Local college sports briefs

March 10, 2014 

Indoor track and field

McKendree to send 4 thinclads to NCAA meet

LEBANON -- McKendree University will send four representatives to the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships, which will be held March 14-15 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Bearcats will have three male and one female student-athlete competing for titles in three different events. McKendree, which is in its first full year as NCAA Division II members, will be sending competitors to the NCAA meet for the first time.

The lone female representative from McKendree is senior LaTia Jefferson (Belleville East), who is coming off a memorable performance at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships held in Indianapolis. Jefferson set a new GLVC meet record in winning the triple jump with an effort of 12.06 meters. For her efforts, she was selected as the GLVC Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Bearcat to earn the honor.

Jefferson posted her best NCAA Division II provisional mark last month at the Grand Valley State Big Meet, where she cleared a distance of 12.12 meters.

The McKendree men's program will be represented by senior sprinter Jordon Henderson, sophomore sprinter Cameron James (Edwardsville) and senior distance runner Blake DeLong. Henderson and James formed a strong 1-2 punch last weekend at the GLVC Indoor Championships. Henderson claimed his second consecutive GLVC 60-meter title with a winning time of 6.76 seconds. James was a close second in the race at 6.84 seconds.

The 6.76 seconds posted by Henderson in the GLVC meet was his top indoor time of the season. James turned in a top 60-meter time of 6.77 seconds at the Grand Valley State Big Meet in February.

DeLong, who garnered McKendree's first-ever NCAA All-American honor back in the fall at the Division II Cross Country Championships, will represent the Bearcats in the 5,000-meter run. DeLong registered his best time of the season at the University of Indianapolis Relays in early February, crossing the finish line with a mark of 14:33.16.

Softball

Bearcats sweeps Quincy University

LEBANON --The McKendree University softball team spread out 23 hits on Monday in a doubleheader sweep over Quincy University.

The Bearcats improved to 2-7 overall and 2-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and will hit the road for its spring break trip in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and will play Arcadia University on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

McKendree collected 14 hits in game one and withstood a late rally to hold on for a 7-5 win. The Bearcats scored two runs in each of the first two innings, and added three in the seventh inning.

Junior pitcher Kelsie Stoszkus (O'Fallon) improved to 1-2 with the win, and Jamie Doggendorf led McKendree at the plate with three hits and two runs scored.

The Bearcats led 9-0 after three innings in game two to cruise to a 9-1 win in five innings.

Freshman pitcher Holly Magre earned her first collegiate win, improving to 1-2 overall, and had two strikeouts in the game, while Caitlyn Stredde and Lindsay Schmitz each had two hits. Stredde also had three RBI in the win.

LU-Belleville will meet UMSL on Wednesday

ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- The Lindenwood University-Belleville softball team finished the weekend 4-2 after playing two games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. After the weekend the Lady Lynx move to 7-9-1 on the season.

Next up the Lady Lynx will travel to St. Louis, Mo. Wednesday night to take on UMSL. First pitch is scheduled for 5 pm.

On Friday night the Lady Lynx took on Roosevelt University in the first game, followed by Indiana-Southeast. Against the Lady Lakers of Roosevelt, the Lady Lynx jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first inning. Kaylin Stewart led off the inning with a triple and would later come in to score on a wild pitch. Jordan Edwards picked up an RBI single in the inning, scoring Brittany Bickelman after she walked.

The Lady Lynx added two more runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. Bickelman picked up an RBI double in the inning and would later come around to score after an error by the Lady Lakers. In the third inning Mikayla Conlin led off the inning with a double and pinch runner's Ajah Douglas and Tayiana Poore came around to score after a Tiffani Shadowens two RBI single.

The Lady Lynx added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and went on to win 8-0 in five innings. Michelle Pilster got the win in the circle for the Lady Lynx going five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. Eight different Lady Lynx hitters picked up a hit in the victory.

In the second game of the night the Lady Lynx took on the Lady Grenadiers of Indiana - Southeast. Indiana - Southeast took a 1-0 lead after the first inning. The Lady Lynx tied the game up in the bottom of the second inning. Jamie Navarro picked up a two out single and Marisa Cinquepalmi hit a triple that scored Navarro.

The Lady Grenadiers took the lead right back in the top of the third inning. With two outs the Lady Grenadiers capitalized on a Lady Lynx error to take a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the inning the Lady Lynx picked up three runs on three hits and took advantage of a Lady Grenadiers error. Taylor Winn provided the spark in the inning with a two RBI double. Shadowens drove Winn in during the next at bat.

Amanda Ahlert came in to relief in the fourth inning and picked up the win after going one inning allowing just one hit. Pilster was credited with the save after pitching the final three innings. Seven different Lady Lynx hitters picked up hits during the nightcap.

On Saturday, the Lady Lynx took on the Lady Grenadiers in the first game of the Lindenwood - Belleville Spring Invitational. The Lady Lynx were the away team in this game and got on the board first in the top of the first inning. Stewart led off the game with a single and was moved over to second base after a sacrifice bunt. With one out Taylor Thomas singled into short left field, scoring Stewart. The Lady Grenadiers came right back in the bottom of the inning and tied the game at one.

The score remained tied in until the bottom of the sixth inning. Katelyn Heines hit a ball into short left field that went just past the outstretched arms of the Lady Lynx right field and rolled all the way to the fence. Heines came around to score on the inside the park home run and the Lady Grenadiers went on to win 2-1.

Michelle Pilster suffered the loss in the circle after going six innings, allowing just three hits and two runs. Navarro led the Lady Lynx at the plate with two hits including a triple. Stewart and Thomas picked up the only other two hits for the Lady Lynx.

In the second game of the day the Lady Lynx took on future American Midwest Conference opponent Lyon College Lady Scots, who picked up three runs in the top of the first inning to take an early 3-0 lead.

The Lady Lynx cut the deficit to two in the bottom of the third inning. Stewart led off the inning with a single, followed by a single by Bickelman. Navarro grounded out to second in the next at bat for the Lady Lynx scoring Stewart from third base.

The Lady Lynx took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the inning the Lady Lynx picked up three runs on two hits and took advantage of four errors by the Lady Scots. In the top of the seventh the Lady Scots led off the inning with a double, but Pilster came into the game and retired the next three batters to pick up the save. The Lady Lynx took the fourth game of the weekend 4-3.

Taylor Winn picked up her first collegiate victory in the circle after pitching six innings, allowing just three hits, while striking out six. Bickelman led the Lady Lynx at the plate going a perfect 4-4, including a triple and an RBI.

In the first game on Sunday the Lady Lynx took on the Lady Lakers of Roosevelt University for the second time in three days. The Lady Lynx picked up the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Edwards reached base on a single that bounced over the head of the Lady Lakers third baseman. On the next pitch Edwards stole second base. Two pitches later Edwards stole third base and after a throwing error by the Lady Lakers catcher, Edwards came into score.

The Lady Lakers tied the game up at one in the top of the fifth inning. Sam Kusta led off the inning with a double and came around to score after an RBI single by Amanda Ferguson.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the sixth inning. Stewart led off the inning with a triple, and came into score on an RBI triple by Navarro. Pilster came into the game to pinch hit and hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Navarro.

The Lady Lakers picked up a run in the top of the seventh inning, but Pilster struck out Kelly Crowley to end the game and the Lady Lynx took the victory 3-2.

Winn picked up her second win of the season in the circle after going six innings, allowing just six hits and picking up four strikeouts. Stewart and Navarro led the Lady Lynx at the plate, picking up two hits apiece.

In the final game of the weekend the Lady Lynx took on future American Midwest Conference opponent William Woods University. The Lady Owls got on the board in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. They added three runs in the bottom of the third innings to extend their lead to four.

In the top of the fifth inning the Lady Lynx picked up a run to cut the deficit to three. Sierra Brown led off the inning with a walk, followed by a fielder's choice by Edwards. Edwards moved up to second on a stolen base and came around to score on a two out double by Mikayla Powers.

The Lady Owls added a run in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth inning and take the victory 6-1. Pilster suffered the loss in the circle for the Lady Lynx after going four and a third innings, allowing six hits and five runs. Powers led the way at the plate with two hits and one RBI.

Men's volleyball

Bearcats beat Holy Names University

LEBANON -- The McKendree University men's volleyball team pushed its win streak to three consecutive matches by posting a three-set sweep Saturday at home against Holy Names University Hawks (1-6). The Bearcats cruised to the win by scores of 25-13, 25-20 and 25-22.

McKendree moves to 6-15 overall with the victory.

Freshman outside hitter Mike Polizzi put down a match-high 13 kills to pace the offense for McKendree. Polizzi also had a hitting percentage of .450 in the sweep of the Hawks. Freshman middle blocker Wyatt Patterson contributed 10 kills while hitting .353 in the effort. Patterson also had three assisted blocks. Freshman setter Jack MacLean handed out 37 assists for the Bearcats, while Polizzi and freshman libero Brice Miller (Althoff Catholic) shared team-high honors with five digs.

Women's tennis

Cougars Fall to Southern Miss

HATTIEBURG, Miss. -- Kali Donner and Lexi Aranda won their singles matches in a 5-2 loss for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's tennis at Southern Miss.

Donner bested Southern Miss's Kathrin Waidner 7-5, 6-2 at No. 4 singles while Aranda downed Mahitha Dadireddy 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Aranda improved to 12-4 in singles.

Southern Miss improved to 3-8 overall by winning the doubles point and four singles matches in straight sets. SIUE's overall record fell to 4-5.

Men's tennis

Cougars lose to Southern Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Jacob Perkins earned the lone point for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's tennis in a 6-1 loss Friday at Southern Miss.

Perkins defeated Juan Escobar 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 10-6 at No. 5 singles. Patrick Gaffigan, at No. 6 singles, went three sets with Brad Marriott but was edged in the third-set tiebreaker 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.

Southern Miss evened his overall record to 7-7 with five singles wins and two out of three victories in doubles.

SIUE's Nicolas Vincent and Jake Tanulanond captured an 8-7 (7-4) win at No. 3 doubles.

SIUE fell to 4-6.

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