to get here.”

After the game Harlem Hall of Fame Coach Cindy Diamond said:

“My kids just played well. We were pumped. We were ready for this game. I have to take a deep breath. Emily (Granath) did a heckuva job. She’s gone the extra mile. I’m just happy for these kids. I wanted it (championship) for the seniors. This is their best season leadership wise.”

BOX SCORE

Tournament Trail

Machesney Park (Harlem) Regional
*5/27  Belvidere                      W  10   0
*5/29  Rockford (East)                W   3   0
*6/1   Freeport (H.S.)                W   2   1
East Moline (United) Sectional
*6/5   Bartonville (Limestone)        W   9   0
*6/7   Geneseo (Darnall) (8 inn.)     W   1   0
State Finals at DeKalb
Harlem  New Trier                     W   7   1 
Harlem Sandberg                       W   1   0   

Granath was named the MVP on the All-Tournament team, she was joined by three other Huskies…Amanda Wade, Tileena Nicosia and Sarah Edlen.

P – Emily Granath, Harlem (MVP)
P – Shannon Lindgren, Lockport
P – Lindsay Tasker, Glenwood
1B – Amanda Wade, Harlem
2B – Suzie Lair, Glenwood
3B – Jenny Floyd, Glenwood
SS – Tori Hughes, Glenwood
OF – Tileena Nicosia, Harlem
OF – Natalie Overman, Glenwood
OF – Katie Blackmore, Lockport
C – Sarah Edlen, Harlem
DH – Meghan Watson, Sandburg

Coach Cindy Diamond and Emily Granath

Emily Granath and Coach Cindy Diamond

The 1999 title was for Diamond a crowning jewel to her Hall of Fame career.

For 19 years she was the head softball coach and for six additional years was an assistant softball coach, she finished with a career record of 438-135 and was a part of 11 NIC-9 championships, 11 IHSA regional championships, two sectional championships, and the 1999 IHSA state championship.

She was named NIC-9 Coach of the Year eight times, Girls Sports Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1999, IGCA Illinois Girls Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2002, Illinois Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1999, and was inducted into the Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.

Granath entered the state tournament with eye-popping stats.

        G   W-L      IP     H    ER    BB    SO   ERA
        25  22-3   171.0    58    13     7   291  0.53

She also has a place in the IHSA Record Book –

Fewest Walks Allowed, Career
[5th] 28, Emily Granath, Machesney Park (Harlem), 1996-99 (438 inn.)

Granath went on to star at Lewis University after she graduated from Harlem.

1999 IHSA CLASS AA Softball All-Tournament Team

Additional highlights-

+ Glenwood’s Lindsey Tasker (22-6) who pitched a tournament record 24 scoreless innings before yielding an unearned run in the seventh and final inning.

+ Harlem gave up only 2 runs in their 7 tournament games

+ Wade went 2 for 3 and scored the only Harlem run