Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tiger Softball Rallies to Beat Princeton

The barn door for Worth County's girls softball team may have opened a crack as far as district seedings are concerned. The Tigers were down 3-0 after four innings when they scored two in the fourth and two in the fifth to beat Princeton 4-3 Tuesday night. The Tigers then hung by their fingernails to preserve the win. Haley Hunt was the winning pitcher and Merrideth Spiers drove in two runs for the Tigers. Worth County reversed the outcome of the North Harrison Tournament when they led 1-0 over Princeton only for the Blue Tigers to come back late and win.

Worth County only has six wins on the year so far. But two of those wins come against district opponents in Albany and Princeton. Worth County can make the case that since they won the one game they played against Albany 13-7 and since wins later in the season count more than losses early on, they can get the second or third seed behind North Harrison.

The Tigers only had three hits against Princeton, but they won by cleaning up their errors, only committing two that evening. By contrast, Princeton, which could do no wrong in the field earlier in the year, committed five.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Shamrocks Clinch HDC Title, Win 38th Straight Conference Game; Payton Craig Tosses Three Perfect Innings

North Harrison won its 38th straight conference game, clinched a conference title, and downed Mercer 15-0. Payton Craig tossed three perfect innings for the Shamrocks, struck out eight out of the nine batters she faced, and looked sharp on the mound. Audrey Briggs finished the game for the Shamrocks in the fourth. The North Harrison seniors have gone through their entire careers at North Harrison without losing a conference game. The last loss for North Harrison in a conference game was a 4-3 loss to Pattonsburg back in 2012.

One of the few tough plays for Payton Craig on the mound came when Aubrey Wilson, Mercer’s third batter, hit a tapper along the first place line. Instead of risking a throwing error on a 50/50 play, Craig elected to let it roll, and it barely went foul before she stuck out Wilson.

The Shamrocks started the scoring in the first and scored in every inning in the four inning game. Payton Craig walked on four pitches, stole second, went to third on Brandi Rivet’s groundout, and came home on a wild pitch. Ashlynn Gilpatrick restarted the inning with a walk, went to second on Audrey Briggs’ grounder, and came home on Emma Craig’s double off the left field wall. Coach Brandon Craig and Emma had a long talk about the finer points of hitting during the Albany game and she hit safely in every at-bat since that, getting two doubles, two singles, and walk.

It looked like North Harrison would go down quietly in the second, as Mason Cracraft struck out to lead off. Hunter Stevens earned a spot as a DH with a strong hitting performance in the JV game with Albany Monday night and came through with a shot up the middle. Payton Craig popped out for the second out, but then the next ten batters reached safely and broke the game wide open. Brandi Rivet shot a single past Rayne Kost at short and then stole second. Ashlynn Gilpatrick doubled to right center to score Stevens and Olivia Babinski (running for Rivet). Audrey Briggs singled to right to score Gilpatrick and went to second when the return throw got away from the pitcher, something Mercer had trouble doing that night.

Emma Craig walked and the catcher threw away a throw to third on a wild pitch as Craig made it to second and Briggs scored. An errant pickoff throw put Emma on third. Kami Gibson walked, Carly Rinehart shot a single into left, scoring Craig, and took an extra base on another errant return throw to the pitcher. Mason Cracraft and Hunter Stevens walked to force in Rinehart, Payton Craig walked to force in Rinehart, and Rivet singled past short into center to score Cracraft and Stevens to make it 11-0 after two.

Payton Craig threw a painfully slow change that was called for strike three on Jazmine Main and got Dominique Henley to chase one well over her head in the third. In North Harrison’s half, Audrey Briggs hit a screamer that was caught by first baseman Brea Shipley, only a freshman for the Cards. But then Emma Craig swung at a high pitch and singled, going to second on a wild pitch. Kami Gibson flied out, but Carly Rinehart singled, Mason Cracraft reached on an error when third baseman Decii Hartsock bobbled it, scoring Craig, and Hunter Stevens walked. Elizabeth Parkhurst batted for Payton Craig as Coach Brandon Craig had seen enough and started subbing freely. Parkhurst’s double plated two more to make it 14-0. Like the late Bull Reece, Coach Craig doesn’t believe in running up the score any more than he has to. “It doesn’t do us any good, and it doesn’t do them any good,” he said.

Audrey Briggs came on to pitch and Mercer tagged her for their first hits of the game as Rayne Kost doubled to the wall in left. Kayleigh Albrecht grounded out to Briggs, but Aubrey Wilson reached on a successful bunt single to put runners on first and third. Kaylee Duckworth hit a shot that would have scored a run, but shortstop Emma Craig made a shoestring catch and doubled Kost off third to preserve the shutout. Abbi Slaughter and Audrey Briggs walked and Craig singled Slaughter home for the 15th run of the game with one out in the fourth.

Following the game, baseball players Logan Craig, Randy Rinehart, and Colin Castleberry were honored for being selected to the all-district squad. While boys softball has been ended as a competitive sport, North Harrison is seeking to build a new tradition after having won the first-ever state championship in boys softball. They surprised people with a winning season last year in their second year and seek to build on that with many of their horses back.

Shamrocks Down Winston; Celebrate 25th Anniversary Boys & Girls Softball Teams

Members of the 1992 North Harrison Boys and Girls Softball Teams were recognized following Tuesday’s 16-0 victory over Winston. The boys won the first-ever state title for the franchise and went 14-0, unbeaten for the year. The girls went 21-3, finally got past Princeton after two years of falling short, and finished fourth in state. They laid the groundwork for the 1993 State Championship team next year.

Members of the boys team were Wes Gibson, Tom Thompson, Dustin Wilcoxson, Bryan Craig, Corbet Wilson, Gabe Stapel, Laren Cox, Jeremy Rinehart, Chris Jones, and Bill Pottorff. What they lacked in numbers, they more than made up for in talent and heart as they went all the way. They beat Cainsville 12-0, North Daviess 18-0, Gilman City 11-1, and Tri-County 25-0 to start off the season.
The second leg was harder as they beat Ridgeway 15-3 and Pattonsburg 16-1 before fending off a determined challenge from archrival Ridgeway to win 4-3. They then played the tough part of their conference schedule, beating Grundy County 7-4, Mercer twice 6-1 and 10-5, Winston 13-4, and Grundy County again 4-3.

In the 7-4 victory, North Harrison survived their closest brush with defeat, falling behind 3-0. But then Wes Gibson got down two key bunts that fueled North Harrison’s comeback; he had four RBI’s. Wilcoxson struck out 11 batters in the 6-1 victory over Winston.

They were selected for the State Tournament on the basis of their conference title and beat Tina-Avalon 19-2 before beating Bunceton (not to be confused with Princeton) 7-0 for the title.
The Shamrocks had trailed 2-0 against Tina-Avalon in the third inning when back to back home runs from Dustin Wilcoxson and Corbet Wilson got them back in the game and opened the floodgates.
Members of the 1992 Shamrocks were Talia (Kinder) Brown, Karen (Pottorff) Fine, Joely (Eivins) Francis, Sara Bosch, Heather (Eller) Barnes, Barb (Abplanalp) Holcomb, Angie (Rinehart) Breshears, Jill (Wilcoxson) Brown, Kym (Barnhouse) Mathes, Lori (Hale) Craig, Dava (Nelson) Laxton, Lyndsay (Lighthill) Bellinger, Brandi (Ury) Hurt, and Angie (Craig) Baker.

The Shamrocks cruised through the regular season, beating Cainsville 16-0, North Daviess 26-0, Tri-County 17-0, Grundy County 16-0, and bigger schools like Lawson 5-1. They run-ruled each of their opponents to win the conference tournament, avenged their only regular season loss by beating South Harrison 5-0 at the North Harrison Tournament, and finally got past Heather Niemeyer and Princeton 13-0 after they were turned back by Dannette Derry and the Blue Tigers the previous two years. They won conference for the third year in a row, stretching their conference winning streak to 32 games, a streak that would stretch to 72 games before it was snapped.

Finally, North Harrison was stopped 1-0 by Tina-Avalon in the State Tournament as their girls avenged North Harrison’s boys game in state. They were beaten by Humansville in the third place game 10-2, but that laid the groundwork for the 1993 team which won state.

That 1993 team broke Worth County’s hearts in Sectionals with a 9-2 win. Worth County was down 5-0, but pushed one run across in the sixth to make it 5-1 and had a runner on third with one out. If that run had scored, anything could have happened as Worth County had tagged Jefferson with 15 runs and Princeton with 8 runs earlier in the year. But Worth County hit a grounder to third, and the North Harrison girl faked a throw to first and tagged Katie Groce out to help them get out of that inning. Worth County lost 9-2, and North Harrison would go on to win state that year. Mike Schmidli, who was the coach of that softball team, said they had just practiced that play the day before and had pulled it off earlier in the year, proof that coaches sometimes have a sixth sense.

Dava Nelson was the pitcher for those teams, and she was a perfectionist, never happy unless she located her pitches exactly where she wanted them. She could throw it consistently at 60 miles per hour, even in brutally cold weather. Not only that, her pitches would break all over the place, tying up even the best hitter and making them miss.

Four of the current players have mothers who played on the 1992 team. They have not eclipsed the 1992 team’s conference winning streak, because the HDC smaller, Pattonsburg has left the conference, and others have formed softball cooperatives with each other. But they are working on a 37 game conference winning streak this year, not including Tuesday’s game with Mercer. The last time the Shamrocks lost a conference game was in 2012, 4-3 to Pattonsburg, before the present group of seniors was still in junior high.

This year’s edition batted around in the first inning, tagging Winston for five runs before putting them away in the second. Winston held Payton Craig in check, getting her to ground out to start the second. But everyone else hit in that frame as North Harrison scored 11 to put the game away. Brandi Rivet roped one down the right field line for a triple; Audrey Briggs hit a screamer between right and center, didn’t realize how hard she’d hit it, and had to be coaxed to come to third as Kylie Pottorff (running for Rivet) scored. Emma Craig hit a single that got through the center fielder’s legs to score Briggs, while Ashlynn Gilpatrick reached on a grounder between the pitcher’s legs after Emma Craig had scored on a wild pitch.

That opened the floodgates – Kami Gibson shot one into left center field for a double, Mason Cracraft tripled to right center, Carly Rinehart hit a shot off the shortstop’s glove for a scratch hit, Rainey Fordyce hit a short off the third baseman’s glove for another. Even the one out, Brandi Rivet’s smash, was hit hard.

The Shamrocks sent 14 batters to the plate, scored 11 runs, and put the Redbirds away in the frame. But one record that will not be broken as long as Brandon Craig is the coach is the scoring record. Once his team’s margin reaches 15 runs, he’s seen enough and has his runners lead off before the pitch. The goal is to prevent injuries and keep his players sharp as well as show respect for the other team.

Hikers Pass Through Allendale, Grant City, and Sheridan

Hikers Kolton Rackham and Amanda Autrey passed through Allendale, Grant City, and Sheridan Monday after passing through Eagleville and Hatfield Saturday and resting Sunday. They are on a 2,918 mile journey from Tybee Island in Georgia to Don David Park in Oregon. They are on a journey of self-discovery and are raising money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Asked why they had selected those charities, Kolton said that they chose Make-a-Wish because of how they help kids heal by giving them hope. “I’m a mentor and she’s a healer, and we both try to help create what kids want,” he said. Amanda said that she had struggled with suicide in the past, and that it was a beacon of light for people whose loved ones had taken their own lives.

They grew up in Utah; Kolton is a 1 on 1 mentor and helps people reach personal goals and identify mental blocks keeping them from reaching those goals. Amanda is a holistic healer and helps people with healing energy and processing out negativity. She said that in Australia, some people make a journey across the Outback, which is sparsely populated, for personal discovery. Kolton and Amanda said that they met many wonderful people along the way, helping someone celebrate their 40th birthday. “We’ve met a lot of kind people along the way, and they’ve shown a lot of hospitality to us,” she said. Amanda said that they are like family to them.

Their goal is to get to Oregon by Thanksgiving, but will take longer if necessary. Both say they want to travel more down the road. Amanda was in China for two weeks once, while Kolton took a cruise that took him to Mexico, Haiti, and Jamaica.

After their walk, their goal is to stay in Oregon, get married, and keep doing what they’re doing. Amanda said that she wanted to work with veterans and rescue animals that need a home. Kolton said that he wants to work with kids and the homeless. He said that he had a lot of good conversations with homeless people along the way and that he wanted to help people to find hope.

While between Grant City and Sheridan, they got to meet some camels. Kolton admitted that he had an irrational fear of camels. “At first, there were one; then there was six,” he wrote on their Facebook page, 2918 Miles, Monday. Kolton said that he faced his fear by feeding one an apple; then, it tried to eat his whole bag hoping for more snacks. “Amanda thought they were adorable, but that’s probably just because they didn’t try to eat her,” he wrote.

Carly Rinehart Shuts Down Warriors; Shamrocks Back on Winning Track

North Harrison survived a bad inning against Milan Thursday, before heading off to the North Central Missouri College Tournament in Trenton Saturday. There, they faced some brutal competition as they dropped a 6-0 loss to Marceline, undefeated in Class 2 up to that point. Milan, a streaky team playing in the GRC, did not show up to play in the rematch between the two teams and North Harrison won handily 12-0. Then, they dropped a 10-1 decision to once-beaten Plattsburg before rain and lightning forced the cancellation of the tournament, won by powerhouse Trenton.

Things didn’t get any easier for North Harrison when they returned home Monday to face Albany, the runner-up of the North Andrew Tournament. Many of their players play with each other over the summer and they know each other well, taking away the intimidation factor that many teams have going into games with the Shamrocks. But Coach Brandon Craig sent out freshman Carli Rinehart, who had already beaten the Warriors once this year in Albany. She did so again Monday, shutting them down in a 4-1 victory.

Albany skipper Hannah Beverlin sent out Riley Houts to slow down the Shamrocks. She had a fastball, a change, and an unorthodox pitch that looks like it’s too high, then drops in at the last minute for a strike. That kept North Harrison’s batters off balance some, but not enough to keep them from getting the badly-needed win.

Payton Craig battled Houts and got a walk on a 3-2 pitch; Brandi Rivet got down a perfect bunt as she flew around to third base and was safe on a close play despite plenty of squawking from the Albany side. Audrey Briggs grounded out to score her to make it 1-0.

Ashlynn Gilpatrick doubled to lead off the second over rightfielder Madalyn Rainey’s head. Kami Gibson singled and the ball went under the left fielder’s legs to score Gilpatrick. Carly Rinehart’s shot to left scored Gibson, and Rainey Fordyce’s grounder advanced her to second. Payton Craig beat out an infield hit as Rinehart came all the way home from second to score to make it 4-0.

That was it for North Harrison, as similar to North Nodaway at North Andrew, they were putting it in play, but right at people. But those were all the runs they would need.

Albany got its lone tally in the fifth as Riley Houts singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch. Amber Davis struck out, but Taylor Bain walked and Abbey Wilson singled just over shortstop Payton Craig’s head to score Houts. The tying run was at the plate, but Lauryn Shoush popped up to Gibson. There was no nailbiter like Hamilton, as Rinehart struck out the side in the seventh.

For Coach Brandon Craig, it was a good day’s work against a good team. But the players were harder on themselves. Several of them were in the batting cages behind the dugout during the JV game, taking extra practice swings to get themselves better before the next few games.

Mustangs Down NEN at North Andrew Tournament; Finish Fourth

North Nodaway downed Northeast Nodaway 11-3 before falling to Albany 2-1 and North Andrew 5-2 to take fourth in the North Andrew Tournament.

Northeast jumped out on top 1-0 as Makayla Adwell walked and Taylor Coffelt reached on a pop fly single to right. She took second on right fielder Alisha Davison’s error as Adwell scored. But North Nodaway got the run back and more as Keagan O’Riley led off by doubling off the wall in left. Shai Dailey beat out an infield hit, putting runners on first and third. After Dailey stole second, Makayla Cross singled off the wall in center and went second on the throw home. Ashley Thompson singled to right, went to second on the throw home, and took third and home on wild pitches to put North Nodaway up 4-1 after one.

NEN got one run back in the second. Makayla Adwell walked with one out; with two outs, they got her home. Anne Schieber doubled past Kristin Herndon down the third base line to put runners at second and third. Paige West singled to center to score one and make it 4-2.

But then North Nodaway broke it open in the second. Keagan O’Riley walked with one out and stole second. Shai Dailey singled and went to second on a throw home as O’Riley stopped at third. Keagan scored on a wild pitch as Dailey took third and then Makayla Cross walked and kept right on going to second and made it without a play. Ashley Thompson reached on an error as Dailey scored. Kandace Damgar popped out, but then Cross came home on a wild pitch as Thompson went all the way from first to third. Emma Hart’s pop fly single scored Thompson to make it 8-2.

Northeast made things interesting all day against North Nodaway, but could never get the big hit that could break through and get them back in the game. In the third, Northeast loaded the bases with one out and Maggie Schmitz scored on a wild pitch. Madelynn Mattson walked, but Angela Standiford hit a shot to Keagan O’Riley, who doubled off a runner to limit the damage to one run.

North Nodaway got three more in the third. Audrey Trimble reached on a slap in front of the plate that nobody could get to in time; she stole second. Keagan O’Riley’s soft line drive was caught by Paige West at short, but Trimble took third on a wild pitch and came home on Shai Dailey’s groundout. Makayla Cross reached on an infield hit and scored on Ashley Thompson’s double. Thompson came home on the play when Northeast’s throw home got away and she circled the bases.
For the rest of the tournament, North Nodaway struggled to get hits as they dropped their next two. They struck out a combined total of four times in the two games and put the ball in play, but it was always right at people.

No team mounted a serious threat in the semifinal game between North Nodaway and Albany for the first two innings. In the third, Albany got two on with two out, but pitcher Keagan O’Riley froze Madalyn Rainey for strike three to get out of the inning. Albany threatened again in the fourth when Gabby Newman’s double with one out gave the Warriors a chance. But then Mickayla Martin grounded out to bring up Taylor Bain. Bain hit a grounder that looked headed for a base hit and a run, but shortstop Kandace Damgar got the ball on the second base side and threw to an outstretched Ashley Thompson for the third out.

North Nodaway finally broke through in the fourth. Makayla Cross doubled over the right fielder’s head and went to third on a wild pitch. Kandace Damgar reached on a dropped pop fly as Cross scored; Emma Hart reached on an error by the third baseman, but Albany recovered and picked off Damgar rounding second to end the inning without any further damage.

It looked like the 1-0 lead might stand up like the Gallatin game, but with two outs in the sixth, third baseman Kristin Herndon’s throw was wide of first and Lulu Brown reached on an error. Albany made North Nodaway pay as Gabby Newman, their best hitter, was up, and she hit a double into left center with two strikes on her to tie it up. Mickayla Martin hit a shot into left off Kristin Herndon’s glove; Newman, off with the crack of the bat with two outs, scored on the play to make it 2-1.
North Nodaway catcher Makayla Cross threw out Amber Davis stealing in the seventh to prevent Albany from getting any insurance runs, but Albany retired the last seven Mustang batters for the victory.

The Mustangs had a promising start against North Andrew, but it slipped away as they scored two in the first and nothing thereafter. Atheah Roberts singled home Alaina Officer for North Andrew’s first run in the top of the first. North Nodaway countered as Keagan O’Riley walked and took second on a wild pitch. Shai Dailey’s groundout got her to third and Makayla Cross reached on a dropped fly ball by Shay Carter in right, allowing O’Riley to score. Ashley Thompson advanced her to third on a grounder and Kandace Damgar singled her home to make it 2-1.

But after Taylor Combs bunted in the air in the second, doubling off Alisha Davison and Audrey Trimble was called out for being out of the batter’s box on a slap, all hell broke loose in the third as the first six North Andrew batters reached safely. Three hits, two walks, two errors, and a wild pitch later, the Cardinals were up 5-2. North Nodaway put everything in play after that, but always right at people as they only managed Audrey Trimble’s slap hit in the fifth and Cross’ triple in the sixth.

Obituary -- Aleine Taylor 1927-2017

Aleine Marie Taylor, daughter of Clyde James and Marie Fern (Lane) Howie, was born December 24, 1927 in Creston, Iowa.

She moved with her family to California and graduated from high school at Gilroy, California.While attending a dance with her sister Delores, the girls met Sam and his friend Jim Moody. Within the next few months both couples married. Aleine married Sam A. Taylor on December 20, 1947.

The family returned to the Redding area where Aleine and Sam farmed for many years. Hand in hand, she and Sam labored the farm, caring for all the animals and crops. Aleine had a dear love of her animals, specifically the chickens that she raised as baby chicks to mature and ready to eat. She had a large garden that she sculpted and manicured, canning and freezing for the winter months. Aleine also cooked for several years at the Redding School.

Aleine welcomed all neighbors and family to the home, no matter the time of day. She always had a fresh pot of coffee and pitcher of tea, and in an instant could cook a bountiful meal that pleased all.
Family gatherings were held often with extended family. Some of the favorites were Aleine’s tacos and homemade noodles, though anything that she prepared in the kitchen was absolutely delicious.
After retiring, Aleine and Sam moved into Mount Ayr where she lived the remainder of her life. Aleine began quilting of which all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have at least one quilt to cherish. She also enjoyed reading magazines, her Daily Bread scriptures and novels.

For many years Aleine kept a daily journal.

For several years Aleine continued to share her cooking ability at the Family Resource Center. She loved all the children and cherished them calling her Grandma. To Aleine, it was not work, but rather an ability to help, stay active, and keeping her heart warmed by little ones. She retired for the final time at age 87.

Aleine had a strong faith and enjoyed her drives each Sunday to the Redding United Methodist Church.

Aleine passed away on September 13, 2017 at the Mount Ayr Health Care Center.

Survivors include her children Karen Sue Taylor of Midland, Texas; Randy (Karen) Taylor of Mount Ayr, Iowa; grandchildren Jennifer Morrison and Jeremy (Beth) Lyddon; Stasia (Nathan) Nickle, Andrea (Rusty) Schuitema, Nick Taylor, great grandchildren Jayden Morrison, Addison Lyddon, Grayson Lyddon, Brynn Nickle, Breya Nickle, Brittlyn Nickle, Shay Schuitema, and Colvin Schuitema; brother LeRoy Howie of Mount Ayr, Iowa; sister Delores (Jim) Moody of Port Angeles, Washington; sisters-in-law Jean Howie of Mount Ayr and Alice Howie of Albia, Iowa; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Aleine was preceded in death by her parents; husband Sam on December 12, 1998; 2 brothers Lowell Howie and Virgil Howie; and a sister-in-law Joanne Howie.