MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Illinois Softball

  • April 24 might soon become a holiday for Calhoun (Hardin, Ill.) students and faculty.

    Not only did both the softball team and the baseball team post shutout victories on Thursday against Greenfield, but the pitcher from each game also fired a no-hitter, according to The Telegraph in Alton.
    Courtesy of Calhoun High School

    Freshman Grace Baalman struck out nine and gave up no hits while facing the minimum number of batters in the softball team's 10-0 five-inning victory. Baalman nearly had a perfect game, but one Greenfield batter reached on an error (later picked off). Baalman also helped her own cause by going 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored.

    Meanwhile Mitch Bick, a 6-foot sophomore left-hander, did the honors for the Warriors baseball team, striking out an astounding 18 batters while allowing just one walk in his no-hitter. Calhoun scored five times in the fifth inning to end the game, 9-0.

    Throwing a no-hitter is rare enough. But to have the same school accomplish the feat on the same day against the same team?

    It was certainly a special day for Calhoun.
  • Stephanie Canfield of St. Joseph-Ogden (St. Joseph, Ill.) set two career state softball records this year, but her final weekend was somewhat disappointing because the Spartans had to settle for a third-place finish in the Class 2A state tournament on Saturday.

    Photo courtesy of Canfield family

    Stephanie Canfield, St. Joseph-Ogden

    Canfield, a 5-foot-9 senior center fielder, set Illinois records for most career hits (277) and runs (231) during her brilliant four-year career. She will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall.

    Veteran coach Randy Wolken had her in his camp as a sixth grader and the next year told a college coach she should begin recruiting her. The coach replied, "We don't recruit seventh graders."

    He told MaxPreps, "She was quick, athletic, very skilled and coachable," even as s sixth grader. "She's had an unbelievable career. She can do so many things for us. She was a great leader and role model and we're really going to miss her."

    The disappointment came during Friday's state semifinals when the No. 1-ranked Spartans were handed their first loss in 41 games, 5-2, by eventual state champion Nashville (Ill.) as freshman pitcher Maci Ingram struck out 14.

    Wolken called the loss "terribly disappointing. There were eight called third strikes and we hadn't had that many (in total) all year. We discipline our girls to not swing at bad pitches."

    The Spartans rebounded the next day to defeat Sherrard 5-2 in nine innings to take third place. Elizabeth Everingham pitched a five-hitter to earn her 32nd victory.

    Even though he didn't win his second state title, Wolken called this year's team the best he's had during his 33-year career.