Okaw Valley scored both runs off an RBI double to left field from Addie Kesterson, and the Lady Timberwolves were in the driver’s seat almost immediately.
Through the first five innings , Neoga got on base twice, both coming on walks from McClain to Effner and Whitney Jean. In each instance, the Lady Indians couldn’t bring home a run.
Though they did manage to cut the deficit to 3-1 after six, the Lady Timberwolves sprinted to the finish line in the seventh. Okaw Valley plated four more off four hits and three Neoga errors, effectively ending the Lady Indians’ chances. Neoga got one runner on the bags with a single from Teah Beals in the bottom of inning seven, but Effner’s srikeout two batters later sealed the deal.
McClain finished with nine strikeouts on the afternoon, pitching all seven innings with three walks for the victory.
Neoga’s Bayley Neece took the loss, surrendering seven runs off eight hits. Neece only walked one.
The defeat marked the end to a dramatic turnaround year for the program, as the Lady Indians closed with their highest win total, eight, since the 2002 season. Beals and Stephanie Roderick closed out their high-school careers on Monday, and Haurberg said the two were instrumental in righting the ship.
“They’re certainly girls who’ve seen the lowest parts of the program,” he said. “They were a part of this turnaround, and with all the girls we have coming back, we can get this thing on the winning side next year.”
Okaw Valley advances to today’s game against St. Anthony.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Okaw Valley 200 010 4 7 8 2
Neoga 000 001 0 1 2 7
WP - McClain LP - Neece
Neoga: Albin (1B, RBI); Roderick (1B).