INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS

1A LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (20-9) VS. NORTH DAVIESS (26-3)

GAME TIME: 10:30 AM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

2A CENTRAL NOBLE (28-2) VS. PROVIDENCE (20-6)

GAME TIME: 12:45 PM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

3A MISHAWAKA MARIAN (24-3) VS. BEECH GROVE (21-6)

GAME TIME: 6 PM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

4A CHESTERTON (29-0) VS. INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (25-6)

GAME TIME: 8:15 PM ET, GAINBRIDGE.

NCAA WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT

NC STATE 89 KANSAS STATE 57

MICHIGAN 64 VILLANOVA 49

NOTRE DAME 108 OKLAHOMA 64

TENNESSEE 70 BELMONT 67

OHIO STATE 79 LSU 64

INDIANA 56 PRINCETON 55

UCONN 52 CENTRAL FLORIDA 47

NORTH CAROLINA 63 ARIZONA 45

MONDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/wcbk/scoreboard.asp

MEN’S SWEET 16 MATCH-UPS/ODDS

THURSDAY, MARCH 24

WEST

NO. 1 GONZAGA (-8.5) VS. NO. 4 ARKANSAS (154.5)

NO. 3 TEXAS TECH (-1) VS. NO. 2 DUKE (136.5)

SOUTH

NO. 2 VILLANOVA (-5) VS. NO. 11 MICHIGAN (135)

NO. 1 ARIZONA (-2) VS. NO. NO. 5 HOUSTON (145.5)

FRIDAY, MARCH 18

MIDWEST

NO. 1 KANSAS (-7.5) VS. NO. 4 PROVIDENCE (141.5)

NO. 10 MIAMI (-1.5) VS. NO. 11 IOWA STATE (133)

EAST

NO. 4 UCLA (-2.5) VS. NO. 8 UNC (142.5)

NO. 3 PURDUE (-12.5) VS. NO. 15 ST. PETER’S (135.5)

NBA SCOREBOARD

LA LAKERS 131 CLEVELAND 120

PORTLAND 119 DETROIT 115

CHARLOTTE 106 NEW ORLEANS 103

BROOKLYN 114 UTAH 106

PHILADELPHIA 113 TORONTO 99

HOUSTON 115 WASHINGTON 97

BOSTON 132 OKLAHOMA CITY 123

DALLAS 110 MINNESOTA 100

MONDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/scoreboard.asp

NHL SCOREBOARD

BOSTON 3 MONTRÉAL 2

MINNESOTA 3 VEGAS 0

COLORADO 3 EDMONTON 2

NASHVILLE 6 ANAHEIM 3

MONDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/scoreboard.asp

*****NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS/HEADLINES*****

NFL NEWS

AP source: Colts get QB Matt Ryan in trade with Falcons

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indianapolis Colts acquired quarterback Matt Ryan in a trade Monday with the Atlanta Falcons, The Associated Press has learned.

Indy will send a third-round pick, No. 82 overall, for the longtime Falcons star, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been made official.

Ryan, who turns 37 in May, led Atlanta to its second Super Bowl appearance following the 2016 season, the same year he was named the league’s MVP.

Ryan’s arrival means the Colts will be starting a new opening-day quarterback for the sixth consecutive year. Indy traded last year’s starter, Carson Wentz, to the Washington Commanders earlier this month.

The trade with the Colts was quickly worked out quickly, giving Indianapolis the big-time quarterback it has been pursuing since Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement prior to the 2018 season at age 29.

The deal for Ryan came shortly after the Falcons made a highly publicized but failed bid to acquire Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

After Watson supposedly narrowed his potential choices for a trade to New Orleans and Atlanta — and with plenty of speculation that the Falcons were the favorite since Watson is a Georgia native — he stunningly changed his mind and accepted a $230 million, fully guaranteed deal with the Cleveland Browns. The Texans received three first-round picks in the deal.

Falcons sign Mariota after trading Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a two-year deal with free-agent quarterback Marcus Mariota on Monday after trading franchise stalwart Matt Ryan.

Mariota will receive $18.75 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Atlanta dealt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts following a failed attempt to replace him with Deshaun Watson. The Falcons received a 2022 third-round pick in return for the former MVP.

Mariota is coming off a two-year stint as Derek Carr’s backup with the Las Vegas Raiders. The former No. 2 overall pick has ties to Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, who served as the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator during Mariota’s tenure with the team.

Mariota, 28, started for the Titans from 2015-18 before losing the job to Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2019 campaign. He’s thrown for 77 touchdowns against 45 interceptions throughout his career.

Mariota headlined the list of remaining free-agent quarterbacks, while Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield were options for Atlanta in the trade market.

AP Source: Winston agrees to return to Saints on 2-year deal

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Free agent quarterback Jameis Winston has agreed to return to the New Orleans Saints, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

Winston, who started seven games for New Orleans in 2021 before a season-ending knee injury, has agreed to a two-year contract, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced.

NFL Network first reported Winston’s deal, which is reportedly worth about $28 million.

The Saints went 5-2 in the games Winston started in 2021, although he played just two series in his seventh game before tearing knee ligaments when he was brought down by Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White during scramble.

While the 28-year-old Winston’s rehabilitation from reconstructive surgery appears to be on schedule for him to play next season, his return to New Orleans had been uncertain while the Saints explored options at the all-important position.

New Orleans was among the leading suiters for Deshaun Watson before he approved a trade from Houston to Cleveland. The Browns’ Baker Mayfield and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo also could wind up with new teams via trades.

The 28-year-old Winston did not post particularly high passing numbers in his first season starting for the Saints as the successor to franchise all-time passer Drew Brees.

Cowboys add free agents Fowler, Washington as Schultz signs

FRISCO, Texas (AP) The Dallas Cowboys added defensive end Dante Fowler and receiver James Washington in free agency Monday, and tight end Dalton Schultz signed his $10.9 million franchise tag.

The additions of Fowler and Washington come after the Cowboys lost free agent pass rusher Randy Gregory to Denver and traded No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper to Cleveland for salary cap savings.

Dallas also re-signed linebacker Luke Gifford, who returns along with 2018 first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch.

Fowler was the third overall pick by Jacksonville in 2015, the same year the Cowboys took Gregory late in the second round after his draft stock fell because of off-field concerns that included a positive marijuana test at the combine.

The 27-year-old Fowler has turned into a journeyman as he prepares to join his fourth team. He had a career-high 11 1/2 sacks for the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, a year after they acquired him from the Jaguars in a trade.

Washington was a second-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2018 but never had more than 735 yards receiving or five touchdowns for the Steelers.

The undrafted Gifford has become a valuable specials teams player for Dallas, and saw some duty on defense last season behind NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons, Keanu Neal and Vander Esch.

Tackle Trent Brown returning to Patriots on 2-year deal

FOXBOROUGH (AP) Offensive tackle Trent Brown has agreed to a two-year deal to return to the New England Patriots.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on Monday confirmed the new contract, which will help the Patriots maintain some stability on the right side of their front five after trading right guard Shaq Mason to Tampa Bay.

Brown, 28, returned to New England this past season after two years with the Raiders, but he missed eight straight games in 2021 after suffering a calf injury in the Patriots’ season opener. He returned for the final nine games (including playoffs) at right tackle and ranked as the Patriots’ second-highest rated lineman. Mason had a rating of 86.3, followed by Brown at 78.3, according to Pro Football Focus.

With Brown back, third-year lineman Mike Onwenu appears to be the leading candidate to fill Mason’s spot beside him at right guard. Onwenu started the first four games at left guard in 2021.

Such a combination could be formidable, pairing the 6-foot-8, 380-pound Brown with the 6-foot-3, 350-pound Onwenu.

Eagles sign former Colts receiver Zach Pascal to 1-year deal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles signed wide receiver Zach Pascal to a one-year contract on Monday.

Pascal had 38 catches for 384 yards and three touchdowns last season for Indianapolis. The 27-year-old spent his first four NFL seasons with the Colts. He has 150 catches for 1,888 yards and 15 TDs.

Pascal is reunited with Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, who was the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis from 2018-20. He joins a receiving group that includes 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor.

The Eagles signed edge rusher Hasson Reddick last week and brought back six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox on a one-year deal after releasing him for salary cap purposes. The team also re-signed running back Boston Scott, wide receiver Greg Ward and defensive back Andre Chachere to one-year contracts.

Ravens agree to 3-year deal with Pro Bowl FB Patrick Ricard

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a three-year deal Monday with fullback Patrick Ricard.

Ricard has spent all five of his NFL seasons with Baltimore.

Ricard earned his third Pro Bowl selection last season. His blocking was crucial in Baltimore’s offense. He also had eight catches for a career-high 63 yards and a touchdown.

Ricard had knee issues last year and ended up on the COVID-19 list late in the season. He played in 13 games.

La’el Collins is latest prize in Bengals’ O-line rebuild

CINCINNATI (AP) The Cincinnati Bengals signed a third free-agent lineman to shore up an offensive line that has struggled to protect quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Bengals got their new right tackle on Sunday, signing former Dallas Cowboy La’el Collins to a three-year contract. Last week they inked free agents Ted Karras, likely to replace the released Trey Hopkins at center, and guard Alex Cappa as the unit gets an overhaul.

“We have three new guys that know how to set the tone,” said Frank Pollack, the Bengals’ offensive line coach. “Pros that know how to prepare and practice.”

According to the Bengals’ website, Collins said he let Burrow know that “your new bodyguard is in town.”

The 28-year-old Collins has played for the Cowboys for all of his six years in the league. He missed five games last year because of a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy but allowed just two sacks in 12 games with 10 starts. Salary cap issues – he was owed $30 million over three years – made him an odd man out with the Cowboys.

NFL MOCK DRAFT

1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: T EVAN NEAL, ALABAMA

2. DETROIT LIONS: EDGE AIDAN HUTCHINSON, MICHIGAN

3. HOUSTON TEXANS: S KYLE HAMILTON, NOTRE DAME

4: NEW YORK JETS: CB DEREK STINGLEY, JR., LSU

5. NEW YORK GIANTS: EDGE KAYVON THIBODEAUX, OREGON

6. CAROLINA PANTHERS: T CHARLES CROSS, MISSISSIPPI STATE

7. NEW YORK GIANTS (VIA CHI) : C TYLER LINDERBAUM, IOWA

8. ATLANTA FALCONS: EDGE GEORGE KARLAFTIS, PURDUE

9. DENVER BRONCOS: QB DESMOND RIDDER, CINCINNATI

10. NEW YORK JETS (VIA SEA): WR GARRETT WILSON, OHIO STATE

11. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM: CB SAUCE GARDNER, CINCINNATI

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: LB NAKOBE DEAN, GEORGIA

13. CLEVELAND BROWNS: WR JAMESON WILLIAMS, ALABAMA

14. BALTIMORE RAVENS: T IKEM EKWONU, NORTH CAROLINA STATE

15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (VIA MIA): LB DEVIN LLOYD, UTAH

16. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (VIA IND): EDGE DAVID OJABO, MICHIGAN

17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: CB TRENT MCDUFFIE, WASHINGTON

18. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: QB SAM HOWELL, NORTH CAROLINA

19. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: WR DRAKE LONDON, USC

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: QB MATT CORRAL, OLE MISS

21. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: CB ANDREW BOOTH JR. CLEMSON

22. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: WR CHRIS OLAVE, OHIO STATE

23: ARIZONA CARDINALS: G KENYON GREEN, TEXAS A&M

24. DALLAS COWBOYS: CB ROGER MCCREARY, AUBURN

25. BUFFALO BILLS: CB KAIIR ELAM, FLORIDA

26. TENNESSEE TITANS: WR TREYLON BURKS, ARKANSAS

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: WR JAHAN DOTSON, PENN STATE

28. GREEN BAY PACKERS: T BERNHARD RAIMANN, CENTRAL MICHIGAN

29. MIAMI DOLPHINS (VIA SF): T TREVOR PENNING, NORTHERN IOWA

30. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: EDGE CAMERON THOMAS, SAN DIEGO STATE

31. CINCINNATI BENGALS: T DANIEL FAALELE, MINNESOTA

32: DETROIT LIONS (VIA LAR): QB MALIK WILLIS, LIBERTY

TOP 5 QB DRAFT PROSPECTS

MALIK WILLIS, LIBERTY GRADE 6.41

Willis transferred from Auburn to Liberty after the 2018 season when Auburn coaches decided he would not be the starter. The NCAA denied his waiver request to play immediately, so he redshirted with the Flames in 2019. He took his team to new heights in 2020, leading Liberty to a 9-1 record in his 10 starts with his arm (170-of-265, 64.2%, 2,250, 20 TDs, six INTs) and his legs, as he led all FBS quarterbacks with 944 rushing yards (141 carries, 6.7 yards per carry) and tied for seventh among all FBS players with 14 rushing touchdowns. He contracted COVID-19 in December but did not miss any games as the Flames’ regular-season game against Coastal Carolina was canceled (they beat Coastal in the Mortgage Cure Bowl). They took a step back in 2021 (going 8-5) though Willis made plays through the air (207-of-339, 61.1%, 2,857 yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs) and led the squad in rushing (197-878-4.5, 13 TDs). He was named the LendingTree Bowl MVP after leading Liberty to a win over Eastern Michigan (13-of-24, 231 yards, 3 TDs; 8-58, 2 TDs rushing). Willis played two seasons for the Tigers, playing in seven games in 2017 (6-of-7, 45 yards, one TD; 16-221-13.8, one TD rushing) and nine contests the following year (5-of-7, 24 yards passing; 12-88-7.3, one TD rushing). Willis was the Georgia Class 7A Offensive Player of the Year at Roswell High School, leading his team to the state title game his senior year. His uncle, James Anderson, played LB at Virginia Tech and for 10 seasons in the NFL.

Strengths

  • Electrifying dual-threat ability and potential.
  • Frame is compact, broad and powerful.
  • Rare escapability and elusiveness on the go.
  • Finishes strong and gets what is needed on called runs.
  • Ran for 100-plus yards five times over the last two years.
  • Able to pace his release according to need.
  • Ability to recognize blitz and get the ball out.
  • Makes drive throws with twitchy hips.
  • Arm strength capable of winning in tight windows.
  • Beats safeties on deep sideline throws.
  • Ability to work through progressions when protected.
  • Wide-lens field scan on rollouts and scrambles.
  • Rapid mesh-point transition to throw on RPOs.
  • Strong hands for fluid pump, reset and launch.

Weaknesses

  • Set depth will get away from him at times.
  • Below average climbing pocket and staying throw-ready.
  • Drops eyes rather than standing in and delivering in the face of pressure.
  • Too many missed opportunities to make easy, on-schedule throws.
  • Allows throwing windows to close on him.
  • Poor field recognition and progression quickness over second half of the season.
  • Pressed and took unnecessary sacks.
  • Throwing mechanics lack repeatable consistency.
  • Needs to calm and settle his feet from the pocket.
  • Elbow drop and overstride have been culprits.
  • Deep balls can be rushed and a little flat.
  • Lack of touch greatly diminishes his margin for error as a thrower.
  • Ball placement causes stride breaks and adjustments for wideouts.
  • Accuracy plummets when scrambling.
  • Major struggles bringing in snaps and securing through contact in 2020.

KENNY PICKETT, PITTSBURGH GRADE 6.40

Pickett’s career with the Panthers got off to a big start as a freshman, leading the team to a win over Miami in his first and only start of the year (39-of-66, 59.1%, 509 yards, one TD, one INT; 26-93-3.6, two TDs rushing in four appearances). He started all 14 games the next season, throwing for 1,969 yards (180-310-58.1) and 12 touchdowns (six INTs) while scoring three times on the ground (117-220-1.9). The former top-10, pro-style quarterback recruit from Ocean Township High School in New Jersey was the full-time starter as a junior, as well, completing 61.6 percent of his passes (289-of-469) for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns against nine interceptions (also 95-110-1.2, two TDs rushing). Pickett was the Quick Lane Bowl MVP (27-of-39, 361 yards, three TDs) in the team’s win over Eastern Michigan, setting a school record with a 96-yard TD pass. The 2020 team captain started nine games that season (203-of-332, 61.1%, 2,408 yards, 13 TDs, nine INTs; 81-145-1.8, eight TDs rushing), missing two contests with an ankle injury. Pickett decided to return to school instead of going to the NFL for one final season in 2021, which paid off handsomely with many awards (Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, Senior CLASS Award, second-team Associated Press All-American, ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year) in addition to landing finalist spots for the Heisman Trophy (finished third in the voting), Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien Award. He led the Panthers to the ACC Championship, ranked sixth in the FBS with a school-record 4,319 passing yards and fourth with 334 completions (497 attempts, 67.2 percent) and an ACC-record 42 passing touchdowns (just seven INT). Pickett also broke Pitt career records with 12,303 passing yards and broke Dan Marino’s record with 81 passing touchdowns. He also used his feet to run for 241 yards and five scores in 2021. Pickett started 13 games in his final year, opting out of the team’s bowl game to prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft. His father, Ken, is in the Shippensburg (PA) University Athletics Hall of Fame his play at linebacker. 

Strengths

  • Broke Dan Marino’s Pitt passing records.
  • Comes from athletic family and bloodlines.
  • Has good size and all the physical tools needed as a pro.
  • Jaw-dropping improvement across the board from 2020.
  • TD-INT ratio went from 13:9 in 2020 to 42:7 in 2021.
  • Passing scheme required full-field reads.
  • Good recognition and decisions on combo-route throws to all levels.
  • Potential to get better at recalibrating reads with more work.
  • Worked with improved anticipation and tight spiral throwing into windows.
  • Velocity to stay ahead of closing coverage.
  • Arm strength to push deep outs without a problem.
  • Able to extend the play and win on the move with his arm.
  • Arm talent to make off-platform throws.
  • Elusiveness to escape a free runner and scramble for yards.

Weaknesses

  • Some scarring from previous protection issues.
  • Nervous feet and poise can get the best of him despite clean pockets.
  • Drifts outside pocket rather than climbing to scan.
  • Feet don’t always follow his eyes when throwing.
  • Poor placement and touch added to drop issues.
  • Finesse throws into buckets are below average.
  • Better timing would prevent contested catches.
  • Can improve at making leading throws.
  • Doesn’t throw with much of an expedited release.
  • Needs to take the incompletion instead of the sack.

MATT CORRAL, MISSISSIPPI GRADE 6.40

Playing three years at Oaks Christian and his senior season at Long Beach Poly, Corral was a four-star recruit who had committed to USC and Florida and turned down Alabama, Georgia and Michigan before settling on Ole Miss. He played in four games while keeping his redshirt in 2018 (16-of-22, 72.7%, 239 yards, two TDs, one INT; 13-83-6.4, two TDs rushing). Corral started four games in 2019, missing two games with a rib injury and then rotating into games throughout the rest of the season (105-of-178, 59.0%, 1,362 yards, six TDs, three INTs; 57-135-2.4, one TD rushing). He broke out in 2020 and was named a Manning Award finalist after leading the FBS in total offense per game (384.3 yards), ranking ninth in passing efficiency, seventh with 29 passing touchdowns and seventh with 3,337 passing yards in 10 starts. Corral was named the Outback Bowl MVP in their win over Indiana, throwing for 342 yards and two scores. He completed his time in Oxford in style, finishing seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting and garnering second-team All-SEC honors, starting all 13 games (262-of-386, 67.9%, 3,349 yards, 20 TDs, five INTs; 152-614-4.0, 11 TDs rushing) before suffering a high-ankle sprain in the team’s bowl game.

Strengths

  • Competes hard and plays with an abundance of confidence.
  • Quicker processor and better decision-maker in 2021.
  • Hasty ball-handling for quick game and RPOs.
  • Impressive release quickness and rips a tight spiral.
  • Touch and fearlessness to work between leveled coverage.
  • Generally patient, allowing routes to develop.
  • Above-average arm strength for smaller quarterback.
  • Twitched-up hips to generate drive on window throws.
  • Made 60-yard throw without having his feet set against Alabama.
  • Throws fluffy, well-placed deep ball when protected.
  • Would rather take sack then put the ball up for grabs.
  • Would have had significantly higher completion rate if not for excessive drops.
  • Able to slip away from pressure.
  • Both elusive and combative on called runs and scrambles.

Weaknesses

  • Slender frame with size falling below desired NFL mark.
  • Too haphazard as a runner to sustain durability.
  • Scouts question whether he has necessary maturity.
  • Benefits from heavy play-action and RPO looks.
  • Needs to prove he can become a full-field reader.
  • Babies and aims the short throw.
  • Deep ball needs to come out earlier for speedy NFL targets.
  • Will take unnecessary chances against lingering safety help.
  • Most of his interceptions were layups for the defender.
  • Poise and placement take a hit once his feet are moving.
  • Takes too long to leave pocket and seek refuge under duress.

DESMOND RIDDER CINCINNATI 6.36

The Louisville native played for former NFL offensive lineman Will Wolford at Saint Xavier High School, getting his first scholarship offer from current Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor when he was the offensive coordinator at UC. After taking a redshirt in 2017, Ridder started 12 of 13 games in his first season on the field, winning the American Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year Award by completing 62.4 percent of his passes (194-of-311) for 2,445 yards, 20 touchdowns and five picks. He also rushed 149 times for 583 yards (3.9 per carry) and five scores on the year. Ridder started all 13 games in 2019, though his production dropped a bit (179-of-325, 55.1%, 2,164 yards, 18 TDs, nine INTs; 144-650-4.5, five TDs rushing). He took a step forward in 2020, as he was named the AAC Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference passer (186-of-281, 66.2%, 2,296 yards, 19 TDs, six INTs) while leading his 9-1 squad with 12 rushing TDs (98-592-6.0) in 10 starts. Ridder was the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year again in 2021 (251-of-387, 64.9%, 3,334 yards, 30 TDs, eight TDs; 110-365-3.3, six TDs rushing in 14 starts), leading the Bearcats to the College Football Playoff and setting school career records with 87 passing touchdowns and 12,418 yards of total offense. 

Strengths

  • Jump in production and play from 2020 to 2021.
  • Team captain who plays with confidence and command on the field.
  • Mobile and athletic but looks to win from the pocket.
  • Pocket poise with easy slide away from pressure points.
  • Quick to process what the defense shows him.
  • Uses eyes to hold single-high safety and set up a deep shot.
  • Patient in allowing routes to mature and uncover.
  • Mobility to elude pressure and reset launch point outside the pocket.
  • Machine-like mechanics and footwork.
  • Operates from a well-balanced platform.
  • Able to pump and alter target choice when needed.
  • Changes speeds and alters touch underneath.
  • Throws the out route with timing and break anticipation.
  • Speed to turn a scramble into a chunk play.

Weaknesses

  • Deep balls have a tendency to come up short.
  • Gives safeties time to range over the top from the post.
  • Average arm strength for tight-window throws.
  • Windup slows overall release quickness.
  • Slower operation time led to 26 career batted passes, per PFF.
  • Struggles in throwing receivers open.
  • Inconsistent accuracy on intermediate throws.
  • Rarely gets all the way through his progressions.
  • Average elusiveness could bring heavy punishment as a runner.
  • Below-average placement and velocity for pro throws.
  • Peels back and over the top of the pocket, leading to sacks.

SAM HOWELL NORTH CAROLINA 6.22

Howell set the North Carolina high school record for total offensive yards with 17,036, ranking second with 13,145 passing yards, during his career at Sun Valley. He committed to Florida State initially, but UNC head coach Mack Brown convinced the four-star, top-100 overall recruit nationally to stay in his home state. Howell played immediately for the Tar Heels, starting all 13 games in 2019 to garner ACC Rookie of the Year and third-team All-ACC honors. That season, he ranked fourth in the FBS with 38 touchdown passes and 10th in passing efficiency (259-of-422, 61.4%, 3,641 yards, seven INTs; one rushing TD) and was named the Military Bowl Most Valuable Player (25-of-34, 294 yards, three TD passing; 53 rushing yards, receiving TD). He was a second-team All-ACC pick and Manning Award finalist in 2020, ranking fourth in the FBS with 3,586 passing yards, fourth with 15.1 yards per completion, sixth with 30 passing touchdowns and eighth in passing efficiency (237-of-438, 68.1%, seven INTs in 12 starts). Howell struggled a bit in 2021 after losing multiple offensive playmakers to the NFL but still garnered honorable mention accolades and ranked ninth in the FBS with 324 yards of total offense per game as a dual threat (217-347-62.5, 3,056 yards, 24 TD, nine INT passing; 183-828-4.5, 11 TD rushing in 12 starts). He had three games of 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, behind only Lamar Jackson’s four such contests over the past 25 seasons, and he set UNC career records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense while throwing a touchdown in all 37 games. 

Strengths

  • Gamer tendencies since freshman season.
  • Confident demeanor leaks over to teammates.
  • Has some sandlot talent when pressed.
  • Climbs pocket with scanner still clicked on.
  • Adequate decision-maker reading combo routes.
  • Can get to his third read across the field.
  • Looks for explosive throws outside the pocket.
  • Nimble dealing with foot traffic.
  • Zip and multiple arm slots for off-platform throws.
  • Took yards with his legs rather than forcing throws in 2021.
  • Red-zone value as a runner.
  • Frisky with shake to elude and pop to finish.

Weaknesses

  • Squatty frame and tightly bound limbs.
  • Ball pat and windup slow the release.
  • Touch and timing both need work.
  • Muscles the throws with upper body causing the ball to sail.
  • Falls off the throw unnecessarily.
  • Gives safety a head-start to make plays over the top.
  • Deep balls come out late and a little flat.
  • Placement issues make receivers work hard.
  • Lacks accuracy on drive throws.
  • Needs to trust his eyes and cut it loose.
  • Takes too many unnecessary sacks.

NBA NEWS

New Orleans Pelicans do not expect star forward Zion Williamson to return this season despite progressing in his recovery from a foot injury, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

While Williamson was recently cleared for basketball activities, the Pelicans only have 11 regular-season games remaining, leaving a tight window for the Duke product to complete his rehab.

The former No. 1 overall pick, who underwent surgery on his broken foot during the offseason, has suffered multiple setbacks throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

Williamson has made just 85 appearances over the past three seasons. However, he’s been very productive when available for the Pelicans, averaging 25.7 points, seven boards, and 3.2 assists.

New Orleans is tied for ninth in the West and holds a 2.5-game lead on the 11th-seeded San Antonio Spurs.

Home cookin’: LeBron leads Lakers over Cavs in Ohio return

CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James broke them all out – the fadeaway jumper, the fly-through-the-lane shot, some signature dunks, one over former teammate and friend Kevin Love, the patented pregame chalk toss.

Back home, in front of the fans who know him almost like family, James showed he’s still the game’s most dominant force.

James scored 38 points, notched another triple-double and sparked memories of his time in Cleveland, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 131-120 win Monday over the Cavaliers, who had a horrid defensive night.

It was James’ only visit home this season – other than the All-Star Game last month – and the star from Akron thrilled fans who have followed him since he was a boy. He added 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his 105th career triple-double and sixth this season.

“I’m all out of words,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I don’t have any more. He was in control, had an all-time dunk on his old teammate – his old friend, which I’m sure they enjoyed and will talk about. What a hell of a night.”

Williams, McLemore lead short-handed Blazers past Pistons

DETROIT (AP) Brandon Williams scored 23 points and Ben McLemore added 21 as the patchwork Portland Trail Blazers ended a four-game losing streak with a 119-115 win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Detroit, which trailed by 23 points in the third period, took a 106-105 lead on Luka Garza’s free throw with 5:02 to play before Portland responded with a 7-2 run.

Cade Cunningham had two key turnovers down the stretch, and Williams’ layup put the Trail Blazers up 116-112 with 47.8 seconds to go.

“You can’t turn the ball over 19 times for 30 points and expect to win games in this league,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “A lot of those were live-ball turnovers, and there’s no way to defend those.”

The Pistons turned the ball over, and although Kris Dunn missed a 3-pointer, Justise Winslow got the rebound and Williams made it 118-112 with two free throws.

Williams finished 11 for 11 from the free-throw line. That pleased his coach.

Hornets defeat Pelicans 106-103 for 5th straight victory

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier each scored 17 points and the Charlotte Hornets came back to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-103 on Monday night for their fifth straight win.

Miles Bridges added 15 points and Mason Plumlee chipped in with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte, which trailed most of the second half and overcame 17 turnovers.

“We had a bad February and we were dropping out of the playoffs, so we just wanted to show the NBA that we’re here,” Bridges said. “We are going to continue to play like this and put the NBA on notice.”

CJ McCollum scored 27 points for New Orleans and Jonas Valanciunas was dominant in the paint most of the night, finishing with 24 points and 18 rebounds. The Pelicans had their two-game win streak snapped.

“Resiliency, toughness – we never gave in and we found a way,” Hornets coach James Borrego said.

Durant has 37, Nets beat Jazz 114-106 to extend good stretch

NEW YORK (AP) Already without Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, the Brooklyn Nets were down another starter to illness and lost one to injury.

They still had Kevin Durant, and that was enough against Utah.

“He made us pay,” Jazz forward Rudy Gay said.

Durant had 37 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Nets beat the Jazz 114-106 on Monday night for their sixth win in seven games.

Bruce Brown added 22 points for the Nets, who stayed in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Nic Claxton, starting for ailing center Andre Drummond, made all five shots and scored 11 in the Nets’ 38-point third quarter that broke open the game.

Durant scored 15 in that period and said Brooklyn’s strong play lately has been a team effort.

Maxey scores 28 as 76ers, without Harden, Embiid, beat Heat

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Tyrese Maxey told teammate Joel Embiid he’d step up in his absence. Then, Maxey took over the game and the fans’ chants normally reserved for the 76ers’ star center.

Maxey scored 13 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in a row during a crucial stretch, and short-handed Philadelphia – without Embiid and James Harden – beat the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat 113-106 on Monday night.

Shake Milton scored 20 points and Furkan Korkmaz added 18 for Philadelphia, which pulled within 2 1/2 games of the Heat in the conference. Embiid sat out with back soreness and Harden with left hamstring tightness.

“He said, `Go out there and help us get a `W’,” Maxey said of Embiid’s pregame message. “I told him, `I got him.'”

Boy, did he ever.

Maxey took over the final 2 1/2 minutes with the game on the line. In a contest that was tight from the tip, Philadelphia was clinging to a two-point lead when Maxey scored on a drive, was fouled and made the free throw for a 106-101 lead with 2:18 left.

DeRozan, LaVine propel Bulls to 113-99 win over Raptors

CHICAGO (AP) DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine each scored 26 points and Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 13 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls beat the Toronto Raptors 113-99 on Monday night.

DeRozan shot 11 for 14 as the Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak and remained in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto hung around until LaVine scored six-straight points to break the game open in the third quarter as the Bulls pieced together a 21-8 run. LaVine scored 14 of his 26 points in the third, going 6 of 8 from the floor in that span.

“We need (LaVine) to be aggressive,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “We need him to play downhill. We need him to take his shots when they’re there. The thing I love about Zach is, one thing people look at, but he generated a lot of offense for us. He made great passes.”

Pascal Siakam led Toronto with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting and had five rebounds. Fred VanVleet scored 19 points on 7-for-22 shooting from the field and 3-for-12 sniping from 3-point range. Chris Boucher had 19 points, and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Wood makes career-best 8 3s as Rockets down Wizards 115-97

HOUSTON (AP) Late in a difficult season, Christian Wood gave the Houston Rockets a reason to smile Monday night.

Wood set career highs with eight 3-pointers and 39 points as the Rockets used a huge second-half run to rally for a 115-97 win over the Washington Wizards.

“This is one of those feel-good games, probably the most fun I’ve had all season,” Wood said. “Everything was just clicking for me.”

The Rockets trailed by 23 in the first half but slowly trimmed the deficit before going on a 16-0 spurt over the last minute of the third quarter and the first four minutes of the fourth to take the lead.

Wood made eight of nine attempts from 3-point range, connecting four times in the fourth quarter.

Houston was up five in the fourth before scoring the next eight points, with 3s from Wood and Alperen Sengun, to make it 100-87 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining.

Kristaps Porzingis hit two free throws before the Rockets got another 3 from Wood.

Tatum scores 36, Celtics roll past Oklahoma City 132-123

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Jayson Tatum scored 36 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 132-123 on Monday night.

Tatum has scored 30-or-more points in his last three games, extending the streak on 11-of-19 shooting against Oklahoma City. Jaylen Brown added 25 points and Grant Williams scored 20.

“We came out with the right mindset offensively,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said. “Obviously, the second half was a little bit different. But we talked about going 4-0, finishing the (road) trip on the right foot and did that ultimately.”

Tre Mann set a Thunder franchise rookie scoring record with 35 points on 13-of-21 shooting and 7-of-12 sniping from 3-point range.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, back in the Thunder lineup after being held out of Sunday’s loss to Orlando, scored 31 points.

“I thought we hung in there,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “We took a pretty hard punch early and it took us a minute to stabilize the game. And even then, it was hard for us to get close.”

Boston opened the first quarter with a 13-0 run, creating a cushion it held most of the night.

Bullock, Mavs hold on after delay, beat Timberwolves 110-108

DALLAS (AP) A 15-minute rain delay in an arena before the game, another interruption during a tedious and wild finish for teams jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference.

Reggie Bullock must not have minded either wait.

The Dallas guard scored 18 points with a clutch 3-pointer late after missing four games for personal reasons, and the Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-108 on Monday night.

Luka Doncic had 15 points and 10 assists, the final one setting up a 3 by Dorian Finney-Smith from the same right corner where Bullock connected moments later for a five-point lead with 40 seconds left.

Dwight Powell scored 22 points on 8-of-8 shooting as the Mavericks avoided their first three-game losing streak since December and pulled within a game of Utah for the fourth seed in a tight middle-of-the-playoff pack in the West.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points for the Timberwolves, who had a four-game winning streak stopped with just their second loss in 12 games. They missed a chance to pull within a half-game of Dallas for the fifth seed.

“It’s mid- or late March, and we understand what’s at stake,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “Minnesota’s a very good team. They’re hot.”

The 15-minute delay at the start came from heavy rain that led to a leak from the rafters above the stands not far from the Minnesota bench.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS

Maryland hires Seton Hall’s Willard as basketball coach

(AP) — Kevin Willard and Maryland both achieved a degree of success over the past decade.

Now they’re teaming up in the hope that bigger and better things are on the horizon.

Willard is taking over as Maryland’s basketball coach after a dozen seasons at Seton Hall. The Terrapins announced the hire Monday, three days after Seton Hall’s season ended with a loss to TCU in the NCAA Tournament. Willard took the Pirates to five of the last six NCAA tournaments, although they made the second round only once.

Maryland, meanwhile, has made the second round four times since 2015, but with only one Sweet 16 appearance. The Terrapins were in the market for a new coach after Mark Turgeon’s departure in early December. Assistant Danny Manning took over as interim coach, and the Terps went 15-17 for their first losing season since 1993.

“I have always admired the Maryland basketball program, and being named the new head coach of one of the biggest brands in college basketball is a tremendous honor,” Willard said in a statement. “Thank you to President (Darryll) Pines and (athletic director) Damon Evans for trusting me to re-energize this proud program as we look to galvanize our passionate fan base with a gritty, hard-working style of basketball. Having coached against Maryland several times and at XFINITY Center, I know how Terp fans feel about their team and understand their expectations.”

K-State hires Baylor assistant Jerome Tang as hoops coach

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Kansas State hired Jerome Tang to be its next basketball coach Monday, entrusting a program that’s had plenty of recent success but fallen on hard times to one of the architects of Baylor’s rise to national prominence.

The Wildcats hired Tang to replace Bruce Weber two days after the top-seeded Bears were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by North Carolina in overtime. Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor flew to Texas to meet with Tang on Sunday and the two sides finalized a six-year contract that will pay more than $14 million the next morning.

“I am beyond excited to be the next head basketball coach at Kansas State,” Tang said. “Having the opportunity to build on a program with a rich basketball history at a prestigious university is truly a blessing. We look forward to bringing an exciting style of basketball to K-State while helping our student-athletes succeed on the court and in life.”

Tang will be paid $2.1 million in his first season with a $100,000 increase in base salary each of the next five years, making his compensation $2.6 million for the 2027-28 season. His contract is expected to include several incentives, too.

NHL NEWS

Wild acquire Marc-Andre Fleury; Johansson back to Caps

(AP) — The NHL playoffs just wouldn’t be the same without Marc Andre-Fleury being somewhere in the mix.

Unable to backstop the retooling Chicago Blackhawks into contention, the three-time Stanley Cup-winner is headed to Minnesota to help the high-scoring Wild shore up their inconsistent goaltending issues for a late-season playoff push.

Minnesota gave up a conditional first-round pick in this year’s draft to acquire the 37-year-old Fleury hours before the NHL trade deadline on Monday.

Fleury, who last missed the playoffs during his first full season in Pittsburgh 16 years ago, jumps 10 spots in the Western Conference standings by landing in Minnesota where he will share the goaltending duties with Cam Talbot. The Wild opened the day sitting fourth overall — and third in the Central Division — in a tightly contested playoff race.

In acquiring Fleury, who won a Vezina Trophy a year ago with Vegas, Minnesota traded backup goalie Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round draft pick to San Jose for defenseman Jake Middleton. Kahkonnen had a 12-8-3 record this season and was 0-5-1 with 21 goals allowed in his past six starts.

The Wild made a separate trade in which they acquired a second-round pick in the draft this summer from the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes for unsigned prospect Jack McBain, who represented Canada at the Beijing Olympics without NHL players.

In other moves:

– Marcus Johansson is heading back to the team that drafted him. The Washington Capitals acquired Johansson from the expansion Seattle Kraken, in exchange for forward Daniel Sprong and two later-round draft picks. Seattle also retained 50% of Johansson’s $1.5 million salary cap hit.

Johansson, who signed with Seattle last summer, is on his sixth team since the Capitals traded him to New Jersey in the summer of 2017. The 31-year-old has six goals and 23 points in 51 games for the Kraken.

Johansson was a 2009 first-round pick of the Capitals, and he played his first seven NHL seasons with Washington.

– The Coyotes acquired unsigned forward prospect Nathan Smith and Bryan Little’s contract from the Winnipeg Jets for a 2022 fourth-round pick. Little is signed for two more seasons at an annual salary cap hit of $5.3 million and is not expected to play again because of concussion issues.

“We are excited to acquire Nate,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said. “He is a very skilled two-way center who is relentless and competes hard every night. We are very happy to acquire his rights and look forward to him joining the Coyotes organization.”

– In a separate move, the Jets acquired a conditional seventh-round pick in dealing defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to Pittsburgh. The Penguins, who opened the day third in the Metropolitan Division standings, made the move with an eye on the playoffs. Beaulieu, who is in the final year of his contract, is sidelined by a lower-body injury sustained earlier this month. He will remain on long-term injured reserve.

He has four assists in 24 games this season.

– The New York Rangers bolstered their blue line by acquiring veteran defenseman Justin Braun from Philadelphia for a 2023 third-round pick. Braun is in the final year of his contract. Rangers general manager Chris Drury had been looking for experience on defense after acquiring forward Frank Vatrano from Florida for a fourth-rounder.

– One goaltender who was thought to be available came off the market before the deadline when Anton Forsberg re-signed with Ottawa. Forsberg inked an $8.25 million, three-year deal.

Marchand scores 2, lifts Bruins past Canadiens in OT

MONTREAL (AP) Brad Marchand scored his second goal of the game 34 seconds into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

Connor Clifton had a goal and an assist and Erik Haula had two assists for Boston. Jeremy Swayman stopped 26 shots.

“These are games that our fanbase gets jacked up about so it deserves a little more than playing another team,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “So let’s make sure that we’re focused, on time and ready.”

Joel Armia and Denis Savard scored for Montreal, and Jake Allen finished with 43 saves.

In the extra period, the Bruins brought the puck up the ice and Haula sent a pass in the middle to Marchand. Marchand skated in, faked to his left and went to his right and backhanded it past Allen for his 27th of the season.

Canadiens interim coach Martin St. Louis was proud of what his team left on the ice playing in the aftermath of trade deadline day. General manager Kent Hughes had traded away Artturi Lehkonen, Brett Kulak and Andrew Hammond hours prior and the Canadiens kept a close game against their rivals.

“Am I disappointed that we lost today? Yes,” St. Louis said. “But in the circumstances of what we’ve gone through today, and what we’ve gone through, I thought it was a really good effort by our team.”

Talbot, Wild blank Vegas 3-0 as Fleury watches from bench

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Nicolas Deslauriers scored in his Minnesota debut and Cam Talbot stopped 28 shots for the shutout after Marc-Andre Fleury was acquired at the trade deadline to share the Wild goalie position, leading a 3-0 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.

“I tried to do my best to fit in, and they made it so easy. It’s not hard to find energy,” said Deslauriers, who was acquired on Saturday in a trade with Anaheim to help bulk up the fourth line.

Matt Dumba also had a goal and Ryan Hartman added an empty-netter for the Wild, who won their third straight game and climbed into second place in the Central Division. The arena was abuzz for the arrival of Fleury, the three-time Stanley Cup champion and reigning Vezina Trophy winner who was fetched in a deal with Chicago.

“I know we’re going to be sharing the net here, so I just go out there and play my game when I’m in there and support him when he’s in there,” said Talbot, who made his first All-Star game this year.

Talbot was injured in January and slumping in February to push goaltending to the top of the team’s to-do list, but he won his sixth straight start for his 26th career shutout and second this season.

MacKinnon scores in OT, Avalanche beat Oilers 3-2

DENVER (AP) Nathan MacKinnon scored 52 seconds into overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.

MacKinnon, who also had an assist, came into the zone on a 2-on-1 with Cale Makar. He fed MacKinnon, who beat Mike Smith for his 22nd goal of the season.

“I kind of got tangled up with (Connor) McDavid, then the puck was loose and two guys go for it,” MacKinnon said. “Cale makes an unreal play, stuff Cale always does. Great sauce to me and I managed to score.”

Mikko Rantanen had two goals, Makar finished with two assists and Darcy Kuemper stopped 23 shots in the fourth straight win for the Avalanche.

Colorado was 2 for 5 on the power play and killed off both penalties.

“Power play was outstanding and the penalty kill was good,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “That’s the difference in the hockey game for me.”

Edmonton, which is four points ahead of Dallas for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, had won five in a row.

Forsberg’s 5-point night propels Predators past Ducks, 6-3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Filip Forsberg scored two goals in the third period of a five-point performance, and Matt Duchene added two power-play goals in the final minutes of the Nashville Predators’ 6-3 victory over the skidding Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Forsberg capped his spectacular night by setting Nashville’s single-season record with his 35th goal, scoring into an empty net with 2:03 to play. He broke the franchise mark set in 2019 by Viktor Arvidsson, now with the Los Angeles Kings.

“We couldn’t let him keep it for too long when he’s not on our team anymore,” Forsberg said with a grin. “(Arvidsson) is one of my closest friends, but it feels good to take it from him, not gonna lie.”

Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen also scored for the Predators, who pulled even with Minnesota on points for second place in the Central Division with their seventh win in nine games.

Forsberg put the Predators ahead 3-2 early in the third period after a turnover by Max Comtois, and Duchene added his 33rd goal just 83 seconds later with a between-the-legs finish – something he hadn’t tried since childhood, he said.

MLB NEWS

Ryan McMahon, Rockies agree to $70M, 6-year contract

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Infielder Ryan McMahon and the Colorado Rockies agreed Monday to a $70 million, six-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.

McMahon gets $5 million this season, $9 million in 2023, $12 million in each of the following two seasons and $16 million in each of the last two years.

He can opt out of the contract following the 2025 season and become a free agent if he finishes among the top five in MVP voting in any year from 2022-24. He can opt out after the 2026 season if he finishes among the top five in MVP voting in 2025.

The 27-year-old had been eligible for arbitration ahead of this season and next, and could have become a free agent after the 2023 season.

McMahon set career bests last year with a .254 average and 86 RBIs, and he had 23 homers, one shy of his high. He has a .243 career average with 61 homers and 215 RBIs.

PGA NEWS

Phil Mickelson has been removed from this year’s Masters playing field and will miss golf’s marquee event for the first time since 1994.

The three-time winner at Augusta National is listed among other previous champions not playing on the Masters website and informed the club he won’t be participating, according to Golf Magazine’s Dylan Dethier.

Mickelson hasn’t played professionally since announcing in February he’s stepping away from the sport amid strong criticism of his comments about the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The Masters begins April 7.

Mickelson won the event in 2004, 2006, and 2010.

BIG 10 SOFTBALL

Co-Player of the Week
Sam Hackenbracht, Ohio State
Jr. – C/UT – Massillion, Ohio – Massillon Washington – Major: Middle Childhood Education
• Batted .588 with a 1.706 slugging percentage and .600 on-base percentage in a 4-2 week for the Buckeyes, slamming six home runs with 10 RBI and seven runs scored
• Had home runs in four of Ohio State’s six games last week, including two home runs apiece in the Buckeyes’ first two outings (at No. 24 UCF on March 15 and vs. Lehigh on March 17)
• Added home runs in the final two games of the weekend against St. Thomas (Minn.) and No. 22 USF, going 2-for-2 in the latter game with a home run, double and two RBI in a 9-0 win over the nationally-ranked Bulls
• Chosen for Academic All-Big Ten recognition last year
• Captures her third career Player of the Week honor
• Last Ohio State Player of the Week: Jaycee Ruberti (March 14, 2022)
 
Co-Player of the Week
Kyleigh Sand, Rutgers
So. – SS – Norco, Calif. – Norco – Major: Labor and Employment Relations
• Posted a .619 batting average, .762 slugging percentage and .667 on-base percentage last week, scoring 10 runs while adding eight RBI and six stolen bases as RU won five of six games at the Rutgers Softball Tournament
• Had four multi-hit games, including a 7-for-8 day on March 18 against Saint Peter’s (season-high 4-for-4 with first career home run out of leadoff spot) and Fairfield (3-for-4 with season-high three RBI)
• Drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth in Sunday’s 4-3 victory over Drexel
• Receives her first career Player of the Week award
• Last Rutgers Player of the Week: Anyssa Iliopoulos (May 6, 2019)
 
Co-Pitcher of the Week
Danielle Williams, Northwestern
Sr. – LHP – Pleasanton, Calif. – Amador Valley – Major: Human Development in Context
• Went 2-0 with two saves, a 0.86 ERA, a complete-game shutout and 30 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched last week as Northwestern went 4-0 at the Mizzou Classic in Columbia, Mo.
• Tossed her second career no-hitter in the tournament finale Sunday vs. Stanford, striking out 11 and facing just three batters over the minimum
• Added a season-high 13 strikeouts in a 10-inning win at No. 18 Missouri on March 19
• Chosen as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten selection last year
• Collects her seventh career Pitcher of the Week plaudit and second this season
• Last Northwestern Pitcher of the Week: Danielle Williams (March 1, 2022)
 
Co-Pitcher of the Week
Bailey Parshall, Penn State
Sr. – LHP – Belle Vernon, Pa. – Belle Vernon Area – Major: Health Policy and Administration
• Went 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA, two complete-game shutouts and 27 strikeouts with no walks in 21.0 innings last week as PSU won all five outings at its Penn State Softball Invitational
• Tied her season high with 12 strikeouts in a complete-game shutout win at Pittsburgh on March 16
• Also went the distance in blanking Rider on March 18
• Selected for Academic All-Big Ten accolades last season
• Captures her second career Pitcher of the Week honor
• Last Penn State Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Parshall (March 9, 2020)
 
Freshman of the Week
Kami Kortokrax, Ohio State
SS – Westerville, Ohio – Bishop Hartley – Major: Communication
• Batted .500 with a .667 slugging percentage and .526 on-base percentage last week, collecting nine hits, four runs and two RBI as OSU won four of six games
• Had at least one hit in all six outings, including three multi-hit games
• Reached base in all three plate appearances on March 18 vs. St. Thomas (Minn.), going 2-for-2 with a triple and two runs scored
• Earns her first career Freshman of the Week honor
• Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: Avery Clark (Feb. 17, 2020)

BIG 10 BASEBALL

Player of the Week
Mitch Jebb, Michigan State
SS – So. – Saginaw, Mich. – Swan Valley

  • Belted a pair of home runs, including a two-run walk-off home run, to cap the Spartans’ comeback in a 10-8 win over Cincinnati on March 11  
  • Hit .412 (7-17) in four games last week, with three runs, five RBI and two stolen bases
  • Had an .824 slugging percentage and a .429 on-base percentage on the weekend, notching at least one hit in all four games to extend his streak to all 14 games this season and a 21-game hitting streak dating back to last season
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award
  • Last Michigan State Big Ten Player of the Week: Peter Ahn (March 2, 2020)

 
Co-Pitchers of the Week
Ryan Ramsey, Maryland
P – Jr. – Montvale, N.J. – Pascack Hills

  • Set a new career high with 13 strikeouts in Maryland’s 12-5 win over Cornell on March 13
  • Threw 6.0 innings while giving up just one hit and not allowing a run
  • Improved to 4-0 on the season with a 2.84 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award
  • Last Maryland Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Hunter Parsons (March 26, 2018)


Sean Sullivan, Northwestern
LHP – Andover, Mass. – Tabor Academy

  • Recorded a complete game shutout of St. Thomas on Opening Day (March 13) in Evanston, Ill.
  • Struck out 11 in 7.0 innings to help seal the Wildcats’ 9-0 victory
  • Improved his season ERA to 1.71 with 33 strikeouts in 21.0 innings pitched
  • Wins his first Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award
  • Last Northwestern Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Quinn Lavelle (April 2, 2018)

 
Co-Freshmen of the Week
Keaton Anthony, Iowa
UTIL – Hoschton, Ga. – Mill Creek

  • Hit .500 (5-10) with five runs and four RBI during Iowa’s three-game road series at UC Irvine
  • Posted a .571 on-base and .800 slugging percentage on the weekend, hitting safely in all three games, running his hitting streak to 11 games and his on-base streak to 14 games
  • Had multi-hit games in two of the three contests, his sixth and seventh such games this season
  • Wins his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Iowa Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Keaton Anthony (Feb. 23, 2022)

 
Sean Sullivan, Northwestern
LHP – Andover, Mass. – Tabor Academy

  • Recorded a complete game shutout of St. Thomas on Opening Day (March 13) in Evanston, Ill.
  • Struck out 11 in 7.0 innings to help seal the Wildcats’ 9-0 victory
  • Improved his season ERA to 1.71 with 33 strikeouts in 21.0 innings pitched
  • Wins his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Northwestern Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Sean Sullivan (March 2, 2022)

HCAC BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
Ryan Murray (Cincinnati, Ohio) Mount St. Joseph University | Outfield | Senior – Murray had a monster weekend to lead the Lions to a three-game sweep of Olivet. It started on Saturday as he went 3-for-4 with a pair of homeruns including a three-run walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. He continued to hit on Sunday going 5-for-9 with eight RBI and another homerun. For the week he was 8-for-13 (.615 avg), with 12 RBI, three homeruns, three runs scored, four walks and four stolen bases.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Preston Davis (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) Transylvania University | Pitcher | First-Year – Davis had an outstanding first career start on the mound against Alfred State, pitching 7.0 innings scoreless with 14 strikeouts, and pitched an immaculate inning. The first-year took the win and only allowed two hits, and two walks. On the week, Davis pitched 9.2 innings, with four total earned runs, and 16 total strikeouts.
 
Notable Performances:

  • Justin Reed (Martinsville, Ind.) Anderson University | Infield | Junior – Reed went 8-for-17 with four doubles, two homers and nine RBI last week. He put together a .471 batting average, a .550 on-base percentage and a 1.059 slugging percentage. Reed also plated six runs.
  • Landen Southern (Lafayette, Ind.) Anderson University | Pitcher | First-Year – Southern captured the win during Anderson’s 10-5 win against Washington-St. Louis. Southern struck out six batters, issued three walks and allowed three runs on four hits in six innings.
  • Kenny Schneider (Sunbury, Ohio) Bluffton University | Outfield | Sophomore – Schneider torched the Ohio Wesleyan baseball team with a 7-of-10 afternoon on Sunday as the Beavers swept a double-dipper with the Battling Bishops. He reached base nine straight times while piling up five RBI, two runs scored and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Schneider had a double, a triple and a stolen base.
  • Garrett O’Reilly (Galena, Ohio) Bluffton University | Pitcher | Senior – O’Reilly fanned eight in a complete-game six-hitter that saw the visitors score just one harmless run in the final inning. He did not walk a batter and needed just 99 pitches to secure his first win of the season against no losses as Bluffton downed OWU 11-1 in eight innings.
  • Nate Kaffenbarger (De Graff, Ohio) Defiance College | Infield | Senior – Kaffenbarger had an outstanding week at the plate during the Florida Spring Games for the Yellow Jackets notching 17 hits, six RBI, four doubles, and one homerun. He leads the team with .514 batting average and is currently second in the conference.
  • Nathan Lancianse (Lexington, Ky.) Earlham College | Outfield | Sophomore – Lancianese led the Quakers at the plate by going 8-for-14 for a .571 average on the week. The sophomore recorded three RBI and two doubles in four games of action. He was also effective on the basepath with four runs and two stolen bases.
  • Dillon Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio) Earlham College | Pitcher | Sophomore – Fisher saw action in two games this week with one start on the mound. In total, he pitched seven innings including a six-inning start against Oberlin. Fisher faced held his opponents to a .179 batting average and allowed just five hits and four runs on the week.
  • Sean Sullivan (Schererville, Ind.) Franklin College | Outfield | Sophomore – Sullivan went 4-for-9 with a home run and six RBI for Franklin as part of a 2-1 showing last week. He had his biggest game of the week in Sunday’s opener with DePauw, going 2-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBI as part of a 16-14 win.
  • Matthew Johnson (Griffith, Ind.) Franklin College | Pitcher | First-Year – Johnson was dominant for Franklin on Wednesday night against Wilmington, going seven innings where he allowed five hits and one unearned run in a 5-1 FC win. He walked two and struck out eight on his way to his first career victory.
  • Matthew Alter (Indianapolis, Ind.) Hanover College | Pitcher | Junior – Alter led the Panthers on the mound as they took on Wabash, who was receiving votes in the latest D3baseball.com poll. The junior pitched six complete innings allowing just two runs on seven hits with one strikeout.
  • Kade Kline (Terre Haute, Ind.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Infield | First-Year – Kline batted .857 by finishing 6-7 with 6 runs scored as Rose-Hulman swept Capital 16-5 and 13-2. Kline finished with 2 RBIs and an .889 on-base average (6-7 with 2 walks drawn) for the week.
  • Ian Kline (Frederick, Md.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Pitcher | Sophomore – Kline pitched six innings with zero earned runs allowed and 11 strikeouts as Rose-Hulman defeated Capital 13-2 on Sunday. Kline allowed just four hits, two walks and one unearned run with 11 strikeouts in the victory.
  • Trent Youngblood (Louisville, Ky.) Transylvania University | Outfield | Sophomore – Youngblood had a career day on Sunday against the University of Chicago, going 4-5 with three homeruns, six RBI, one double, and four runs scored, and the sophomore notched his 100th career hit. On the week in seven games, he hit .516 with four HR, nine RBI, three doubles, two triples, and scored 11 runs.

NCAC WEEKLY NEWSLETTER & ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

North Coast Athletic Conference Athletes of the Week Presented by Athliance

 
Baseball – Player of the Week – Tyson Bryant-Dawson, Allegheny

Allegheny freshman Tyson Bryant-Dawson (Oakland, CA/Marvel (TX)) went 8-for-12 (.667) across three wins for the Gators last week. In all three games, Bryant-Dawson produced multi-hit performances, including two doubles and a home run, while scoring five runs and collecting six RBI. The Rookie also went a 3-for-3 in stolen bases on the week.


Baseball – Pitcher of the Week – Dylan Scheid, Wabash

Wabash senior Dylan Scheid (Indianapolis, IN/Lawrence North) threw a complete-game shutout on Sunday in the Little Giant’s 3-0 victory over Hanover. He struck out 13 batters over nine innings to tie for the second-most strikeouts in a single game for Wabash. Scheid limited the Panthers to three hits and two walks over nine innings. The senior did not allow a Hanover base runner to advance any farther than second base.


Softball – Player of the Week  – Molly Likins, Wooster

Senior Molly Likins (St. Clair, MI/St. Clair) started her season batting .441 (15-of-34) in the team’s first 10 games, including two triples, five doubles, eight runs and nine RBI. Likins tallied two or more hits in six contests and produced a double in four consecutive games. Her slugging percentage in the Fighting Scots opening week was .706 and her on-base percentage was .486.


Softball – Pitcher of the Week – Samantha Dzierba, Allegheny

Allegheny freshman Samantha Dzierba (Colden, NY/Orchard Park) logged 19.2 innings in the circle last week for the Gators. Across two starts and three appearances overall, the first-year allowed just 15 hits and two runs, one earned, while walking three and striking out 16 batters. Her best outing came in a complete game shutout of Gustavus-Adolphus, where she pitched seven innings, allowed seven hits, no runs, one walk and struck out six.


Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week – Marc Mitchell, Denison

Denison senior Marc Mitchell (Atlanta, GA/Pace Academy) improved his score by one stroke after each round at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational (72-71-70; 213), culminating with a two-under-par during round three to finish three-under-par for the tournament. Mitchell finished in a tie for 17th out of 150 total golfers.


Women’s Golf Athlete of the Week – Ellen Frame, Wittenberg

Wittenberg sophomore Ellen Frame (Mason, OH/Mason) put together rounds of 83 and 80, to finish sixth at the Marietta Invitational from the Lakeside Golf Course. Frame’s total of 163 (+19), placed her just eight strokes out of first.


Men’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week – Michael Muldoon, Oberlin

Oberlin Michael Muldoon (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) played a big role in a pair of Yeomen wins last week. Muldoon dished out two assists to go along with two goals in a 7-5 come-from-behind victory at Otterbein, followed by a season-high three-goal, two-assist effort in Oberlin’s win over Mount Union.


Women’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week – Nicole Klabus, Ohio Wesleyan

Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Nicole Klabus (Delaware, OH/Hayes) helped the Battling Bishops to a pair of victories against Otterbein and Baldwin Wallace last week. In two games, Klabus tallied 11 goals which included tying the school record with nine goals in a 13-10 win against the Yellow Jackets. She also secured three draw controls, picked up one ground ball and caused one turnover in the pair of victories.


Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week – Ryan Patrick, Denison

Denison freshman Ryan Patrick (Darien, CT/Laurel Springs) went 3-0 during the Big Red’s spring break trip to the northeast. Patrick’s victories included wins at No. 4 singles against No. 13-ranked Wesleyan and at No. 5 singles against No. 9-ranked Brandeis. His singles victory against the Judges was the first win for Denison in the match after being down 4-0, which started a stretch of five straight singles victories to allow the Big Red to come back and win, 5-4.


Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week – Janaki Jagannathan, Wooster

Wooster first-year Janaki Jagannathan (Malvern, PA/Whitmore School (WV)) went 4-0 at third singles and 4-0 at doubles, which included a 3-0 record at the first flight and 1-0 record at No. 2 during a 4-0 week for the Fighting Scots. Jagannathan dropped just one set in the week and now has a seven-match winning streak in singles and a five-match streak in doubles. She has played a lead role in Wooster’s current five-match winning streak, during which the team has dropped just six points.


Men’s Sprints & Hurdles Athlete of the Week – Joe Shilts, Wooster

Wooster junior Joe Shilts (Flemington, NJ/Pringy School) posted the top time from within the NCAC in the 400 hurdles at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational. Shilts placed ninth in the field of 36 with a time of 58.24.


Men’s Distance/Middle Distance Athlete of the Week – Michael Ocasek, DePauw

DePauw senior Michael Ocasek (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) won the men’s 1,500-meter run at the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational. Ocasek’s time of 3:59.63, edged out 33 other competitors and was the fastest time among NCAC athletes this season. The senior also posted a runner-up finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03.09.


Men’s Field Athlete of the Week – Isaiah Kidd, Wooster

Wooster first-year Isaiah Kidd (Henrico, VA/Varina) was the top Division III finisher in the long jump at last week’s Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational, posting a mark of 6.54 meters. He currently ranks No. 1 in the NCAC in the event.


Women’s Sprints/Hurdles Athlete of the Week – Erin Pasch, DePauw

DePauw senior Erin Pasch (Indianapolis, IN/Indianapolis Lutheran) won three events at the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational. Pasch won the 200-meter dash (26.05), the 100-meter hurdles (15.24) and the 400-meter dash (58.67). Both her 200 and 400-meter performances were tops in the conference so far this season.


Women’s Distance/Middle Distance of the Week – Athena Tharenos, Wooster

Wooster sophomore Athena Tharenos (St. Louis, MO/Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School) was the top Division III finisher in the mile (5:17.74) and 5,000 meter run (18:11.65) at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational. Tharenos ranks in the top-15 nationally as of the end of the meet in the mile and 5,000 meters.


Women’s Field Athlete of the Week – Daysia Hargrove, Wooster

Wooster first-year Daysia Hargrave (Orrville, OH/Orrville) logged a collegiate-best 5.28m in the long jump at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational. Hargrave’s mark is tops in the NCAC by over a foot. She also broke a 40-year old program record with a time of 14.27 in the 100 hurdles. Her time is No. 1 in Division III this spring.


NCAC Milestones & Records (Mar. 14 – Mar. 20)

Ohio Wesleyan, Women’s Lacrosse – Sophomore attacker Nicole Klabus (Delaware, OH/Hayes) scored nine goals against Baldwin Wallace, tying the school record set by Amanda McDermott at Earlham on April 29, 2003. The win was Ohio Wesleyan’s seventh in a row to start the season, breaking school record set in 2006.

Wooster, Softball – Senior Brooke Swain (Seville, OH/Cloverleaf) became Wooster’s all-time leader in stolen bases on Monday.

Wooster, Track & Field – Wooster first-year Daysia Hargrave (Orrville, OH/Orrville) tallied a time of 14.27 in the 100 hurdles at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational, which broke a 40-year-old program record. She currently ranks No. 1 nationally in the event.

*****INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES*****

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS NEWS

The Colts on Monday acquired quarterback Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2022 third-round draft pick (No. 82 overall).

Ryan brings 222 games of starting experience, an MVP award and nearly 60,000 passing yards to the Colts after spending 14 seasons with the Falcons. Originally the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Ryan quarterbacked the Falcons to six playoff appearances and 10 postseason games over his time in Atlanta; he’s been one of the most durable players in the league, too, having missed only three games in his entire career.

“We’re thrilled we had a chance to acquire a proven veteran in Matt Ryan who brings tremendous experience to our team,” general manager Chris Ballard said. “Matt’s leadership and skillset will complement our roster’s growth and success. He’s long been a great ambassador for the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, and we’re excited he can continue his accomplished career in Indianapolis.”

Ryan’s finest season came in 2016, in which he was named NFL MVP and set career bests in completion percentage (69.9 percent), yards (4,944), touchdowns (38), interceptions (seven), yards per attempt (9.3) and passer rating (117.1). Two years later, Ryan had a similarly fantastic season, with a completion percentage of 69.4 percent, 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 8.1 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 108.1.

“I’ve long admired Matt for his steady, methodical approach to the game,” head coach Frank Reich said. “He is one of the most productive quarterbacks in the league and has spearheaded numerous fourth quarter game-winning drives. Matt will be a fantastic representative for our organization, and I’m excited to get to work with him and the rest of the team this offseason.”

Back at the NFL Combine earlier this year, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith both praised Ryan for the work he’s done on and off the field – and what he still has left in the tank in his late 30’s.

“He comes in and works every day and does everything he can do to help the team win,” Fontenot said. “… From my standpoint, I really appreciate Matt and what he’s been in terms of a leader, in terms of worker in terms of professional, everything he’s done here in Atlanta.”

“I think Matt’s got a lot of good football left him,” Smith said.

Ryan in 2021 completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,968 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He’s owned a passer rating over 90 in each of the last six seasons, starting with his MVP-winning 2016 in which he led the NFL in yards per attempt (9.3), passer rating (117.1) and quarterback rating (79.6) while leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

Ryan led the NFL in completion percentage in 2012 (68.6) and in completions in 2019 (408) and 2020 (407).

With Ryan under center, the Falcons went 120-102 in his 222 starts.

Ryan is just 265 yards shy of 60,000 in his career and is 33 touchdowns from reaching 400. His career interception rate of 2.1 percent ranks third all time among quarterbacks with 5,000 or more pass attempts, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Ryan’s other all-time ranks:

Passing yards

  1. Tom Brady (84,250)
  2. Drew Brees (80,358)
  3. Peyton Manning (71,940)
  4. Brett Favre (71,838)
  5. Ben Roethlisberger (64,088)
  6. Philip Rivers (63,440)
  7. Dan Marino (61,361)
  8. Matt Ryan (59,735)
  9. Eli Manning (57,023)
  10. Aaron Rodgers (55,360)

Passing touchdowns

  1. Tom Brady (624)
  2. Drew Brees (571)
  3. Peyton Manning (539)
  4. Brett Favre (508)
  5. Aaron Rodgers (449)
  6. Philip Rivers (421)
  7. Dan Marino (420)
  8. Ben Roethlisberger (418)
  9. Matt Ryan (367)
  10. Eli Manning (366)

Completion percentage (minimum 5,000 attempts)

  1. Drew Brees (67.7 percent)
  2. Matt Ryan (65.5 percent)
  3. Aaron Rodgers (65.3 percent)
  4. Peyton Manning (65.3 percent)
  5. Philip Rivers (64.9 percent)
  6. Ben Roethlisberger (64.4 percent)
  7. Tom Brady (64.2 percent)
  8. Joe Montana (63.2 percent)
  9. Matthew Stafford (63 percent)
  10. Alex Smith (62.6 percent)

Passer rating (minimum 5,000 attempts)

  1. Aaron Rodgers (104,5)
  2. Drew Brees (98.7)
  3. Tom Brady (97.6)
  4. Peyton Manning (96.5)
  5. Philip Rivers (95.2)
  6. Matt Ryan (94.2)
  7. Ben Roethlisberger (93.5)
  8. Joe Montana (92.5)
  9. Matthew Stafford (91.1)
  10. Carson Palmer (87.9)

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Indiana guard Grace Berger worked too hard for too long to watch it everything slip away Monday night at home.

So the senior guard did what she does best – took the ball, put her head down and drove to the basket for the tiebreaking layup with 28.2 seconds as the loud, large crowd roared.

A few minutes later, after Ali Patberg’s steal and Aleksa Gulbe’s free throws closed out the 56-55 second-round win over 11th-seeded Princeton and the Hoosiers second straight Sweet 16 trip, the players jogged into the student section and celebrated with their fans.

”I asked coach (Teri Moren) if we could go thank them and when I got there, I said ‘Screw it, I’m just going up there with them,” said Mackenzie Holmes, who led the Hoosiers players up the steps. ”I just wanted them to know we appreciated them being here and thank them for showing up.”

It was a fitting home finale for so many seniors who returned for one more NCAA Tournament run – and a party unlike any other.

After hearing the band play the school’s alma mater, Indiana’s players lifted Moren into the air and later doused her with liquid, prompting her to bring a towel to the postgame news conference.

The party was well-deserved. Berger finished with 15 points and Nicole Cardano-Hillary had 12 as the Hoosiers (24-8) tied the school record for single-season victories in front of the third-lagest crowd in school history. And Berger and Patberg added win No. 90 to their school record.

”Of course we want her to go make the play for us and she did,” Moren said. ”You’ve been around sports and you know big time players make big time plays and that’s exactly what Grace did for us today.”

The Hoosiers (24-8) have won five of their last six and swept the first two NCAA Tournament games they’ve ever hosted. Third-seeded Indiana now faces either second-seeded UConn or seventh-seeded UCF on Saturday in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Hoosiers advanced on a night Princeton (25-5) was trying to post a tourney record ninth victory by a double-digit seed. Instead, the Tigers had their 18-game winning streak snapped while shooting 32.8% from the field and three of its top players got into early foul trouble.

Julia Cunningham and Grace Stone each scored 13 to lead Princeton. Ivy League player of the year Abby Meyers had 11 points, going just 4 of 15 from the field and missing her first six 3-point attempts before making the last one as the buzzer sounded.

”I think we showed the national stage that we can compete with anyone,” coach Carla Berube said. ”We have very talented players who work really hard, play together, play for each other and have a lot of fun. I think it’s a great recipe to show everyone out there Princeton basketball and the Ivy League is really great.”

The Ivy League tourney champs made it tough on Indiana.

Princeton charged back from a 39-29 halftime deficit to take 50-49 lead when Ellie Mitchell capped an 8-0 run with 5:19 to go.

Cardona-Hillary’s layup gave Indiana a 51-50 lead, but Meyers answered with two free throws to make it 52-51 with 1:12 left.

Berger tied the score by making one free throw with 58.1 seconds left then broke the tie with her layup on a play called during a timeout before Gulbe closed it out.

BIG PICTURE

Princeton: The Tigers already have one of the nation’s stingiest defenses and a balanced, disciplined offense. It helped them beat Southeastern Conference tourney champ Kentucky on Saturday and gave the Big Ten tourney runner-up everything it could handle Monday. And the future looks bright with Meyers the only key player who is a senior.

Indiana: The Hoosiers survived, barely, and they needed all the energy the crowd could muster. But after making their first Elite Eight run last year, Indiana wasn’t going to let anyone deter it from making another Sweet 16 run.

STAT PACK

Princeton: Mitchell had 15 rebounds and the Tigers had a 10-1 rebounding edge on the offensive end. … Kaitlyn Chen scored 10 points.

Indiana: Holmes had 10 points and eight rebounds. … Berger also had seven rebounds. … Patberg finished with six points, three assists and the one steal in her home finale.

SHE SAID IT

”I know it’s her seventh year and it’s my fifth year going into my sixth,” Meyers said of her matchup with Patberg. ”You can just tell she’s definitely a leader on that team. I think it was a competitive matchup and I had a lot of fun. At the end of the day, she made some plays down the stretch.”

UP NEXT

Indiana faces second-seeded UConn on Saturday in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – The Purdue women’s basketball team saw its 2021-22 season come to an end in the second round of the WNIT on Monday night with a 77-62 loss on the road at Marquette. The Boilermakers finish the first season of the Katie Gearlds era with a 17-15 record, a 10-win improvement from a year ago.

Purdue’s 10-win turnaround was the best under a first-year head coach and tied for the third best improvement in program history. The Boilermakers also reached the postseason for the first time since the 2017-18 campaign.

On Monday night, the Boilermakers could not rally in the second half from a five-point deficit at the break. Purdue opened the night shooting 43.8% over the opening 20 minutes, but that number dropped to 31.3% in the final two periods, finishing with a 37.5% clip for the game.

Brooke Moore led the way with 20 points, her second straight outing with 20 or more. The senior was 8-of-22 shooting and 3-of-6 from behind the line. Abbey Ellis added 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 5-of-7 at the line. Rickie Woltman jumped back in double figures with 10 points.

The Boilermakers had a tough time stopping Lauren Van Kleunen in the first half, who tallied 21 of her game-high 27 points in the first 20 minutes. Marquette finished with a plus-11 margin on the boards and flipped 15 offensive rebounds into 25 points, while Purdue hauled down 12 on the offensive end for 17 points.

Purdue matched early strides with Marquette in the first quarter. A 5-0 run on a Moore 3-pointer and Ava Learn layup gave the Boilermakers their only lead of the game at 16-14. The hosts built their lead out to as many as nine in the second, but Purdue kept chipping the game back to a single possession.

Back-to-back field goals out of the break by Ellis and Woltman brought the gap back to one in the opening minute of the third. Marquette answered with a 13-7 run to end the third and a 10-4 run in the fourth to pull away.

NOTES

• Monday was the first meeting between Marquette and Purdue.

• The Boilermakers committed 12 turnovers, but only allowed 12 points off giveaways.

• Jeanae Terry finished with eight rebounds and two assists. She became just the third player in program history to lead the team in rebounding (223) and assists (183) in a season.

• Terry’s 183 helpers are the second most by a Boilermaker in a season and her 1.83 assist-to-turnover ratio finished ninth.

• Cassidy Hardin’s 3-point tally finished at 78, good for fourth in single-season history.

• Already breaking the team record of 209 3-pointers in a season, Purdue finished 2021-22 with 239 makes from outside.

• The Boilermakers dished out 506 assists, the most since 2016-17.

• Purdue’s scoring average of 69.2 points per game was the highest since 2013-14.

• Moore’s 22 field goal attempts were the most by a Boilermaker since Whitney Bays attempted the same number on Jan. 22, 2015.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will reflect upon the successes of 2021-22 and begin building for the future. November cannot come soon enough.

PURDUE BASEBALL

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Northern Illinois (3-14) at No. 17 Purdue (17-1)

Tuesday, March 22 at 4 p.m. ET / Watch B1G+

Alexander Field / West Lafayette, Indiana

$3 Specials: Hot Dogs, Popcorn, Nachos & Draft Beers

Trading Card Tuesday: Set No. 2 of 7

SERIES HISTORY

All-Time: Purdue leads 5-1

All-Time in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 3-0

Last Meetings: Purdue won 2 of 3 (March 2015 in Westfield, Ind.)

Last Meetings in West Lafayette: Purdue swept a 3-game set (March 1999)

First Meeting: Purdue 2, NIU 0 (March 1999 at Lambert Field)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – No. 17 Purdue baseball continues its seven-game homestand with a midweek visit from Northern Illinois, with Tuesday’s game marking the end of the pre-conference schedule for the Boilermakers.

First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. ET at Alexander Field. However, with rain in the forecast for much of Tuesday, the game could be moved to Wednesday or postponed until another midweek date later this season. Whether it’s played Tuesday or Wednesday, the $3 midweek specials and set No. 2 of Purdue baseball cards will be available.

The Huskies are the third of five first-time visitors to Alexander Field this spring. They were supposed to be the opponent for the 2015 home opener, but that mid-March weekend series was moved to the artificial turf fields of Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.

FIRST TIME VISITORS TO ALEXANDER THIS SPRING

• Bellarmine – March 10-13

• Dayton – March 15

• Northern Illinois – March 22

• Evansville – April 20

• Belmont – April 22-24

The Boilermakers are off to a 5-0 home start for the first time since the 2008 team won its first six home games. Purdue is riding a six-game home win streak dating back to the 2021 season finale, the program’s longest streak at Alexander since winning its final 13 home games in 2018. Around the Big Ten, only Maryland (9) has a longer active home win streak entering the week. Purdue is also one of 30 team nationally with an active home win streak of at least six games.

Sunday’s walk-off win in the nightcap of the doubleheader with Illinois State was Purdue’s fifth such victory of the season. It was also the program’s ninth walk-off win at Alexander Field since the ballpark opened in 2013.

Regardless of whether or not the NIU game is played this week, Purdue is in position to enter Big Ten play with its best winning percentage in the modern era of the program. Since 1950, only the program’s 1959 (12-1) and 2012 (14-1) teams also reached the double-figure mark in victories before suffering their second loss. The current Boilermakers now have their sights set on getting to 20-1. Ohio State is town this week for the opening weekend of conference play. The Buckeyes were the first-ever opponent at Alexander in March 2013 and only Iowa (15) has played more games than OSU (13) in West Lafayette since the ballpark opened.

ACTIVE STREAKS

• Mike Bolton Jr. – 19-game on-base

• Cam Thompson – 11-game RBI, 18-game on-base

• CJ Valdez – 15-game on-base, 4-game RBI

• Evan Albrecht – 10-game on-base, scored a run in 5 straight games

• Curtis Washington Jr. – 6-game on-base

• Wyatt Wendell — 14 consecutive innings without a walk

• Landon Weins — 10 consecutive innings without a walk

LEADING THE BIG TEN

• Mike Bolton Jr. – 3 Triples, 12 Stolen Bases

• Curtis Washington Jr. – 23 Runs Scored, 12 Stolen Bases

• Cam Thompson – 28 RBI, 10 Hit by Pitch

• Jackson Smeltz, 44 Strikeouts

• Troy Wansing – 1.33 ERA

• Troy Viola – 3 Sac Flies

• Purdue – Stolen Bases (54), ERA (2.69), Hit by Pitch (47), Sac Flies (12),

BUTLER BASEBALL

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler baseball team will take on the #5 Tennessee Volunteers this Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The 6:30 first pitch will stream on WatchESPN.

Gameday

Butler at #5 Tennessee – March 22 – 6:30 PM

Projected Starters

RHP Luke Zmolik vs. LHP Zander Sechrist

Scouting #5 Tennessee

The Vols are nationally ranked with a 19-1 record to start the 2022 campaign. Tennessee leads the nation in batting average (.343), doubles (61), home runs (56), on-base percentage (.464), slugging percentage (.707), ERA (1.87), and shutouts (5). Jared Dickey leads the club with 23 runs scored and a .429 BA. Trey Lipscomb also has impressive numbers with a .373 batting average that includes six doubles, two triples and a team-best nine home runs for 36 RBI.

Tennessee will throw left-handed pitcher Zander Sechrist on Tuesday night. The 6-2 sophomore is 2-0 on the mound with a 1.62 ERA. He has 24 strikeouts and just five walks spread out over 16.2 innings of work. Sechrist was a 2020 Perfect Game Preseason All-American. He tossed five innings in his last outing against Eastern Kentucky on March 15. Sechrist struck out seven and walked one before leaving the hill.

Tennessee’s lone setback came to then ranked #1 Texas in Houston, Texas. The two teams played a single game in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. James Madison also gave the Vols a scare in Knoxville, pushing the game into 10 innings before falling 9-8. Tennessee is fresh off an SEC sweep against South Carolina winning games against the Gamecocks 8-3, 5-2, and 10-0.

Zmolik on the Mound

Luke Zmolik will make the third start of his Bulldog career on Tuesday in Knoxville. The freshman has tossed three innings this year. His first start came at Northern Kentucky on March 1. His last start was at North Florida on March 8.

Reached Base Streak

James Gargano has reached base safely for Butler in 15-straight games. That ties Aaron Steinhart who reached base safely for the Bulldogs over the first 15 games of the 2022 season.

Hitting Streak

Gargano has an eight-game hitting streak going into Tuesday night. That ties the longest streak of the season (Travis Holt).

Same Spot

Travis Holt has led-off for BU in every game this year and Aaron Steinhart has hit in the three-hole.

Southpaw

The Bulldogs are 3-3 on the year against left-handers. Travis Holt is batting .429 against lefties, Scott Jones is second on the team at .375 and Kollyn All is close behind with a .353 BA.

Keep Hitting Holt

Travis Holt leads the team and ranks second in the BIG EAST with 28 hits. He has 10 multi-hit games for the Bulldogs.

He’s Going

Butler is second in the BIG EAST and 19th in the NCAA in stolen bases with 41. Holt leads the team with 10 and Jones is second with eight.

Drees Does His Job

Derek Drees now leads the BIG EAST with three saves. He picked up a save for the Bulldogs in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader vs. Eastern Michigan. In his outing Drees struck out two of the three batters he faced, allowing BU to hold onto the 4-3 victory.

Up Next

Butler will play three games against two different opponents this weekend at Bulldog Park. Northwestern will play in Indianapolis at 4 PM on Friday and 12 PM on Sunday. On Saturday, Southern Illinois will play the ‘Dawgs at noon.

BALL STATE BASEBALL

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team was back in action at the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Monday for the final game of the four-game series with Bowling Green. The Cardinals completed the series sweep behind a 9-4 victory as Trenton Quartermaine, Matthew Rivera, and Justin Conant all tallied three hits each.

For the 20th-straight game Amir Wright has reached base safely. He is currently on a seven-game hitting streak, which is the best from a Cardinal hitter this season. Rivera is on a five-game hitting streak.

BSU improved to 12-8 overall and 7-1 in Mid-American Conference action, while BGSU fell to 2-15 overall and 0-8 in conference play. The Cardinals have won five-straight games.

After a scoreless first inning, the Falcons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. Jack Krause hit a three-run homer for BGSU.

Conant notched a one-out single to left center to get the bottom of the third inning started for the Cardinals. Zach Lane followed with a single to center to put runners on first and second with one out. Wright reached safely as he grounded into a fielder’s choice with Lane being out at second. Quartermaine put Ball State on the board with a two-run single down the fight field line. After Nick Powell was hit by a pitch, Rivera doubled down the left field line to score Quartermaine and Powell.

The bottom of the fifth inning saw three doubles. Wright led the inning off with a double to left center. Quartermaine drove in Wright with a double to right center. Rivera drove in Quartermaine with a double down the right field line. The Cardinals took a 6-3 lead into the sixth inning.

Conant recorded a one-out double down the left field line to put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth. Lane lined a pitch down the left field line that scored Conant. Wright reached with an infield single. Quartermaine posted an RBI single to right field as Lane scored. Rivera singled to center to drive in Wright as Ball State took a 9-3 lead.

The Falcons added a run in the top of the eighth as Kyle Gurney homered to center. The Cardinals went on to win the contest 9-4.

Ty Weatherly got a no decision behind 3 2/3 innings in the start. He struck out seven batters and gave up three earned runs. Nate Dohm collected the win and improved to 1-1 on the year. Dohm struck out four in 4 1/3 innings in relief with one earned run. Jake Lewis struck out the only batter he faced, while Maxwell McKee recorded the final two outs of the game.

Owen Recker picked up the loss in four innings of work for the Falcons and gave up five earned runs on six hits. Jeremy Spezia went two innings in relief and surrendered four earned runs.

The Cardinals return to the diamond for another four-game MAC series at Western Michigan. Game one is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday, March 25, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

From the Coach – Head Coach Rich Maloney

“Our boys’ bats came alive and led us to a home sweep. So many guys made major contributions. Sweeps are hard to come by and when you get them you need to enjoy them.”

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NORMAN, Okla. – How sweet a feeling for second year Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Niele Ivey, whose Fighting Irish advanced to the Sweet 16 with an emphatic 108-64 victory against Oklahoma on Monday evening. It marks the program’s 18th time reaching the Sweet 16 in 27 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Notre Dame made history yet again in round two, for they are the first team in men’s or women’s NCAA Tournament history to beat a better-seeded team by 40+ points.

The Irish put up a 60-piece in the first half, its most in a half in NCAA Tournament history. In addition, they kept the third-best rated offense in check, 20 points below their season average

Dara Mabrey hit five three-pointers in a row in the first quarter, scoring 17 points in the period. She finished with a game-high 29 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. The seven three-pointers tie Marina Mabrey for the most by an ND player in a tourney game.

Olivia Miles made history yet again in game two, dishing out 12 assists. Her 23 assists over the weekend are the most in a player’s first two NCAA Tournament games since at least the year 2000, surpassing Penn State’s Jess Strom’s 22. Miles also notched nine points and six rebounds.

Sonia Citron had a perfect 11-for-11 day from the free-throw line to finish with 25 points, her third of 20+ points this season. Maya Dodson was the third and final Irish player to finish with at least 20 points, converting 8-of-11 from the field. Lastly, Maddy Westbeld nearly notched a double-double with nine boards and 13 points. 

Up next, the Irish will return home for a few days before traveling to Connecticut for the Bridgeport Regional semifinal against a familiar ACC foe in No. 1 seed NC State. The matchup will take place on Saturday, March 26.

How It Happened

Notre Dame was down 7-5 in the early moments then caught on absolute fire thanks to Dara Mabrey. The senior out of Belmar, New Jersey, hit five three-pointers in a row and ignited a 30-4 scoring run to give the Irish a demanding 35-12 lead after the opening quarter.

The Irish weren’t done just yet, out-scoring the Sooners 25-13 in the second quarter. Sonia Citron scored 13 points in the period behind a perfect 9-for-9 performance from the free-three line. All-in-all, Notre Dame ended the half on a 10-0 run to build its lead to 60-25.

The 60 points set a new program record for most points in a half in an NCAA Tournament game, topping the original ND record of 56 in the second half vs Duke in the Norfolk Regional final in 2013. Mabrey (19 points), Citron (17) and Westbeld (11) were all in double figures.

Meanwhile, the Irish defense was just as spectacular, holding Oklahoma to a first half season low in points. They also caused 16 OU turnovers in the half, in which they converted into 18 points. The 35-point halftime lead was the largest halftime lead by a lower-seeded team in women’s NCAA Tournament history.

Mabrey tacked on two more treys in the third quarter to lead the Irish in that period as well with eight points. As a team, the Irish shot 11-of-21 and outpaced the Sooners again, 25-22, to keep distance at 85-47.

The Irish scored at least 20 again in the fourth, outscoring the Sooners 23-17. Mabrey had four attempts at tying the all-time program record for three’s in a game, but came up just short. Sheilla McMillen holds the top spot with eight treys versus St. John’s back on Feb. 28, 1998.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The ninth-ranked Notre Dame baseball team (12-4) is back home to begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday. The Irish are set to take on regional foe Northwestern (6-10) on Tuesday to begin their first homestand of the 2022 season. The Irish went back on the road following the home opener last week against Valparaiso. Tuesday’s clash is set for a 4 p.m. ET first pitch and will air nationally on the ACC Network. Admission is free for all regular season games at Frank Eck Stadium this season.

                BY THE NUMBERS

.739        The Irish own a 17-6 record (.739) at home under head coach Link Jarrett. Notre Dame is 4-0 against non-conference opponents at home under Jarrett and won all three games of the 2021 South Bend Regional.

.750        The Irish are 57-19 (.750) since the start of the 2020 season. That winning percentage ranks tied for sixth in the NCAA over the past three seasons.

.750        The Irish are 12-4 (.750) to begin the 2022 season. It is the best start to a season for the Irish since 2015 when the Irish also went 12-4 to begin the season.

.990        Notre Dame ranks second in the NCAA in fielding percentage with a .990 mark this season. The Irish have committed only six errors in 430 putout opportunities this season.

1              The Irish allowed only one hit in the 3-1 win over Minnesota on March 6. It is the fewest hits allowed in a game since April 18, 2007, when the Irish surrendered one hit in a 1-0 win over Purdue in 10-innings.

1.16        Notre Dame is 12th in the NCAA and third in the ACC with a 1.16 WHIP this season. They have surrendered 104 hits and 62 walks in 143.1 innings pitched.

6.53        The Irish is seventh in the NCAA and second in the ACC with 6.53 hits allowed per nine innings. They have given up 104 hits in 143.1 innings pitched this season.

8              The Irish scored eight unanswered runs in the 8-4 comeback win over #17 NC State on March 11. It was the most unanswered runs in a game since Game 2 of the Super Regional when the Irish scored nine unanswered runs to beat #7 Mississippi State.

11.5        The Irish rank eighth in the NCAA and third in the ACC in strikeouts per nine innings with a 11.5. The Irish pitching staff has struck out 183 batters in 143.1 innings this season.

15           In the 20-2 win over Marist, 15 different Irish players recorded a hit. It is the most players with a hit in a game for the Irish over the past 16 years. The previous record was 13 against Georgetown in 2008.

57           Outfielder Spencer Myers has 57 steals in his Irish career and ranks eighth all-time in program history for most career steals. He trails AJ Pollock by four for seventh place in program history.

Irish Begin Homestand with Northwestern

The Irish are back at home at Frank Eck Stadium as they open their first homestand of the season, starting with a matchup against Northwestern on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game will be the first of five straight games at home as the Irish have only had one home game this season through the first 16 games.

This will be the 137th all-time meeting between the two schools and the Irish hold a 75-60-1 record against the Wildcats and are 46-28 in games played at Notre Dame.

The Irish currently have a three-game winning streak against the Wildcats and this will be the first meeting between the two schools since the 2019 season.

The Irish won both matchups against the Wildcats in 2019, 6-2 at Notre Dame and 12-4 in Evanston, to sweep the season series.

Spencer Myers, Jared Miller and Jack Zyska tallied a team-high four hits each over the two games against the Wildcats.

Zyska led the squad with 5 RBI and Myers hit his first career home run against Northwestern in the 12-4 win in Evanston.

Northwestern enters the matchup with a 6-10 record and they have not reached the Big Ten portion of their schedule yet. They went 2-0 last weekend after wins over Evansville in Evanston.

The Irish remained ranked in all six polls going into Tuesday and are ranked as high as No. 9 in Perfect Game’s weekly rankings.

Notre Dame continues to have one of the best fielding and pitching teams in the country.

The Irish rank No. 2 in the NCAA in fielding percentage (.990), seventh in hits allowed per nine innings (6.53) and eighth in strikeouts per nine innings (11.5).

Notre Dame is 17-6 (.739) at home under head coach Link Jarrett in his three seasons at the helm.

Among the Nation’s Best

Since the start of the 2020 season, the Irish have been one of the most consistent teams over the past three seasons.

Notre Dame is 57-19, good for a .750 winning percentage over that period.

That ranks tied for sixth overall in the NCAA, trailing Tennessee, Arkansas, Old Dominion, Texas, Vanderbilt and tied with Texas Tech.

NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team is back at home Tuesday and Wednesday evening as the Fighting Irish will host the UIC Flames and DePaul Blue Demons each at 5 p.m., respectively. The Irish enter the midweek games having won six-straight games, including a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh last weekend.

Last week, Notre Dame finished 5-0, taking midweek games from Detroit Mercy and Western Michigan before heading to Pittsburgh. In the Tuesday matchup with the Titan, Notre Dame tied a program record 18 runs, and the largest margin of victory in program history. The Irish cruised to a 7-2 win Wednesday before hitting the road.

Notre Dame survived game one of the doubleheader with Pitt Friday night. After getting a two-run home run from Karina Gaskins in the top of the seventh inning, Pitt loaded the bases and scored a run in the bottom of the seventh. Payton Tidd got the strikeout to end the game, striking out Cami Compson who had homered in her last at bat. The Irish rode that momentum to an 11-0 five inning victory to conclude the doubleheader. The finale of the series saw Notre Dame cruise to an 8-2 victory, scoring four runs in the final two innings to put the game away.

Scouting the Opponents

UIC

UIC enters Tuesday’s game after finishing a three-game series with Youngstown State Monday afternoon. The Flames dropped the rubber match on Monday, falling 7-5. This season, UIC is 4-16, notching wins over YSU, Army, Middle Tennessee State and Cal Poly. During the 2022 season, the Flames are 0-8 on the road this season.

The Flames offense is led by Tara McElligott, hitting at a .370 average prior to Monday’s game. She also leads UIC with four doubles, three home runs and nine RBI. She has a stolen base on the season, tied with five others as UIC has six stolen bases on the year. McElligott has scored four runs while drawing seven walks and striking out seven times.

Three of the four pitchers on the roster have started at least four games. Christina Toniolo leads the team with eight starts, 13 appearances and four complete games. She’s logged 58.0 innings, limiting opponents to a .227 average. Alyssa McIntosh has appeared in six games, with four starts. She’s thrown 19.1 innings, allowing 12 earned runs. Carlee Jo Clark has made five starts with nine appearances. She’s worked 31.0 innings, striking out nine hitters on the year.

DePaul

DePaul enters the midweek having dropped the series with the Butler Bulldogs. The Blue Demons fell in the rubber match, 4-3 in eight innings. Prior to opening BIG EAST play, DePaul took three of four at the Montana Classic, defeating the host Grizzlies in two games and splitting a pair with Seattle University.

The Blue Demon offense is led by a pair of regulars sporting an average above .300. Brooke Johnson leads the team with a .364 average, hitting six doubles, a triple and leads the team with six home runs. She’s also driven in 22 runs and scored a team-best 21 runs. Miranda Gutierrez has started 25 games, hitting at a .351 average with four doubles, two triples and a home run. She adds a pair of stolen bases to go with a .436 on-base percentage.

DePaul utilizes three pitchers. Natalie Halvorson and Erin Hocker have each started nine games, and Halvorson leads the team with 58.2 innings pitched. The graduate student has appeared in 17 games, striking out 48 hitters as she has earned a 5-5 record. Hocker has thrown in 48.1 innings with 10 appearances. She’s struck out just 12 hitters and thrown four complete games. Sarah Lehman has worked in 14 games, starting seven in the circle. She’s thrown 53.2 innings, striking out 36 on the season.

Record Setting Night

Tuesday night in the home opener against Detroit Mercy, the Fighting Irish scored 18 runs, tying a school record for runs scored and the largest margin of victory. The original record was set March 11, 1994 in an 18-0 victory over Robert Morris. Eight of nine starters had a hit and five players who didn’t start the contest registered one of the 18 hits. 15 different players scored a run in the victory.

Midweek Matchups

The Irish opened their midweek schedule last week, tying a school record with 18 runs scored in a five inning win over Detroit Mercy, and cruised to a 7-2 win over Western Michigan Wednesday night. Notre Dame is 9-2 over the last three seasons in midweek games, including a perfect 3-0 mark during the 2021 season.

Melissa Home Cooked

In the last four seasons, Notre Dame has gone a combined 29-2 at Melissa Cook Stadium, including a perfect 15-0 at home last season. In the Gumpf-era, the Irish are 288-63 when defending home turf and have won the last 21 home games.

Thou Shalt Not Steal

The catching combination of Shelby Grimm and Carlli Kloss have limited the opponents running game better than any tandem in the ACC. Kloss has thrown out four of eight attempted base stealers, and Grimm has tossed out six of 14 attempts. Combined, the Irish have thrown out 10 of 22 attempted base stealers and the .545 stolen base allowed percentage is the lowest in the conference. Grimm also picked off a runner this season.

Getting Out of the Blocks

Notre Dame has scored 34 runs in the first inning of games this season, and 94 runs in the first three innings this season. When scoring in the first inning, the Irish are 11-2 this season and when scoring the first run of the game Notre Dame is 18-2 on the season.

Any Means Necessary

Offensive stand out Abby Sweet picked up right where she left off after a record-setting on-base percentage in 2021 (.537). She leads the Irish with a .519 on-base percentage this season. She owns a .414 batting average, drawn eight walks and has been hit by 11 pitches. The 11 hit by pitches in 28 games ranks 10th nationally in HBP per game. Her .724 slugging percentage is second-highest among the Notre Dame regulars.

Starting Hot

The Irish were 16-4 through the first 20 games this season. Its the best start for Notre Dame Softball since the 2016 season where the team was 17-3 through the first 20 games. The Irish went on to earn a 43-13 record and a third-place finish in the ACC during the regular season. The first ACC series of the 2016 season was in Charlottesville as the Iris took the three games by a combined score of 32-7.

All Gas(kins)

Karina Gaskins has come on strong over the last 10 games, hitting at a .667 average with five home runs, 17 RBI and scored 11 runs. Against Pitt, every hit she had drove in a run as she helped the Irish sweep the Panthers. She’s proven to know the strikezone, walking nine times and striking out just three times in the last 10 games.

Lineup Shuffle

In the final game of the Liberty Softball Invitational, the Irish shuffled the top three of the order for the first time this year. Abby Sweet, who had served as the primary lead-off hitter for the first 18 games of the season, moved to the 3-spot of the lineup, and Leea Hanks moved up to the top of the lineup card. Since that switch, Sweet is hitting for a .419 average with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI and seven stolen bases. Hanks owns a .343 average from the top of the lineup, with 12 hits, three doubles, three triples, hit her first home run, scored 10 times, with Sweet crossing the plate 13 times. The player who has improved the most since shuffling Sweet and Hanks is the clean-up hitter, Karina Gaskins. Gaskins is hitting a scorching .667 in the 10 games with Hanks leading off, hitting three doubles, five home runs and driving in 17.

Working in TRANsistion

Emily Tran has appeared in 19 games this season, all of which have come as a pinch runner. In that role, she’s scored eight times, and is 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts. She’s the primary speedster off the bench for the Irish.

An Extra Run

After averaging five runs per game in 2021, the Irish offense has upped that number to 6.12 per game this season. Abby Sweet has scored 31 runs this season, ranking 23rd nationally in runs scored per game.

Top 25 wins

After falling in the first three games of the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational, the Irish went on to take down a pair of Top 25 teams.

Against LSU, Notre Dame rallied from down two to tie it up in the fifth with a home run from Payton Tidd. Miranda Johnson drove in the game-winning runs with a single to right field. Tidd shut the door in the seventh with a strikeout to end the contest and earn the 8-6 win.

The next outing saw the Irish take down #9 Texas. Notre Dame used a 7-run fifth inning to take the lead 9-2 and eventually the game. The win was the first over a top 10-nationally ranked opponent since defeating No. 3 Florida State in Tallahassee March 16th, 2019.

It’s the first weekend with wins over different top 25 teams since sweeping No. 13 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 2021.

Fast First Weekend

The Irish offense scored 49 runs in the first five games of the 2022 season. Its the most runs on the first weekend of the year in Notre Dame softball history, and the most in a five-game stretch since the Irish scored 51 April 20 through April 28, 2019.

Sister Sister

Notre Dame softball has a pair of sisters on its roster this season. Shelby and Cassidy Grimm are playing their second collegiate season together in 2022. Alexis and Anna Holloway are playing their first year of softball together this season. The extra year of eligibility for Alexis allowed for her to stay at Notre Dame long enough to play with her younger sister.

INDIANA STATE BASEBALL

ST. LOUIS – Indiana State redshirt sophomore Josue Urdaneta was named this week’s Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.

The Maracaibo, Venezuela native earned the award for the first time in his collegiate career and was the first Sycamore to receive the honor since Aaron Beck took home both conference and NBCWA National Player of the Week honors in late April last season.

Urdaneta took advantage in the Sycamores first home week at Bob Warn Field as the redshirt sophomore infielder connected on four home runs and added the walk-off RBI single on Wednesday against SEMO as Indiana State posted a 4-1 week. Urdaneta finished with a .429 batting average with multiple hits in four of the five games over the week.

Urdaneta opened up the week with a pair of two-run home runs and added a stolen base in ISU’s 10-1 win in the series opener against SEMO. On Wednesday, the redshirt sophomore was quiet until the ninth inning when he connected on the game-winning walk-off RBI single down the right field line in ISU’s 5-4 win.

Friday’s opener against Kansas saw Urdaneta again go deep in the bottom of the sixth inning as a part of a two-hit effort in the 6-2 win over the Jayhawks. He added two more hits in the first game on Sunday, before teeing off in the final game of the series.

Urdaneta went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, while adding three RBI and two runs scored in the 11-10 win. Urdaneta drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning, doubled home a run in the fourth, and then his solo home run proved to be the difference in the eighth putting ISU ahead 11-8 in the eventual 11-10 win.

For the season, Urdaneta has hit safely in all 18 games and leads Indiana State with 11 multi-hit contests.

EVANSVILLE BASEBALL

EVANSVILLE – A busy week beings for the University of Evansville baseball team with a pair of midweek contests beginning at Western Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon in Bowling Green, Ky., followed by a matchup with SIUE on the road on Wednesday in Edwardsville, Ill.

Previewing the Matchups: WKU and SIUE

The Aces and Hilltoppers are meeting for the 60th time in series history with Evansville owning a 29-28-2 advantage in a very competitive all-time series.

For Wednesday’s contest, UE and SIUE will meet for the 32nd time with the Aces owning a 17-15 advantage in the series.

Both WKU and SIUE enter the week with records right around .500 as the Hilltoppers are 9-10 and the Cougars come into the week at 10-8.

Each side Evansville faces in the midweek comes off a series loss last weekend against good competition. SIUE dropped a three-game set to Memphis and WKU fell in a three-game swing to Charlotte.

Mark’s Streak Continues

Over a strong start to his junior campaign, Mark Shallenberger has racked-up an impressive streak.

Following last week’s three contest, Shallenberger pushed his reached base streak to 18 games.

Shallenberger has gotten a hit in all but two games this season and leads the team with a .384 batting average.

Meyer Continues Spotless Spring

Junior Jakob Meyer heads into the fifth week of the season in impressive form.

In nine innings of work, Meyer has yet to allow a run this season.

The Columbus, Ind. native has allowed just three hits and struck-out 15 batters, while recording a pair of saves.

VALPO BASEBALL

Milwaukee (6-8, 0-0 Horizon)

at Valparaiso (7-9, 0-0 MVC)

Emory G. Bauer Field (500) | Valparaiso, Ind.

Wednesday, March 23, 3 p.m.  – RHP Griffin McCluskey

Next Up in Valpo Baseball: Weather permitting, the Valparaiso University baseball team will begin the home portion of the season on Wednesday as Milwaukee comes to town for a midweek matchup. Valpo will finally have the opportunity to take the field at home after beginning the season with 16 consecutive true road games. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, representing the first home game in program history to feature a live video stream. Valpo is ranked 56th in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, the third-best RPI in the Missouri Valley Conference behind DBU (1) and Illinois State (34).

Last Time Out: Murray State’s unblemished 12-0 home record and the program’s longest home winning streak since 1958 came to an end at the hands of Valpo as the Beacons prevailed 7-2 in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Murray State won Friday’s series opener 8-2 and Saturday’s nightcap 5-1, but Valpo earned a 6-1 win in Sunday’s series finale to garner a road split against the team picked to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference. The series served as a preview of future Missouri Valley Conference showdowns as the Racers will join the MVC next season.

Following the Beacons: Wednesday’s game will air on ESPN+ with Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Brian Jennings (analyst) on the call. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com. For in-game updates, follow @ValpoBaseball on Twitter. 

Head Coach Brian Schmack: Brian Schmack (159-244), the 17th head baseball coach in Valparaiso University history, is in his ninth season in charge of the program. This year, he moves into sole possession of third in program history for number of seasons coached with nine, surpassing Donald Warnke (1946-1953). Entering the season, Schmack’s win total ranks fourth in program history after he surpassed Rick Ferchen (1982-1987, 147) during the 2021 campaign. Also in 2021, Schmack joined Paul Twenge (1988-2006), Emory G. Bauer (1954-1981) and Tracy Woodson (2007-2013) as the only head coaches to reach the 150-win threshold. The former big-league pitcher led Valpo to 25 wins in his inaugural campaign in 2014, a school record for victories by a first-year skipper. Schmack, a member of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, served as pitching coach/associate head coach at Valpo for seven seasons prior to his promotion.

Talking Schmack: Head coach Brian Schmack moved into third in program history in career games coached on March 13 at SEMO. Schmack’s predecessor, Tracy Woodson, was at the helm for 397 contests. During the March 18 game at Murray State, Schmack became the third head coach in program history to work 400 games, joining Paul Twenge (1988-2006, 1011) and Emory G. Bauer (1954-1981, 606).

Series Notes: Valpo and Milwaukee have matched up 73 times over the years with the Panthers holding a 39-33 advantage. The two teams last played in 2018, and Valpo prevailed 23-5 behind the program’s highest run total in eight years. A seven-run first inning explosion set the tone, and Valpo enjoyed another seven-run frame in the sixth. Jayden Eggimann launched a grand slam and racked up seven RBIs. Valpo owns a five-game head-to-head winning streak that started with a 12-7 victory in the 2016 Horizon League semifinals. The two teams shared conference affiliation in the Horizon League for a decade.

Opening the Home Slate: Valpo will finally lift the lid on the home portion of the season after 16 straight away from home. This year’s scheduled home opener is a full month earlier than the first home game a year ago, a 7-6 victory over Southern Illinois. Here’s a look at home opener dates and results during the Brian Schmack Era, during which time the program holds a 3-4 mark in home lidlifters.

Year    Date                Opponent        Result

2022    March 23         Milwaukee      ???

2021    April 23           SIU                  W 7-6

2019    March 23         Butler              L 6-4

2018    March 26         Ball State        L 13-5

2017    April 8             NKU               W 8-7

2016    March 25         Wright St        L 9-6

2015    March 20         YSU                W 9-5

2014    April 2             NIU                 L 10-6

Pitching Probable: RHP #38 Griffin McCluskey

Pitched a scoreless inning in his season debut on March 4 at Omaha.

Was not charged with a run in 2/3 of an inning on March 15 at No. 6 Notre Dame, then allowed just one run over three solid frames on March 18 at Murray State with the lone tally coming on a home run.

Set to make his first start of the season and the third of his collegiate career.

Pitched in nine games and made two starts as a freshman in 2021.

Made his first career start on April 27, 2021 at No. 8 Notre Dame.

Also got the starting nod on May 11, 2021 vs. the No. 8 Fighting Irish and pitched a gem at Emory G. Bauer Field, holding the guests to no runs on one hit – a seeing-eye single through the left side – while walking just one and striking out four in six innings. He left in position for the win after becoming just the third pitcher to hold Notre Dame scoreless while pitching six or more innings all season, joining Duke’s Jack Carey and Boston College’s Emmett Sheehan.

Posted the highest fielding percentage by a starting shortstop in program history in high school.

Finished in the top 10 in his high school’s history in career 3-point field goals in basketball.

Enjoys playing the guitar.

Fields Firing: Colin Fields racked up nine strikeouts in his most recent start, a victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader on March 19 at Murray State. He has notched seven or more strikeouts in all five of his starts this season. Fields sent down 11 straight from the second to the sixth in the game against the Racers, settling in after walking five but allowing no runs over the first two frames. He has a league-high 42 strikeouts this season and 192 in his collegiate career. His 42 strikeouts rank tied for 31st nationally. Fields is eight strikeouts away from becoming the 12th player in program history to reach 200.

Through 16 Games: The start of the season is always a challenge for the Beacons, who play a string of true road games against warm-weather competition with little chance to practice outdoors. Valpo’s 7-9 record through 16 games represents its best winning percentage at this juncture of the season since 2014.

In the Other Dugout: Milwaukee

This will mark their first game prior to beginning league action on Friday at UIC.

Alabama A&M is a common opponent so far this season. Milwaukee won all three, while the Beacons won both games at Alabama A&M.

Finished last season 22-33 and 17-23 in the Horizon League.

Picked to finish third in the Horizon League preseason poll.

INDIANAPOLIS SOFTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS—The No. 4 UIndy softball team spent Monday afternoon giving the home faithful their first glimpse of this year’s team. The Greyhounds did not disappoint, earning 6-1 and 4-0 wins against the visiting Lewis Flyers under near-perfect weather conditions.

GAME 1 | UIndy 6, Lewis 1

The Flyers took an early lead by pushing across a run in the top of the first inning. That would be the lone run surrendered by starter Kenzee Smith, however, as the sophomore ace went on to scatter six hits and just one walk on the way to win No. 11 on the season.

Meanwhile, the Hounds quickly wrestled the lead away with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first and went on to score six unanswered runs in all. UIndy had 15 hits for the game – at least one from each of UIndy’s nine hitters. Hanna Burris and Dominique Proctor both earned RBI doubles, part of a combined five hits from the duo.

FUN FACT

Super-senior Sydnie Foster became the fourth active Greyhound and just the 20th all-time to score 100 career runs, joining teammates Gianni Iannantone, Hanna Burris and Haylie Foster in the century club.

GAME 2 | UIndy 4, Lewis 0

H. Foster had one of her best games of the season in the circle, overmatching the Flyers with a two-hit shutout. The Plainfield, Ind., product struck out five and walked zero to match Smith’s stellar 11-1 record on the year.

Iannantone had the first of her three hits in the game in the first inning, plating Proctor with the opening tally. The former added another RBI single in the third, which was preceeded by a Lexy Rees’ run-scoring double. Shortstop Sydnee Perry chipped in an RBI single in the fifth to cap the scoring.

UP NEXT

The Hounds have a single day of rest before hosting another home twin bill, this time with a non-conference matchup versus Ohio Dominican. First pitch from Baumgartner Field is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23 at 2 p.m. ET.

INDIANAPOLIS WOMEN’S LACROSSE

LEBANON, ILL.  – The University of Indianapolis Women’s Lacrosse team downed the No. 16 University of Tampa on Monday afternoon on McKendree’s turf,15-8.

The Hounds are now 6-1 on the season.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Abigail Lagos led the charge for the Hounds with five goals off 12 shots, while picking up two ground balls and causing two turnovers.

Kylee Manser also earned herself three goals, off four shots.

Cassidy King earned eight saves on the match, while racking up a save percentage of .727 while Audrey Moran posted three saves.

More info to come.

UP NEXT

The Hounds face off against Walsh in North Canton, OH on Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. ET.

ROSE HULMAN BASEBALL

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology hit three home runs in the first home game for head coach Adam Rosen, but DePauw University rallied to pick up a 10-5 victory over the Fightin’ Engineers.

Josh Mesenbrink blasted two home runs to lead the Fightin’ Engineer offense.  Shane Garner also had a first inning home run for the Fightin’ Engineers.

Mesenbrink finished 2-4 with three RBIs.  Garner added the home run and a walk, and Manuel Lopez had a double and one RBI.  Adam Taylor and Colter Couillard-Rodak added one hit and one run each.

Korey Marlow led the Rose-Hulman pitching performance with 2.2 scoreless innings and three strikeouts.

DePauw improved to 6-5 on the season behind three hits and six RBIs from Kyle Callahan.  Rose-Hulman stands 5-4 on the season and returns to action at home on Friday at 6 pm against Carthage.

VINCENNES BASEBALL

CANTON, Ill. – The Vincennes University Trailblazer baseball team finished their four-game road Mid-West Athletic Conference (MWAC) series at Spoon River Monday.

The day began by finishing the final two innings of game two yesterday, which was suspended due to darkness. Vincennes finished off the 18-10 win.

Vincennes also won game three of the series 10-7 after riding a big first inning.

Host Spoon River finished off the series with a walk-off win in game four, winning 12-11 over the Trailblazers.

Game two of the series began Sunday afternoon and Vincennes took the early lead after scoring three runs in the second on RBI doubles by freshmen Kaden Elliott (New Albany, Ind.) and Will Egger (Terre Haute, Ind.).

Spoon River looked to take full control of the game in the bottom half of the inning, scoring eight runs to take an 8-3 lead.

The Trailblazers began their comeback the next inning as Kaden Elliott hit another RBI double and was immediately followed by a two-RBI single by sophomore Dale Coy (Evansville, Ind.), cutting the deficit to two runs.

Vincennes took the lead in the fourth after freshman Colton Evans (Henderson, Ky.) hit a three-run home run, which began a seven-run inning for the Blazers as VU took a 13-8 lead.

After the two teams traded runs in the fifth, the game was suspended due to darkness, to be resumed Monday morning.

Vincennes picked up where they left off Monday morning, with sophomore Peyton Lane (New Paris, Ohio) hitting an RBI double and Kaden Elliott hitting an RBI single as VU took a 17-9 lead.

VU would add another run in the seventh with sophomore Connor VanLannen (Clinton, Ind.) driving in Colton Evans, as Evans scored his fifth run of the game.

Vincennes came away with the 18-10 win to take the 2 – 0 series lead.

Sophomore Kestler Harbuck (Brooksville, Fla.) got the start in game two and surrendered eight runs on eight hits in 1.2 innings. Harbuck did record four strikeouts in the game as well.

Freshman Kobe Bartlett (Rockport, Ind.) was first out of the bullpen, throwing 3.1 innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out one.

Sophomore Braedon Nichols (Sullivan, Ind.) took the mound when the game resumed Monday and threw the final two innings. Nichols allowed one run on three hits.

“Colton and Kaden got it done all day,” VU Head Baseball Coach Chris Barney said. “Those two were really consistent in all three of the games today. It was a long day, we started around noon and the games didn’t end until just before eight, so that’s eight hours on the field not counting the two hours of prep work before getting to the field.”

Vincennes continued this momentum into game three of the series as the Trailblazers opened the game by scoring seven runs in the top of the first.

The Trailblazers got RBI singles by Connor VanLannen and Dale Coy, followed by a two RBI single by Mahkai Pelzer (Douglasville, Ga.) and an RBI double by Ethan Burdette (Linton, Ind.).

Spoon River battled back to seven the score in the third inning after scoring two runs in the first, three in the second and two in the third inning.

VU broke the tie in the fifth with another two RBI single by Mahkai Pelzer, giving the Blazers a 10-7 lead over the host Snappers.

The Vincennes bullpen closed out the game and held on to the three-run lead by the Trailblazers, giving VU the win and a 3 – 0 series lead.

Freshman Jake Stuteville (Rockport, Ind.) got the start in game three, allowing five runs on five hits in 1.2 innings, while striking out one.

Freshman Konner Thyen (Huntingburg, Ind.) and sophomore Luke Osborn (Perryville, Ind.) finished out the game from the pen, combining to throw 4.2 innings, allowing no runs and three hits, with the pair each striking out one batter.

“Konner Thyen came in in a tough situation and gave us two-plus innings,” Barney said. “He did a really great job. He commanded the zone and worked ahead of hitters and forced them to put the ball in play.”

“Then Luke Osborn comes in and pitches the final two innings for his third save of the year and second save of the weekend. So credit to them and credit to Luke for coming in and doing it on back-to-back days,” Barney added. “The same goes for Braedon Nichols coming in in game two and giving us two innings to close out that game this morning.”

Vincennes again took the early lead in game four, scoring two runs in the first on a two RBI single by Dale Coy.

Spoon River took the lead with one run in the first, two in the second, three in the third and four runs in the fourth to take a 10-3 lead over the Blazers.

Vincennes began their comeback in the sixth, with another two RBI single by Dale Coy, which started a four-run inning to cut the deficit to three runs.

VU used a two RBI double by Peyton Lane in the seventh to get within a run of Spoon River.

The Snappers added a run in the eighth before Colton Evans hit an RBI double and later scored on a fielder’s choice to tie the game in the ninth.

With the Trailblazers looking to send the game into extra innings, the Spoon River batters continued to be patient at the plate, coming away with three walks in the inning, including the game-winning walk as the Snappers came away with the 12-11 win over VU.

Freshman Dawson Blaylock (Eaton, Ohio) got the start in game four and threw 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits.

Freshman Caleb Moore (Wentzville, Mo.) had a good game out of the pen, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out one.

“Caleb has been really, really good and he’s probably going to get more innings because of it,” Barney said. “He’s done really well and is starting to build some confidence as a freshman walk-on. He’s a big-bodied lefty that throws the ball in there and throws strikes and he gave our fielders a chance to make some plays behind him and didn’t give up a lot of free bases.”

“Our guys did a really good job of battling all weekend,” Barney said. “Battling a lot of different things with being on the road in a new environment against a team that had some energy and are better than what they were last year at this point. My hat is off to Spoon River, they battled all weekend too and were able to squeak out the last win of the weekend. But overall, it was a good weekend for us to go 3-1 on the road.”

“Hats off to our hitters,” Barney added. “They did it all day long and when you put up the numbers we did this weekend, you probably should come out of there with four wins, but we just didn’t pitch well enough or play defensively well enough in the last game to make up the difference.”

The Trailblazers will return to Jerry Blemker Field this week when VU hosts NJCAA Division I No. 3-ranked Wabash Valley College Wednesday, March 23. First pitch for this game is set for 3 p.m. eastern.

VU will then play host to MWAC Conference opponent NJCAA Division II No. 14 Lincoln Land Saturday, March 26 and Sunday March 27. First pitch Saturday is set for 1 p.m. eastern.

“That’s just great competition,” Barney said of this upcoming week of games. “We will host Wabash Valley and then host Lincoln Land in a four-game series. Lincoln Land is coming off a four-game sweep John Wood, so they are feeling pretty good about themselves as they opened up their Conference play as well this weekend.”

TAYLOR SOFTBALL

UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor used an offense surge to sweep the doubleheader in run-rule fashion from Huntington in Crossroads League action at Gudakunst Field on Monday.

Maddi Evans launched two home runs in game one to lead Taylor to a 9-1 triumph.

Evans woke up the TU bats in the bottom of the fifth, rocketing a home run to center to tie the game at one. With one out, the Trojans kept the train rolling, lining three consecutive hits. Ashton Whitman capped off the hit parade with a double down the line, scoring Emma West. On the next play, Caitlyn Grim drove in Alexi Clay on a ground out taking the lead to 3-1.

The Trojans kept the bats hot in the sixth, getting help from miscues by the Foresters (3-12, 1-5) defense. Jersey Tannehill roped a single to start the inning, after which Evans blasted her second home run of the game. Lexi Abruzzo and West reached on errors before Clay singled to score Abruzzo. After one out was recorded, West scored on a passed ball. Later in the frame, two Taylor runs scored on an error that put the run-rule in effect and ended game one early. 

Evans (5-3) was brilliant in the circle, tossing six innings of one run ball. She allowed only one hit to go along with seven strikeouts.

The hot-hitting continued to start game two. With two outs in the bottom of the first and the scored tied at one, Kristin Mihalic took advantage, belting a double to the wall to clear the bases.

Taylor poured it on, scoring five more runs in the second. Abruzzo led the inning off with a single, after which West and Evans followed with knocks of their own to load the bases again. The fourth Trojan to the plate, Ashton Whitman, hit a no-doubt grand slam to put the game out of reach. The home run was her second of the season. The Trojans finished the inning off with another Mihalic RBI double and after two times at the plate the home team found themselves out in front 9-1.

The bottom of the third produced more of the same, plating three more runs in the inning. West and Whitman reached to set up a laced triple by Grim scoring both on the play. Grim scored later in the inning on a single by Aleyah Rastetter.

The pitching in game two was stellar as three players combined for one-run ball. Mackenzie Noah started the game and threw three innings allowing the run. Lindsey Nolt and Rastetter each threw a scoreless inning in relief to seal the 12 – 1 victory.

Taylor (8-9, 5-1) will be back in action on Friday, taking on Saint Francis at Gudakunst Field. The Crossroads League action will begin at 3:00 pm.

TAYLOR BASEBALL

UPLAND, Ind. – In its second-consecutive doubleheader, the Taylor baseball team won the night cap in walk-off fashion as the Trojans completed a sweep of Bethel (9-19, 3-9 CL) in their four-game Crossroads League series.

Junior, TJ Bass, was the guy to post the late-inning heroics in game two, but senior outfielder, Conner Crawford, was especially pivotal for the Trojans in game one, matching a career-high five runs-batted-in while achieving the third multi-home-run game of his career.

The Westerville, Ohio, native scratched the first runs of the game on the board in the second inning, when he blasted his first home run of the game to right center. With one swing of the bat, Crawford made it an early 2-0 game, driving Jacob Morris home, who reached first on an infield-single the at-bat before.

Later in the game, Nick Rusche made it a 3-0 game with an RBI-triple in the fifth, but it was the sixth inning that proved pivotal for the Trojans in their game-one victory.

After Bethel cut its three-run deficit to one with a two-run top half of the sixth, Taylor responded with three of its own in the bottom half to establish a 6-2 lead.

The sixth-inning action for the Taylor bats was ignited when TJ Bass roped a single to left center, reaching first base where Drew Loy came on to run. After two-consecutive fly outs threatened to maintain the Pilot momentum, Morris and Crawford would enact their one-two punch yet again.

This time Morris drew a two-out walk, placing two men on base, before Crawford cleared the bases with a three-run blast to left for his second of the game, accumulating his third, fourth, and fifth RBI along the way.

Meanwhile, a trio of Trojan pitchers paved the way for Taylor’s game-one win. Matt Dutkowski (4-0) started on the bump and did the majority of the work for the Trojans, throwing six innings of two-run, three-hit ball, while posting four strikeouts in tandem with zero walks. Furthermore, only one of Dutkowski’s two runs was scored as earned, as the sophomore righty worked his third solid outing in-a-row.

Drake Gongwer, then, took the mound to start the seventh inning, but ran into quick trouble, allowing three-consecutive base runners before Kaleb Kolpien came on in relief.

The freshman lefty allowed one of his inherited runners to score on a wild pitch, but then got three-straight Pilot batters to go down swinging to squash the Bethel rally.

Kolpien went on to finish the game on the mound, racking up seven strikeouts in three innings en route to his third save of the season.

In game two, Taylor jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning lead before Bethel mounted a comeback that was eventually stifled by Bass’s walk-off single in the seventh.

The first five Trojan batters each reached base in the first, a series that culminated in back-to-back doubles by Kolpien and first baseman, Kade Vander Molen.

Bethel bounced back with three of its own in the third, though soon after Jacob Morris went oppo-taco with a two-run home run to left to make it a 6-3 game.

The Pilots, then, scored the game’s next three runs, evening the score at six until Bass’s decisive single in the seventh.

Senior leadoff-man, Nick Rusche, however, was the one to set the stage by drawing a one-out walk and subsequently stealing second base. With the game-winning run in scoring position, the league’s leader in RBI tacked one more on to his season-total with a sharp single up the middle.

Bass’s 39th run-batted-in of the season came after freshman, Conner Miller (2-0), threw a scoreless top half of the seventh, earning his second-career win when Bass ended the game with a final score of 7-6.

Taylor (19-9, 9-3 CL) sits just half a game out of first place in the Crossroads League, after having now won five games in-a-row. The Trojans will look to extend their winning ways on Friday, March 25th, when the Trojans travel to Fort Wayne to play third-place St. Francis (19-8, 8-4 CL).

TV TUESDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL – MENTIME ETTV
ST. BONAVENTURE AT VIRGINIA7:00PMESPN
VANDERBILT AT XAVIER9:00PMESPN
COLLEGE BASEBALLTIME ETTV
NORTHWESTERN AT NOTRE DAME4:00PMACCN
CENTRAL ARKANSAS AT TEXAS7:30PMLHN
COLLEGE SOFTBALLTIME ETTV
LIBERTY AT VIRGINIA7:00PMACCN
OKLAHOMA AT KENTUCKY7:00PMSECN
NBATIME ETTV
GOLDEN STATE AT ORLANDO7:00PMNBCS-BAY
BALLY SPORTS
ATLANTA AT NEW YORK7:30PMTNT
CHICAGO AT MILWAUKEE8:00PMNBCS-CHI
BALLY SPORTS
LA CLIPPERS AT DENVER10:00PMTNT
NHLTIME ETTV
COLUMBUS AT PITTSBURGH7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ATTSN-PIT
NY RANGERS AT NEW JERSEY7:00PMMSG
MSG+
ST. LOUIS AT WASHINGTON7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-WSH
TAMPA BAY AT CAROLINA7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
VEGAS AT WINNIPEG8:00PMATTSN-RM
SPORTSNET
EDMONTON AT DALLAS8:30PMESPN+
HULU
SAN JOSE AT CALGARY9:00PMNBCS-CA
SPORTSNET
SEATTLE AT ARIZONA10:00PMROOT SPORTS
BALLY SPORTS
NASHVILLE AT LOS ANGELES10:30PMESPN+
HULU

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1939       The 20-year-old injury-plagued Pete Reiser homers in his first at-bat during the Dodgers’ second game of spring training, beginning a streak of ten consecutive hits. ‘Pistol Pete,’ one of 74 minor-leaguer free-agents when Commissioner Landis ruled the Cardinals signed too many players to play on multiple teams in the same leagues, hits .301 in 38 games with the Elmira Pioneers, the team’s Eastern League Single-A affiliate.

1962       In the first meeting between the two New York clubs, the Mets defeated the World Champion Yankees in a spring training game with a dramatic walk-off 4-3 victory at Al Lang Field. Casey Stengel, the former skipper of the Bronx Bombers, now the expansion team’s manager, clearly wanting to beat his old club, calls upon veteran Richie Ashburn, who delivers a ninth-inning pinch-hit single for the Amazins’.

1962       Roger Maris declines to pose with Mets coach Rogers Hornsby because the veteran had criticized him in the recently published autobiography, My Wars with Baseball. In the book, the 65-year-old Hall of Famer dismisses the Yankees slugger as a mediocre hitter who couldn’t bat .400 even with all of his averages added up.

1972       The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Over the next seven years, Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief with a 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA, notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers to appear in three World Series.

1986       The Yankees announce Britt Burns, an 18-game winner with the White Sox last season, will miss the entire season due to a degenerative hip condition. The 26-year-old southpaw will never throw another major league pitch, ending his eight-year career, played entirely with Chicago, with a 70-60 (.538) won-loss record.

2002       After a miserable spring trying to make the Dodgers as a bench player, 38 year-old Dante Bichette (.299, 274, 1,141) announces his retirement. The four-time affable All-Star, who played with the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds, and Red Sox during his 14-year major league career, will have a brief stint as the Rockies’ batting coach in 2009.

2005       Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds, 11 home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth on the all-time list, indicates he may not play this season. The 40-year-old National League MVP, who has had two knee operations and implicated in the sport’s steroids scandal, cites being physically and mentally “done,” and blames the media for much of his unhappiness.

2010       With the same pen he used to sign his rookie contract in 2001, Twins catcher Joe Mauer (.365, 28, 96) signs a $184 million, eight-year contract extension, keeping him with the small-market team through 2018. Last year, the 26-year-old backstop, after starting the season on the DL as a result of back surgery the previous year, captured his third batting crown and was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

2016       In a game attended by Barack Obama, the first sitting United States president on Cuban soil since 1928, the Rays beat the Cuban National team, 4-1, marking the first time in 17 years a major league team has visited the island nation. In 1999 at Havana’s Estadio, the Orioles edge the home team, 3-2, thanks to a Harold Baines’ eventual game-winning hit in the 11th inning.

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
1 XY-MIAMI4725.65326-921-1611-230-146-41 L
PHILADELPHIA4427.6202.521-1623-116-927-176-41 W
MILWAUKEE4427.6202.524-1220-159-326-188-21 L
BOSTON4528.6162.524-1221-169-630-169-14 W
CHICAGO4229.5924.526-1016-199-427-173-71 W
CLEVELAND4131.5696.023-1318-189-524-195-51 L
TORONTO4032.5567.017-1623-168-524-206-41 L
BROOKLYN3834.5289.016-1922-159-626-186-42 W
CHARLOTTE3735.51410.019-1718-186-722-227-35 W
10 ATLANTA3536.49311.523-1412-228-621-236-41 L
11 WASHINGTON3041.42316.518-1812-236-722-222-81 L
12 NEW YORK3041.42316.515-2015-214-1015-265-51 L
13 INDIANA2547.34722.016-209-272-1311-344-62 W
14 DETROIT1953.26428.011-248-295-915-294-62 L
15 ORLANDO1953.26428.09-2610-272-1110-354-61 W
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
1 X-PHOENIX5814.80630-828-68-434-98-25 W
MEMPHIS4923.6819.024-1025-139-532-147-31 W
GOLDEN STATE4724.66210.529-918-1510-328-174-62 L
UTAH4527.62513.026-1119-1613-129-156-41 L
DALLAS4428.61114.024-1220-1612-231-157-31 W
DENVER4230.58316.020-1422-165-925-196-42 L
MINNESOTA4231.57516.524-1218-1911-428-198-21 L
LA CLIPPERS3637.49322.520-1516-227-721-254-63 L
LA LAKERS3141.43127.020-1711-243-1116-274-61 W
10 NEW ORLEANS3042.41728.016-2014-226-820-234-61 L
11 SAN ANTONIO2844.38930.014-2314-214-818-244-61 W
12 PORTLAND2744.38030.517-1810-261-1211-302-81 W
13 SACRAMENTO2548.34233.516-239-255-817-292-83 L
14 OKLAHOMA CITY2052.27838.09-2711-254-814-310-1010 L
15 HOUSTON1854.25040.011-257-293-119-363-71 W
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS6242146904025418026-6-016-8-67-2-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES6241156884020314823-5-318-10-34-4-2
NEW YORK RANGERS6340185853618916020-6-320-12-27-3-0
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS6338169853520516717-9-521-7-47-2-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING6139166843720517419-6-420-10-25-5-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS6239185833722918922-7-217-11-35-4-1
BOSTON BRUINS6339195833719116918-10-221-9-37-2-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS64351910803121418015-12-520-7-57-2-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS6332283672821023418-13-314-15-05-3-2
10 NEW YORK ISLANDERS6026259612516216615-12-411-13-56-3-1
11 DETROIT RED WINGS6225307572217823216-12-49-18-32-7-1
12 BUFFALO SABRES6322338522016722011-16-411-17-46-4-0
13 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS62203111512015621413-15-67-16-54-5-1
14 OTTAWA SENATORS6222355492116220412-19-210-16-33-7-0
15 NEW JERSEY DEVILS6222355492018822614-14-38-21-24-6-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS6317361044151602389-18-48-18-64-3-3
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
COLORADO AVALANCHE6345135954224417525-3-320-10-26-3-1
CALGARY FLAMES6238168843621514919-5-619-11-26-2-2
MINNESOTA WILD6137204783222819620-7-117-13-36-3-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS6337224783521017819-11-018-11-47-3-0
LOS ANGELES KINGS6434228763118218116-13-318-9-55-4-1
EDMONTON OILERS6335235753221419919-12-016-11-56-2-2
ST. LOUIS BLUES6134189773221717320-7-414-11-53-4-3
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS6534274723020519718-13-316-14-14-6-0
DALLAS STARS6134243713117918220-8-114-16-26-4-0
10 WINNIPEG JETS63292410682819719816-12-213-12-86-3-1
11 VANCOUVER CANUCKS6430268682718318614-13-516-13-34-4-2
12 ANAHEIM DUCKS65272711652318621016-13-411-14-72-6-2
13 SAN JOSE SHARKS6227278622516319515-14-412-13-44-4-2
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS6322329531916721911-16-511-16-43-6-1
15 ARIZONA COYOTES622038444191622249-21-111-17-36-4-0
16 SEATTLE KRAKEN6319386441716422611-18-38-20-33-5-2
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE