Prep Sports Notebook: Unity softball wins 2, SJO baseball rebounds for a conference win

Unity's Joop and Jones earn All-Conference accolades
Unity's Taylor Joop and Logan Jones learned last week that they are All-Conference Scholar Athletes for the 2020-21 academic year by the Illini Prairie Conference. Both received recognition at luncheon held at Illinois State University on April 29.

Rockets' Taylor Joop puts the ball in play during her team's home game against Central Catholic. Joop, who plans to continue her academic and athletic career at Heartland College, scored the game-winning run in Unity's 5-4 win on Saturday. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Knott sets new school record in the shot
St. Joseph-Ogden senior Hayden Knott raised the bar in the shot put setting a new school record with a throw of 17.14 meters on Saturday at the Rantoul Invite. The toss was also good enough to secure a first place finish in the event with throwers from Hersher, Danville and Pleasant Plains among the field of 17 competitors.

Knott also placed first in the discus throw beating his nearest competition by nearly 2 meters. His winning throw went 53.70 meters.

Miller, Altenbaumer pile on RBIs
Together, St. Joseph-Ogden's Coby Miller and Tyler Altenbaumer tallied nine RBIs, four and five respectively, in the Spartans' 17-9 win over Monticello on Saturday.

Miller was 3-for-3 and Andrew Beyers (3 RBI) added a 3-for-5 performance from the batter's box.

Zach Martinie picked up the win for the Spartans while Monticello's Cole Dasher suffered the loss after the conference pairing.

SJO improves to 10-1 on the season following their 3-run loss to Mahomet-Seymour at home on Friday.

Unity softball picks up second conference win
Unity Taylor Joop scored the winning, go-ahead run on a fly ball from Ruby Tarr in the bottom of the 6th innning in the Unity softball team's conference game against Central Catholic on Saturday.

Pitcher Taylor Henry had 3 hits and on RBI. Hailey Flesch secured one hit in four trips to the plate and delivered a pair of RBI.

Facing 29 batters, Henry gave up 9 hits and 4 runs after 104 pitches.

Good Graces win for the Rockets
Grace Frye earned a pitching win after seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out five and walking one in a 6-2 softball decision over Newton.

Meanwhile, Gracie Renfrow was 3-for-3 and pushed 2 runs across the plate for the Rockets. She collected a triple on a fly ball to center on her third pitch in the bottom of the 3rd inning allowing Erica Steinman to score and homered two innings later on a solo shot to right field.

The win keeps Unity season untarnished at 6-0. Frye and Renfrow host Villa Grove on Monday at 4pm and have a game 2 rematch against Central Catholic on the road on Tuesday.

Spartan track team win Invite title
The St. Joseph-Ogden boys track team tallied 178 points to win this year's Rantoul Invite title.

Monticello finished in second place with 162 points and host Rantoul collected 106 points for a third place finish. Unity finished 6th (77 points) in the 12-team field.

SJO's Brady Buss took second in the 200-meter dash, Brandon Mattsey clocked a 4:53.12 in the 1600-meter run for the meet title and Hayden Knott won both throwing event to lift the Spartans on Saturday.

Unity baseball team drops first loss
After a dominating 2-0 start, the Rockets' baseball team fell 7-4 on the road to Illinois Valley Central (7-1) on Saturday.

Damian Knoll took the loss after a two-inning appearance scattering 4 hits and 3 walks.

Knoll (1 RBI) along with Blake Kimball scored one run apiece. Tyler Hensch, 1-for-3 from the plate, also had one RBI and double.

3 Spartan homers crush Sages
Sandwiched between two home runs by Shayne Immke, St. Joseph-Ogden's Kaylee Ward went deep in the seventh inning for one of her own. Immke put the first of two homers out of the park in the 1st inning and repeated her effort with another in the fifth.

The hot bats, which helped SJO to improve to a 7-4 season, allowed the Spartans to easily win, 12-6.

Scoring in five of their seven innings, St. Joseph-Ogden tacked on a pair of runs in each of the last three innings of the game to pull away on the scoreboard.

Pitching duties were shared with Alyssa Acton, who earned the win after five innings, and Sophia Martlage closed out the game with 20 pitches in the last 2 innings.