Nate Hardman led off with a double and scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday night to give the University High School baseball team a 4-3 Central State Eight Conference win over Jacksonville at Duffy Bass Field.

The Pioneers saw a 3-0 lead through five innings disappear when Jacksonville scored two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Hardman scored the winning run with Paul Africano at the plate and no outs. Hardman had two of U High's eight hits with Africano and Daniel Mosele each adding a pair of singles.

Jake Swartz was the winning pitcher after two-thirds of an inning in relief of MacCallan Conklin and starting pitcher Jack Sauser. Sauser had 10 strikeouts while giving up seven hits and two runs in six innings.

Girardi keys Dee-Mack win: Will Girardi was 3 for 3 with five RBIs in Deer Creek-Mackinaw's 14-2, five-inning home win over El Paso-Gridley.

Tri-Valley no-hits Fisher: Collin Eckel and Piercen Rice combined on a no-hitter as Tri-Valley defeated visiting Fisher, 8-0. Eckel (2-2) struck out eight in five innings and Rice fanned four in two innings. Drew Rudskinski had two singles, a double and three RBIs.

LeRoy wins big: Mason Buckles (2-0) allowed one hit and struck out six in four innings as LeRoy posted a 13-0, five-inning home win over Ridgeview.


Olympia powers past West: Sydnee Usherwood, Katelyn Finchum and Kennedy Smith hit home runs as Olympia defeated Normal West, 13-3, at Stanford.

Smith's solo shot in the sixth inning brought the game to a walk-off, run-rule close. Finchum's homer was one of her four hits, contributing to three RBIs. Usherwood also had three RBIs for the Spartans, who pounded out 14 hits. Winning pitcher Kaelyn Leverson struck out nine.

Payton Hartke homered for West (10-3) and Cassie Sprout had three hits.

Henderson keys Dee-Mack win: Joanna Henderson had three hits and scored three times in Deer Creek-Mackinaw's 9-7 home win over El Paso-Gridley. Annabelle Weishaupt had two hits and three RBIs for the winners.


Central posts win: Lauren Shanks scored two goals as Central Catholic defeated Springfield Lutheran, 3-1, at the Saints' Bill Hundman Memorial Field.

Johanna Schwemer also scored for Central (7-5-1), while Ana Isaac and Kaylie Eckhoff had assists. Saints' goalie Kylee Hadley made two saves as Central had 16 total shots to six for Lutheran (8-4). 

U High tops St. Thomas More: Meredith Heller and Julia Herrman scored first-half goals to give University High a 2-0 nonconference win over St. Thomas More at Champaign.

Celeste Noraian and Bree Cordray contributed assists for the Pioneers (5-4-1). U High outshot the Sabers, 16-4. Goalkeeper Sophie Dorgan was credited with four saves.


Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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