July 14, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Immke, Acton get SJO softball back on winning note

Some high-scoring offensive outbursts.

Some tough, disappointing losses to handle.

The first month of the season has featured both of those moments for the St. Joseph-Ogden
High School softball team.

But the Spartans are hopeful some recent success can translate the rest of the spring as SJO carries a two-game win streak into Tuesday’s home game with Mattoon. The latest win for the Spartans (11-7, 4-2 Illini Prairie) happened with a 8-1 victory against Prairie Central on Monday afternoon.

But before the Spartans and Green Wave duke it out at Randy Wolken Field at 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday in St. Joseph, here’s a look back and a look ahead at the season so far for SJO:

Brazelton shines against Prairie Central
Halle Brazelton was one of the hitting stars for SJO in its win against Prairie Central on Monday
afternoon at Randy Wolken Field in St. Joseph.

The junior went 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBI for the Spartans in their Illini Prairie win,
with senior Shayne Immke also coming up big by going 3 for 4 with a home run.

Senior Alyssa Acton threw a complete game, only allowing five hits and striking out three, to
earn the win for SJO.

Spartans pick up road win
Senior Kat Short powered SJO to a 9-6 nonconference win this past Saturday at Herscher.
Short came through with two hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs to spark the
Spartans. Acton added two hits, with freshman Timera Blackburn-Kelley delivering in the
pitcher’s circle. Blackburn-Kelley threw a complete game, scattering seven hits, and stuck out
six while walking two in order to secure the win.

Green Wave too much to handle
Mattoon scored all of its runs in the first three innings to carry the Green Wave past SJO 8-1 this
past Friday in Mattoon. Senior Peyton Jones paced the Spartans with two hits.

SJO cruises by PBL
The Spartans picked up a 14-0 win in five innings last Thursday at Paxton-Buckley-Loda in Illini
Prairie action. Sophomore Madison Stevens and Amelia Huckstadt combined to throw a two-hit
shutout against the Panthers, as Stevens allowed two hits and struck out two in four innings.
Huckstadt retired the side in order by striking out all three batters she faced.

Brazelton went 3 for 3 with two RBI and Short was 2 for 3 with two RBI to highlight the double-
digit run total. Senior Shayne Immke also added two RBI.

Bishop Mac edges SJO
The Spartans held a slim lead against host Kankakee Bishop McNamara, but the Irish ended up
prevailing 2-1 on April 12 during a nonconference game in Kankakee.

Jones drove in SJO’s lone run with a single to plate Short, but the Spartans couldn’t hang on to
their 1-0 lead they acquired in the top of the third inning.

Junior Addison Frick and senior Sofie Siemsen each collected a hit for SJO, with Blackburn-
Kelley the tough-luck loser after she gave up seven hits and struck out three in throwing a complete game.

Acton delivers gem
The Spartans defeated Olympia 2-0 at Randy Wolken Field on April 10 in Illini Prairie play
thanks to steady pitching from Acton and timely base running. Acton tossed a five-hit shutout,
striking out five and only walking one.

She received all the offensive support she needed in the first inning when Immke tripled and
scored on a passed ball to give SJO a 1-0 lead. The Spartans made it 2-0 in the fifth inning
when Blackburn-Kelley stole second base as a pinch-runner and came around to score on a
sacrifice bunt by Short.

SJO offense thrives against Tri-Valley
Junior Addy Martinie and Immke each supplied big hits as SJO beat Tri-Valley 13-1 in an April 8
nonconference game in Downs.

Martinie went 4 for 4 with a three-run home run and two doubles, finishing with five RBI and
three runs scored. Immke also hit a home run for SJO and went 2 for 4 with two RBI and three
runs scored.

Frick chipped in offensively by going 3 for 4 with three runs scored.

Blackburn-Kelley threw a complete game, lasting all five innings and striking out three. She
gave up six hits and did not issue a walk.

Martinie shined in the batter’s box by going 3 for 3 with a home run, three RBI and three runs
scored during SJO’s 12-2 Illini Prairie win against Rantoul on April 6 at Randy Wolken Field.
Acton threw a complete game, while Frick and Jones scored three runs apiece.

Blue Devils too much for Spartans
Villa Grove left Randy Wolken Field with a 13-8 win on April 4 in a nonconference game
between the Blue Devils and Spartans.

Immke hit two home runs to lead the Spartans, part of a 4 for 4 day by the SJO senior that
featured three RBI. Jones and Short came through with two hits apiece, but Villa Grove hit three
home runs to help in earning the win.

Frick supplies pop, but Saints top Spartans
SJO sustained an 8-3 loss to host Bloomington Central Catholic on April 3 in an Illini Prairie play.
Frick hit two home runs and drove in all three runs for the Spartans.

SJO routs STM
Martinie and Immke each hit home runs, Jones and junior Ellie Ward each went 4 for 4 and the
Spartans easily defeated St. Thomas More 20-0 on March 30 in Illini Prairie action in
Champaign. Blackburn-Kelley and Huckstadt each threw two innings, with Blackburn-Kelley
picking up the win.

Blackburn-Kelley, Martinie shine in shutout
The Spartans cruised past Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 12-0 during a nonconference
game at Randy Wolken Field on March 29 in St. Joseph.

Martinie hit two home runs and produced five RBI, with Immke hitting a three-run home run and
freshman Emma McKinney also hitting a home run to go along with two RBI.
Acton and Brazelton also came through with two hits to complement a stout pitching
performance from Blackburn-Kelley, who gave up three hits and struck out two in throwing a
five-inning shutout.

Grey Ghosts top Spartans in extra innings
The first Illini Prairie game of the season was a thriller for the Spartans, but SJO came up on the
wrong side of the scoreboard during a 7-5 loss in nine innings to Chillicothe IVC at Randy
Wolken Field on March 27 in St. Joseph.

Acton hit a two-run home run to face the game to extra innings before the Grey Ghosts came up
with the win. Jones (4 for 5, two runs scored), Acton (2 for 3) and Immke (2 for 5) stood out for
the Spartans.

Powerful offense leads way against Clinton
SJO delivered an emphatic 24-0 win in in four innings against Clinton on March 23 at the
Rantoul Family Sports Complex.
Martinie had an afternoon to remember, going 4 for 4 with two runs home, a double, a triple and
nine RBI. Her two home runs came via a grand slam and a solo home run.
Jones added three hits and scored four runs, while Acton, Blackburn-Kelley and Huckstadt
combined on the shutout.

27-run inning stands out for SJO
The Spartans didn’t score in their first two innings during a cold and rainy nonconference game
against host Westville on March 21.

But then SJO’s offense woke up in record-setting fashion, scoring all 27 of its runs in the top of
the top third inning during an eventual 27-6 victory.

Acton hit a grand slam and solo home run in the pivotal inning, with Martinie and Short also
drilling home runs. Immke, Jones, Martinie and Frick all finished with three hits apiece.
Blackburn-Kelley recorded the win in the pitcher’s circle.

Tough loss in home opener
Despite a home run from Immke, the Spartans lost 9-7 to Normal West in a nonconference
game on March 20 at Randy Wolken Field in SJO’s first home game of the season.
Jones, Martinie, McKinney, Brazelton and sophomore Grace Osterbur all added multiple hits for

SJO wins first game
A strong all-around game lifted SJO to a 13-1 nonconference win at Tri-Valley on March 15,
giving the Spartans their first win of the season.

Immke and Jones each delivered three hits, with Jones stealing two bases, while Acton
contributed two hits to aid the offense.

Acton registered the win in the pitcher’s circle, only yielding five hits.

Spartans lose season opener
SJO led early, but couldn’t hold on to it during an 11-10 loss at Salt Fork to open the season on
March 14. Immke led the Spartans by going 4 for 5 with four runs scored, while Jones
contributed four hits and two runs scored.

What’s next
After Tuesday’s game with Mattoon, the Spartans are expected to stay busy as long as the
weather cooperates. SJO is slated to host Mt. Zion at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday before resuming
Illini Prairie pay at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Pontiac.

The Spartans then get a day off before traveling to Arthur for a nonconference doubleheader against Arthur-Lovington-Atwood- Hammond that is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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