Bright lights, softball city: QND cashes in on scoring opportunities, shuts out QHS

Quincy Notre Dame right-hander Brooke Boden tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday night against Quincy High School in the Raiders' 4-0 victory at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

Editor’s Note: Technological issues resulted in losing all of our images taken during the game. We apologize there will be no photo gallery to accompany this story. QUINCY — It may not have been Friday night lights, but it was pretty darn close. When the Quincy Notre Dame and Quincy High School softball teams renewed…

Read More

Storm warning: Budde’s first start ends in victory as Blue Devils make stellar defensive plays

Quincy High School third baseman Ivy Winter tags out Rock Island Alleman's Izzy Schneider in the sixth inning of Tuesday's Western Big 6 Conference game at the QHS softball field. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — A sun-splashed afternoon was a surprising setting for an unexpected Storm. Not even the Quincy High School softball player at the center of it saw it coming. When she arrived at the QHS field in advance of a Western Big 6 Conference matchup with Rock Island Alleman, junior Storm Budde learned she was…

Read More

Photo gallery: QHS softball team earns WB6 victory over Alleman

From left, Quincy High School's Paige Kurfman, Ariana Adorno, Storm Budde and Ivy Winter exchange high-fives before the start of the seventh inning Tuesday against Rock Island Alleman. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Quincy High School softball team found a way to manufacture a single run in four consecutive innings and junior right-hander Storm Budde made certain that was enough to secure a 4-2 victory over Rock Island Alleman on Tuesday in Western Big 6 Conference play at the QHS field. Muddy River Sports Editor…

Read More

Zanger first to wear home run chain as her solo shot sets stage for Raiders’ victory over Saukees

Quincy Notre Dame junior Morgan Zanger heads back to the dugout with the Raiders' new home run chain dangling from her helmet after hitting a solo homer in the first inning of Monday's 4-0 victory over Pittsfield at The Backyard. | Shane Hulsey photo

QUINCY — The Quincy Notre Dame softball team’s new home run chain didn’t quite fit over Morgan Zanger’s helmet after her solo shot in the first inning of Monday’s game against Pittsfield. “We did not think that part through,” Zanger said. She also didn’t know the ball had cleared The Backyard’s left-field fence. “Whenever they…

Read More

Lowe’s one-hitter features 17 strikeouts, Winchell doubles twice as Wolves pick up pair of victories

Pleasant Hill senior pitcher McKinley Lowe struck out 17 while throwing a one-hitter Saturday against Jerseyville. | Matt Schuckman photo

PIASA, Ill. — The Jerseyville softball players may have thought they’d have a chance to catch up to Pleasant Hill right-hander McKinley Lowe after Anna Kribs fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before getting a single to left field with one out in the first inning. No one else made contact. Lowe orchestrated a…

Read More

Raiders just bust a move to get offense rolling in home-opening victory against Eagles

From left, Quincy Notre Dame's Brooke Boden, Lanie Fesler and Caitlin Bunte high-five each other before an inning during Thursday's game against Liberty at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — One of Caitlin Bunte’s responsibilities, aside from being the Quincy Notre Dame softball team’s starting pitcher and leadoff hitter, is to choose the musical playlist that serves as the soundtrack for each game at The Backyard. She has four personally designed playlists at her disposal. “Stuff that gets me hyped, stuff that’s upbeat…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND, Liberty square off in Raiders’ home opener at The Backyard

Quincy Notre Dame catcher Payton Stupavsky holds a called third strike during Thursday's game against Liberty at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Quincy Notre Dame softball team had played one game this season prior to Thursday’s home opener, but it didn’t look like the Raiders were rusty at all. QND collected 17 hits in a 9-2 victory over Liberty at The Backyard. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman enjoyed a rare warm, sunny day…

Read More

Resilient Blue Devils rally to beat Rockets and take winning record into WB6 opener at Sterling

Quincy High School center fielder Avery Hlubek connects for one of her three hits in Wednesday's 16-13 victory over Rushville-Industry at the QHS field. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The resiliency the Quincy High School softball team was forced to demonstrate inning after inning Wednesday should be the attribute that gives the Blue Devils the chance to chase victories all season. Despite allowing five runs in the first inning and trailing as they came to bat in five of the first six…

Read More

Photo gallery: Sixth-inning rally pushes QHS softball team past Rushville-Industry

Quincy High School's Aryauna Allen slides safely into second base under the tag Rushville-Industry's Brynna Shaw during Wednesday's game at the QHS field. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Quincy High School softball team scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead and ultimately hold off Rushville-Industry for a 16-13 victory Wednesday at the QHS field. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman sat in center field and put together this photo gallery:

Read More

Grabbing lead two batters into season opener allows QND softball team to roll

Quincy Notre Dame catcher Payton Stupavsky went 3 for 3 in Thursday's season-opening 8-0 victory over Southeastern at Bowen, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

BOWEN, Ill. — The Quincy Notre Dame softball team gave Caitlin Bunte all the support she’d need before she ever stepped in the pitcher’s circle. The Raiders scored three runs in the top of the first inning Thursday and Bunte allowed just two hits as they opened the season with an 8-0 victory over Southeastern.…

Read More

Epic inning leads to first victory for Liberty softball team

LIBERTY, Ill. — The inning that kept going and going and going ultimately ended with the Liberty softball team scoring enough runs to create a cushion the Eagles needed to withstand Rushville-Industry’s rally. The Eagles scored 12 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday, only to see the Rockets come back with four…

Read More

Bundle of returning talent has QND softball players eyeing another deep postseason run

The return of senior third baseman Brooke Boden, who will also pitch, gives the Quincy Notre Dame softball team a bonafide leader in pursuit of another shot at a Class 2A state tournament appearance. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Brooke Boden hasn’t forgotten just how close the Quincy Notre Dame softball team came to winning a state trophy last season. “I’ll be sitting in class and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, man,’” the senior third baseman said. “I just look back on it and think, ‘Wow, we were there.’” The Raiders’ epic postseason…

Read More

Canton’s state title defense hits snag with loss to La Plata in district championship game

Canton's Macie Fisher hugs teammate Kadence Taylor after the Tigers lost to La Plata 6-4 in the Class 1 District 5 championship game in La Plata, Mo. | Steve Eighinger photo

La PLATA, Mo. — There will be no repeat of that state softball title Canton won a year ago. The Tigers were eliminated from the postseason Tuesday night, dropping a 6-4 decision to La Plata in the Class 1 District 5 championship game. But Canton went down swinging. The Tigers, who end the season 20-11,…

Read More

Big first inning carries Bowling Green to district title victory over top-ranked Highland

Highland softball coach Paul Scifres talks to his team following an 8-4 loss to Bowling Green in the Class 2 District 5 championship game Monday in Shelbina, Mo. | Steve Eighinger photo

SHELBINA, Mo. — By the time Megan Graver delivered her first pitch of the game, she already felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders. When the Bowling Green softball team’s diminutive right-hander walked to the pitcher’s circle in the bottom of the first inning, her teammates had already…

Read More

Schuck on a Truck: Captains of Highland softball team discuss No. 1 ranking, postseason chances

EWING, Mo. — The Highland softball team heads into the postseason as the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2, riding an 18-game win streak and backed by a record-setting offensive attack. The Cougars’ captains — Emma Harshberger, Olivia Ritterbusch and Haleigh Winter — joined Highland coach Paul Scifres on the tailgate of Muddy River Sports…

Read More

Missouri prep notebook: Cougars extend win streak to 18, three qualify for state tennis tourney, Keller sets Monroe City record

The Highland softball team finished the regular season with a 26-2 record and heads into the playoffs as the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2. | Submitted photo

EWING, Mo. — The No. 1-ranked softball team in Missouri Class 2 is charging into the postseason with a full head of steam. Highland finished its regular season Monday night with a 15-0 victory over Scotland County, putting a stamp on a 26-2 record. The Cougars have won 18 games in a row, and their…

Read More

Show Me Spotlight: Softball superhero is role Highland’s Harshberger continues to reprise

Highland senior infielder/pitcher Emma Harshberger recently broke Avery Johnson's career hits record of 132 knocks. | Photo courtesy Highland High School

EWING, Mo. — Emma Harshberger and her Highland softball teammates found themselves in the crosshairs before the meat of their schedule began. The initial Missouri High School Fastpitch Coaches Association state rankings were released Sept. 11 with Highland topping the Class 2 poll. The Cougars have won five consecutive games since then, improving to 13-2…

Read More

Softball is in her Youngblood: Monroe City junior shortstop punctuates victory with home run

Monroe City's Audri Youngblood went 4 for 4 with two triples and a home run in Thursday's 13-0 victory over Palmyra at Flower City Park in Palmyra, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

PALMYRA, Mo. — Audri Youngblood is a multi-sport standout at Monroe City High School. Youngblood plays basketball in the winter and runs track in the spring. In the fall, her focus is on softball. “Softball’s my favorite,” the junior shortstop said. On Thursday night, it was easy to see why. Youngblood strung together an impressive…

Read More

Highland softball team uses extra effort to complete sweep and win Classic championship

The Highland softball team won a pair of extra-inning games Saturday to capture the championship of the Francis Howell Central Classic in Cottleville, Mo. | Photo courtesy Amber Garner

COTTLEVILLE, Mo. — A pair of extra-inning victories Saturday enabled the Highland softball team to remain undefeated and capture the championship of the 13th annual Francis Howell Central Classic. The Cougars scored seven runs in the top of the eighth inning to score a 14-7 victory over Westminster Christian and followed it by scoring a…

Read More

Eight-run first inning propels Monroe City to victory in third-place game against Canton

Monroe City’s Abigail Smith rounds third base during the Panthers’ game against Hannibal on Saturday morning in the 26th annual Monroe City Tournament in Monroe City, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

MONROE CITY, Mo. — An eight-run outburst in the bottom of the first inning enabled the Monroe City softball team to put Canton on its heels and secure a 15-5, five-inning victory in the third-place game of Saturday’s 26th annual Monroe City Tournament. Monroe City went 2-1 overall, beating Hannibal 17-2 in the opener and…

Read More

Show Me Spotlight: Canton’s Fisher authoring memorable career as three-sport athlete

Canton center fielder Macie Fisher will be one of the experienced players hoping to guide the Tigers back to the Class 1 state tournament this fall. | Muddy River Sports file photo

CANTON, Mo. — Macie Fisher and the Canton softball players open the season with a target squarely on them. Not only are the Tigers the reigning Class 1 state champions, but with a wealth of talent and experience returning, they should be the team to beat in Northeast Missouri this fall. That means every opponent…

Read More

Photo gallery: Action gets underway as Hannibal teams prepare for fall seasons

One of the Hannibal football players grabs a drink of water during a break in practice Monday morning at Porter Stadium. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

HANNIBAL, Mo. — A new year has begun. Award-winning freelance photographer Mathew Kirby spent Monday criss-crossing the Hannibal High School campus and venturing out to the Veterans Elementary sports complex as Hannibal teams opened fall practice. He even made it to Norwoods Golf Course for the girls golf team’s practice. Kirby put together this photo…

Read More

QND’s Bunte, Pleasant Hill’s Lowe and Brown County’s Dunlap earn first-team all-state honors

Quincy Notre Dame sophomore left-hander Caitlin Bunte was named to the Class 2A all-state first team after hitting .620 with 10 home runs and compiling a 16-5 record with a 1.95 ERA. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Quincy Notre Dame sophomore Caitlin Bunte led a trio of area softball players who earned first-team all-state honors from the Illinois Coaches Association. Eight others received second- or third-team honors. Bunte, a left-handed pitcher and outfielder, was named to the Class 2A first team, while Pleasant Hill junior pitcher McKinley Lowe and Brown…

Read More

‘No one quit’: QND softball team showcases resiliency before comeback ends in super-sectional loss

Quincy Notre Dame's Brooke Boden and Addi Zanger, left, shared an embrace, while assistant coach Jeff Zanger and Mackenzie Flachs, right, do the same following a 7-6 loss to Effingham St. Anthony on Monday in the Class 2A Decatur Super-Sectional. | Matt Schuckman photo

DECATUR, Ill. — The cardiac queens were at it agaIn. Facing a four-run deficit heading to the bottom of the fifth inning — the second time the Quincy Notre Dame softball team had trailed this deep in a game this postseason and the third straight game in which late-inning runs were needed to advance —…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND softball team showcases its resiliency during Class 2A super-sectional loss

Quincy Notre Dame's Carlee Gilker gets ready to step into the batter's box during Monday's Class 2A super-sectional against Effingham St. Anthony in Decatur, Ill. | Matt Schuckman photo

DECATUR, Ill. — The Quincy Notre Dame softball team once again refused to go down without a fight. Trailing by three or more runs twice during Monday’s Class 2A Decatur Super-Sectional against Effingham St. Anthony, the Raiders rallied. They erased a three-run deficit in the first inning and nearly squashed a four-run deficit before the…

Read More

All Boden-s well for Raiders in extra innings of sectional championship victory

The Quincy Notre Dame softball team celebrates its Class 2A sectional championship following a 4-3, 11-inning victory over Auburn on Friday night at The Backyard. | Submitted photo

QUINCY — As she trotted toward home plate following a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to put her team back in front, Brooke Boden wasn’t thinking she would have to be the hero again two innings later. “I was just ready to get our last out,” the Quincy Notre Dame…

Read More

Tigers use walk-off home run leading off seventh to end Wolves’ season

Pleasant Hill pitcher McKinley Lowe struck out 10 in the Class 1A sectional semifinal loss to Illini Bluffs on Wednesday in Havana, Ill. | Matt Schuckman file photo

HAVANA, Ill. — One pitch, one swing, one sudden ending. Illini Bluffs catcher Lexi Brinkman jumped on the first pitch from Pleasant Hill’s McKinley Lowe in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday and smacked a walk-off home run to center field for a 4-3 victory in the semifinals of the Class 1A Havana softball…

Read More

‘All I wanted was a single’: Schreacke’s simple approach leads to game-winning three-run blast as Raiders rally to win sectional semifinal

The Quincy Notre Dame softball players celebrate their 7-5 victory over Stanford Olympia in the Class 2A QND Sectional semifinals Tuesday night at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — A not-so-silent plea rang from the Quincy Notre Dame faithful stacked along the third-base line as Abbey Schreacke strolled to the plate. “C’mon, Abbey, put it over the fence,” one fan bellowed. Schreacke had something a little less dramatic in mind. With the QND softball team trailing Stanford Olympia 5-3 with one out…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND, Auburn advance to Class 2A sectional softball championship game

Quincy Notre Dame's Caitlin Bunte, left, and Paige Blivens cheer on their teammates in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game against Stanford Olympia in the Class 2A QND Sectional semifinals at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — One scored early and often, the other rallied late. Now, they’ll go head-to-head for a sectional championship. The Auburn softball team scored 11 runs in the first inning and beat Macomb 16-0 in the first semifinal Tuesday in the Class 2A QND Sectional at The Backyard. Quincy Notre Dame followed by scoring four…

Read More

Momentum-swinging plays send Raiders home with regional title and another chance to play at The Backyard

The Quincy Notre Dame softball team won the Class 2A Canton Regional championship Friday night with a 10-0 victory over Canton. | Submitted photo

CANTON, Ill. — Caitlin Bunte needed one pitch to erase a threat and one swing to start an onslaught.  It all took place in a matter of minutes. “It’s what she’s done all year long. She made great adjustments in the circle and then comes up and hits a blast,” Quincy Notre Dame softball coach…

Read More

Bombers bomb away, hit four home runs in regional championship victory

The Macomb softball team repeated as regional champion with Friday's 11-2 victory over Rushville-Industry in the Class 2A Macomb Regional. | Submitted photo

MACOMB, Ill. — One swing is all Sarah Stufflebeam needed to set the tone. After Kaitlyn Robinson retired the Rushville-Industry softball team  in order in the top of the first inning of Friday’s Class 2A Macomb Regional championship game, Stufflebeam cracked a two-run home run in the bottom of the frame and propelled Macomb to…

Read More

Palmyra hires SIU all-time hits leader as new softball coach, adds Hannibal product as assistant football coach

Jenny Jansen, who graduated from Southern Illinois as the career leader in hits, at-bats and RBIs, will be Palmyra's new varsity softball coach. | Photo courtesy SIU Athletics

PALMYRA, Mo. — The Palmyra coaching staff is getting an injection of youth across the board. During its May meeting, the Palmyra R-I Board of Education approved the hiring of Jenny Jansen, a 2022 graduate of Southern Illinois University, as the new varsity softball coach and two former Culver-Stockton College football players — Dalton Huffman…

Read More

Quick as a Flachs: Center fielder’s crucial hit helps Raiders fend off challenge from Wolves

Quincy Notre Dame's Mackenzie Flachs claps while looking at the dugout after her double in the third inning of Saturday's game against Pleasant Hill at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The two-run lead vanished, and with it seemed to go with the momentum and the energy the Quincy Notre Dame softball team brought to The Backyard on Saturday. Mackenzie Flachs brought it all back. After Pleasant Hill’s Ava Wombles scored on Jade Peebles single in the top of the third inning to tie…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND softball team collides with Pleasant Hill, Pittsfield at The Backyard

Quincy Notre Dame pitcher Carlee Gilker points to her catcher during Saturday's game against Pittsfield at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — With the postseason looming, a couple of regional title hopefuls went head-to-head Saturday at The Backyard as the Quincy Notre Dame softball team upended Pleasant Hill 11-2 during the QND Slam. The Raiders also beat Pittsfield 13-5. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman spent time at The Backyard and put together this photo…

Read More

QND softball team’s ability to battle and rally will serve it well in postseason

Quincy Notre Dame sophomore Caitlin Bunte connects on one of her two home runs during Saturday's game against Tolono Unity at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Eric Orne isn’t shying away from putting the Quincy Notre Dame softball team in high-leverage situations before the postseason arrives. “These are championship Saturdays for us,” the veteran skipper said after the Raiders suffered a 7-6 loss to Tolono Unity on Saturday at The Backyard. “These are the kind of teams and the…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND softball team rallies three times against tradition-rich Tolono Unity

Quincy Notre Dame's Faith Kientzle gets off second base as the pitch is delivered during Saturday's game against Tolono Unity at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Quincy Notre Dame softball team found itself trailing three times in the first six innings of Saturday’s game against Tolono Unity at The Backyard and rallied to tie it each time. The Rockets, however, scoring in the top of the seventh to secure a 7-6 victory. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman…

Read More

Raiders embrace challenges, produce in late-inning situations to fend off feisty Blue Devils

Quincy Notre Dame's Brooke Boden, left, gets a lead off third base while Quincy High School third baseman Jaylen Lubbert sets herself defensively during the sixth inning of Monday's game at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The manner in which the Quincy Notre Dame softball team ran roughshod through the first third of its schedule meant the Raiders weren’t put in many late-game situations that challenged their resolve. Then came Monday. After Caitlin Bunte laser-beamed a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND rallies to beat QHS in softball’s crosstown showdown at The Backyard

Quincy Notre Dame's Caitlin Bunte, center, celebrates with her teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning Monday against Quincy High School at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — A three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning sparked by an RBI single from Payton Stupavsky allowed the Quincy Notre Dame softball team to secure a 6-3 victory over Quincy High School on Monday at The Backyard and sweep in the city series. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman spent the…

Read More

Raiders continue hit parade against Indians, run winning streak to 11 straight with Titans looming

Quincy Notre Dame pitcher Brooke Boden, right, and the Raiders infielders exchange high-fives before the first inning Wednesday against Payson Seymour at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Addi Zanger understands there’s a peaceful, easy feeling knowing the Quincy Notre Dame softball players won’t let each other down. It helps they’re all on common ground. “You want to get a hit, but there’s no stress,” the senior first baseman said. “We have good at-bats all the way through. It’s a really…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND softball team racks up 16 hits in victory over Payson Seymour

Quincy Notre Dame's Carlee Gilker reacts to reaching second base safely with a double during the fourth inning of Wednesday's victory over Payson Seymour at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The full potency of the Quincy Notre Dame softball team’s lineup was on display Wednesday in a 12-4 victory over Payson Seymour at The Backyard. The Raiders racked up 16 hits, five doubles, a triple and a home run, while seven different players had at least one hit and six players drove in…

Read More

Perfect 10s: Raiders improve to 10-0 with 10-run rout of Cyclones behind Bunte’s no-hitter

Quincy Notre Dame sophomore left-hander Caitlin Bunte delivers a pitch during Monday's game against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Caitlin Bunte didn’t expect a blustery wind blowing straight out to center field Monday afternoon to alter anything she needed to do in the pitcher’s circle. “If I’m hitting my spots, even with the wind blowing, I knew we’d be fine,” she said. Then the Quincy Notre Dame softball team’s left-handed hurler saw…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND softball team stays undefeated with five-inning victory over SHG

Quincy Notre Dame third baseman Brooke Boden connects and drives the ball during Monday's game against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Caitlin Bunte was unhittable in the circle and unstoppable at the plate. The Quincy Notre Dame sophomore tossed a five-inning no-hitter in leading the QND softball team to a 10-0 victory over Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin on Monday at The Backyard. Bunte also belted two home runs as the Raiders improved to 10-0. Muddy…

Read More

Bunte quiets QHS bats as QND softball team rolls to victory in crosstown showdown

The Quincy Notre Dame infielders get ready to give the ball to pitcher Caitlin Bunte, second from left, before the fifth inning of Wednesday night's game against Quincy High School at the QHS field. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Eric Orne’s assessment was equally accurate and understated. “Caitlin does a lot of things for us,” the Quincy Notre Dame softball coach said. Orne was complimenting the Raiders’ left-handed ace, Caitlin Bunte, who had just dominated rival Quincy High School with a strong effort both on the mound and at bat. Bunte pitched…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND shuts out QHS in first of two meetings on softball diamond

Quincy Notre Dame's Carlee Gilker, left, is tagged out at second base by Quincy High School shortstop Ariana Adorno during Wednesday's game at the QHS field. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Caitlin Bunte was dominant in the pitcher’s circle. The Quincy Notre Dame softball team collected timely hits. And Quincy High School struggled to generate an answer offensively. The end result in the first of two crosstown showdowns this spring was a 10-0 victory for the Raiders on Wednesday night at the QHS field.…

Read More

Bunte’s effort in circle, Raiders’ ability to play with ‘speed and power’ leads to victory over Rockets

Quincy Notre Dame's Caitlin Bunte struck out 10 batters during Tuesday's 10-1 victory over Rushville-Industry at The Backyard. | Muddy River Sports file photo

QUINCY — Perched at first base, Addi Zanger gets a daily bird’s-eye view of Caitlin Bunte in the pitcher’s circle. Most games, it can be a little monotonous, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “I don’t really do anything,” Zanger said with a chuckle. “She rolls us a lot of ground balls which is…

Read More

Competitive play in WB6 loss shows progress QHS softball team is making

Quincy High School catcher Kate Mettemeyer gets set for a pitch during Thursday's Western Big 6 Conference matchup with Sterling at the QHS field. | Samantha Carmean photo

QUINCY — From Darrell Henze’s perspective, the glass remains half full. Sure, the Quincy High softball coach watched his club drop a 15-6 Western Big 6 Conference game on a breezy Thursday afternoon to undefeated Sterling, but Henze was far from despondent.  The Blue Devils, now 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference, are working…

Read More

Photo gallery: QHS baseball, softball teams play side-by-side with home games

Quincy High School right-hander Joe Schroeder delivers a pitch during Thursday's game against Palmyra at the QHS field. | Samantha Carmean photo

QUINCY — The Quincy High School baseball team finally got the chance to play at home Thursday, while the QHS softball team dove into Western Big 6 Conference play in its own backyard. The baseball team improved to 2-2 with a 15-0 victory over Palmyra featuring Evan Sohn and Joe Schroeder setting the stage at…

Read More

Raiders capitalize on opportunities, hold opposing bats at bay in sweeping season-opening twinbill

Quincy Notre Dame first baseman Addi Zanger snares a throw from catcher Payton Stupavsky on a pickoff attempt during Saturday's game against Calhoun at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Strong pitching, clutch hitting and solid defense. Put those three together and you end up with the results the Quincy Notre Dame softball team enjoyed Saturday during its season-opening games at The Backyard. The Raiders saw Carly Gilker and Caitlin Bunte combine to throw a one-hitter in a 5-0 victory over Calhoun and…

Read More

Photo gallery: QND softball team opens season by sweeping pair of games at The Backyard

The Quincy Notre Dame softball team opened its season Saturday with a pair of victories, beating Calhoun 5-0 and Illini West 13-2 at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The Quincy Notre Dame softball team put together strong pitching performances and opportunistic at-bats to beat Calhoun 5-0 and Illini West 13-2 on Saturday in its season-opening games at The Backyard. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman captured some of the action for this photo gallery:

Read More

Optimism is high as QHS softball team returns bevy of offensive weapons

Quincy High School softball coach Darrell Henze, left, talks to his team between innings during a game last season. | Muddy River Sports file photo

QUINCY — Quincy High School softball coach Darrell Henze says his approach to the game has changed as the years have passed. “I’ve tried to mellow out and adapt to each team, dealing with the different personalities and what motivates each of the players,” he said. That kind of outlook may come in especially handy…

Read More

QND softball team ready to chase another regional title with potent lineup still intact

Quincy Notre Dame softball coach Eric Orne, right, is entering his 26th season at the helm, and he will have an experienced senior class featuring Laela Hernandez-Jones, left. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Eric Orne says the Quincy Notre Dame softball team is more interested in the long haul, rather than immediate dividends. “We hope to be playing our best ball in May,” said Orne, beginning his 26th campaign as QND’s head coach. “We’ve got a strong schedule designed to help us get ready for the…

Read More

JWCC Prairie State Profile: Brown County softball team looks for experience to lead to more postseason success

Brown County's Cyrah Dunlap, right, is one of four seniors the Hornets will rely on heavily in their pursuit of a third consecutive Class 1A regional championship. | Photo courtesy Scott Bemis

MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — Graduation hit the Brown County softball team relatively hard, taking away eight players who contributed to back-to-back Class 1A regional championships. By no means should that suggest the cupboard is bare. Buoyed by the return of starting pitcher Taryn Moorman, the twin tandem of Katey and Klare Flynn and versatile Cyrah…

Read More

Prize of the Tigers: Canton shows moxie in upending Polo and winning Class 1 state softball championship

The Canton softball team celebrates after receiving its Class 1 state championship trophy following the 4-2 victory over Polo at the Killian Softball Complex in Springfield, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mary Chiles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An ominous beginning couldn’t darken the Canton softball team’s mood. It certainly didn’t ruin the Tigers’ mojo either. Under cloudy skies and dealing with windy conditions Saturday afternoon, Canton was forced to wait through an epic Class 3 state championship game in which Fatima defeated Chillicothe 16-14 and not start the Class…

Read More

Photo gallery: Canton softball team wins Class 1 state championship, beating Polo 4-2

The Canton softball team celebrates after recording the final out against Polo in the Class 1 state championship game Saturday in Springfield, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mary Chiles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Canton softball team is back to being the undisputed best. The Tigers defeated previously undefeated Polo 4-2 Saturday in the Class 1 state championship at the Killian Softball Complex, capturing the second state title in program history. The Tigers won the state title in 2017 and have six state trophies in…

Read More

Don’t stop believing: Canton softball team rallies to earn spot in state championship game

The Canton softball players celebrate with Tigers coach Kristyn Arens, center, after winning the Class 1 state semifinal against Marion C. Early on Friday in Springfield, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mary Chiles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Even when trailing Marion C. Early by two runs in the fifth inning of Friday’s Class 1 state semifinal, the Canton softball players showed confidence. “I thought we were gonna win it from the beginning,” sophomore shortstop Kadee Guilfoyle said.                                                                                    That faith was rewarded with a 3-2 victory at the Killian Softball…

Read More

Photo gallery: Canton softball team wins Class 1 state semifinal against Marion C. Early

The Canton softball players celebrate their 3-2 victory over Marion C. Early in the Class 1 state semifinals Friday at the Killian Softball Complex in Springfield, Mo. | Photo courtesy Christoper Parker

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Canton softball team is one victory away from winning the second state championship in program history after beating Marion C. Early 3-2 on Friday in the Class 1 state semifinals at the Killian Softball Complex. Check out this gallery of images from the Tigers’ come-from-behind victory:

Read More

Final four bound: Hultz, Canton keep Braymer off-balance in state quarterfinal victory

The Canton softball team celebrates following its 10-0 victory over Braymer on Saturday in the Class 1 state quarterfinals at the Cotton Bowl in Canton, Mo. | Submitted photo

CANTON, Mo. — Canton catcher Kinsey Biggerstaff said Emma Hultz has one pitch in particular that stands out in her nasty repertoire of off-speed offerings. “It’s her changeup,” Biggerstaff said matter-of-factly. And Hultz, a junior right-hander, doesn’t disagree with her battery mate’s assessment. “The change is my No. 1 pitch,” she said with absolutely no…

Read More

Tigers exact their revenge, overwhelm Bulldogs with extra-base hits to reach state quarterfinals

The Canton softball team celebrates with its fans following a 12-0 victory over La Plata on Wednesday in the Class 1 sectional in La Plata, Mo. | Submitted photo

LA PLATA, Mo. — Redemption and revenge came with a full-fledged offensive assault. Now, the Canton softball team sits just one victory away from a return to the final four. The Tigers capitalized on a bounty of scoring opportunities in the first three innings of Wednesday’s Class 1 sectional, building an insurmountable 11-run lead and…

Read More

Canton softball team carries confidence, belief in itself into matchup with postseason nemesis

CANTON, Mo. — The circumstances suggested the Canton softball team was doomed. The Tigers never believed that. And when they escaped a controversial, fingernail-biting seventh inning in last Saturday’s Class 1 District 9 championship game unscathed, they embraced the belief nothing was going to stand in their way. “We definitely felt that in our huddle,”…

Read More

Canton escapes tenuous seventh-inning jam, captures fourth straight district championship

The Canton softball team outlasted North Shelby 3-2 in nine innings to win the Class 1 District 9 championship Saturday in Shelbyville, Mo. | Submitted photo

SHELBYVILLE, Mo. — Some confusion about the rules regarding pitching circle visits put the Canton softball team in a precarious position with the season on the brink Saturday afternoon. Yet, the Tigers never flinched. With the Class 1 District 9 championship game tied at 2 in the bottom of the seventh and North Shelby having…

Read More