Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


March 14, 2014

Stew-Stras/Windsor co-op to challenge NTC

STEWARDSON — With seven starters from last season’s Stew-Stras softball team returning this spring and help from a co-op with Windsor, Comets head coach Kyle Knop said his team is looking to compete atop the National Trail Conference.

The Comets finished second in the NTC last season with a 6-2 conference record, finishing 11-8 overall, but lost in the regional final. Windsor finished the year 11-10, losing to their new teammates over in Stew-Stras at regionals. The two schools used to co-op, but have spent many years with their own separate teams, reforming this season.

Junior Kendall Knop is among the team’s top returning players and will anchor the pitching staff. She finished with a 9-2 record on the mound last season with a 2.83 ERA and 84 strikeouts, in 76 innings pitched.

Also, she hit .476 in the Comets’ lineup, earning Illinois Coaches Association second team All-State honors, as well as a place on the NTC All-Conference team and Daily News first team All-Area.

She will carry even more of the load this season because Kaskaskia College signee Courtney Schultz will be out of the rotation. However, Schultz, who hit .424 last season, will continue to anchor the left side of the infield at third base and shortstop.

Head coach Kyle Knop said he expects newcomer Becca Schlechte, senior Baylee Quast and junior Bayleigh Tabor to log important innings in the pitching circle.

Schlechte is a versatile freshman. Knop said she will play shortstop, catcher and second base when she’s not on the mound. Tabor will be an important utility player, spotting up at multiple positions this season. Quast is one of the good defensive outfielders on the team, Knop said, and is the outfielder with the best arm.

Lindsay Burton, an NTC All-Conference and Daily News all-area player, returns for her senior season to lead the catcher duties. She hit .442 last season.

The Comets also return seniors Megan Cress, an outfielder with speed, and Kennedy Ferris, a first baseman with power at the plate, rounding out a five-player senior class.

Madison Quast returns as the Comets starting third baseman last season, but Knop said she’ll see time in the outfield and as a designated player. Kaitlin Slifer and Mercedez Austin will also be used as designated players.

Austin, a sophomore, is one of the underclassmen who add to the team’s depth this season, Knop said. Twenty players will be on the team this season. Freshman Katie Greuel is another one of those players. Knop said Greuel has an opportunity to contribute at the varsity level this season.

Knop said he expects the team to have a winning season and to compete for an NTC championship, but said Altamont will be a “very tough” team this season, returning a lot of talent, including Deidre Ledbetter.

The Comets squad also includes juniors Skylar Vonderheide and Cheyenne Hernandez, sophomore Taylor Reynolds and freshmen Desirae Milligan, Skyler Darby, Kaylee Newkirk, Gillian Sanders, and Kaitlyn McCoy.


Text Only
  • 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

  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 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.