College Sports

Local college sports briefs

Bearcats will play spring game Saturday

The McKendree University football program will wrap up its spring practice season by holding its annual spring football game on Saturday at Leemon Field. Kickoff for the contest is set for 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

McKendree head football coach Mike Babcock and his staff have put more than 80 players through their paces during the spring practice season. The spring game will be the culmination of the spring practice season, which includes a total of 15 practice sessions. According to Babcock, the last few weeks have been productive ones for his players.

“It’s been great to get back out on the field and continue to build on the great finish we had to last season,” said Babcock, who is entering his third season as the head football coach at McKendree. “We have a lot of key personnel returning on both sides of the ball, and you can see the hard work they have put in, not only during spring practice, but in their off-season workouts as well. We look forward to taking the field on Saturday so our fans can see that progress.”

The McKendree football team closed the 2014 season with five consecutive victories. The Bearcats were 5-6 overall and finished in a tie for second place in the final Great Lakes Valley Conference standings at 5-3.

On Saturday, McKendree will have a brief warm-up period before taking part in a full intrasquad scrimmage to close out spring practice. At halftime of the spring game there will also be a brief ceremony to honor junior defensive lineman Lucky Baar, who led NCAA Division II in sacks per game in 2014. Baar notched a school-record 18 quarterback sacks a year ago and averaged 1.64 sacks per contest.

McKendree fishermen reel in good finish

The McKendree University bass fishing duo of Dustin Pendegraft (Lebanon) and Shane Campbell (Highland) narrowly missed qualifying for the FLW Central Division Championship on Saturday at the FLW Central Conference Qualifying tournament on Table Rock Lake.

Pendegraft and Campbell weighed in a five-fish limit of 11 pounds-11 ounces, that was good enough for a 17th place finish and were only two ounces shy of qualifying for the division championship. The tournament field had 80 boats from the Central Division.

The bass were in the middle of the their spawning cycle and the fishing was much tougher than the expected.University of Evansville won the event with a limit weighing in at 16 pounds, two ounces. Other McKendree teams in the event were Brock Wilke (Breese Mater Dei) and Curtis Lilly taking 40th place with eight pounds-three ounces, Phillip Germagliotti (Highland) and Austin Chapman taking 41st place with seven pounds-15 ounces, and Jordan Ledbetter (Carlyle) and Trent Robinson taking 67th place with one pound-14 ounces.

The Bearcats will be represented at the FLW National Championship on Lake Murray in South Carolina this Thursday through Saturday by the duo of Pendegraft and Germagliotti. The rest of the team will be competing on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tenn. at the Cabela's/Boat US Collegiate Bass Fishing Open on Friday and Saturday.

Winn grabs 2nd Pitcher of the Week award

After leading the Lindenwood University–Belleville softball team to a 4-2 week, sophomore pitcher Taylor Winn has been named American Midwest Conference Pitcher of the Week. The Lady Lynx were perfect in conference play, sweeping doubleheaders against William Woods and Freed-Hardeman. In their only losses of the week the Lady Lynx fell to St. Mary of the Woods on Saturday.

In 14 2/3 innings pitched this week, Winn allowed just one earned run and nine hits. She finished with 12 strikeouts, compared to just four walks. Winn held hitters to a .176 batting average.

Winn also made her presence felt at the plate this past week. She finished with a .357 batting average.

After the 4-2 week the Lady Lynx moved to 19-19 on the season.

This is Winn's second Pitcher of the Week award this season and the second in her career.

SIUE men’s soccer camps announced

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s soccer has announced the upcoming camp schedule including a free clinic April 17.

All camps take place at SIUE’s Korte Stadium. Registration and additional information are available at

Campers will receive instruction and training from SIUE men’s soccer staff and players. The 2014 Cougars won their first-ever Missouri Valley Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated Northwestern in the first round. SIUE bowed out of the tournament with a 1-0 loss at No. 18 California.