The College Report: Eric Hobbie named POY for second time

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By Dan Chamness

He missed a good portion of his senior year to injury.

But, Vandalia grad and McKendree University senior Eric Hobbie returned to play in every single American Midwest Conference game that McKendree played. The impressive comeback, combined with his impressive play, has earned Hobbie the AMC Player of the Year award for the second straight season.

Hobbie lead McKendree this year with 18.5 points and eight rebounds per game. After earning the honor, the Bearcat senior showed why he is a two-time recipient of the honor. In the AMC title game against Park University, Hobbie finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists. He hit eight field goals (two 3-pointers) for his finishing point total.

Even though they lost that game, McKendree earned an at-large bid to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Nationals. They will face Southern Nazarene University on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The game between the Bearcats and the Crimson Storm will be played in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

Vandalia grad Jessica Earnest averaged 200.2 pins per game in the Alabama A&M University – hosted Holiday Classic. She helped the Vanderbilt University Commodores win the title on Sunday. In the head-to-head matchups, Vanderbilt overcame Sam Houston State University, 4-1, in the semifinals. It defeated the University of Central Missouri, 4-1, in the championship matchup. Earnest's 200.2 over the five games on Saturday earned her a third place individual finish. Her highest game of the five was a 225 in VU's 919-802 win over Southern University.

South Central grad Spencer Patton won his first game of the season, beating Chicago State University, 14-0. Patton, who worked a complete game, tossed seven innings and allowed only two hits. He struck out 12 hitters and walked two. Patton is 1-2, while the SIUE Cougars are 4-11.

The Greenville College Panthers recently finished their women's basketball season. They were 13-12 overall and 7-9 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Vandalia grad Laura Hobbie, a GC sophomore guard, finished with 229 points and 94 rebounds, respective averages of 9.5 and 3.9. She also doled out 32 assists. The 24-game starter hit 81-of-204 field goals and 43-of-62 free throws. She hit 24 shots from beyond the arc. Hobbie, who played 27.6 minutes per game, was second on the team in points and points per game.

Fellow GC Panther Ann Githinji played sparingly. In 10 games played, the South Central grad averaged 4.1 minutes per game. She finished the year with five points, five assists and three rebounds. Githinji had two field goals, including one 3-pointer.

Southeast Missouri State University pitcher Logan Mahon, a St. Elmo grad, evened his record at 2-2 by topping the University of North Dakota, 13-6. Mahon only had to work three innings for his second victory. He allowed UND only one hit, while fanning three batters. SEMO is 8-6.

Mulberry Grove graduate Shelby Woodward went 2-for-4 as her college team, MacMurray College, defeated the University of Dallas, 12-2. In MacMurray's first and, thus far, only win of the season, Woodward scored twice and stole one base. MacMurray is 1-5

Greenville College junior Rachel Brewer is one of four Panther softball players who are hitting better than .300 through the first four games. The former Mulberry Grove player, who has made 13 trips to the plate, has four hits for a batting average of .308. She also has driven home two runs, scored once and walked once. Greenville is 0-4.

South Central grad Audrey Matheny, a Lake Land College basketball player, finished her freshman season with 16 points and 15 rebounds. She played nine games. Matheny scored her points by hitting 5-of-9 field goals and 6-of-10 free throws.

Vandalia grad Kyle Hawkins, a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville club baseball player, pitched his team to a 5-3 win over Xavier University. Hawkins, who worked five innings, allowed only one earned run. The former Vandal player fanned eight and walked one.