Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


May 10, 2014

Comets soar to NTC title game; Stew-Stras/Windsor downs St. Elmo/Brownstown 10-1

WINDSOR — St. Elmo/Brownstown let Stew-Stras/Windsor's first three batters reach base on errors to start Friday's National Trail Conference tournament semifinal game.

The Comets picked up two early runs with SE/B's help, but left no doubt afterward that they were going to be the team heading to Monday's NTC title game.

Lindsay Burton's team-high three hits led the Comets to a 10-1 win against the Eagles with the backing of Becca Schlechte's pitching performance in the circle.

Schlechte gave up three hits in seven innings, carrying a perfect game through the first 3 2-3 innings. She finished up with seven strikeouts, utilizing her changeup to fool hitters.

“She's got a good changeup going,” Stew-Stras/Windsor head coach Kyle Knop said. “She's got some pop on the ball, so when she gets that changeup in there, it's going to make her ball look faster than it is.”

The Eagles only got to Schlechte in the fourth inning, using a pair of singles and a walk to score their only run of the game. Bethany Oberlink hit an RBI single.

The Comets' offense proved to be the more dominant of the two teams, highlighted by Burton, who hit everything except a home run in the game. She had an RBI triple in the second inning.

They scored four runs in the second inning, behind four hits with two outs. Kendall Knop kept the inning alive with a two-out single, followed by back-to-back triples by Schlechte and Burton.

Kennedy Ferris' RBI double scored the final run of the inning to lift the Comets to a 6-0 lead. It was one of two hits Ferris had in the game, which was a welcome sight for her head coach.

“We need her,” Knop said. “We need Kennedy hitting.”

Knop said Ferris fell into a hitting slump after breaking her bat in a 4-1 loss to Altamont last week. But she and players like Madison and Baylee Quast showed offensive sparks in the win. Friday's semifinal was Baylee Quast's first full game back from an injury.

Quast hit an RBI single for the Comets' only run of the third inning and stole two bases. She struck out twice, but reached in the fifth inning on a dropped third strike.

“She looked pretty rusty the other night,” Knop said. “She got that first hit, which I know was big for her.”

Madison Quast's RBI single in the first inning was the Comets' only hit in the frame, benefiting from three St. Elmo/Brownstown errors.

Knop ended the game with two hits and a pair of RBIs, joining three other players with multi-hit games.

“We're going to need the bats, especially against Altamont,” Knop said. “If you're going to beat them, you have to hold them to some runs and then figure out Ledbetter.”

After the game, the conversation turned directly to Altamont, who will host and meet Stew-Stras/Windsor in the NTC championship game on Monday.

The Comets lost 4-1 in the two teams' only meeting this season, which was also played in Altamont. Schlechte pitched and kept the Comets within striking distance, Knop said, but their bats didn't respond.

The loss boiled down to a difficult night at the plate, which Knop said he hopes is different on Monday; however, hitting against Altamont will mean figuring out star pitcher Deidre Ledbetter.

“We're going to have to figure out a way to score four or five runs,” Knop said. “If we don't solve Ledbetter, it's just a matter of where the score is going to end up.”

St. Elmo/Brownstown plays in the Egyptian Illini Conference tournament today, moved to Beecher City from Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran Friday due to wet conditions in Centralia. The Comets meet the Indians at 4 p.m. Monday in Altamont.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

St. Elmo/Brownstown          000 100 0     1 3 5

Stew-Stras/Windsor          241 021 X     10 12 1

WP - Schlechte (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 7 K, 2 BB) LP - Scholes (6 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 4 K, 2 BB)

SE/B: Fitch (1B), Brown (BB, R), Oberlink (1B, RBI), D. Austin (1B), Scholes (BB)

SS/W: Knop (1B, 2B, 2 RBI), Schlechte (3B, SB, 2 RBI), Burton (1B, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI), Ferris (1B, 2B, 2 RBI), M. Quast (1B, RBI), Tabor (BB, SB), Schultz (BB), Greuel (2 1B, SB), B. Quast (1B, RBI, 2 SB)

Text Only
  • JakeLinders.jpg Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational

    The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Willenborg.jpg Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More

    Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
    And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • callawaysmith.jpg Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today

    The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
    The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndrewBingham.jpg Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season

    Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
    It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
    Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-16 eff volleyball.jpg Flaming Hearts set with new coach

    The Effingham Flaming Hearts volleyball team will have a new but familiar face leading them on the sideline this season.
    As a former player for the Hearts, coach Mindy McCollum-Boswell will look to lead her team to their first regional title since 2008.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Bears backups worrisome

    This might sound shockingly similar to a number of columns I've written in the past, but it bears repeating (excusing a terrible pun).
    The quarterback situation is worrisome.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • FelixScharnbacher.jpg Newton soccer kicks off, inaugural season starts Sept. 2

    For the first time in the history of Newton High School, a soccer team will be a part of the fall sports season.

    August 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • ATV2.jpg Pocrnich wins national ATV title

    As people get older, their chance at a national championship diminishes, but Effingham’s Kevin Pocrnich was able to win one at 49 years old.
    Pocrnich won the Class 16 Senior 40+ Mountain Dew ATV Motocross Championship and according to the league website, finished fourth in the Class 14 30+ Veteran division. He went out with a bang, winning the final race of the season in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee Saturday.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teutopolis alum Thompson part of no-hitter

    A pair of Effingham natives are making some noise up in the Northwest League.
    Teutopolis alumnus Derek Thompson and Effingham alumnus Nick Gardewine, both members of the Spokane Indians in the Texas Rangers organization, earned some recognition over the past week.

    August 14, 2014

  • KnopVolleyball.jpg Comets coming off stellar season

    The Stew-Stras Comets finished in second-place at the state championship last season, a high-water mark for the program in recent years.
    Coach Ronda Schlechte lost five players who played quality minutes from last year’s team, but she said she has a lot of freshmen that have the ability to help the team.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

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.