Times Sports Editor
The collegiate sports seasons have begun to wind down as graduation and post season competition nears.
A pair of former Clay County softball standouts recently wrapped up their two-year careers for Olney Central, though their future could very likely include a transfer to four-year programs to continue their career on the diamond.
The Blue Knights were eliminated this week from the conference tourney in the championship against Rend Lake, 4-3.
In that game, Traci Sanders, a former Northview athlete, went 3-for-4 at the plate as OCC wrapped up a 39-22 season.
For the season, Sanders batted a robust .422 with 11 doubles, two home runs and drove in 47 runs. She also slugged .541 for the Blue Knights while reaching base in more than 50 percent of her plate appearances.
Angie Camp, a Clay City High School graduate, hit .353 this season with 10 doubles, a home run and slugged .428 with a .420 on-base percentage for the Blue Knights.
"We could not have accomplished the things we have the last two years without Traci and Angie. They both played hard and worked and set an example for others," Olney Central coach Nicholas Short commented. "Before they got here, Olney had won only 24 games the previous two years. They were major contributors as freshman when we won 22 games, and this year was no exception as we won 39. We are definitely going to miss them and the other sophomores next year. They set the foundation for what I hope will become a solid softball program here at Olney."
According to Short, Sanders has interest from Kentucky Weseleyan, Blue Mountain College and Blackburn amongst others. Camp has drawn interest from Mid-Continent and Upper Iowa along with several other schools.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College heads last weekend's senior day festivities fresh off a doubleheader sweep over Taylor on Thursday. The Pomeroys and Clay City graduate, Chelsee Gerber, won the opening game by a 2-1 score as Gerber knocked in the winning run with two outs in the seventh inning.
Gerber had two hits in the game and doubled in Sarah Matthews, who had reached base after being hit-by-pitch.
The Indiana State softball team heads into the home stretch with its final home stand against Wichita State May 8-9. The Missouri Valley Championship Tourney begins the following weekend at Des Moines, Iowa.
The 18-29 overall, 3-18 MVC, Sycamores have gotten plenty of help from a former Northview standout as Stephanie Jonson is tied for the team lead with five home runs and has hit .254 this season and hasn't committed an error in the field.
Over the weekend, Jonson ripped her fifth round tripper of the season during an 8-7 loss to Missouri State where she was 1-for-4 at the plate with two RBI. She walked and scored a run in the second game for the Sycamores, a 5-3 loss to the Bears.
Through 43 starts, Jonson had hit .254 with 17 runs scored, eight doubles and 15 RBI.
At Grace College, Northview graduate Abby Birkey is a two-sport athlete for the Lancers and just completed her second year of softball.
The Lancers struggled to a 10-35 overall record this season. Birkey, a catcher for Grace, played in 20 games, starting 14 and fielded at a .972 clip. She threw out four attempted base stealers.
The county currently has just one collegiate baseball player, John Reberger, who is now competing for Purdue North Central.
Reberger has played in 22 games for the 10-32 squad. He has hit .279 in 43 at-bats with seven RBI and 11 runs scored. He's also got a home run and has reached base nearly 47 percent of the time.
In collegiate track and field, Andrea Thomas, a Northview graduate, competed for Hanover College at the Rose-Hulman Twilight Meet on April 16.
Hanover's women's 4x100-meter relay team finished fourth in the field but set a school mark with a time of 51.65 seconds. Thomas teamed with junior Rachel Logar, freshman Christa Hurak and Lexi Vincz joined to break the former record of 51.69 seconds from the 1995 season.
Thomas was also fourth in the pole vault by clearing 8-6 ¼.
In the HCAC Conference Meet last weekend, Thomas reached the finals in the 100 meters where she placed eighth in a time of 13.83. Thomas was also a part of the 4x100 relay team that placed third in 52.04.
Thomas, a sophomore with the Panthers, added a fourth-place finish in the pole vault by clearing 8-11 3/4.
The University of Southern Indiana track and field teams are preparing for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Meet on May 7-8 in Rolla, Mo.
Former Clay City athlete, Cole Schroer, has competed in a variety of events for the Screaming Eagles. His versatility has translated into a quick time of 58.83 in the 400-meter hurdles at the Rose-Hulman Twilight Meet where he finished 14th. He was also part of the third-place 4x400 relay team that placed third in a time of 3:30.92. In the same meet, Schroer placed 21st in the long jump with a leap of 17-11 ¾ and was 15th in the javelin with a throw of 125-2.
Schroer also finished seventh in the decathlon at the Washington Invitational.
Northview graduate, John Latta, is also a member of the USI squad and has found success in the distance events.
Latta has registered a top time of 9:53.22 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Rose-Hulman Twilight Meet. He also has a time of 15:46.60 in the 5,000 meters at the Washington Invitational.
The Marian Knights track and field teams' most recent event was at Taylor University last weekend where former Northview speedster, Devon Chamberlain, competed.
Chamberlain placed 14th in the 100 meters with a time of 11.95 and added a 15th-place finish in the 200, breaking the finish line in 24.83.
Next up for Marian is competition in the conference meet this weekend at Goshen, Ind.
The 20th Annual Rend Lake College Men's Golf Invitational took place last weekend at the Warriors home course.
John A. Logan College was the team winner with a two-day score of 570, which was 27 strokes better than the Warriors and former Northview athlete, Kade Baker.
Baker, a freshman at Rend Lake, tied for 24th in the match with a score of 157.
The Region 24 Golf Championship takes place on Sunday and Monday at Lockhaven Country Club in Godfrey, Ill.