Bombers earn first-ever state softball berth

BLOOMINGTON — Prior to the 2018 season, Argenta-Oreana couldn’t claim ownership of a single IHSA softball postseason trophy.

That number now is up to three, and it’s guaranteed to reach four before Saturday is over.

Colin's Best Of The Bunch: May 28, 2018

Preps coordinator Colin Likas returns with Best of the Bunch, highlighting athletes from St. Joseph-Ogden, Urbana, Mahomet-Seymour, Ridgeview/Lexington, Tuscola, Salt Fork, Argenta-Oreana, Uni High, LeRoy, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin and St. Thomas More.

Class 2A softball super-sectional softball: St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Williamsville

St. Joseph-Ogden lost to Williamsville 6-3 in the IHSA Class 2A softball super-sectional at Athens Sports Complex on Monday May, 28, 2018. SJ-O ends the season at 32-4.

Prep pulse: May 28, 2018

The local high school spring sports season is rapidly winding down now. On Saturday, we watched athletes from the boys' track and field and boys' tennis realms wrap up their respective campaigns.

For us, that leaves just four area athletic teams still rolling through the postseason: Tuscola baseball, St. Joseph-Ogden softball, Argenta-Oreana softball and Mahomet-Seymour softball.

SJ-O seniors step up to the plate

ATHENS — Standing on the infield dirt by the first-base bag, Randy Wolken let out a chuckle Saturday afternoon.

Graver's crucial double helps Spartans nab sectional title

GIBSON CITY — Pressure situations don't seem to faze Emmy Graver.

But watching Bailey Dowling receive an intentional walk just before Graver steps into the batter's box does stoke some emotions from the St. Joseph-Ogden senior third baseman.

"It makes me so mad," Graver said with a laugh. "I go up there and know that I have to get a hit. I hate that so much."

Prep postseason roundup: Bulldogs secure regional title on home field

MAHOMET — The Mahomet-Seymour softball team nearly lost its regional semifinal game.

That's a distant memory now.

M-S knocked off Rochester 9-3 on Saturday to win a Class 3A regional title on its home field, securing the program's first postseason hardware since the 2014 team won a 3A regional title as well.

Leadoff hitter Pence has been catalyst for SJ-O

ST. JOSEPH — Kenzie Pence hated the concept of slap hitting initially.

Felt discouraged by it.


Ticked off.

Now, however, the St. Joseph-Ogden senior can't imagine trying to hit a softball any other way.

Seven area teams will vie for postseason hardware

With seven area teams vying for postseason hardware today, sports editor MATT DANIELS previews the slate of games:


Class 1 Schlarman Sectional, 10 a.m.

Salt Fork (20-9) vs. Okaw Valley (28-3)

Area softball stats leaders: May 25, 2018

Batting Averages (35 AB)

Player/School AB R H RBI AVG.

Cm. Newbanks, A-O 85 18 56 51 .659

Dowling, SJ-O 92 57 59 64 .641

Knudsen, Unity 107 43 68 23 .636

K. Smith, LeRoy 116 51 73 62 .629

Pence, SJ-O 108 58 65 12 .602

Dietzen, Schlmn 60 26 36 38 .600