Sullivan Softball Staves Off Shelbyville to Advance to Championship

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan's Heidi Clements came up big for the Redskins Tuesday, not only with a game-ending double play, but also the tying RBI in the fourth inning.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan's Heidi Clements came up big for the Redskins Tuesday, not only with a game-ending double play, but also the tying RBI in the fourth inning.

Redskins to play Tuscola Saturday for regional title

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Tuesday evening’s regional semi-final between no. 2 seed and host Sullivan and no. 3 seed Shelbyville saw plenty of back-and-forth momentum that finally ended with a double play in the top of the seventh, earning the Lady Redskins their second straight regional championship appearance.
After taking an early 1-0 lead, Sullivan found themselves down 5-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
There, the Lady Red strung together six hits for four runs, including a double to deep left field by Heidi Clements to tie the game at 5-5 before Makenzie Ruppert tripled to deep left field to put Sullivan on top 6-5–a lead they would not give up. Seleste Smith then followed with a single RBI up the middle to put Sullivan ahead 7-5. Read More

Okaw Valley Advances with 20-0 Regional Win over Neoga

McClain perfect in outing

May 20, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Timberwolves looked like a number one seed Tuesday night in the second round of the class 1A Windsor/Stew-Stras Regional. Amanda McClain was perfect through four frames striking out nine in a five inning no hitter. Okaw Valley will face the winner of Windsor/Stew-Stras and Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Friday in the championship.
A dialed in OV lineup tallied 11 runs in the first two innings with McClain setting the tone by stealing home for the initial run in the bottom of the first. Paige Harlin followed with a two run double to centerfield giving the Timberwolves a 3-0 advantage. Maddie Perrine then capped the inning with a two-run double from the nine hole spotting McClain a six run lead. Timberwolves head coach Dave Benning thought his team fed off each other’s success.
“Hitting is contagious when you are hitting line drives. The confidence builds up and down the lineup. We scored six in the first. It was just a matter of getting on top of this team early and continuing to build momentum. I am very pleased with how we hit the ball today–not just flaring balls out there but hitting with a vengeance.” Read More

Diving Catch Robs Knights in 3-2 Regional Loss

ALAH’s season ends early

May 20, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond baseball had their season come to an end Monday at home versus the Purple Riders from Arcola. The first round regional hosts got an absolute gem from Tyler Schuring who relieved Ross Ryan after the first inning, but it was not enough. Schuring pitched six innings without allowing an earned run while striking out nine.
Coach Craig Moffett thought the Purple Riders simply had more energy.
“They hit the ball okay, but they were ready to go,” he said. “They were the aggressor today.” Read More

Sullivan Splits Pair at Softball Invitational

Photo by RR Best Pictured are Sullivan high school’s senior softball players who were celebrated last Saturday during their annual invitational tournament in which they placed second. Pictured, left to right, are Elissa Stewart and Brittin Boyer.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured are Sullivan high school’s senior softball players who were celebrated last Saturday during their annual invitational tournament in which they placed second. Pictured, left to right, are Elissa Stewart and Brittin Boyer.

Two seniors also celebrated

May 20, 2015

By Matt Kracht & Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A beautiful Saturday for softball ended with rain as invitational hosts Sullivan beat Cumberland in their first game 5-4 but fell 6-3 to tournament winner Mt. Zion during a torrential downpour in the championship.
Taking the mound in game one of the senior day invitational, Heidi Clements pitched seven innings of four run ball allowing six hits and striking out two in the win over Cumberland. The Pirates led 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Redskin offense manufactured two runs.
Seleste Smith duplicated the feat in the bottom of the fifth driving in two more, pushing the Redskins to lead 4-1. The Pirates rallied back to make it a 4-3 ball game before the Redskins added an insurance run in the Bottom of the sixth. Read More

Redskins Spoil ALAH Senior Night with 13-3 Victory

Photo by RR Best Pictured are Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond high school’s senior softball players who were celebrated last Thursday before their contest against Sullivan, which the Knights lost 13-3. Pictured, left to right: Samantha Landers, Emily Seegmiller, and Brooke Tabb.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured are Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond high school’s senior softball players who were celebrated last Thursday before their contest against Sullivan, which the Knights lost 13-3. Pictured, left to right: Samantha Landers, Emily Seegmiller, and Brooke Tabb.

Errors cost Knights in loss

May 20, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Seleste Smith went 3-5 for the Redskins last Thursday, driving home four RBI in support of Heidi Clements who allowed two earned runs over seven innings, striking out four in the win.
Knight’s starter Macy Hollingsworth had a tough day on the mound, surrendering 18 hits over seven innings. The Knights were held to just six hits on the day with Erin Wildman driving in two RBI and Brooke Tabb adding Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s final tally.
Both teams put up zeros in the first two innings before Sullivan was able to bust the game open with a six run top of the third. Jordan Basset got the rally started for the Redskins with a leadoff double to left field. A sac bunt advanced the runner to third before an infield single off the pitchers glove allowed Basset to score. The Redskins would add five more runs in the inning as the wheels fell off the Knights defense. Read More

Lady Red Send Four on to State Meet

McClain and Neuhauser lead the pack in state qualifying

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newprogress.com

The SOV girls finished in third place with 67 points at the 14-team Central A & M sectional last Thursday.
Amanda McClain qualified for state in all four of her events with wins in the long jump (17 feet, 11 1/2 inches) and 400 (58.80 seconds), second place in the 200 (25.74) and as part of the 4 x 200 relay.
Emily Neuhauser qualified for state in three events. Individually she placed first place in the 200  (25.69) and second place in the 100m (12.69). Read More

OV Drops Two Games at Sullivan Softball Invitational

Defensive improvements stressed heading into regionals

May 20, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Timberwolves played a difficult double header on Sullivan’s north diamond Saturday, losing in the first game to Mt. Zion 16-2 and then falling in the second contest versus Cumberland 14-4. Senior Amanda McClain took the loss versus Mt Zion, and sophomore Matty Perrine fell against Cumberland.
“We definitely faced two strong offensive clubs today,” said head coach Dave Benning. “But there are times even if the ball is hit well you need to make a play. We had a couple catchable balls in game two that we did not make a play on. We had highlights here and there making some strong plays, but all in all the defensive effort was lacking in game two.” Read More

Timberwolves Softball Claim Northwest Division Title in 10-0 Victory over Arcola

Beat Purple Riders and rain for win

May 20, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Okaw Valley had two opponents Friday night–the first being an Arcola squad and the second a storm front quickly approaching the pivotal contest.
With a 20-win season and a Little Okaw Valley Northwest division championship on the line the Timberwolves sprung into the rarely seen baseball version of the “two minute drill.” Timberwolves head coach Dave Benning spoke about the situation after the win.
“We knew the storm was coming in so we started early, and when we got a lead, we wanted to keep things moving. I credit our senior leadership. They were getting on people to get in and out of the dugout quickly. I mentioned to my assistant coach that I have not seen that much hustle in 20 years!”
Amanda McClain took a perfect game into the bottom of the third and did not allow a hit until the bottom of the fifth. McClain got early run support for the dominant pitching performance as the Timberwolves bats struck early and often. Read More

SOV Girls Finish Regular Season in Urbana

McClain completes record setting achievement

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Rounding out their regular season prior to the state track meet Thursday, the SOV girls’ track and field team left Urbana after leaving a big mark.
In particular, Amanda McClain broke the 30 year old meet record of 58.5 seconds in the 400. The SOV senior ran a 57.85. As if that itself wasn’t impressive enough, the record setting feat also marked a personal achievement for McClain.
“It was the only meet she hadn’t set a record at,” said Taylor, referring to all outdoor meets over McClain’s career. “It was a very neat feeling as her mentor and coach to be standing at the finish line as she broke that record. It was the second oldest on the girls’ side and the third oldest overall at the meet…She has now set a meet record at every outdoor invitational (that keeps meet records) she has been at, including the state meet. The only indoor one she didn’t get is coincidentally at ISU. Over four years she has set or rebroken 42 meet records and set a meet record or school record on every track she has run on, besides the track at ISU where she will be running next year. There probably are not too many athletes that have done that. It’s quite an outstanding accomplishment.” Read More

OV Baseballers Celebrate Seniors in Style

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are the Okaw Valley high school senior baseball players who were celebrated last Thursday before their contest against Meridian, which they won 7-0. From left to right: Peyton Hagerman, Tim Jones, Logan Tipsword, Devon Still, Joe Jeffers, and Jay Orris.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are the Okaw Valley high school senior baseball players who were celebrated last Thursday before their contest against Meridian, which they won 7-0. From left to right: Peyton Hagerman, Tim Jones, Logan Tipsword, Devon Still, Joe Jeffers, and Jay Orris.

Hagerman tallies 15 strikeouts in win

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Last Thursday’s Okaw Valley senior night game saw masterful play on the mound by Peyton Hagerman, who had Meridian missing the ball just about all evening long as he and his fellow teammates cruised to a 7-0 victory.
The one of six seniors went all seven innings, throwing a one-hit shutout on the back of a 15-strikeout performance.
“He was really locked in,” said his father and head coach Andrew Hagerman. “He had one rough outing this year at LSA a few weeks ago, and since then has been lights-out every game. His control is better than it has ever been, and that’s important because not a lot of guys are able to square him up with his velocity and variety of pitches.”
“He pitched excellent,” added fellow senior Devon Still, who with Hagerman has become one of the most lethal pitching duos in the area.
“It was pretty cool,” said Peyton of his final game at home. “I’ve been going out there since I was eight in fourth grade. Since my dad has been coaching, I’ve probably been out there a thousand times watching other teams practice and working out by myself. It was a little emotional getting to play there one last time, but it was a happy way to go out.” Read More