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Most teams in the country would have been tremendously happy.
But when you are hoping for another NCAA Division I championship, finishing fifth can be a bitter pill to swallow. The Vanderbilt University bowling team was ousted from the national championships by the University of Central Missouri, which defeated Vanderbilt 4-0.
“The 2009-10 season started on Friday afternoon as soon as that game ended,” said Vandalia grad Josie Earnest, a Vanderbilt junior.
“There are parts of my game I can improve, like better ball selection. I am staying in Nashville (Tenn.) this summer and just practice as much as possible.”
Earnest is arguably the best college bowler in the nation. She finished with an average pin count of 214.9 per game, which led the country this year.
She won three tournaments and placed in the top five in seven of eight Vanderbilt tournaments. Her three tournament wins also led the nation.
“We did not play our best game against UCM,” said John Williams, Vanderbilt’s head coach. “When we started to play badly, the pressure hit everyone.
"We should be very good again next year. We are losing some great players, but we have a few great players that are already signed.”
South Central grad Spencer Patton, a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville baseball player, has earned two pitching victories in the past 10 days.
Those were the only two games SIUE won in the past 10 days.
In SIUE’s 14-1 win over St. Louis University, Patton worked six innings.
The junior allowed one earned run on four hits. He also fanned 10 batters.
Patton worked five innings against the University of Memphis. He allowed only one earned run on six hits as SIUE won a 3-2 decision.
He fanned 10 batters in that contest as well. The Cougar hurler walked two.
Patton is 3-3. SIUE is 7-21.
The Greenville softball team is 10-14 overall and 3-1 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Mulberry Grove grads Rachel Brewer and Emily Brewer, as well as South Central grad Jamie Hebron, have started every game thus far.
Rachel Brewer is leading the Lady Panthers in batting average (.427), hits (32), home runs (eight), RBIs (30), slugging percentage (.800) and on-base percentage (.488).
She also has 17 runs scored, eight walks and four doubles.
Emily Brewer leads the team in stolen bases with three.
She has 27 hits in 82 trips to the plate for a .329 batting average.
Five of her hits are doubles and one is a homer. She also has 14 runs scored, nine RBIs and two walks.
Hebron, who has blasted a team-high seven doubles, is hitting .254. She has 18 hits, eight walks, seven RBIs and four runs scored.
The Greenville College baseball team earned its first two St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games by topping Principia College.
Former Vandalia player Bryan Hobbie had hits in each contest.
In a 7-3 GC win, Hobbie was 1-for-2 with a walk. He scored twice and stole one base.
He was 1-for-4 and scored one run as Greenville posted an 8-1 win over Principia. Greenville is 4-21 overall and 2-9 in the SLIAC. ...
Blackburn College golfer Dallas Gray shot a 164 at the Big Blue Spring Classic, which was hosted by Millikin University at the Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur.
The Vandalia grad, who opened with an 89, improved 14 strokes in the second round.
As a team, Blackburn College finished 12th with a 661. Illinois Wesleyan University won the outing with a 580.
South Central grad Shea Burton shot a 172 at the John A. Logan Invitational golf tournament, which was held in Marion.
The Kaskaskia College freshman, who finished 48th, shot an 85.
As a team, KC finished sixth with a 655. Rend Lake College won the tournament with a 607.
Lake Land College’s Marcus Smalls has driven home a team-high 22 runs thus far.
The Vandalia grad has 18 hits in 70 trips to the plate for a .257 batting average.
Smalls, a sophomore, has four doubles and three homers.
Fellow Vandalia grad Adam Hosick, who has played in 13 games, has five hits (including two doubles) and two RBIs. Lake Land College is 7-27.