Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


June 6, 2014

Indians to play for first-ever state title

Ledbetter fans 15, Altamont downs West Prairie 3-1

EAST PEORIA — Lauren Ohnesorge and Lauren White make up the heart of the Altamont Lady Indian order, as the fourth and fifth hitters refer to themselves as "L-squared".

The nickname sure was fitting in the second inning of Friday morning's Class 1A state semifinal, as the two each squared up the ball about as well as one can, hitting back-to-back home runs to put Altamont up 2-0.

The home runs, an RBI double by Deidre Ledbetter in the third inning and 15 strikeouts from the circle by Ledbetter were more than enough to continue making Altamont history, as the Indians bested Sciota West Prairie 3-1 and advanced to Saturday's state championship game. They'll face Trico (32-3), who downed Amboy 6-1 in the day's second Class 1A semifinal.

"We're always next to each other in the lineup," White said. "When we both got big hits like that, it felt great. I was jumping up and down."

Altamont improved to 29-6 with the win.

West Prairie scored in the sixth on an RBI double by Jen Reedy to make it 3-1 and started putting the bat on the ball more against Ledbetter, but mostly were hitting foul balls on the way to strikeouts.

Ledbetter was dominant on the mound, but also deferred credit to her battery mate White for calling the game behind the plate.

It was 0-0 until Lauren Ohnesorge connected on the third pitch of the second inning for a laser home run over the right field wall. After the ball was retrieved, she passed it on to her father Rich. It was a special day for him, as he was a member of the second-place team from Beecher City baseball in 1983 -- and for another reason.

"I told Doug Winters to hand him the ball and say 'happy birthday,'" Ohnesorge said. "It was bittersweet, because I really wanted to do something to contribute to the team, because the last two games during the sectional championship and the Super-Sectional I wasn't really doing anything, I felt, and I felt like I really needed to lift my team up. I thought I got the job done."

White followed that up with a homer to the left center field gap, which coach John Niebrugge said was surprising, as the Indians have been a team built around hitting it into the gaps, with only 13 home runs coming in to Friday's semifinal.

After Ledbetter's RBI double in the third, bringing home Madison Ohnesorge after a double of her own, it was time for Ledbetter to take over on the mound.

The 15 strikeouts kept West Prairie from ever really putting pressure on the Indians, as only four Cyclones advanced to scoring position on the day. She didn't allow a single walk.

"Fifteen strikeouts in a state game is really good; give me three runs with her and I'll take my chances," Niebrugge said. "I won't say I thought we'd be in the state championship game, because we didn't. They think they're gonna win, and they have a good shot tomorrow."

After Reedy's double scored Jennifer Schwerer with two outs, Ledbetter got Megan Weaver to hit a line drive right back to her to end the sixth.

Kourtney Campbell led off the seventh with a single, before Ledbetter struck out the side in order and the celebration was on.

"Lauren called a heck of a game today, and she called it a lot better than I pitched them," Ledbetter said. "I think we just kind of put our head down and kept barreling on through. I did tell her two should be enough for us; it's not enough for an offense, but it's enough for a defense."

No Indian had more than one hit, with Madison Ohnesorge, Josie Phillips, Lauren Ohnesorge, Alex Teasley and Ledbetter all going 1-for-3. White was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Ledbetter yielded just five hits, with Campbell going 2-for-3. Reedy was 1-for-3 with an RBI double, and Hanna Runner had a double in the first inning while going 1-for-3. Tabby Bilderback was the only Cyclone to not strike out once on the day.

While the Indians had never made a state semifinal before this week, the softball team has just one goal left: winning a state championship.

"Crazy, crazy, I can't even explain it right now," Ledbetter said. "Pure emotion; excitement, joy, sadness, everything. It's great. I can't believe it's going to be our last game, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

They'll get their shot this afternoon at 12:30 p.m., as long as potential rain in the area doesn't make the IHSA switch around the schedule for the state championship games, which has been presented as a possibility.

West Prairie    000    001    0    1 5 0

Altamont    021    000    X    3 6 1

WP - Ledbetter (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 15 K, 0 BB) LP - Campbell (6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 K, 1 BB)

West Prairie: Bilderback (1-3); Schwerer (0-3, R, SB); Han. Runner (1-3, 2B); Reedy (1-3, 2B, RBI); Campbell (2-3)

Altamont: M. Ohnesorge (1-3. 2B, R); Phillips (1-3); Ledbetter (1-3, 2B, RBI); L. Ohnesorge (1-3, HR, RBI, R); White (1-2, HR, RBI, R, BB); Teasley (1-3)

Text Only
  • Mike McDonald.jpg Effingham football coach Mike McDonald to retire at year's end

    The idea of retirement has been on Effingham football coach Mike McDonald's mind for a while.
    But he's finally acting on it, as McDonald announced that he plans to retire as the head coach of the Flaming Hearts at the end of the 2014 season.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • MammoserLeft.jpg Switching it up; Newton's Mammoser trying his hands at switch pitching

    American Legion fans around the central Illinois area have started to hear of Newton’s Brock Mammoser.
    The pole vaulter, point guard and quarterback also finds time for the baseball field, and while he routinely sat in the middle of the order for Post 20 played shortstop and first base with flair, there’s one thing everyone came back to.
    He’s a switch pitcher. Mammoser took to the mound left and right for Newton, literally, pitching games with both his left and his right arm.
    It all started with a half-hearted suggestion a few years back.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: Extra innings intrigue unmatched

    Obscenely long baseball games are my kryptonite. Once I get sucked in, it’s impossible for me to stop watching until it’s over. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Astros or the Mariners — if it’s on TV and it’s going into the twelfth inning or later, you can bet I’m finding a way to tune in.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29NewtonOrientmain.JPG Newton's season ends in 14-4 loss

     Newton Post 20 almost pulled another comeback off against the Orient Miners, cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 midway through Monday night’s game.
    But Newton’s Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament run came to an end, as Orient rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning and clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 14-4 win.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame2.JPG Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win

    Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
    Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
    By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame1.JPG Salem deals Newton first divisional loss

    Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
    Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0725.JPG Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
    After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers. 
    Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1. 

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • daughertyfootball.jpg Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7

    Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
    So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday

    With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
    Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem

    A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
    The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.