Thursday's highlights: Unity knocks off Salt Fork
■ Champaign Central 2, Villa Grove/Heritage 0. Dom Erlinger threw a no-hitter, the 41st in Central history, to lead the host Maroons to a win in their season opener at McKinley Field and the right-hander also established a new program standard. Erlinger’s scoreless innings streak reached 31 consecutive innings, dating back to last season, thanks to Thursday’s outing. Erlinger passed 1940 graduate Harvey Ditter in the record books as Ditter held the previous record at 29 innings. Erlinger also contributed a hit and an RBI, while Isaac Heaton supplied an RBI single for the Maroons (1-0). Talan Rohrer and Cole Alvis combined on a three-hitter for the Hawks (0-1).
■ Blue Ridge 5, Iroquois West 0. The host Knights won their season opener behind a three-hit effort from Alec Lyle while starter Caleb Trotter and three relievers combined on a one-hitter. Lyle finished 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI to pace Blue Ridge (1-0). Sam Duggins and Aaron Jayne each added RBI doubles. Trotter struck out six in three innings, while Jacob Mozingo, Jayden Dalton and Duggins kept Iroquois West (0-1) from plating any runs. Austin Saathoff had the Raiders’ lone hit with a single leading off the fourth inning.
■ St. Anne 4, Cissna Park 3. The host Timberwolves jumped out to a 3-0 lead after scoring three runs in the third inning, but St. Anne responded with a four-run fourth inning to hold on for the win. Jake Tarro and Austin Kregel each went 1 for 2 for Cissna Park (0-1).
■ Unity 6, Salt Fork 1. Bobby Barnard had a stellar day on the mound and at the plate to help lead the host Rockets to a win in their season opener. The right-hander struck out seven in three innings of work for Unity (1-0), and only allowed one hit. With the bat in his hands, Barnard went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI as Unity used a two-run fifth inning and a three-run sixth inning to get by the Storm (0-1). Jeremy Gallivan tossed four innings of two-hit relief and Connor Hyde added two hits to help Unity.
■ Argenta-Oreana 26, St. Teresa 3. The visiting Bombers scored at least five runs in each of the first four innings to cruise to a season-opening win. Tatiana Garcia led the way for A-O by going 5 for 5 with five RBI, while Bailey Benton (4 for 4, three RBI), Maggie Millington (3 for 4, four RBI) and Haley Campbell (1 for 2, four RBI) all contributed significantly for A-O (1-0). Lydia Hays picked up the win for the Bombers, striking out two in four innings and scattering five hits.
■ Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 6, Villa Grove/Heritage 5. Marissa Herschberger and Taylor Powell each drove in two runs to lift the host Knights (1-0) to a win in their season opener. Reagan Cheely went 4 for 4 to pace VG/H (0-1).
■ Blue Ridge 17, Iroquois West 2. Kaitlyn Zeigler went 3 for 3 with five RBI to lead Blue Ridge (1-0) at home, while Avery Fisher (3 for 4, three RBI), Josie Grammer (2 for 4, two RBI), Hannah Brackenhoff (2 for 4, RBI) and Natalie Tharp (2 for 4, solo home run) all contributed for the Knights, who prevailed in four innings.
■ Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 15, Armstrong-Potomac 5. Sierra Dudley went 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI to spark the Buffaloes (1-0) past the Trojans (0-1). She also recorded the win, striking out four in five innings. Tessa Van Ostrand paced A-P by going 3 for 3 with two RBI and a stolen base.
■ Unity 9, Paris 8. The visiting Rockets rallied from an 7-5 deficit by scoring four runs in the sixth inning to claim a win in their season opener. Chasey Edenburn led the Rockets (1-0) with two hits and three RBI, while Emma Messman and Lauren Wending each came through with two hits. Harlie Duncan picked up the win in the pitcher’s circle, striking out eight.
In girls’ soccer
■ St. Thomas More 8, Urbana 2. The visiting Sabers relied on a hat trick from Izzy Schmitt to earn a win in the season opener for both teams. Schmitt added an assist for STM (1-0), which also received two goals and two assists from Abby Leibach. Lexi Jones and Ashia Ravanh each scored for the Tigers (0-1).
■ At Decatur. The Danville girls’ soccer team defeated Charleston by penalty kicks to win their season opener at the St. Teresa Tournament. After both teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation, the Vikings won 3-2 on penalty kicks. Joah Howland, Jadyn West and Lauren Ellis converted penalty kicks for Danville, while goalie Mary Emma York corralled two saves for Danville (1-0).