Lady Red Repeat with McClain’s Incredible Feat

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured, from left to right, are members of the SOV girls’ track and field team with their third place team trophy at the IHSA state track meet Saturday in Charleston: Head coach Kali Taylor, Ashlynd Risley, Amanda McClain, Emily Neuhauser, Carlin Nuzzo, Bailey Turnbaugh, and Abby Cravatta.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured, from left to right, are members of the SOV girls’ track and field team with their third place team trophy at the IHSA state track meet Saturday in Charleston: Head coach Kali Taylor, Ashlynd Risley, Amanda McClain, Emily Neuhauser, Carlin Nuzzo, Bailey Turnbaugh, and Abby Cravatta.

Three individual crowns propel SOV to third place team trophy

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sure. The 400m dash and the long jump are both events in which SOV senior Amanda McClain was at the top of her class. But the 200m dash too?
Saturday’s answer was “apparently so,” as she exploded down the big blue track at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston taking first in the 200m event and thus marking her third individual championship on the day. That coupled with Emily Neuhauser’s fourth place finish and an earlier sixth place in the 4x200 earned SOV a third place team trophy for the second straight year.
“To bring that trophy back to the communities of Sullivan, Findlay, and Bethany, it’s just a phenomenal feeling as the SOV coach to be a part of that,” said head coach Kali Taylor. “It’s something these girls are going to remember for the rest of their lives.” Read More

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

Redskins Clinch Conference with Win Over Clinton

Photo by RR Best Pictured is the Sullivan varsity baseball team with their Central Illinois Conference title plaque, which they won following a 6-2 win over Clinton last Thursday. Pictured, front row, left to right: Brody Elder, Dylan Hart, Jacob Piper, Matthew Sparrow, Blake Stewart, and Nick Frerichs. Back row: head coach Troy Rogers, Zach Hrvol, Levi Nadler, Drew Harris, Dylan Liddiard, Dakota Clayton, and Alec Ballinger.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured is the Sullivan varsity baseball team with their Central Illinois Conference title plaque, which they won following a 6-2 win over Clinton last Thursday. Pictured, front row, left to right: Brody Elder, Dylan Hart, Jacob Piper, Matthew Sparrow, Blake Stewart, and Nick Frerichs. Back row: head coach Troy Rogers, Zach Hrvol, Levi Nadler, Drew Harris, Dylan Liddiard, Dakota Clayton, and Alec Ballinger.

Will begin regional play next week

May 13, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Sullivan Redskins secured the CIC(Central Illinois Conference) inaugural championship Thursday at Leon Lane Memorial Field thanks to a strong pitching performance by Jacob Piper, who went five innings of shutout baseball, ultimately allowing just two runs on two hits over the complete game. Sullivan ran its way to a lead early and held off a sixth inning rally to claim the program’s first conference title in more than 15 years.
Celebrating with his team after the win, head coach Troy Rogers gave all the credit to his players. “These are a great group of kids who played a lot of baseball over the years, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They deserve it.”
Rogers also complimented Piper who was starting just his second game on the season.
“He had just had some relief appearances, and he is 2-0 now after starting last weekend versus Okaw Valley. I know he is going to throw strikes, keep them off balance, and let his defense work. We have been playing solid defense behind him. We had one hiccup where we gave Clinton a couple extra outs, but Jacob did a good job getting out of it, keeping that four run cushion.” Read More

Neuhauser’s Next Net: Lake Land College

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan senior and basketball player Emily Neuhauser signs her letter of intent committing to play basketball at Lake Land College in an April 8 ceremony. Pictured, front row, left to right: Father John Neuhauser, Emily, mother Barb, and sister Paige. Back row: Sullivan girls’ head coach Sheri McCain, assistant coach Tiffinie Tucker, and Lake Land College girls’ head coach Dave Johnson.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan senior and basketball player Emily Neuhauser signs her letter of intent committing to play basketball at Lake Land College in an April 8 ceremony. Pictured, front row, left to right: Father John Neuhauser, Emily, mother Barb, and sister Paige. Back row: Sullivan girls’ head coach Sheri McCain, assistant coach Tiffinie Tucker, and Lake Land College girls’ head coach Dave Johnson.

Sullivan senior to become Lady Laker this fall

May 6, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

There really is something to be said for love of the game. And gained.
Just ask Emily Neuhauser.
The Sullivan senior hoopster last month signed her letter of intent, committing to join Lake Land College’s women’s basketball team come this fall.
“It’s going to be a lot different because it’s the collegiate level,” acknowledged Neuhauser. “I’m excited to see where he (Dave Johnson) puts me on that court. I’ll do whatever he says. I’m ready to see what he has in store for me.”
Neuhauser’s journey actually began with SHS alum Asia Morrison three years ago. Morrison was scouted and ultimately recruited by Lake Land’s head coach Dave Johnson, who says even then, Neuhauser caught his eye. Read More

Timberwolves Baseball Sharp in 9-1 Victory over LSA

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley sophomore Taylor Coleman reaches for first on a throw-out attempt Monday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley sophomore Taylor Coleman reaches for first on a throw-out attempt Monday.

Still, still undefeated from the mound

April 29, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Okaw Valley starter Devon Still (7-0) won his seventh game in as many starts while improving the Timberwolves overall record to 18-1, after defeating Decatur LSA. Still had an all-conference day fanning 10 of the opposition over seven innings of one-run ball, and helping his own cause at the plate going 4-4 with three RBIs.
Coach Andrew Hagerman expected nothing less from his senior lefty.
“Devon pitched well which is no surprise. He located all his pitches, and he played like a senior, and he has been doing it all year.”
Still pitched out of a first inning jam thanks to a web gem by his third baseman and then struck out the side in the second, twisting right handed batters into the ground with nasty movement down and in. Still flashed some leather of his own in the third inning coming off the mound to make an excellent play on a would be bunt single. Still whirled and delivered a missile across the diamond beating the runner to first. Capping off the performance Still struck out the side again in the fifth overmatching the LSA hitters with a mix of velocity and movement. Coach Hagerman thought the defensive effort was a big factor in the win. Read More

Lady Redskins Cruise Past St. Anthony 14-3

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan sophomore Bailee Pratt slides in safely to third Tuesday evening. Pratt’s walk-off RBI in the fifth sealed the Lady Redskins’ 14-3 victory over Effingham St. Anthony.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan sophomore Bailee Pratt slides in safely to third Tuesday evening. Pratt’s walk-off RBI in the fifth sealed the Lady Redskins’ 14-3 victory over Effingham St. Anthony.

Pratt’s walk-off in the fifth brings early ending

April 22, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

With the wind howling out to left field, Sullivan softball muscled up to defeat St. Anthony by 10 runs in just five innings on Tuesday night.
Crooked numbers were key as the Lady Redskins scored four runs in the first, three in the second, and three more in the fourth all topped by a Bailee Pratt walk-off winner in the fifth. Heidi Clements got the start and the win for the now 10-6 squad, holding St. Anthony’s talented offense in check by trusting her defense.
Head coach Ben Richter thinks his team’s patient approach at the plate is paying dividends.
“I have been having them take pitches and try to work counts,” he said. “We have been swinging on the first pitch and that had been getting us in trouble. They did a great job seeing pitches and finding the pitches they want to hit. We jumped on a couple and they landed where we wanted them to land. So it was a good day offensively.” Read More

Park and Timberwolves Shutout Indians

Photo by Keith Stewart Second baseman Peyton Hagerman hurls the ball to first Tuesday evening. Hagerman had two clutch throwouts at first in their game against Neoga.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Second baseman Peyton Hagerman hurls the ball to first Tuesday evening. Hagerman had two clutch throw outs at first in their game against Neoga.

OV ends Neoga’s unbeaten streak

April 15, 2015

by Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Okaw Valley baseball notched their 12th victory on the season Tuesday over undefeated Neoga 3-0. Dylan Park blanked the Indians across seven innings with five strikeouts in a complete game shutout. Drew Fructhl drove home the game winner in the third inning, and Garrett Fritz sewed it up with a two RBI double in the fifth.
Both pitchers tossed a pair of scoreless frames to start the contest before the bottom of the third when a leadoff walk and steal by Joe Jeffers set up an RBI chance for Drew Fruchtl, who drove home the game’s first run on a sharp single and advance to third on the throw home. The lone run would turn out to be all Park needed. Playing the role of insurance man Fritz hit a two-out two-run double to the gap in right center which let Timberwolves fans breathe easier heading into the final two innings.
Head coach Andrew Hagerman credited Neoga’s pitcher for making it an uncomfortable day for Okaw Valley at the dish, but in clutch times the team came up big. Read More

Undefeated Okaw Valley Sweeps Double Header Against ALAH

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley freshman Paige Robinson tries to beat out the throw to first baseman Emily Seegmiller Monday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley freshman Paige Robinson tries to beat out the throw to first baseman Emily Seegmiller Monday.

Once again, big innings and bats provide win

April 15, 2015

By Matt Kracht
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Lady Timberwolves took two games in convincing fashion from Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Monday night. Okaw Valley scored 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth to win 10-0 in the first contest and then rolled on to a 19-2 victory in the finale. Amanda McClain got her fifth win of the season and is now 5-0 leading a dangerous Timberwolves team.
But ALAH kept it competitive early in both games, yet the offensive onslaught proved too much. Timberwolves head coach Dave Benning thought the two games were a good test for his squad.
“I tip my hat to Arthur,” he said. “They came out and battled us especially well in that first game, and in the second game our offense momentum took over.” Read More

Lady Redskins Perfect in 20-0 Win Over Neoga

Photo by RR Best Sullivan’s Kailyn Boyer gets ready to take a swing during Monday afternoon’s contest against Neoga.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan’s Kailyn Boyer gets ready to take a swing during Monday afternoon’s contest against Neoga.

Stewart’s in-the-park homer caps off performance

April 8, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Heidi Clements and Maddie Wall combined to throw a perfect game Monday evening against Neoga. Facing the minimum over five innings without allowing a runner to reach base, the pair peppered the strike zone and trusted the defense to have their backs. Making sure the strong pitching performance did not go to waste the Lady Redskins scored nine runs in the first inning, three runs in the second, seven in the third, and one more in the fourth for good measure. Head coach Ben Richter summed the performance up nicely after the win.
“It was perfect– a perfect game between the two of them,” he said. “No one on base. Maddie Wall came in and pitched well in the fourth and fifth innings, and Heidi Clements pitched great the first three.”
The offense for the Lady Redskins was keyed by a patient approach at the plate. Neoga’s starting pitcher struggled with command all day, and Sullivan took full advantage. A leadoff walk started off the first inning rally for Sullivan’s offense, and after a stolen base, an RBI double brought home the Redskins’ first run of the game. The carousel then took on a life of its own as 11 players came to bat in the bottom of the first. The Redskins scored four runs in the first on passed balls alone racking up five walks in the frame. Coach Richter commented that some of the patience came out of necessity. Read More

Knights Baseball Falls to Shelbyville 8-1

Photo by Keith Stewart Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond senior Tyler Schuring steps to the plate Monday afternoon. Schuring’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth scored the Knights’ lone run of the day.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond senior Tyler Schuring steps to the plate Monday afternoon. Schuring’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth scored the Knights’ lone run of the day.

Fifth, sixth innings the nightmare for ALAH

April 1, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Knights lost their third straight game Monday against perennial contender Shelbyville. Ross Ryan pitched four innings of one run baseball before a three run fifth inning, including a two run homer, ended his day. Chris Davis finished off the game for the Knights but allowed four runs in the top of the sixth putting the game out of reach. The Knights have scored two runs combined in their home contests this season something head coach Craig Moffet chalks up to facing quality pitching. Moffet acknowledged the team, “needs to improve their approach at the plate, but that is something that will come along as the season progresses.” Read More