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School Sports

  • Post 95 set for districts after wins

    Vandalia’s Sr. Legion team rebounded from its tough ouster at the Mattoon Firecracker Classic with a pair of wins over the weekend.

    Now, the focus will be on taking that momentum into the district tournament, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Vandalia.

    “If we keep playing the way we are playing, I really think that we are capable of beating anybody,” said coach Andy Rincker of his 14-9 squad. “We are at least six deep on the mound, but it’s all going to come down to how we swing the bats.”

  • Vandalia softball beats county rival St. Elmo

    The Vandalia softball team pounded out double-digit run totals in both games of a doubleheader against St. Elmo last Thursday, picking its first two wins of the summer.

    “It feels better to win,” said coach Brian Buscher

    A winning streak would not ensue, however, as the Lady Vandals were swept by Greenville on Tuesday, 18-5 and 25-11.

    After allowing eight runs in the top of the first inning of game one, the Lady Vandals stormed back to win, 14-12.

    In game two, Vandalia took a 9-0 lead after three innings of a 12-6 victory.

  • Vandalia golfers finding success on SIGA Jr. Tour

    Two rising seniors at Vandalia Community High School have been finding success on the Southern Illinois Golf Association Junior Tour this summer.

    Blake Swofford and RaeChelle Leiken have a combined seven tournament wins in nine chances this summer.

    Most recently, each won in the 16-18 age division at the Gambit Junior Cup in Vienna by shooting a round under par, and Leiken won the Jackson Junior Tournament in Murphysboro on Monday, with an 82.

  • Area pro ballplayers struggling at season's start

    Two South Central High School graduates have started their seasons in professional rookie leagues.

    Tanner Bushue and Spencer Patton opened their seasons in late June, but have both struggled thus far.

    Bushue, a Houston Astros prospect who was demoted from the Class A Lexington Legends in May, was 0-2 with a 4.70 earned-run average in four relief appearances for the Greeneville Astros, who are based in Greeneville, Tenn.

    He has struck out six in 7 2/3 innings pitched.

  • Second alumni softball game moved to Thursday

    The second softball alumni game for this season has been rescheduled for next Thursday.

    Initially scheduled for next Tuesday, the game had to be moved due to a scheduling conflict with Greenville, which was scheduled to play Vandalia next Thursday.

    The Lady Vandals will now play Greenville on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and the alumni on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

    Both will be home doubleheaders.

  • Vandals go 4-3 in final shootout

    Vandalia’s boys basketball team finished with a 4-3 record in the final summer shootout, but its fundamental weaknesses showed against some of its competition.

    St. Elmo also played in the shootout, going 2-4 in pool play and losing its tournament game in overtime.

    The Vandals were outrebounded by several teams during the shootout, especially last Friday in a pool play loss to Harrisburg and a tournament loss to Marshall.

  • Lady Vandals fall in doubleheader with EAWR

    Playing without all of its regular starters, the Vandalia High School softball team was swept in a doubleheader against East Alton-Wood River last Thursday.

    EAWR won the first game, 10-3, and then the second, 13-0, but coach Brian Buscher said that is not indicative of how the team is likely to play next spring.

    “We haven’t had nine starters there yet,” Buscher said. “We haven’t done a terrible job, with several players going to new positions.

    “We’re working on things, and that’s what summer is about,” he said. “We’re doing stuff right and getting better.”

  • Area teams struggle in third shootout

    Three local teams struggled in the third Vandal Shootout, with Vandalia, St. Elmo and Patoka each falling in the first round of Tuesday’s tournament.

    None of the three teams were able to pick up victories on the second day of pool play on Tuesday, with each losing twice, though the Vandals did have a couple of close contests.

    In its first game of the morning, Vandalia held the lead in parts of each quarter and never trailed by more than four points in the final period, but ultimately came up a point short in a 36-35 loss to Altamont.

  • Senior Spotlight: Ian Murrell

    Ian Murrell dreams in purple and orange.

    Deciding to attend the University of Evansville on a music scholarship, the 2012 graduate of Vandalia hopes to add to his college experience by walking on to the Evansville baseball team and trading his Vandalia red for Evansville purple and orange.

    “Thinking about it, if I were to make the team – and that is a huge if – I will be the only Division I athlete coming out of my class,” Murrell said. “I would have been the last kid to tell that I would be a Division I athlete.

  • Childress has two walk-offs for Jr. Legion team

    Derek Childress and the rest of the Jr. Legion squad could get used to this.

    The rising sophomore from Mulberry Grove had a pair of walk-off at-bats in the past week, stroking a double to beat Carlyle last Wednesday and reaching on a two-base error to beat South Central on Saturday.

    “I just try to hit the ball,” Childress said. “I thought it would be the third out (on Saturday).”