Diamond stars shine in college


From NCAA Division I to NAIA and junior college, being able to play baseball or softball past high school is a memorable accomplishment for any young student-athlete.

Here’s a roundup of how locals are faring so far on college baseball and softball diamonds this spring. 

At the NCAA Division I level, Columbia’s Shane Wilhelm has made two appearances this season with the University of Missouri, pitching one and two-thirds scoreless innings.

Fellow Columbia High School graduate Cameron Touchette is a graduate student playing ball for Kent State. The lefthanded-swinging outfielder is hitting .309 with 11 runs and five stolen bases in 19 games.

There are three CHS grads playing Division I softball this spring. 

Kelly Metter, a senior outfielder, is hitting .293 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 22 games for Missouri State.

Chelsy Pena, a sophomore catcher, has two hits in 15 games (nine starts) at Southeast Missouri State University.

Keeler van Breusegen, a sophomore outfielder, is hitting .225 with five runs in 18 games at Bradley University.

At the NCAA Division II level, Dupo High School graduate Austin Francis is a senior catcher for McKendree University. He has two home runs, five RBIs and seven runs in 11 games played. McKendree teammate Mark Branz, a Gibault grad, has pitched two scoreless innings this spring.

Columbia’s Brennen van Breusegen is a redshirt freshman outfielder at University of Central Missouri. In eight games, he has three hits and three runs. 

Hamilton Anderson of Columbia, a Vianney High School grad, is a catcher at Drury University. He’s 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs in four games.

At Lindenwood University, Red Bud’s Kyle Hentis is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA on the mound. Valmeyer’s Cole Juelfs is on the Lindenwood roster but has not yet seen action.

At Maryville University, Valmeyer southpaw Philip Reinhardt is a freshman on the roster but has not recorded a pitching appearance. 

At Quincy University, Gibault grad Tim Reinholz is likewise listed as a freshman on the roster but has not made an appearance.

The Quincy softball team features Waterloo’s Taylor Downen and Valmeyer’s Chelsea Hooker. Downen, a sophomore catcher, is hitting .310 with seven runs in 20 games. Hooker, a sophomore outfielder/catcher, is hitting .254 with eight doubles and six RBIs in 25 games.

Columbia’s Lexi Touchette, a sophomore infielder, is hitting .267 in 12 games at Maryville.

Her former Eagles teammate, Calli Wibbenmeyer, is a junior infielder at Rockhurst University. She’s hitting .250 with a home run and eight RBIs in 22 games. 

At the NCAA Division III level, Columbia’s Mitch Daniels is a sophomore outfielder at Webster University. He’s hitting .317 with six runs and six RBIs in 17 games. 

Gibault’s Trevor Davis, a senior pitcher, is 1-1 in two pitching appearances (one start) with a 4.26 ERA in six and one-third innings at Monmouth College.

New Athens grad George Schneider, a freshman outfielder, is hitting .333 with six RBIs in eight games at Greenville University.

Waterloo twins Ty and Trey Kueper are sophomores on the Fontbonne University baseball team. Ty was recently named to D3baseball.com’s  Team of the Week for batting a team-high .583 (7-for-12), including his first two homers of the season. He added two triples for a 1.417 slugging percentage. He scored eight runs with nine RBIs.Ty is hitting .327 this season. Trey has four hits and four RBIs in eight games played.

A pair of former Dupo softball players, MyKenzie Kloess and Sarah Ostertag, are playing at MacMurray College. Kloess is hitting .500 with a triple in six games. Ostertag is hitting .333 in three games.

Gibault’s Sidney Wightman has two hits in nine games and is 0-3 with a save in eight pitching appearances for Eureka College.

At the NAIA level, Valmeyer’s Easton Wallace is enjoying success at William Woods University. The junior infielder is hitting .339 with four home runs 11 RBIs and 10 runs in 17 games. 

Waterloo’s Miranda Brown, a senior catcher/infielder, is 2-for-3 with a double at Missouri Baptist University. Serving as an assistant coach at MoBap this season is former WHS and Fontbonne softball standout Emelia Modglin.

The junior college ranks feature several locals this spring. 

At Southwestern Illinois College, freshman catcher Riley McCarthy of Valmeyer has yet to get a hit in six games played. Joe Range of New Athens, a freshman pitcher, has pitched one and one-third innings.

At Southeastern Illinois College, Waterloo’s Nathan Albrecht is hitting .262 with 10 RBIs and and also pitched a scoreless inning. His teammate is Cole Steibel of Prairie du Rocher, who is hitting .344 with two home runs in 20 games and is 2-0 in four starts on the mound.

The John A. Logan softball squad features Columbia’s Aryn Henke, a freshman outfielder/catcher. She’s sizzling at the plate, hitting .375 with five home runs, 20 RBIs, 22 runs and nine stolen bases in 19 games.

The SWIC softball squad features Waterloo’s Taylor Kaufmann, Heather Albers and Madison Limestall as well as Columbia’s Jordan Cygan. Kaufmann has two home runs with eight RBIs in 10 games. Albers is hitting .357 in six games. Cygan has two hits and three runs scored in eight games. Limestall is 0-1 with a 2.47 ERA in two pitching appearances (one start).

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