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Blue Devils bring home fourth-place hardware from state tournament

Submitted photo
The Villa Grove Junior High Softball team is pictured following their fourth place finish at the IESA state tournament. Pictured in the front row from left are Izzy Dodd, Ella Schweighart, Piper Kiser, Alison Pangburn, Ryan Barrett, Alex Brown, and Kaitlyn Drew. Pictured in the second row are Hayden Thomas, Kayla Cordes, Carly Eads, Candence Sanders, Chloe Reardon, Logan Lillard, Kaylee Hodis, Addie Wilson, Zoey Thompson-Burton, and Ryan Lillard. Pictured in the back row from left are Sara Jones, Matt Pangburn, Brad Drew, Head Coach Floyd Fisher, Noreen Acton, and Norm Tracy.

By Tony Hooker
The Villa Grove junior high softball team’s quest for state hardware ended in a fourth-place finish at the IESA state tournament in Normal on Saturday, Sept. 28.  Here’s a recap of the week’s games.  

Ambush Minutemen

The Blue Devils didn’t let a 48-hour rain delay slow them down as they destroyed Lexington 17-4 at the Leroy Sectional in a game that began on Saturday, Sept. 21 and ended on Monday, Sept. 23. Kaitlyn Drew fanned 11 while giving up four runs to earn the win. Kayln Cordes led the way at the dish, going 4-4 with 3 RBI’s and two runs scored. Drew helped her cause offensively as well, going 2-2 with a pair of doubles and scoring three times, and Alison Pangburn was up to her usual tricks, reaching base three times with a double and three runs scored. Alex Brown also dented the dish three times, and Logan Lillard scored twice as the entire Blue Devil lineup got into the act to advance to the IESA state finals.

Pull Huskers

The Blue Devils defeated Serena 2-0 behind a dominant 15-strikeout performance from Kaitlyn Drew. Drew gave up only three hits in the shutout. Drew and Alison Pangburn scored the only runs VG would need, and Alex Brown had the lone RBI.

Clawed by Bobcats

The Blue Devils dropped their IESA semifinal contest 9-1 to eventual state champion Beecher. Two big innings spelled defeat for the Blue Devils. VGJH had eight hits, including two each from Kalyn Cordes, Chloe Reardon and Piper Kiser, but couldn’t string enough together to generate any rallies. Kaitlyn Drew took the loss, allowing eight earned runs over 3.2 innings.  

Caged by Wolves

With nominal turnaround time, the Blue Devils fell to Pleasant Hill 8-2 in the third-place game. Kaitlyn Drew doubled and scored, Alison Pangburn added the other VG tally, and Chloe Reardon knocked in both runs, and Logan Lillard tallied two hits for VG, who once again totaled eight hits but couldn’t string them together. Alex Brown took the loss for VGJH, who saw their season end with a fine 14-3 record.

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