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Today's Sports

  • Sr. Legion loses heartbreaker to...

    Visiting Taylorville did absolutely everything it needed to do to get a win Tuesday.

    But that didn't make the Vandalia Post 95 Sr. American Legion baseball team's first loss of the young season any easier to swallow.

    Despite timely hitting, spectacular defense and stingy pitching by Taylorville throughout the first 8 1/2 innings, Post 95 had a golden opportunity to steal a win in the bottom of the ninth.

    The Cardinals had just scored two runs to cut a three-run Taylorville lead to just one, and had the bases loaded with nobody out.

  • Earnest named NCAA '...

    Each and every time Vanderbilt bowling coach John Williamson calls Josie Earnest, he says the Vandalia native is doing one of three things.

    Getting ready to practice. Practicing. Or finishing up a practice.

    "She's a relentless worker," Williamson said. "She's always trying to do something a little bit better."

    And thanks in large part to that relentless work ethic, Williamson had the pleasure of dialing up the MVP of his 2007 national championship team last Thursday with news no Vanderbilt coach before him has had the pleasure of delivering.

  • Four local players sign to play...

    If the Kaskaskia College softball program continues its upward trend over the next two seasons, there's a pretty good chance some familiar names will have a lot to do with it.

    Blue Devils coach Lori Cox describes her 2008 recruiting class as a "great" one. And that class just so happens to include South Central graduate Lauren Matheny and three players from a Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick team that won a program-record 20 games last season - Randi Lilly, Heather Shelton and Kayla Ohnesorge.

  • COLLEGE REPORT: Lovett still...

    Brownstown grad Aaron Lovett wouldn't change a thing about his pitching career at the University of Kentucky.

    He finished a two-year stint at the Southeastern Conference School with the fourth-best career earned run average (3.38) in the program's history, after all, and he helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Tournament by going 5-1 his senior year.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for Lovett to hear his name called during last weekend's Major League Baseball amateur draft.

  • Sr. Legion has plenty of...

    Pitchers and catchers are to summer-league baseball what oil is to the world market at the moment.

    Scarce and in demand.

    That said, Post 95 Senior American Legion baseball coach Steve Hosick has to feel like a Saudi Arabian prince right now, as his roster features an unprecedented reserve of pitchers and catchers.

    "We have at least eight pretty salty pitchers right now," said Hosick as he scanned his roster last Thursday. "And we've got at least three guys who can catch for us."

    Potential battery combinations will, indeed, be numerous for the Cardinals.

  • Taking a look back at the top...

    When looking back on the 2007-08 school year, I will remember three things:

    Lot's of long road trips. Even longer hours in the office.

    And that - in the end - it was all worthwhile.

    Just one glance at the images above and the list of the top 10 sports stories from the 2007-08 school year convinced me of that.

    A vast majority of the most memorable stories from this past prep sports season were marked by two ingredients that makes sports so enjoyable to me: the element of surprise, and the joy that comes along with exceeding expectations.

  • Holloway finishes 6th in shot at...

    Dillon Holloway is starting to think state championship.

    And considering how the Brownstown High School student finished his sophomore track and field season, he has every right to.

    Holloway broke his own school record for the third meet in a row Friday in the preliminaries of the shot put at the IHSA state track and field meet.

    Even more impressively, his toss of 51 feet, 2 1/4 inches wound up placing him sixth out of 37 competitors - with each of the five finishers in front of Holloway being seniors.

  • Lebanon too tough for Aces in...

    The Mulberry Grove softball team did not come away with the sectional championship trophy it coveted Saturday. But the Lady Aces did exit the Class 1A Raymond-Lincolnwood Sectional with something else they've craved all season long.

    Respect.

    Despite a deceptively lopsided 7-0 victory, the top-ranked Lebanon Greyhounds saw how the Lady Aces managed to pile up 26 wins despite losing their ace pitcher to an injury early in the season.

  • Aces High: Mulberry Grove wins...

    Everything about the Mulberry Grove softball team's thrilling 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the host team Wednesday at the Lincolnwood Class 1A Sectional reminded coach John Barnes of a win four years ago that sent his current group of seniors to state their eighth-grade year.

    Same field. Same teams. Same final score. Even the same hero.

    But the subtle differences between those two games are what made the Lady Aces' first-ever sectional victory all the more special to Barnes.

  • Bell, Goen come up short of...

    Had he been playing a video game, Drew Bell would have hit the reset button.

    "It was really disappointing," said the VCHS junior of his preliminary race in the 1,600-meter run Friday at the IHSA boys state track and field meet. "I was hoping to at least get to the finals, but I wasn't even close."

    Bell did indeed fall well short of his goal of qualifying for the finals, as his time of 4 minutes, 41.56 seconds placed him sixth out of nine runners in his heat and 18th out of 29 overall. The top 12 runners advanced.