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Softball, baseball sectionals start next week

By B.J. Hargis
Photo by B.J. HARGIS: Junior Jack Conner has been a fixture in the Sullivan lineup this season. The Golden Arrows will face Edgewood in the first game of the Owen Valley baseball sectional on May 23.

The 34th annual IHSAA softball state tournament will begin on Monday with a record 379 teams competing.
A field of 387 teams will begin play on May 23 in the 52nd annual IHSAA baseball state tournament.
Locally, North Central (15-5) will open play at 6 p.m. Monday against Bloomfield in the Class A Clay City softball sectional. The Ladybirds defeated the Lady Cardinals 14-1 12 days ago.
The second game on Monday will feature Shakamak against Eminence, starting at approximately 7:30 p.m.
If the two favorites prevail, the first semifinal one week from tonight would feature North Central vs. Shakamak at 6 p.m. That would be a rematch of last year’s title game when Shakamak edged NCHS in extra innings, snapping the Ladybirds sectional title winning streak at three.
Shakamak and North Central will meet tonight in their regular season conference matchup.
White River Valley and Clay City will play in the second semifinal one week from tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m.
The championship game at Clay City is set for 6 p.m. May 23.
“As I have always said, we play in a very tough sectional,” said North Central softball coach Erica Arnold. “And this year is no different.
“It doesn’t matter what you did in the regular season you have to be ready to play your best softball to win three games.”
Erika Shroyer will be inside the circle pitching for North Central, like she has all season. The right-hander is 14-5 with a 2.51 ERA. Kaelee Moody has the other win for NCHS.
Shroyer has walked just 26 in 120 innings. She has struck out 74.
The Ladybirds bat .395 as a team as seven different players hit at .400.
First baseman Morgan Manning bats .487 with 28 RBIs while catcher Hannah Shroyer hits .486 with 28 RBIs.
Moody, who starts in center field, bats .475 with 25 RBIs.
Shortstop Madison Schofield (.443), Brooklin Klitzing (.404) and Hailey Salyer (.400) and Marissa Miller (.400) are among the team leaders in batting.
North Central defeated Clay City 4-2 during the regular season as they scored three runs in the fifth to come up with the win.
Sullivan will compete at the Class 3A Edgewood softball sectional 28.
The Lady Arrows have won 12 of its last 15 games to improve to 17-8 going into the last week of the regular season.
The Lady Arrows will open at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the first game against Brown County.
Edgewood and Owen Valley will play in the second game on Monday.
Monday’s winners will meet in the first semifinal at 5:30 p.m. May 23 while West Vigo and Northview will meet in the second semifinal.
The championship game is set for 6 p.m. May 24.
“We will have to go through the long bracket,” said Sullivan softball coach Lela Earley. “We will have to win three games to win the sectional.
“But for us, it starts with a good Brown County team. We will find out more about them as we get closer to the sectional.”
Mariah Wills has settled into the role of No. 1 pitcher for SHS with Maclynne Steele throwing in relief.
Wills has a 13-6 record with an ERA just north of 3.00. Steele is 4-2 with a 2.62 ERA.
“We have gotten good pitching, especially the last month or so,” said Earley. “We need that to continue to have a chance to win the sectional.”
As a team, Sullivan is batting .344 with 17 home runs and 50 stolen bases.
Sheyanna Ravellette bats .328 with a team best seven home runs.
Outfielder Abbey Wardell bats .391, catcher Madison Robbins (.389), Steele (.388 and 26 RBIs), center fielder Asia Povlin (.341), Sydnee Hester (.324 and 23 RBIs), Carly Brown (.312), shortstop Reagan Holeman (.297) and Wills (.262 and 11 RBIs) are among the team leaders in hitting.
Brown County is 13-3 and will face Northview for the Western Indiana Conference championship tonight.
Emma Summers in their top pitcher. She has a 13-2 record with an 0.81 ERA.
She has walked 13 and struck out 192 in 103 innings.
She also bats .547 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.
The Eagles hit .333 as a team.
In baseball, Sullivan has a 17-6 record with five games left in the regular season, including tonight’s WIC title game at Indian Creek.
The Golden Arrows will open play at the Class 3A Owen Valley Sectional 28 on May 23 against Edgewood in the first game at 5:30 p.m.
Since Northview moved up to Class 4A, this sectional now features just five teams.
West Vigo, who owns two wins over Sullivan, will face Owen Valley in the first game on Memorial Day at 11 a.m.
Brown County will face the Sullivan-Edgewood winner at 1:30 p.m. with the championship game set for later that day at 5:30 p.m.
Back on April 27 at Ellettsville, Edgewood defeated the Golden Arrows 6-3.
“Edgewood is a really solid team with two pitchers committed to the Division I level,” said Sullivan coach Tony Steimel. “So the game will certainly be challenging.
“I think the two teams are fairly even, from what I saw when we played them earlier this season.”
Sullivan is batting .323 as a team, led by Sam Steimel (.525 with 22 RBIs), catcher Shane Garner (.347 with 16 RBIs), infielder Jack Conner (.353 with 35 RBIs), outfielder Chris Taylor (.353 with 23 RBIs), Kaleb Thrasher (.339), Kyle Vernelson (.296) and Karter Vernelson (.222) are all regulars for the Golden Arrows.
Since Sam Steimel has been limited to one appearance on the mound because of an elbow injury, Alex Cooks has stepped in as Sullivan’s top pitcher.
The right hander has won six of eight decisions with a 1.30 ERA.
Taylor is 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA and Brayton Foster (2-1) and Braedon Nichols (3-1 with two saves) also have seen time on the hill for the Golden Arrows.
“The team is playing pretty well and I feel good about where we are right now,” said coach Steimel. “Our defense has improved and our pitching has been solid.
“Our seniors continue to lead us offensively, with Samuel hitting over .520 and Chris and Shane peaking at the right time. Alex has been our No. 1 all year and he will start the sectional. Chris has been throwing well and he will be our first guy in relief.  Samuel continues to rehab his arm, and we are still hoping to get him back on the mound in some capacity.”
In the first meeting with Edgewood, Ethan Vecrumba tossed five innings, allowing Sullivan three hits and three runs with four walks and eight Ks.
Curtis Cowden allowed just one hit in his two innings of relief. He struck out four.
Edgewood currently has a 14-5 record.
Freshman Luke Hayden has a 5-0 record with 49 strikeouts and 13 walks. He has a 2.65 ERA and has picked up one save.
The Mustangs bat .349 as a team as Sam Kido leads at .444 and Vecrumba hits .424.
Steimel added that West Vigo got the best draw and he would expect them to be the favorite going in, but thinks the Vikings, Edgewood and Sullivan all have a chance of winning it.
At the Class A Shakamak baseball sectional 57, the Lakers have returned after a two-year stay in Class 2A.
The Lakers, who have a 13-8 record, will take on Clay City in the first game on May 23 at 5:30 p.m.
North Central (6-8) will play White River Valley in the second game at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s championship game at WRV, won by the host Wolverines.
Those two winners will play in the first semifinal game at 11 a.m. Memorial Day to be followed by Bloomfield and Eminence at 1 p.m.
The title game will be later that night at 7 p.m.
North Central beat WRV 11-2 during their Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference meeting on May 1.
The Thunderbirds bat .327 as a team, led by catcher/infielder Blake Chatman, who is batting .515 with 10 doubles.
Cam Wanninger is not far behind, batting .513.
Cody Curtis hits .442 with 10 RBIs and Jacob Pritchard bats .304.
Isaac Bonacorsi is 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA. Wanninger is 1-1 with two saves.
Chase Wiseley is 1-1 with a 2.62 ERA.
At times, defense has a been a problem as the T-birds average over three errors per game.
Softball and baseball sectional tickets cost $6 per session while a season ticket costs $10.


Class 3A
Edgewood Sectional 28
Game 1 — Sullivan vs. Brown County, 5:30 p.m.
Game 2 — Edgewood vs. Owen Valley, 7 p.m.
May 23
Game 3 — Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 5:30 p.m.
Game 4 — West Vigo vs. Northview, 7 p.m.
May 24
Championship — Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 6 p.m.

Class A
Clay City Sectional 57
Game 1 — North Central vs. Bloomfield, 6 p.m.
Game 2 — Shakamak vs. Eminence, 7:30 p.m.
May 22
Game 3 — Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 6 p.m.
Game 4 —White River Valley vs. Clay City, 7:30 p.m.
May 23
Championship — Winner of G3 vs. Winner of G4. 6 p.m.

Tickets — $6 per session, $10 season ticket.


Class 3A
Owen Valley Sectional 28
May 23
Game 1 — Sullivan vs. Edgewood, 5:30 p.m.
May 28
Game 2 — West Vigo vs. Owen Valley, 11 a.m.
Game 3 — Brown County vs. Winner of Game 1, 1:30 p.m.
Championship — Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3, 5 p.m.

Class A
Shakamak Sectional 57
May 23
Game 1 — Clay City vs. Shakamak, 5:30 p.m.
Game 2 — North Central vs. WRV, 7:30 p.m.
May 28
Game 3 — Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 4 — Bloomfield vs. Eminence, 1 p.m.
Championship — Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 7 p.m.

Tickets — $6 per session, $10 season ticket.

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