OTTAWA — It appears there's no let-up in the Ottawa High School softball team.
The Lady Pirates, a day after toppling 3A's top-ranked Sterling on the road, started slow but broke open a scoreless duel in the fifth with three runs, sparking them to a 4-1 victory over Putnam County here at King Field on Wednesday.
Abby Bukantis spun the complete-game win, surrendering just four hits and one walk while striking out five. Jazzy Bowman, Sloan Gayan and Molly Harris had RBI hits, and Teegan Guerrero plated another for OHS, now 13-1 on the season heading into today's home showdown with Geneseo.
Sandwich 11, Westmont 0 (5 inn.)
At Sandwich, the Lady Indians put up four runs in the first inning and cruised to the win. Brianna Avery had three hits, one a solo home run, and three runs scored in the victory, claimed by Tara Bohnstedt (3 H, 1 BB, 4 K) in the circle. Bohnstedt contributed two triples and two RBIs to her own cause, while Maddie Card added a double, single and three RBIs and Lixy Lopez three driven in for SHS.
Plano 11, Serena 1 (5 inn.)
At Plano, a seven-run first inning proved all the hosts needed to top the Lady Huskers. Emily Hook (11 R, 12 BB, 3 K) only allowed five hits but suffered the pitching loss, despite relief help from Brianna Engel. Kylie Shannon had two hits and Cook an RBI hit for the only Serena safeties off pitcher Bri Lupa.
Earlville/Leland 11, Paw Paw 2 (5 inn.)
Earlville/Leland 6, Paw Paw 0 (5 inn.)
At Earlville, the Lady Raiders trailed 2-0 in the opener but poured in 10 runs in the second to take control. Kennedy Meloy allowed just four hits and a walk while fanning five for the win. She was backed by two hits, two runs and an RBI each from Julia Niles and Haley Michael and two RBIs by Kaitlyn Fries.
In the nightcap, Michael struck out five and walked one for the pitching win. Emily Cook went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI for the winners. Jadyn Pickert had two hits and Skyler Brue an RBI for E/L (11-3, 8-2 in Little Ten).
Fieldcrest 8, El Paso-Gridley 7 (8 inn.)
At Minonk, Emma Lorton struck out 10 and Alaina Tjaden collected three hits and an RBI to lead the Lady Knights to the Heart of Illinois win. Addie Goodrich and Alayna Fuchs each posted two hits, and Aubrey McNamara a hit and two RBIs for the victors.
Hall 9, Ottawa 1
At King Field, the host Pirates managed just a single run in the fifth inning — Nathan Weitzel driving home Ryan Wendt — in taking the nonconference loss to their former NCIC rival.
Weitzel and Jared Herzog both doubled for two of Ottawa’s three hits, but the visiting Red Devils led 2-0 through one inning and 7-0 through four and a half until Weitzel’s RBI. Ben Lundy (6 IP, 6 ER, 2 K) started and suffered the pitching loss for the Pirates, now 9-10 on the season.
Earlville-Leland-Paw Paw 12, Hinckley-Big Rock 2 (5 inn.)
At Hinckley, the visiting Red Raiders (7-5 overall, 5-2 Little Ten Conference) scored one in the first and exploded for 11 in the second to pull away from Royals.
Jake Pickert (2 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 K) earned the pitching win in relief of starter Tyler Bretsch (2 IP, 0 R, 2 K), with Pickert also doubling and driving home two E-L-PP runs. Keegan Johnson singled twice, scored twice and drove home a pair, and Jared Pickert doubled and had two RBIs. Brennan Sweeney, Tim McNally and Davis Sweeney also tallied RBIs for the Raiders.
Serena 5, Plano 4
At Plano, the Huskers led 5-3 after five innings and held on for the nonconference victory, with Jacob McVey (2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 K) earning the pitching win in relief of starter Connor Baker (3 IP, 3 ER, 5 K) and Trace Berggren (1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 K) notching the save.
Baker, Greg Breese (two hits), Branden Franzen (two hits), Jack Rogers and Riley McNelis all drove home runs for Serena (8-4).
El Paso-Gridley 3, Fieldcrest 2
At Wenona, the visiting Comets broke a 2-2 tie on a Brock Starkey RBI double in the top of the seventh and held on for the Heart of Illinois Conference victory.
Michael Morse launched a solo homer for the Knights (5-6 overall, 3-4 HOIC) against University of Illinois signee Nathan Lavender, who struck out 15 but settled for a no-decision. Derek May (7 IP, 2 ER, 5 K) suffered the hard-luck pitching loss for Fieldcrest.
Sandwich 5, Westmont 3
At Sandwich, the host Indians improved to 6-9 overall and 4-4 on the Interstate Eight Conference loop with the home victory.
Seneca 16, Marquette 5
In JV play, Molly Snook, Addie McConnaughhay and Paige Cottingim provided two hits apiece for Marquette.
Streator 9, Ottawa 8
At the SHS Athletic Fields, the host Bullpups edged the Vikings with Logan Williamson (1 2/3 IP, 0 ER) earning the win in relief of starter Tyler Halgren (4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 4 K), with Sawyer Good (1 IP, 0 R) notching the save. Payton Benning single, doubled and drove home two, while Ben Hagi and Williamson also doubled for Streator.
Matt Ahearn doubled and drove home two for Ottawa, with Briar Naggs also tallying two RBIs. Preston Thompson (1 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 K) took the loss in relief of Michael Bruner (4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 2 K).
Carl Sandburg 6, IVCC 2
IVCC 2, Carl Sandburg 0
At Oglesby, the host Lady Eagles split a twin bill.
Lauren Tjaden (Fieldcrest) suffered the pitching loss in the opener after allowing six earned and striking out four, with Brenna McCann (Streator) and Allison Shirley (L-P) providing two hits. In the second game, Maddie Dougherty (Marquette) struck out three and allowed two hits in the complete-game shutout. McCann was 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Tjaden drove home IVCC’s other run.
IVCC 3rd at Oak Ridge
At Senica’s Oak Ridge, the IVCC men’s golf team placed third in a conference tournament, led by an 83 from Connor Soenksen (Ottawa) and an 87 courtesy of Carter Piercy (Ottawa).