Student's pitch for middle school softball in Champaign finally connects

CHAMPAIGN — Three years ago, as she was entering sixth grade at Edison Middle School, Kathryn Currey went before the Unit 4 school board to make a case for adding girls' softball for the middle schools.

She had played Little League Baseball in C-U — primarily with boys — and later joined the Border Girls travel softball team.

Home Run Derby: Going yard

We asked several area sluggers to give us their picks on who will take home the title of best home run hitter at tonight's MLB Home Run Derby in Miami:

Max Quirk

Prep Year in Review: Memories they’re sure to cherish

The area high school sports scene kept us entertained and on the edge of our seats from August through June:

Prep Year in Review: Spartans fired up

In 2005, we asked sports writer Fred Kroner to come up with a formula to fairly evaluate all of our area schools against one another, whether they competed in five sports or in 20.

NG athletes of the year: Andrea Coursey and Jake Beesley

St. Joseph-Ogden's Andrea Coursey and Champaign Central's Jake Beesley are The News-Gazette's senior athletes of the year.

Female Athlete of the Year: Andrea Coursey

Reflecting on my four years at SJ-O, it honestly all seems like a blur. Those four years went so fast, and looking back, I wish I would have taken more time to appreciate the memories that I made while they were happening. I am so fortunate that I got the amazing opportunity to play sports throughout my high school career and would not have traded it for anything.

July 6 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 2:00pm

With Year in Review coverage coming up this weekend (preps) and next (Illinois), it's almost time to hit the reset button and turn focus to the next school year. What do you want to see from The News-Gazette sports section? What could be the biggest storylines this fall? Do you know someone who has an interesting story to tell?

Softball Coach of the Year: Randy Wolken

Coach of the Year: SJ-O's Randy Wolken

Why he's Coach of the Year: The state's all-time winningest coach kept on winning during his 38th season. SJ-O finished 35-5 and second in state in Class 2A, securing the Spartans their sixth state trophy in program history. Of the 35 victories SJ-O compiled this season, 13 were by double digits.

Final 2017 area softball statistics


Batting Averages

Player/School AB R H RBI AVG.

Dowling, SJ-O 120 70 78 66 .650

Dietzen, Schlrmn 57 xx 37 26 .649

Burton, Danvl 72 29 42 25 .583

K. Smith, LeRoy 118 46 68 50 .576

R. Miller, ALAH 73 25 41 37 .562

M. Miller, ALAH 75 33 42 43 .560

Final N-G softball Top 10

Final N-G Top 10: Softball


1. St. Joseph-Ogden (35-5) Brought home program's sixth state trophy with runner-up finish in Class 2A.

2. Tuscola (31-4) Warriors rattled off 27 straight wins; lost in Class 2A regional title game

3. ALAH (21-4) Little Okaw Valley Conference champs advanced to Sweet 16 in Class 1A