Rock Falls alum Thatcher hits walk-off homer against Duke: SVM SportShorts for Wednesday, April 3

Dixon football releases 2024 schedule; 5 Oregon boys bowlers receive all-conference honors

Rock Falls' Katie Thatcher fires a pitch during the Class 2A Stillman Valley Sectional championship game against Marengo.

Katie Thatcher’s walk-off homer lifts Louisville over top-10 ranked Duke

2023 Rock Falls graduate and Louisville softball freshman Katie Thatcher picked a perfect time for her second collegiate home run. In a March 23 Atlantic Coast Conference home game against Duke, Thatcher came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning and blasted a walk-off, solo home run to right field on a 2-2 count, lifting the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the then No. 6/4-ranked Blue Devils.

The win was Louisville’s first in ACC play and second at Ulmer Stadium against a top-25 team this season. The previous win over a ranked opponent came March 6 by a score of 5-3 against then No. 21/24-ranked Arizona.

Louisville’s last win against a top-10 team came two years earlier, Feb. 28, 2022, when it beat No. 10/8-ranked Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Thatcher has started seven of the 21 games she’s appeared in this season, totaling two home runs and two doubles on eight hits, amassing six RBIs, and scoring nine runs, per

The Cardinals are 22-14 this season. They’ll host No. 18 Florida State for their next game 6 p.m. Friday.

5 Oregon bowlers earn Northern Illinois Bowling Conference recognition

Last month, Oregon’s Brady Davis, Matthew Stahl and Gavvin Surmo were recognized with All-NIBC first-team selections for the 2023-24 boys bowling season. Fellow Hawks RJ Keene and Codey Dunbar made the honorable mention list. Oregon finished the regular season with a 14-3 record and two tournament championships. Stahl was two pins shy of qualifying for sectionals.

Dixon football releases 2024 season schedule

The Dixon Dukes released their 2024 football schedule late last month. The lineup of games is as follows:

Aug. 30 - Home vs. Stillman Valley

Sept. 6 - Home vs. Oregon

Sept. 13 - Away vs. Rock Falls

Sept. 20 - Away vs. Genoa-Kingston

Sept. 27 - Home vs. Rockford Lutheran

Oct. 4 - Away vs. Winnebago

Oct. 11 - Home vs. Rockford Christian

Oct. 18 - Home vs. Byron

Oct. 25 - Away vs. North Boone

Dan Wussow

Dan Wussow

Dan is the sports editor for Sauk Valley Media. Previously, he wrote for The Post-Crescent in his hometown of Appleton, WI.