BY ROB WITZEL
Every student athlete wants to perform well on Senior Night.
And while Danville has struggled this softball season, the Lady Vikings played splendidly Monday evening as they won both games of a double header, beating Champaign Central 19-3 and 13-3 with both games ending in the fifth inning by the mercy rule.
“It was really nice (winning on senior night).” Senior catcher Jordan Ogle said. “It’s always good to win but knowing this is the last home game makes it even better. This was big for us.
“We’ve struggled at times, but it’s gotten better progressively. We keep working up the ladder and hopefully we can finish on top.”
While Ogle and fellow senior Kristi Burghart were excited in the team win, they both had a lot to be proud of with individual statistics as well.
Ogle went 4-for-5 and collected a single, double, two triples, two walks and three RBIs between the two games. She also crossed home-plate five times.
Burghart also went 4-for-5 with four singles, three walks, four RBIs and scored three times.
Champaign Central took a very early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but just as quickly as they got the lead they lost it and lost it big. Danville put together a nine-run inning that was highlighted with a bases-loaded triple by Ogle.
“It was really important to get off to a good start.” Burghart said. “The lead gave us some room for mistakes later on and took off some pressure. We were able to get a hold of the ball really well. We waited for the ball and just drove it.”
The Lady Vikings would score one more run in the second inning before going on another nine-run tear.
Seven girls had multiple hits in game one and 10 had at least one. Chloe Davis earned the win on the mound and at the plate, she led the team with four RBIs.
After a brief intermission, the Lady Vikings picked up right where they left off. Ogle and Kennedy Richards led off with back to back doubles and helped take a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Jeannette Cullum hit a 2 RBI double, helping to extend the lead to 7-0.
Central cut the lead to 7-3 in the top of the fourth but Danville answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom half, making it 10-3.
In the bottom of the 5th, Ogle and Richards started things off again with back to back triples. Lindsey Loewenstein knocked in Richards to take a 12-3 lead. Then with no outs, Burghart knocked a walk off RBI single to give the Vikings a 13-3 lead and a win by mercy rule.
Just like the first game Danville’s pitcher earned the win and led the team in RBIs, in the second game it was Tera Baxter with three RBIs. Baxter, Kennedy, Ogle and Burghart all had two hits.
Between the two games, a short ceremony was held honoring Ogle and Burghart.
First year Coach Brittni Moorehead took time to reflect on how special these two seniors have been throughout the season.
“Kristi and Jordan are great softball players,” Moorehead said. “They’ve been great to have this year. Kristi always has a positive attitude and she always keeps the team positive and keeps us going.
“Jordan is a great leader. She always has the right thing to say and knows what to do. They are both very coachable and have great talent. It’s been a pleasure coaching them this year.”
Danville (9-16) will face the Maroons again as they travel to Champaign on Wednesday.