When the St. Louis University-softball playing Billikins earned a 3-2 win over Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, it was truly a team win.
Not only did it take the entire Billikin offense to muster up the three runs, it took a total of five pitchers to power SLU to the victory. One of those pitchers: Taylor Springs native and Hillsboro graduate Kaili Hanner, who would end up getting the decision, the first victory of her college career.
“I came into the game with the mindset of attacking the women at the plate,” said the SLU sophomore. “Earlier in the year, they had hit the ball very well off of me. Therefore, I focused on hitting locations and finding ways to get pop flies and ground balls. The defense behind me does a great job and they made the plays that allowed us to get the victory. I did not know that I was the pitcher of record and got the win until after the game was over. If not for the SLU batters at the plate, the catcher calling the game and the seven other players playing behind me, this does not happen.”
Hanner worked one inning en route to the victory. She allowed one earned run on three hits. She walked two and fanned one in the contest.
“In college, I have to pitch in a different way,” said Hanner. “In high school, I could throw smoke and overpower hitters. In Division I, these women are ready for that. They have the capability of sending that pitch back at you with equal speed. You have to use the defense behind you. The mental side of the college/university game is extremely challenging. I would not change anything about the performance because we were successful. It was not a perfect performance by any means, I would take that inning over any others if it means getting a team victory.”
Thus far this year, Hanner is 1-4. She has worked 39 2/3 innings, allowing 38 earned runs on 47 hits. She has appeared in 18 games, with three of those being starts. SLU is 17-25 overall and 10-10 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Alex White (Hillsboro), a Parkland College golfer, shot a 147 to take fourth at the Ackerman-Allen Shootout, which was hosted by Taylor University and held at the Ackerman-Allen in West Lafayette, Indiana. White, who shot a low round of 71 in the first of two rounds, helped Parkland win the team title over the host school. He was six strokes from the winning total of 141 shot by Parkland’s Corey Neville. Parkland shot a 591, while Taylor finished with a 595.
Shelby Houchlei (Hillsboro), a Kaskaskia College pitcher, earned two more victories to improve to 16-7 overall. In the 10-0 triumph over Shawnee Community College, she pitched three innings of no-hit ball. She did not strike out anyone and did not walk anyone. In the 9-2 win over Shawnee, she worked 6 1/3 innings allowing no earned runs on three hits. The LLCC pitcher struck out six and walked three. In the 9-2 victory, Houchlei was 2-for-4 and drove home a run. Kaskaskia is 23-20 overall and 13-13 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference.
Katie Schaake (Hillsboro), a Lincoln Land Community College softball player, was the pitcher of record as they dumped Heartland Community College. Schaake, who worked a complete game seven innings, allowed three earned runs on nine hits. She fanned six and did not walk a single batter. She helped herself at the plate as well, as she was a perfect 4-for-4. Schaake, who doubled and tripled, drove home four runs. She stole one base.
It was one of three games that she had multiple hits. She was 3-for-5 in the 14-5 win over Heartland. The former Hiltopper had a homer, triple and a double in the contest. She drove home four runs and scored twice. In the 6-5 win over St. Charles Community College, Schaake was 2-for-3 with a walk. She scored two runs. LLCC is 25-14 overall and 15-5 in the Mid-West Athletic Conference.
Maurice Radtke (Litchfield) finished second in the shot put at the Greenville University Select Meet. The Greenville thrower recorded a put of 44 feet, 0.50 inches. Missouri Baptist University’s Kyle Christopher threw 47-7.75 to win the event. Radtke also finished 11th in the discus with a throw of 109-5.
Isaiah Atkins (Hillsboro) and Elijah Atkins (Hillsboro), also Greenville track athletes, competed in the 800-meter run. Isaiah Atkins took 15th, while Elijah Atkins took 20th. They ran respective times of 2:07.10 and 2:11.64. Team scores were not kept.
Emily Senjan (Litchfield) was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks as her college team, Parkland, downed Heartland 14-6. Senjan scored one run. In Parkland’s 10-2 win over John Wood Community College, Senjan pitched one inning and rolled goose eggs in every category. She did not get the win or a save. Parkland is 45-6 overall and 19-3 in the MWAC. They are currently ranked 17th among National Junior College Athletic Association Division II teams.
Kyra Huber (Hillsboro) competed in two different events at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater-hosted Drake University Alternative Meet, which was held at the Rex Foster Track Complex in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Individually, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh was eighth in the 100-meter dash, running :12.98. She was also a member of the 400-meter relay, which took fourth in :49.44. Team scores were not kept.
Billy Beckham (Litchfield) was 1-for-4 with a walk for Lewis and Clark Community College as they lost a 9-7 decision to Illinois Central College. He drove home two runs. Lewis and Clark is 13-21 overall and 6-14 in the MWAC.
A couple of things about the College Report. If you have not seen your son/daughter’s name in the column, I may not know about them. In this intense time, we want to get everyone in. I need the athlete’s name, the college/university they are attending, the high school they graduated from or the town they are from and the sport they are playing.
Finally, as most know, I have had some health problems the past few years. That fact combined with this pandemic has made me reach a decision about the career completion articles. Anyone who completed their athletic careers either during the 2019-2020 school year or 2020-2021 school year, even if they were not able to compete for four years, we want to include you. If you need to reach me for that reason or any other, please e-mail (Dan62801@aol.com).