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

Strong Individual Performances for SOV and ALAH

Photo by Keith Stewart ALAH junior Jakob Brewer rounds the final turn of the 4x200 relay, which finished 22nd. Brewer also competed in the 60m hurdles, in which he placed sixth with a time of 9.31 seconds.

Photo by Keith Stewart
ALAH junior Jakob Brewer rounds the final turn of the 4x200 relay, which finished 22nd. Brewer also competed in the 60m hurdles, in which he placed sixth with a time of 9.31 seconds.

Yeakley takes fourth, Uphoff earns fifth

March 25, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Neither the SOV or Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond boys’ track and field teams placed in the top half of last weekend’s Charleston Indoor Invitational at Eastern Illinois University. Out of 33 class A schools, the Redskins finished 29th while the Knights took 23rd. But that didn’t mean each wouldn’t covet a few top performances.
Junior Colton Yeakley led the immediate area taking fourth place in the shot put with a throw of 47 feet, 11 inches.
“Colton had a personal best in shot put with that throw, and there was solid competition at that meet,” said head coach Ryan Whelan. “It’s good to see his development in shot put (he threw 42 something at the same meet last year). It gives credit to the time and effort he puts in throughout the year with his throwing. It will be good to see what he starts off with throwing discus on Tuesday, since that’s been his 'better' event the last two years.” Read More

Lady Redskins Take Third at EIU Indoor Meet Saturday

Photo by Keith Stewart SOV sophomore Ashlynd Risley takes off after receiving the handoff from freshman Bailey Turnbaugh during their 4x200 warmup Saturday morning in Charleston. The relay later came away with first place.

Photo by Keith Stewart
SOV sophomore Ashlynd Risley takes off after receiving the handoff from freshman Bailey Turnbaugh during their 4x200 warmup Saturday morning in Charleston. The relay later came away with first place.

March 18, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

ALAH settles for 34th

The Sullivan-Okaw Valley girls’ track and field team competed in their second indoor meet of the year Saturday at Eastern Illinois University and came away with third place while nearby Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond, participating in their first meet of the season, finished 34th.

SOV was led by the 4x200 relay consisting of seniors Amanda McClain and Emily Neuhauser, sophomore Ashlynd Risley, and freshman Bailey Turnbaugh. The relay finished first with a time of 1 minute, 52.17 seconds.
“The 4 x 2 knocked a second and a half off of last weekend’s time,” noted head coach Kali Taylor, “and their handoffs improved considerably so I’m very happy with that.” Read More

Knights Season Ends with 58-56 Sectional Battle

March 11, 2015

ALAH comes up one basket short

By Matthew Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Knights had their season end in Danville last Wednesday night, falling to the Ridgeview Mustangs in a highly entertaining class 1a sectional semifinal contest. The Knights had the ball with a chance for the win in the final seconds, but a last second 3- point attempt sailed long. After what has been a remarkable four year run head coach Dale Schuring said he had no complaints following the hard fought season and game.

“The kids followed the game plan well; we executed when we had to and made a nice comeback,” he said. “We just fell one play short tonight, and sometimes that’s the way it is.” Read More

Knights Four-Peat as Regional Champions

Photo by Keith Stewart Colton Yeakley looks to get inside the paint Friday night against Arcola. Yeakley finished the night with nine points and four rebounds.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Colton Yeakley looks to get inside the paint Friday night against Arcola. Yeakley finished the night with nine points and four rebounds.

March 4, 2015

Defeat Arcola second-year in a row for title
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In his four years as a Knight, Jeremy Plank says the feeling doesn’t get old.
The feeling of winning regional championships that is.
“It’s something that every year you want to do, and the feeling is the same every year,” said the senior. “You can’t put it into words.”
Friday’s 67-57 win over Arcola provided the Knights their fourth straight regional championship title, though the first under the newly consolidated Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond High School.
“It does not get old,” agreed head coach Dale Schuring. “They are so precious, and we’ve been very, very fortunate to get to these finals and win four in a row. But it certainly is not something easy to do. Just look at the flip side. Arcola has been here the last two years and hasn’t been able to come out on top, unfortunately for them, but it’s certainly something you cherish, because they are not things that come along very often.” Read More