The Central Cougars and Mater Dei Lady Knights have been on a crash course ever since their regular season matchup was washed out. The top two seeded teams in the Class 2A Vandalia Regional met up in the title game on Saturday with the Cougars emerging victorious.
Central short-gamed Carlyle en route to the title game while Mater Dei doubled up Greenville setting up the clash.
With Central winning their second-straight regional crown, they take their 23-11 record into the Shelbyville Sectional against Tuscola on Tuesday.
The Lady Warriors feature Anna Watson who is the IHSA’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 270 in her career.
The other side of the sectional features Flora vs. Macon (Meridian) following the Central game on Tuesday night in Shelbyville.
With the loss to Central, Mater Dei ended the season with a 15-8 record. They were led offensively by Kelsey Gerdes with six homers, 33 RBIs and a .447 batting average. Logan Braundmeier also had six homers and a .408 batting average.
Sydney Englehart was strong all season for MD with a .436 batting average with 30 runs batted in.
Carlyle ended the season with a 15-15 record and they were paced by junior Hannah Hoffmann. The third baseman led the team with a .460 batting average, six homers and 29 RBIs.
Central 17, Mater Dei 6: It seemed that no lead was safe in the battle for the title on Saturday.
The teams exchanged leads three times before the Cougars blew the game open with six runs in the top of the third inning.
After the surge in the third for the Cougars, the wheels fell off for Mater Dei who committed six errors in the fifth inning as CHS ran away from there.
Central scratched a run across in the top of the first inning with singles from Caitlyn Sellers and Olivia Wesselmann.
Kaylee Schrand chased home Sellers with the first run of the game on a 2-out single through the left side as Central led 1-0.
An inning later, Tori Dall drew a leadoff walk and stole second base before eventually scoring on a wild pitch as Central extended their lead to 2-0.
Mater Dei got a big blow in the bottom of the second inning as Sydney Englehart doubled and Hayle Palm walked.
Rylie Johnson took a 2-strike pitch and drilled way over the centerfield fence to give MD their only lead of the game at 3-2.
Central sent 11 hitters to the plate in the third inning as they chased MD starter Aften Richter out of the game.
Schrand singled to lead the inning off before a double from Jessica Eilers allowed Schrand to score on a sacrifice fly from Kirsten Thomas to tie the contest 3-3.
Dall was big again for the Cougars as she singled home Eilers with a smack up the middle.
Abby Ratermann added a 2-run single while Kaitlyn Smith earned an RBI single.
When all the dust settled, the Cougars had seven hits in the frame while MD had an error and a wild pitch as CHS led 8-3.
“That’s something that we have talked about,” said Central head coach Gigi Kohrmann. “When we got down 3-2, I said it would be easy for the team to just give up, but this group of girls are hard headed and they are playing the game the right way. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Logan Braundmeier got a run back in the bottom of the frame with a solo homer to lead off the inning. MD would strand two runners on base in the inning.
A double from Thomas and an RBI single from Dall was the only scoring in the fourth inning as Central extended their lead to 9-4.
Things fell apart for Mater Dei from there as Central sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning.
“They are explosive as heck out of the batter’s box,” said Mater Dei head coach Ron Schadegg. “If you don’t make the outs, they are a tough team to beat. They make contact and make you make the plays.”
Central scored eight times on four hits, six errors and two wild pitches from MD.
Sellers, Dall, Ratermann and Madeline Kuper all had RBIs in the frame for CHS.
Trailing 17-4, Mater Dei got back-to-back homers from Braundmeier and Ally Beckmann in the bottom of the fifth inning before Abby Ratermann came on in relief for the Cougars and got the final three outs to end the contest.
“We hit some home runs, but we never put up a couple of hits together,” said Schadegg. “We just needed to be better defensively and in the circle.”
Schrand was the winning pitcher as she went the first four innings and allowed six earned runs on seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
Richter pitched twice in the contest and took the loss. During her first stint she allowed six earned runs on six hits, four walks and one strikeout over 2-1/3 innings of work.
Ratermann led a 17-hit attack for Central as she went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in.
“The girls are all playing their role and we are being real aggressive,” added Kohrmann. “We are hitting and getting our bunts down.”
Wesselmann was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Schrand was 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Dall was 2-for-3 with three runs scored, three runs batted in and two stolen bases. Thomas and Sellers each had two hits and one RBI.
“Tori has really been playing well lately,” said Kohrmann. “She is really focused and has been giving us a lift in the bottom of the order.”
Braundmeier was 2-for-3 with two solo homers while Johnson and Beckmann each had one homer.
Mater Dei had seven errors in the contest while Central stranded 10 runners on base.
Central 15, Carlyle 1: The Cougars went to work in their semifinal win over the Indians on Thursday in Vandalia.
The Cougars left no doubt in their rubber match with the Lady Indians. Carlyle won the first battle between the teams in April before Central blew them out the past two meetings.
Central set the tone early with three runs in the bottom of the first inning on singles from Caitlyn Sellers and Abby Ratermann before a 2-run single from Jessica Eilers.
“It’s always good to get out to that early lead,” said Central head coach Gigi Kohrmann. “We have been putting the bat on the ball well lately and that continued.”
They would score an unearned run later in the frame as the rout was on at 3-0.
Central added another unearned run in the second inning before the Lady Indians got on the board with their lone run of the game in the top of the fourth inning.
With one out, Kaelyn Johnson smacked a towering homer over the right centerfield fence that also saw the ball clear a shed well over the fence as Carlyle trailed 4-1.
Central made sure there was no comeback as they scored 11 times in the bottom of the frame on nine hits, three stolen bases, a trio of walks and one error from Carlyle.
Abby Ratermann and Kaitlyn Smith each had RBI singles before Schrand chased two home with a double down the left-field line.
The Cougars added an RBI groundout from Eilers before an RBI single from Tori Dall gave them a 15-1 lead entering the fifth inning.
“I have to give credit to the girls and their approach at the plate,” added Kohrmann. “They have been aggressive and they have not been giving away at bats.”
Ratermann added a bases loaded double later in the inning as Central sent 16 hitters to the plate.
That was all the offense that Schrand needed as she went the distance and allowed just the one earned run on five hits, seven strikeouts and no walks.
Sellers was 2-for-2 in the leadoff spot while reaching base all four times with two walks and two singles to go with a stolen base.
Ratermann was 3-for-3 and also reached base four times with a walk, two singles, a double, three runs scored, a stolen base and four RBIs.
Smith and Schrand each had two hits and two runs batted in during the win.
Johnson was the losing pitcher for Carlyle as she was chased from the game in the fourth inning.
Johnson, Hannah Hoffmann, Kylee Smith, Ashton Pieron and Kaylee Perez each had one hit in the loss.
Mater Dei 6, Greenville 3: The Lady Knights played just well enough to advance on Thursday in Vandalia.
Having already beaten the Lady Comets 13-3 earlier in the season, the Lady Knights did not have a killer instinct on this day.
Mater Dei pitchers combined to walk seven batters and add two wild pitches with a pair of fielding errors to keep the Lady Comets in the contest.
Greenville took a first-inning lead behind a single from Eryn Smith who advanced to second base on a wild pitch.
She would score one batter later on an RBI single from Ashley Ketten.
Mater Dei wasted no time in taking the lead for good as AJ Hallemann led the bottom of the first off with a walk.
She was chased home when Logan Braundmeier cleared the centerfield fence for a 2-run blast.
Ally Beckmann added a solo homer in the second inning to extend the lead to 3-1 before the Lady Knights tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning.
Hayle Palm and Jenna Toennies each drew walks before Rylie Johnson chased them both home with a 2-run, opposite field double.
“That was a huge hit,” said Mater Dei head coach Ron Schadegg. “She went with the pitch and put it where she needed to to get the runs home.”
Greenville rallied in the top of the fifth inning when they sent seven hitters to the plate where they scored two times on three walks and two hits to get within 5-3.
“The biggest thing you’re trying to do now at this point of the season is to just advance,” said Schadegg. “We need to not put so much pressure on ourselves to a point where you hurt yourselves.”
Mater Dei added an insurance tally in the bottom of the fifth inning when Braundmeier led off with a single and advanced to third base on a stolen base and a wild pitch.
Braundmeier crossed the plate on an RBI single from Kelsey Gerdes.
Greenville threatened in the seventh inning on two walks and an error from Mater Dei that sent the go-ahead run to the batter’s box with just one out.
However, Aften Richter got Jordan Ackerman and Katie Hutchison to strike out to end the contest.
“We did enough to get by and hopefully we can get better,” said Schadegg.”
Braundmeier reached base all three times as she homered, singled and walked to go with her two RBIs and two runs scored.
Gerdes was 2-for-3 with two singles, an RBI and a stolen base. Johnson was 2-for-3 with a single, a double and two RBIs.
Richter went 6-2/3 innings and earned the victory by allowing one earned runs on six hits, four walks and eight strikeouts
Bringing in a two-day limit of 21 pounds, 5 ounces, the Elkville Elverado team of Zach Berner and Alec Valerius took home the championship trophy in the IHSA State Bass Fishing Finals held Friday and Saturday, May 20-21 at Carlyle Lake. The team was in fourth place (9 pounds, 11 ounces) following the first day of competition but hauled in 11 pounds, 12 ounces on Saturday for the win.
Elverado was the only team in the competition to catch the five-fish limits both days.
While teams from Mater Dei, Carlyle and Wesclin high schools did not qualify, two Highland High School teams brought home hardware.
Highland Boat No. 1, which consisted of anglers Hampton DuFrain and Blake Schumacher with head coach Jon Rinderer behind the wheel, came in second with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 15 ounces.
Capturing the third-place trophy was Highland’s Boat No. 2, consisting of anglers Alec Rebbe and Jake Freeman and steered by assistant coach Scott Sautman. They hauled in a two-day total of 14 pounds, 7 ounces.
Highland Boat No. 2 was in first place following the opening day of competition with a five-fish limit of 11 pounds, 15 ounces. Jake Freeman brought in the “big bass” of the day with a 4 pound, 6 ounce keeper.
Highland Boat No. 1 was in third place after day one with 10 pounds, 3 ounces.
While fishing was tough on day two, DuFrain and Schumacher brought in two keepers weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces giving them the second place trophy.
Rebbe and Freeman also had two keepers giving them a second day total of 2 pounds, 8 ounces and an eventual third-place finish.
Centralia High School brought in just one fish over the two days for a total weight of 2 pounds.
With sunny skies for most of Friday and all day Saturday, this was the first bass fishing state championship that was not delayed, shortened or postponed due to weather. However, anglers said weather conditions did play a factor with the water in the mid-60s, rather murky and cool for May.
Fishermen adjusted with more than 50 of the 66-team field weighing keepers during the two-day event.
For the first time in the eight-year history of the IHSA Bass Finals, the tournament included a Unified Division which included seven teams with each consisting of a high school Special Olympics athlete, a high school student peer partner and a non-competing adult driver/coach.
Winning first place in the Unified Division was a team from Pinckneyville High School who brought in four fish on day one for 5 pounds, 1 ounce and a first-place finish.
This marks the third time in the state tournament’s history that a Highland team finished in the top two spots with Highland claiming the championship in 2012 and second-place in 2015.
A Memorial Day ceremony to honor servicemen and servicewomen who gave the “ultimate sacrifice” will be held at Timmermann-Benhoff Post 252 American Legion in Breese on Monday.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.
Citizens can pay their respects and honor America’s great from past wars and service at several Memorial Day services in Clinton County this weekend.
A post-everlasting ceremony will be held Monday, May 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Timmermann-Benhoff Post 252 American Legion in Breese. Linas Grybinas will serve as the guest speaker.
Grybinas, 50, has been a veterans advocate his entire life and decided to dedicate his life to giving back to those who sacrificed and continued to sacrifice so much.
Having been diagnosed with Complex PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) himself, Grybinas has a connection with the problems others who live with PTSD are dealing with.
Grybinas is the founder of Climb for PTSD, which is a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides mental health services for veterans living with PTSD. In addition, they plan to launch Project Renew, where veterans will board for two weeks where they will have the option to receive a therapy dog for themselves.
Project Renew is Grybinas’ life dream where veterans living with PTSD can come together, gain insight into their struggles and regain purpose and joy in their lives.
In addition to Grybinas speaking, Timmermann-Benhoff Post will honor both their living and deceased members who represented the county during wars and conflicts.
The Legion will honor 10 comrades who have passed this year — Joseph Kruep, Wayne Diekemper, Marvin Sudholt, Henry Ratermann, Bobby Howell, Robert Rickhoff, Joseph Winkler, Eugene Jansen (Past Commander), Edward Foppe (Past Commander) and Richard Kapp — and the Ladies Auxiliary will honor five members who died — Jeanne Kreke (Past Unit President), Patricia Stallard, Jane Vahlkamp, Jeannette Duncan and Alvina Kruse.
Kenneth Kues will also be honored as one of the deceased members of the Sons of the American Legion.
The public is invited to attend the service and a luncheon afterward.
Other communities in the area are also holding Memorial Day services.
In Aviston, Memorial Day services will begin Sunday, May 29 with a 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Francis Catholic Church, followed by a march to the American Legion for the traditional placing of the wreath. Afterward, American Legion Post 1239 will hold a flag raising ceremony.
In Bartelso, a ceremony will be held Sunday, May 29 at St. Cecilia’s cemetery after the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
In Beckemeyer, a ceremony to honor those who have died will be held Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony’s cemetery and a 10:30 a.m. ceremony will be held at the Beckemeyer village cemetery, sponsored by the American Legion Post 1227 Drill Team and Honor Guard.
In Carlyle, Memorial Day services will be held Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. east of the Carlyle Cemetery, sponsored by the Carlyle American Legion Post 404 and VFW Post 3523. In the event of rain, the program will be held at the VFW hall.
In Damiansville/Albers, a Mass at St. Damian’s Church in Damiansville will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 29. Following the Mass, a ceremony will be held at the Damiansville cemetery and a ceremony will be held at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Albers. A light luncheon will be held at the Albers American Legion following the ceremonies.
In Germantown, a ceremony will be held Sunday, May 29 at the cemetery following the 9 a.m. Mass at St. Boniface Church.
In Keyesport a 10 a.m. ceremony will be held at the McKendree Chapel cemetery on Monday, May 30, sponsored by American Legion Post 1021 and Auxiliary.
In New Baden, a Memorial Day ceremony will be held Sunday, May 29 at 12:30 p.m. at New Baden Community Park. In the event of inclement weather, the services will be held at the American Legion in New Baden. Following the services the Boy Scouts will perform a flag retirement ceremony. Everyone is invited to the Post following the ceremonies for refreshments.
In Trenton, Trenton’s veterans organizations will hold Memorial Day services on Monday, May 30 starting at 9:30 a.m. The Trenton VFW Post 7983 and Trenton American Legion Post 778 members and auxiliary members will host the ceremony at the cemetery. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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