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School Sports

  • Lady Vandals Insider: Plenty of players available for softball team

    VANDALIA – It’s hard to say if the Lady Vandals will ever have a true group of regular starters this season.

    With some 15 players who have proven they deserve playing time, coach Brian Buscher has employed several different lineups already this spring to give as many players as possible the chance to get on the field.

    “We’ve basically played 14 players, and Kylie Sellers will hopefully be back next week, so that’s 15 in the rotation,” Buscher said. “The girls will have be patient.”

  • Lady Vandals start conference season with win over Pana

    VANDALIA – Senior Abby Dugan pitched three innings of shutout relief, and the offense had a season-high 11 runs against Pana in picking up the first win of the season.

    Dugan allowed just one runner to reach third base in the final three innings of an 11-8 win in the South Central Conference opener, a game that featured seven lead changes.

    “We’d take a lead, they’d take a lead,” said Lady Vandals coach Brian Buscher. “That helped us keep our focus.

  • Ruffner leaps 5-5 to set new high jump record

    Senior Sierah Ruffner twice broke the school record in the high jump earlier this week.

    With a leap of 5 feet, 4 inches at Breese Central on Monday, Ruffner broke her old record of 5 feet, 3 inches.

    She bettered that by another inch at Roxana on Tuesday.

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    The Vandalia boys track team will take part in its first home track meet of the spring on Thursday.

    Patoka, St. Elmo and Altamont will be the other teams at the meet, which begins at 4 p.m.

  • Senior Spotlight: Connor Beasley

    ST. ELMO – High school athletes often joke about outlandish accomplishments that they would like to achieve.

    Not that breaking St. Elmo’s single-game strikeout record was an outlandish feat for senior Connor Beasley, but he still just laughed it off when it was suggested he should strike out 19 batters before Monday night’s game.

  • Vandals trounce Aces on the road

    MULBERRY GROVE – Senior Michael Wells struck out seven, and Jake Bowen broke open the game with a fourth-inning triple on Tuesday as the Vandals run-ruled Mulberry Grove in five innings.

    Wells allowed just five Aces to reach base in his four innings of work, and Bowen’s two-run triple helped the Vandals to an 11-0 victory.

    “Michael was solid today,” said Vandals coach Luke Hohlt. “He will have to be the guy who comes in and throws strikes for us.

  • Ruffner, Krueger and Leiken each make college commitments

    Three Vandalia athletes recently signed letters of intent.

  • Ruffner ties own school record in high jump

    Senior Sierah Ruffner tied her own school record in the high jump, and the boys got three first-place finishes at a three-team track meet in Pana on Tuesday.

    Ruffner’s leap of 5 feet, 3 inches gives her a good start toward meeting her goal of breaking that mark in her final season with the Lady Vandals.

    Sophomore Ben Strobel picked up a pair of first-place finishes, taking the top place in the 1,600-meter run (4:52.5) and the 3,200-meter run (10:17.4).

  • Vandals Insider: Steal of home plate prompts discussion

    MULBERRY GROVE – Jake Shulman and Carson Smith didn’t want to wait to decide.

    So they each trotted out to centerfield following Tuesday’s game at Mulberry Grove to have a little race to see which player was faster.

    “It all came from a discussion about being aggressive on the base paths,” said coach Luke Hohlt following the 11-0 victory. “Carson actually called the steal of home. He said, ‘I think I can get this.’”

  • Lady Vandals 0-2, St. Elmo 1-1 at Vandalia softball round-robin

    VANDALIA – With neither team having played in more than a week due to a snowstorm, Vandalia and St. Elmo’s softball teams took to the fields on Saturday for a round-robin in Vandalia.

    The Lady Eagles used a pair of big innings to push past the Lady Vandals, 15-9, in the opening game, but Woodlawn thumped St. Elmo, 17-1, in the next game.

    Woodlawn finished off a sweep in game three, beating Vandalia, 13-3.

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  • Lady Vandals insider: Ehrat continues hot start

    VANDALIA – Offensively, the season has so far belonged to Paige Ehrat.

    The Lady Vandals senior has been swinging a hot bat at the plate through the first five games of the year, and her production continued during Saturday’s Vandalia round-robin.

    Ehrat scored twice and had an RBI double – her fourth extra-base hit of the season – as the Lady Vandals dropped games to St. Elmo and Woodlawn.

    She is hitting .400 and has four RBI on the season.