By Tony Hooker
Junior high softball
Clawed by Wildcats
The Villa Grove Blue Devils junior high softball team committed 9 errors, leading to 14 unanswered runs, as they fell to Westville 17-1 on August 25. Piper Kiser was the hard luck loser, giving up a single unearned run on seven hits. Offensively, VGJH was led by Kiser and Carly Eads, who each had a base hit. Kiser scored the lone Blue Devil run.
Scratched by Panthers
Madison Hinds went 2-4 with a triple, two runs scored and an RBI, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Devils fell to St Joseph Middle School 21-9 on August 27. Hayden Thomas stroked a double and had two RBI’s and Piper Kiser hit a pair of doubles and scored twice for VGJH. Carly Eads took the loss, giving up four earned runs in relief of Kiser. Errors again did in the Devils, as 13 of the SJMS runs were unearned.
Junior High Baseball
Crushed by Crusaders
Cole Price and Nolan Morse each scored runs and Hayden Drake had an RBI as the Blue Devils fell to Holy Cross 9-2. Andrew Fonner and Zane Hosler each collected a base hit for VGJH. Jaxon Wilson had five strikeouts in relief of Cooper Clark, who took the loss.
Swamped by Storm
Zach Buesing fired a 39 to take medalist honors, but it wasn’t enough as the host team dropped a dual meet, 214-245 at Tri City on August 24. Brandon Kelly backed him with a 64, Jalen Southard fired a 65, Landon Kappes tallied a 70 and Brady Clodfelder rounded out the Blue Devil scoring with a 71.
Fall to Lions, Titans
Buesing fired a season best 36 to capture medalist honors, but the Blue Devils still found themselves in third place at a Triangular meet at Marshall on August 26. Newcomers Liam Barr and Noah Davison backed him with 62’s, and Elijah Kiesel fired a 63 to round out the Devil scoresheet. Jaydon Thompson Burton tallied a 64 and Jesse Bessent shot 66 as well.
Maci Clodfelder shot a 52 to lead VGH scorers in a dual meet vs. Salt Fork on August 24. Allison Pangburn had a 60, Kyleigh Block shot a 62 and Logan Lillard and Addisyn Wilson each fired 68 to fill the Devil score sheet. Ava Vollmer had a 70 and Zoey Thompson-Burton had a 79 on the day.
Girls’ Cross Country
Running in her very first cross-country meet, freshman Lilli Montgomery placed 22nd in 22:03.9 to lead the VGH girls to a ninth-place finish at the STM Saber Corn Invitational meet on August 29. Hailey Stutz, running in her first meet since junior high, raced to a 51st place finish. Emma Buesing (57th) Madison Logan (59th) and Kyleigh Price (61st) rounded out the lady harriers’ score sheet.
Boy’s Cross Country
Freshman Zach Ruwe, who finished fourth at last year’s IESA state meet, picked up right where he left off, finishing 18th with a time of 17:39.3, to lead the Blue and Gold to a 10th place finish at the Saber Corn Invitational. Daniel Olson set a PR with a time of 20:17.5, Ethan Meneely finished 55th, Rowan Denmark-Collins came in 67th, Aidan Ashbrook turned in a 69th place performance, and Austin Zoch ran in 82nd.
Coach Jim Kestner was understandably excited about the season opening performance. “It was a blessing, just to see them compete,” Kestner said. “With 4 out of 6 running their first high school race as freshmen, we laid a good foundation on which to build our 2020 competition season. We’ll see times drop rapidly as the season goes on.”