College Sports

Local college sports briefs

SIUE men enjoy summer golf success

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s golfers are enjoying a strong start to the summer.

Four current student-athletes and two incoming freshmen have already begun qualifying for various state amateur tournaments.

“The guys are off to a great start this summer and, more importantly, are testing themselves against some great competition,” SIUE Director of Golf Derrick Brown said. “We always talk about improving every time you tee it up and these events will definitely make them better.”

Senior Colin McCarty shot rounds of 68-70 at the Sierra Vista Championship at Pueblo Del Sol Country Club to win by 10 shots June 6-7. He also played in the 100th Southwestern Amateur in Scottsdale, Arizona, June 10-11 firing rounds of 71-77.

Sophomore Austin Glendinning (Goodyear, Arizona) finished in a tie for 30th place in the Mid-May Arizona State Stroke Play with rounds of 76-72-76-71. He also played in the 100th Southwestern Amateur in Scottsdale, Arizona, finishing with rounds of 82-76.

Sophomore Brady Dixon qualified June 3 for the Missouri Amateur by shooting a 76. The Amateur will be contested in Branson, Missouri, at Buffalo Ridge Golf Course June 23-28.

Sophomore Danny Gorman won his qualifier with a three-under par 69 to qualify for the Illinois Amateur, which will be held July 14-16 at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Illinois.

Incoming freshman Conor Dore also qualified for the Illinois Amateur July 14-16 at Panther Creek Country Club, finishing third in his qualifier with a 71 (-1).

Incoming freshman Kyle Slattery won his Illinois Junior Amateur qualifier, at Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Illinois, with a two-under par 69. The Illinois Jr. Amateur is June 23-25 at Makray Memorial in Barrington, Illinois. Slattery also finished second in his Illinois Amateur qualifier with a 70 (-2) and also will compete in Springfield on July 14-16.

“I’m excited about the amount of tournaments our guys compete in during the summer months,” Brown added. “I know this will help them be more prepared for the start of the season in August.”

McKendree women’s lacrosse earns academic honors

The McKendree University women’s lacrosse team had 10 team members honored by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) on Tuesday for their work in the classroom in 2014-15.

A total of 69 women’s lacrosse student-athletes were named to the GLIAC All-Academic and All-Academic Excellence Teams. Criteria states the student-athlete must be an active member on the roster at the end of the season, not a freshman or a first year transfer student. All-Academic Teams are comprised of those student-athletes that meet criteria and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0-3.49. Academic Excellence Teams are comprised of student athletes that have a cumulative GPA of 3.50-4.0.

The Bearcats had five individuals named to the All-Academic team, including Ola Abdallah, Rianne Holzmeyer, Krystin Major, Hannah Schneider and Janelle Woods. McKendree also had five named to the All-Excellence team, including Nicki Alwan, Morgan Cremen, Sadie Delashmit, Amy Porta, and Victoria Lelo.

“I’m really proud of the work that our program did both in the classroom and on the field this year,” said first-year head coach Melissa Gyllenborg. “We really stress the importance of being leaders on campus both on and off the field and this is great example of how the team has really embraced that.”

The Bearcats ended their 2015 season in the semifinals of the GLIAC Tournament with an overall record of 11-7. The 11 wins set a new program record for wins in a single season, eclipsing the previous mark of three during the 2014 season.

LU-Bellville junior named NAIA All–American in baseball

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Monday that Lindenwood University-Belleville junior outfielder Christian Cavaness has been named NAIA Honorable Mention All–American. With the award, Cavaness becomes the first Lynx baseball player to be named NAIA All–American.

Cavaness had possibly the single greatest season in Lynx history, putting on a hitting display in the second half of the season. Beginning with a game at (23) Freed Hardeman, Cavaness boasted an incredible .547 batting average and .651 on-base percentage through the final 20 games of the season. In those 20 games, he hit six doubles, five triples, seven homeruns, drove in 27 runs, scored 34 more, and slugged an insane 1.125 (meaning he averaged over one base per at-bat).

During this streak, Cavaness nearly hit for the cycle twice in consecutive games. The first at Freed Hardeman, in a 4-for-4 effort, Cavaness came up just a triple shy of the first cycle in Lynx history. The following day, at Murray State, Cavaness hit a triple, homerun, and double before striking out in his final at-bat, just a single shy of history again. By the end of the season, Cavaness had 10 doubles, 10 triples, and 11 home runs becoming the first 10, 10, 10 player in the history of the program. While Cavaness did it in just one season, no other player has accumulated those numbers in a career.

Cavaness set seven single season records this season. The records included hits (66), games played (53), runs (64), triples (10), home runs (11), RBIs (48), stolen bases (23), and total bases (129). In just three years in a Lynx uniform Cavaness also set five career records. He has totaled 14 triples, 20 home runs, and collected 120 RBIs. Cavaness has also accumulated 60 stolen bases and 263 total bases.

At the NAIA level, Cavaness ranked in the top 20 in five categories. He ranked fourth in total triples and triples per game. Cavaness ranked eighth in slugging percentage and runs scored per game. He also ranked 19th in total runs scored.

Several Cougars playing in summer baseball

With the College World Series under way, there are just eight NCAA baseball teams still in action. For many student-athletes from the other 293 NCAA Division I teams, attention has turned to the summer collegiate leagues. That list includes 10 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville baseball players.

“These guys are playing baseball for six months straight (including the college season),” SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. “This is just an extended opportunity to keep getting better every day.”

Three pitchers, particularly, are enjoying early success in summer baseball.

Jarrett Bednar has appeared in three games with the Kokomo (Indiana) Jackrabbits, of the Prospect League. He has a 2-0 record and a 0.00 earned run average. He has 12 strikeouts and two walks in 8 1/3 innings. Ryan Agnitsch has made five appearances for the Duluth (Minnesota) Huskies of the Northwoods League. He is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA. He has struck out five in nine innings. P.J. Schuster has made three starts for the Kenosha (Wisconsin) Kingfish, also of the Northwoods League. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He has 18 strikeouts and just three walks over 18 innings pitched.

P.J. Schuster pitches for Kenosha.

“You get a different perspective playing for different coaches,” Stoecklin continued. “I had the opportunity to play for six different managers. I learned a lot from every one of them.”

Infielder Skyler Geissinger, playing for the Asheboro (North Carolina) Copperheads of the Coastal Plains League, is hitting .278 in 10 games. He has a double, a triple, and four RBIs. Outfielder Dustin Woodcock is hitting .241 with two doubles and three RBIs in nine games with Hannibal (Missouri) of the Prospect League. Infielder Mario Tursi (Glenview, Illinois) hit .250 in six games with the Wisconsin (Wausau) Woodchucks of the Northwoods League.

Infielder Jacob Stewart and pitcher Zach Malach are each playing in Laramie, Wyoming, in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Baseball League. The team opened the season Monday.

Pitcher Brendan Miller is playing for the Joliet Admirals of the Midwest Collegiate League, while outfielder Collin Book (Palmyra, Indiana) is playing in the St. Louis Metro Collegiate League for the Devils. Stats were not available for either of those players.

“This is a chance to use baseball as an opportunity to travel and see other parts of the country,” Stoecklin added.

Lady Lynx receiving votes in final NAIA coaches’ poll

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that the Lindenwood University–Belleville softball team received votes in the final coaches’ poll of the season. With 56 total votes, the Lynx ranked #26 in the NAIA.

Appearing in the NAIA Opening Round for the first time in program history, the Lady Lynx finished 2-2. On day one the Lady Lynx upset the No. 1 seeded Science and Arts, and the No. 2 seed William Carey. Needing only one win to advance to the NAIA World Series, the Lady Lynx fell to William Carey by scores of 2-0 and 3-2 on day two. With the losses the Lady Lynx finished the season with a 35-25 record.

Junior college transfer to join SIUE softball

Page Clinton will join the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville softball program for the 2016 season, coach Sandy Montgomery has announced.

“Page is a utility player who will excel in one position once she gets here,” said Montgomery. “I don’t know what that will be until we get her on the field to see how she performs at this level.”

SIUE is coming off a 43-win season in which the Cougars were the regular season champions for the Ohio Valley Conference.

Clinton will have two years of eligibility with the Cougars after spending the past two seasons as a standout at Lake Land College (Illinois).

A member of the 2015 NJCAA Division One Region 24 All-Region team, she was a two-time Region 24 All-Tournament team honoree. She also earned All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference honors this past season.

Montgomery said Clinton has great speed and the ability to play several positions.

“She certainly has all of the skills to put herself in a position to get playing time,” added Montgomery.

Clinton was a four-time All-South Seven Conference performer at Mt. Vernon Township High School. She played summer softball for three years with the Downstate Rippers and four seasons with the Midland Magic.

“She is a good student, a savvy player, and very competitive. She fits right into the mold that we like to recruit,” said Montgomery.

The daughter of Wayne and Melinda Clinton, she plans to major in exercise science at SIUE.

Eight Lynx named NAIA scholar–athletes

The Lindenwood University–Belleville athletic department had eight student–athletes named NAIA Scholar–Athletes for the winter and spring seasons. During the fall season the Lynx had six athletes receive the award.

Shelby Kohrmann and Kirstie Owen represented the Lady Lynx women’s basketball for their success in the classroom. Kohrmann and Owen were two of 104 student–athletes to receive the award. The Lady Lynx finished the season with a 17-14 record and their first appearance in the AMC Tournament. Both Kohrmann and Owen were also named AMC All–Conference. Kohrmann was named NAIA All–American for the second consecutive year.

Jake Peal was the lone representative from the men’s track and field team. Peal received the award for the second straight year. He was one of 287 student – athletes to receive the award. The Lynx track and field team finished in third place in the AMC Championships during the indoor season and picked up their first Conference Championship during the outdoor season.

Hannah Cockrum, Mikayla Conlin, and Jordan Edwards were named for the Lady Lynx softball team. Cockrum, Conlin, and Edwards were three of 380 student–athletes to receive the award. The Lady Lynx made history this spring, winning the AMC Regular Season Championship for the first time in program history. They also became the first female team in school history to win a conference championship. In their first trip to the NAIA Opening Round, the Lady Lynx finished 2-2 after dropping a pair of games to William Carey.

Corey Kovach and Michael Sabatino were named for the Lynx baseball team. Kovach and Sabatino were two of 354 players to receive the award. The Lynx baseball team finished the season with a 26-27 record and their first appearance in the AMC Tournament. On April 8 the Lynx made history when they defeated NCAA Division I opponent Murray State 8-2. They became the first program in school history to defeat an NCAA Division I opponent.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status