Final: Tremont 19, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 10
Summary: It’s been a magical ride for the seniors on the Tremont softball team. On Friday, they closed out their home career with a Heart of Illinois Conference victory over Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley. Tremont scored four runs in the first, two in the second, two in the third, four in the fifth and seven in the sixth. Tremont led 6-2 after two before GCMS hung five runs in the top of the third to take its last lead of the game. Addie Papenhause picked up the win in the circle, going 5 2-3 innings and fanning five batters. Stephanie Williams closed the door on the Falcons. Abbey Stoller gave Tremont the lead in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run inside the park home run that put Tremont ahead 8-7. Emily Lane added a solo shot of her own in the fifth inning with a home run to left-center field.
Super seniors: The Tremont senior class of Lauren Hartman, Papenhause, Stoller, Taylor Hinman and Jenna Gingrich wrapped up their home career on Friday. The class went 106-15 over their four years, including 41-1 in Heart of Illinois Conference play. The lone loss came last week against Fisher. The Class of 2016 was part of four conference championships, two regional crowns, a sectional crown, a super-sectional crown and a second place finish at state.
Top of the order: Stoller, Hinman, Hartman and Hannah Nguyen combined to go 9-15 with nine RBIs, four walks and 11 runs on Friday. Stoller reached base five times on the day (3-for-3, 2 bb) and scored five runs. Hinman scored three of her own while driving in four. Hartman scored a pair of runs and drove in a pair of runs. Nguyen drove in a run and scored a run.
No easy task: In order to notch the regular season Heart of Illinois championship, Tremont had to get past Illinois Wesleyan recruit Brea Walker. Her season includes a perfect game and nearly 200 strikeouts for the Falcons. The victory gave Tremont the outright Heart of Illinois Conference regular season championship.
Criminal activity: The Turks stole 11 bases on the day. Hartman and Nguyen each had three swipes. Carlee Smith, Hinman, Stoller, Marissa Smith and Ramlo each stole a base.
Tourney time: Tremont travels to Tri-Valley on Wednesday as the top seed in the HOI Conference Tournament. The Turks take on the winner of Monday’s game between Heyworth and Lexington.
Postseason: The Turks open postseason play on Wednesday, May 18, against Midwest Central in the Midwest Central Regional.
Quote: “Every year I am pleasantly surprised where we end up at the end of the year. I think after graduating six seniors last year that it would be a little bit of a rebuilding this year. Really, the kids just stepped right into it and rolled with it.” — Tremont head coach Skip Penning.
Quote: “We’re coached to go out and play seven innings and give it all we’ve got year-after-year. The freshmen who come in, they see that out of the older kids. By the time they’re sophomores they’re getting it; juniors they got it; seniors they’ve done it.” — Penning.
Record: Tremont 19-7, 10-1; GCMS N/A, 5-6
Next: Tremont travels to Lewistown at 11 a.m. Saturday for the final game of the regular season.