Pioneers pound Villa Grove to finish third in state

Darren Kinnard/River Radio Sports Central

PEORIA — The Trico Pioneers bounced back nicely from a semifinal loss to Illini Bluffs by pounding out 11 hits in a 13-2 win in five innings over Villa Grove in the 1A Softball Third Place Game.

The gloomy day featuring an off and on mist was no issue for the Pioneers who got a two-run home run in the first inning from Zoey Kellerman, then added a run in the second before hanging 10 on the board in the third inning. Senior Josie Wettig and sophomore Molly Rathert combined for four hits and seven RBIs in the third inning outburst.

Villa Grove tallied two runs in the fifth, but Wettig finished it off get a bouncer to Taylor Cottom to end it. Wettig and Cottom teamed with fellow seniors Tessa Nehrt, Lexi Stroub, Kellerman, KayLynn Bowerman, and Mia Jimenez to leave quite a legacy, including the program’s third state trophy.

Trico finished the season 28-6.

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