The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


July 16, 2013

Long-time champions win again at Danville Open

DANVILLE — Alan Francis and Joan Elmore are two names that have been associated with the Danville Open for years.

On Sunday afternoon in the 25th Annual horseshoe tournament at the Douglas Park Horseshoe Complex, Francis and Elmore were once again claiming the first-place prizes.

Francis, who won 11 straight Danville Opens from 2001 to 2011, earned his 12th title with a 9-0 record in the Men’s Class A Class, while Elmore won her eighth title, also with a 9-0 record in the Women’s Class A Class.

A year ago, Francis of Defiance, Ohio, was unable to compete in the Danville Open because of a family obligation, but he came back this year with one of his best performances.

“We hated to miss the tournament last year, but we’re glad to be back,’’ he said. “Everything is what we have come to expect from this tournament. Everything is on time and it’s a very well-ran tournament.

“I pitched the last two days as well as I’ve pitched in three or four years. Everything was good. My form was good. I felt comfortable and confident.’’

And the numbers certainly show that Francis was at the top of his game this weekend.

Besides going 9-0 in pool play, the right-hander racked up a 91.15 ringer percentage in the two-day tourney.

“This was my sixth tournament of the year, so I should be at my best right now. And I feel like I am,’’ he said. “Ringer percentage is the big indicator; and this is going to be one of my highest tournaments ever.

“I never dropped below 80 percent. My first game of the tournament was my lowest and I just seemed to get better with each game.’’

While Francis had his title secured before the final match, he still faced a stiff test from Randy Grady, the defending Danville Open champion from Benton, Mo.

“We had a lot of four deads,’’ said Francis, referring to both players getting a pair of ringers in each round. “That is about as good as I’ve seen Randy pitch.’’

And it was just the type of game that Francis said he enjoys.

“Games like that are what every pitcher hopes to be a part of,’’ Francis said. “When you are challenged like that, it brings out the best in you.’’

And with the World Championships starting next week in St. George, Utah, this was good preparation for Francis.

“Danville has always been a good indicator of where I’m at heading in the World Championships,’’ Francis said. “I feel like I’m prepared and ready for it.’’

Francis wasn’t the only champion using the Danville Open, the largest open horseshoe tournament in the country, as a chance to get ready for the World Championships.

Elmore of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., won the Women’s Class A title with a 9-0 record, but she knows that she will need to improve on her ringer percentage (78.14) at the World Championships.

“First off, this tournament is very well run,’’ she said. “Leo (Bratland) and everyone associated with the Danville Horseshoe Club are so nice and they do a wonderful job.

“I was able to win, which is very nice, but I was a little under my average. I think it had to do with the heat.’’

After having nearly ideal pitching conditions on Saturday, the top performers had to deal with temperatures in the 90s and some good ol’ fashion Midwest humidity.

“The humidity is the big thing,’’ Elmore said. “My fingers were not releasing my shoes smoothly. They were sticking a little bit. You have to put a little more effort into your pitch and it takes it toll.’’

Elmore secured her title with wins over Marlene Ray of Covington, Tenn., and Sharon Chiddister of Goshen, Ind., in the final two rounds.

“This is the 25th anniversary and that makes it even more special to get this title,’’ she said.

Herschel Walters of Bourbon, Ind., earned the Class A Elders title with an 8-1 record.

Other titles awarded on Sunday, included the Class B title won by Oakwood’s Bob Block, who went 5-1 with a 60.00 ringer percentage.

In other divisions, John Blakeney of Oakwood finished fifth in Class E, Larry Burgess of Chrisman was third in Class I, Loren Douglass of Oakwood was second in Class O and Thomas Rodriguez was sixth in Class Q.


Text Only
  • SPT - CN0730 - Dans baseball photo 1 Dans continue to struggle DANVILLE — The Danville Dans haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball in the second half of the season. After taking the West Division title in the first half with a 19-11 record, Danville has played sub-.500 baseball in the second half and c

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0730 - Illini football media photo Experienced Illini looking for success CHICAGO — Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman is hoping that the third time is the charm.Beckman begins his third season at the helm of the Illini, and with the nucleus of last season’s team returning, it may finally be time for Illinois

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - CN0730 - Purdue football media photo Hazell hopes for smooth second season CHICAGO — After a season to forget in 2013, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is expecting better results as his team begins training camp next week. Hazell spoke to the media during the 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days at the Hilton Chicago, and afte

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballHannibal Cavemen at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.THURSDAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Dustbowl photo 2 Repeat performance Championship Sunday was in full swing at the 42nd Annual Dustbowl at David S. Palmer Arena. In the men’s division it was defending champions Leek & Sons against the Hickory Beavers. Leek & Sons made it back to back championships with a 29-point victo

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0729 - Brickyard photo Gordon kisses 'The Bricks' for 5th time INDIANAPOLIS — The common gift for a 20th anniversary is either china or platinum.But for Jeff Gordon on Sunday, he was more interested in the PPG Trophy made of gold, sterling silver and alloy aluminum and the native of Pittsboro, Ind., wasn’t going

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old friends meet again in city tourney DANVILLE — Gene Gourley and Bryan Stine have a lot of history on the tennis court. The two of them, who have been playing each other at the Danville Tennis Center for over 20 years, renewed their rivalry again on Sunday during the Greater Danville Ar

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Junior Dustbowl photo Free throws decide junior Dustbowl title DANVILLE — In the boys’s Division it was DV Stars vs. Squad for the Championship with the Squad coming back from an early 16-point deficit to beat DV Stars 59-55 in overtime. Squads Parker Lee made one of two free throws with 18 seconds left in regul

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keys leads College Girls to Dustbowl title The girls division championship between County Girls and College Girls was a close battle between two fine teams. The College Girls never trailed in the second half and squeaked out a victory over the County Girls 32-29.After a timeout was called by

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Big Ten Media mug Big Ten unveils new look CHICAGO — Welcome to the new look Big Ten.The Big Ten Conference held its 43rd annual Football Media Days on Monday at the Hilton Chicago and in the first day of the two day event, a lot of different topics were discussed, and a few more concepts fo

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'