UConn reaches 14th straight Final Four, tops NC State in 2OT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) In a double-overtime thriller that put UConn’s record streak of women’s Final Four appearances at serious risk, Paige Bueckers came through for the Huskies – and earned a trip home to Minneapolis.

The sensational sophomore scored 15 of her 27 points after regulation, and UConn beat North Carolina State 91-87 on Monday night to reach its 14th straight Final Four.

“Two days ago I said, `Win or go home,’ but we won and I’m still going home,” said Bueckers, who missed nearly three months this season with a left knee injury. “This is crazy. I’m just so excited no matter the location, no matter where it is.”

Bueckers, who grew up 10 miles outside the site of the Final Four, scored the first five points in the second overtime to lift the Huskies (29-5), who will face defending champion Stanford in the national semifinals on Friday night.

Bueckers returned last month from the knee surgery that sidelined her for 19 games, and in eight appearances before this one, she wasn’t quite the same. But against N.C. State, she looked like the player who was named AP Player of the Year in 2021. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament’s Bridgeport Region.

“Thank God Paige came back, because she just gives everybody so much confidence and then everybody just kind of played and everybody took turns making plays,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “It was just an amazing basketball game and it was a great showcase for our sport.”

Auriemma said it was one of the greatest games of his Hall of Fame career at UConn. The Huskies were ranked No. 5 in the final AP Top 25 before the tournament; the Wolfpack were No. 3, and both talented rosters shined.

“It was just amazing. … No one wants to lose,” Auriemma said. “Everyone was making big play after big play. no one backed down from the moment. It’s a shame one of us had to lose. Would be great if both of us could go.”

Louisville beats Michigan 62-50 to return to Final Four

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Jeff Walz leaned back alongside Louisville star Hailey Van Lith with his eyes closed, white cap emblazoned with “Wichita Regional Champions” flipped backward on his head and a freshly cut- down net hanging around his neck.

It was the very picture of reveling in victory.

Van Lith poured in 22 points to earn regional MVP honors, Olivia Cochran made a series of crucial baskets in the final minutes, and Walz’s gutsy bunch of Cardinals answered every body blow from Michigan in a physical 62-50 victory on Monday night that has them playing in the Final Four for the fourth time in program history.

They’re promising to deliver Walz his first national title, too.

“He’s meant the world to me personally,” said Emily Engstler, who offset a poor night shooting with 16 rebounds and some big defensive plays. “He lets you be yourself and he protects you and you can trust him, and that’s hard in this industry.

“I’m going to do whatever I can to get him a national championship.”

First up is fellow No. 1 seed South Carolina on Friday night in Minneapolis.

“I treat these kids as my own,” Walz said. “I love all of them and I’m just so excited for every single one of them.”

The No. 3 seed Wolverines were within 52-50 with less than 3 minutes to go when the Cardinals, using some nifty ball movement to get out of a half-court trap, found Cochran for a layup. Then at the other end, Michigan star Naz Hillmon was called for charging, and Cochran added another bucket to give Louisville some breathing room.

Siakam scores 40 points, Raptors beat Celtics 115-112 in OT

TORONTO (AP) Pascal Siakam had a season-high 40 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out, and the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 115-112 in overtime on Monday night.

Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby scored 14 points apiece, Thad Young and Gary Trent Jr. each had 12, and Scottie Barnes scored 10 before fouling out as Toronto snapped a four-game home losing streak against the Celtics.

“That was a tough one tonight, man,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “It certainly could have gone either way, and we’ve been on the wrong end of some of those.”

Playing without forwards Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum and centers Al Horford and Robert Williams III, Boston lost for the fifth time in 29 games.

“Great night by a lot of guys,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “A lot of guys stepped up. We had our chances and felt we should have won.”

Trent made two free throws to put Toronto up by three points with 14.4 seconds left in the extra period. Marcus Smart and Grant Williams both missed game-tying 3-point tries on Boston’s final possession.

Smart had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Williams scored 17, and Derrick White added 15 for Boston. Seven Celtics players scored 10 points or more, including Daniel Theis, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“It was a tough game,” Smart said. “The fact that we did what we did and had chances, I’m proud of us.”

Heat snap 4-game losing streak by topping Kings, 123-100

MIAMI (AP) The worst losing streak of Miami’s season is over. Not only that, but the Heat returned to the top of the Eastern Conference.

And now a road trip with massive seeding implications awaits.

Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, Bam Adebayo added 22 points and 15 rebounds, and the Heat beat the Sacramento Kings 123-100 on Monday night to stop a four-game slide.

Tyler Herro had 20 for the Heat, who improved to 36-5 when scoring at least 110 points.

“Felt amazing to get back in the winning column,” Herro said.

The Heat (48-28) are leading the East again, a game ahead of No. 2 Milwaukee and No. 3 Philadelphia (both 46-28, with the Bucks holding the tiebreaker edge there). Boston started the day No. 1 in the East; the Celtics (47-29) fell to fourth, percentage points behind the Bucks and 76ers after losing to Toronto.

“We got back to being who we are,” Butler said.

Davion Mitchell scored 21 points for Sacramento, which got 17 from Harrison Barnes.

Miami’s 23-point victory margin was its largest since a 24-point win at Atlanta on Jan. 12. And Miami looked exactly the way Kings coach Alvin Gentry expected – especially after the Heat had dropped their last four.

“I don’t read a whole lot into that,” Gentry said. “I think if you look at their team and the way they go out, they will be a huge factor when the playoffs start anyway. I think it’s a wakeup call.”

Sure looked like one. Sacramento scored the first six points, Miami scored the next nine and never trailed again.

Damian Jones had 15 points, Donte DiVincenzo 12 and Trey Lyles 11 for the Kings.

Grizzlies beat Warriors 123-95, tighten hold on 2nd in West

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Desmond Bane scored 22 points, De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks added 21 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies solidified their hold on second place in the Western Conference with a 123-95 victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Kyle Anderson added 13 points for Memphis, which holds a five-game lead over the third-place Warriors in the conference. The Grizzlies won their fifth straight and for the ninth time in 10 games. Bane and Melton were key, as they were in Saturday’s win over Milwaukee, combining to go 10 of 15 from 3-point range.

“We all tell both those guys to keep shooting because it opens up the floor for us,” Brooks said. “That’s the way we are built, and it’s fun to play. It’s fun to watch.”

Jordan Poole led Golden State with 25 points, and Moses Moody finished with 18. Jonathan Kuminga scored 15 points as Golden State dropped its third straight and lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Golden State played without leading scorer Stephen Curry, who has missed six games with a left foot sprain. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Otto Porter Jr. also sat out under various injury management situations.

That put the Warriors in an unfavorable position facing the Grizzlies, who were without leading scorer Ja Morant, who missed his fifth straight game with right knee soreness, and Jaren Jackson Jr., who sat with right thigh soreness.

But Memphis has played well in Morant’s absence, winning the previous four after Morant was injured.

The game opened with both teams struggling on offense.

“I thought we didn’t have our footing in that first quarter,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “A little sloppy.”

Neither team was shooting well to start, and Memphis was a step slow to 50-50 balls. The teams combined to make only 13 of 45 shots in the first quarter.

Both were still mired at 25% each early in the second quarter before scoring started picking up – for Memphis.

Not Golden State.

Roby scores 30 as Thunder down Blazers 134-131 in OT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Isaiah Roby scored a career-high 30 points on 11-of-13 shooting and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied in overtime to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 134-131 on Monday night.

Aaron Wiggins added a career-best 28 points for the Thunder, who remain in second-to-last place in the Western Conference with losses in 11 of their last 13 games.

Ben McLemore had 28 points off the bench, including eight 3-pointers, for the Trail Blazers. Portland has lost four straight and also sits outside the playoff picture at 12th in the West.

Wiggins’ layup gave the Thunder a 118-117 lead in overtime before McLemore’s 3-pointer for Portland. Theo Maledon answered with a 3 for Oklahoma City, but Drew Eubanks’ dunk gave the Blazers a 122-121 edge.

Roby’s 3-pointer and a dunk extended the Thunder’s lead to 126-122. Roby added a layup after rookie Brandon Williams’ basket for the Blazers, and Oklahoma City held on.

“We play to win no matter the opponent. It’s a good experience and good vibes right now,” said Oklahoma City rookie guard Vit Krejci, who matched his season best with 12 points.

Eubanks finished with a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds. Williams had 25 points and 12 assists for the Blazers.

Portland’s biggest lead was 91-81 early in the fourth quarter but it was close down the stretch in regulation. Roby hit a 3-pointer for the Thunder that tied it at 115 with 5.4 seconds left and Keon Johnson missed a 3 at the buzzer for Portland.

“It gave us a chance to compete again and get that win,” Maledon said about Roby’s big 3. “We had the momentum going and we did a great job with that.”

The Blazers had just eight players available. Damian Lillard had abdominal surgery in January and was ruled out for the season, while Anfernee Simons (left knee) and Jusuf Nurkic (left foot) continue to be sidelined.

Celtics C Robert Williams III out with torn meniscus

BOSTON (AP) Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III has torn cartilage in his left knee, the team said on Monday, a day after he limped off the court in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Williams was averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and just over two blocks this season for the Celtics, who won for the 24th time in 28 games on Sunday to take over the top spot in the Eastern Conference. He left the 134-112 victory at the end of the third quarter after scoring 10 points with 13 rebounds.

Coach Ime Udoka said after the game that Williams had “quite a bit of pain” and was scheduled for a scan. The team said Monday he had a torn lateral meniscus and an update would be provided later in the week; a torn meniscus usually takes a minimum of six to eight weeks for recovery, which would keep him out through the conference finals.

The Celtics were also without big man Al Horford due to unspecified personal reasons. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are also out for Monday night’s game in Toronto because of sore knees.

NFL makes adjustments to Rooney Rule to aid minority hiring

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) To ensure more opportunities for diverse candidates, the NFL has added requirements on the hiring of offensive assistant coaches, and women in general.

The moves announced Monday at the owners meeting include adjustments to the Rooney Rule adopted in 2003 and amended frequently in attempts to enhance opportunities for people of color and women for nearly all league and team jobs.

Beginning this season, all 32 clubs must employ a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority to serve as an offensive assistant coach. The person will receive a one-year contract and work closely with the head coach and offensive staff to gain experience.

In recent years, head coaches have predominantly had offensive backgrounds. The pipeline for minorities on that side of the ball is lacking, as Steelers owner Art Rooney II reiterated Monday.

“We recognize we have seen progress on some fronts,” said Rooney, chairman of the league’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, “but we still have a way to go on other fronts.”

The NFL saw an increase in the number of people of color in all coaching positions from 35% in the 2020 season to 39% last season. There was an all-time high increase in defensive coordinators to 15, up by two; an increase in minority GMs (five to seven), and assistant GMs (three to six).

Teams will receive league funding toward the coach’s salary for up to two years.

Overall, including women in all Rooney Rule requirements is designed to address under-representation of women in key football positions. The league believes this will “encourage the further identification and development of women candidates and the ability to provide them additional opportunity to interview for open positions.”

A total of 12 women coaches at the start of the 2021 season was an all-time high.

Dasha Smith, the NFL’s chief administrative officer and one of the league’s highest-ranking females, noted that for the first time, a woman was interviewed for a general manager’s position this year.

Smith also said that virtual interviews will no longer be acceptable for head coach and general manager positions, and there will be specific requirements for candidates to become offensive assistants. Those would include at least three years of experience on the college or pro level.

There currently are five minority head coaches in the NFL. There are seven Black general managers.

The league also released a resolution to increase diversity ownership of franchises, and created a diversity advisory committee that includes Peter Harvey, a former attorney general of New Jersey; Rick Smith, a former general manager of the Houston Texans; and Don Thompson, former president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation.

Early Monday, Mike Tomlin said he did not hire Brian Flores as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers out of sympathy for the former Miami Dolphins head coach.

Tomlin, who like Flores is African American, did so because Flores is “a good coach.” That Flores had sued the NFL and three teams – the Dolphins, Giants and Broncos – claiming racist hiring practices, did not dissuade the long-time Steelers coach in any way, Tomlin said.

A member of the league’s powerful competition committee and one of the most influential coaches in the sport, Tomlin spoke strongly about the lack of minority head coaches in the NFL. He, Houston’s Lovie Smith, Miami’s Mike McDaniel, who is biracial, the Jets’ Robert Saleh and the Commanders’ Ron Rivera are the five minority head coaches among the 32 teams. About 70% of the players are Black.

“I haven’t been in any discussions and no, I don’t have a level of confidence that would lead me to believe that things are going to be better,” Tomlin said. “I’m more of a show me guy as opposed to a guy that sits around and talks about things.

“I think that we’ve pecked around the entire discussion and subject and we’ve done a lot of beneficial things,” Tomlin added of adjustments to the Rooney Rule adopted in 2003 to enhance job opportunities for minorities. “But we’ve got to land the plane. We’ve got to hire capable candidates.”

That, in Tomlin’s estimation and actions, includes Flores, whose lawsuit has been a major topic this offseason. Flores was fired by the Dolphins despite helping turn around a floundering franchise in his three seasons as coach, going 19-14 the last two years.

Flores cites a string of text messages with Patriots coach Bill Belichick three days before his scheduled Giants interview for the head coaching position. Those texts led Flores to believe Brian Daboll already had been chosen as the new coach.

Belichick refused comment on the lawsuit and any role he might have had. Giants owner John Mara said Sunday he is not interested in any settlement with Flores and “I think the truth will come out. The allegations are false.”


– A former Super Bowl coach is returning to the league. The Indianapolis Colts hired John Fox as a senior defensive assistant. Fox led Carolina and Denver to conference championships before losing in Super Bowls.

“This was a role I really wanted to add,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. Fox will work with new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

“A great complement to Gus,” Reich said of Fox. “Our goal with John coming in, not for him to bring his system to us but for him to come in and learn our system and contribute some of his experience. How it can fit.”

– The NFL awarded the 2024 draft to Detroit on Monday. The city was a finalist for the 2022 event, which will be hosted next month in Las Vegas after the 2020 draft, originally planned for Las Vegas, was held virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We think we really proved to the league we would put on a great show,” said Lions president Rod Wood, “and how important it is to our city and to our fans.”

Lions to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks

(AP) — The Detroit Lions will be the team in the spotlight during the preseason for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series.

The five-episode series will debut Aug. 9. It is the 17th edition of the Sports Emmy-winning series.

Camera crews will shoot most of the show at the Lions’ training camp in Allen Park, Michigan, and will chronicle coach Dan Campbell entering his second season in Detroit. The episodes will be narrated by Liev Schreiber, marking his 16th season with the show.

“We are excited about the opportunity to showcase the city of Detroit and the amazing culture we are building at the Lions,” said Lions president and CEO Rod Wood.

Hard Knocks launched with the Ravens in 2001, followed by the Cowboys in 2002. It resumed in 2007 with the Chiefs, followed by the Cowboys (2008), Bengals (2009), Jets (2010), Dolphins (2012), Bengals (2013), Falcons (2014), Texans (2015), Rams (2016), Buccaneers (2017), Browns (2018), and Raiders (2019). For 2020, the show focused on both Los Angeles franchises, and last year Dallas made its third appearance.

Bills to retain OL Ryan Bates by matching Bears’ offer sheet

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) The Buffalo Bills will retain Ryan Bates by matching the four-year qualifying offer the offensive lineman signed with the Chicago Bears, general manager Brandon Beane said on Monday.

Beane made the announcement while attending the NFL’s owners meetings in Florida, four days after Bates signed the Bears’ offer sheet. The Bills had five days to match the offer or lose Bates without compensation.

The third-year player was a restricted free agent, whose rights the Bills retained by tendering him a one-year, $2.433 million contract two weeks ago.

He’s a third-year player who went undrafted out of Penn State and was acquired by Buffalo in a trade that sent defensive end Eli Harold to the Philadelphia Eagles in August 2019. Noted for his versatility for being able to play each position on the line, Bates appeared in 41 games, including four starts last season with the Bills.

In a separate move, the Bills re-signed offensive lineman Ike Boettger to a one-year contract. Boettger, who had 10 starts at guard in Buffalo last season, spent the past four seasons with the Bills and was an unrestricted free agent after completing the final year of his contract.

49ers GM: Garoppolo won’t be cut, injury hurt trade effort

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said Monday that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be released despite a trade failing to materialize in the early portion of the offseason.

“I don’t foresee that,” Lynch said at the NFL’s annual meeting, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “He’s too good a player. I think Jimmy will be playing for us or will be playing for someone else. He’s too good of a player not to be.”

The veteran was expected to be involved in the flurry of quarterback movement at the start of free agency. But with Garoppolo recovering from right shoulder surgery, Lynch said interested suitors decided to look elsewhere, leaving the signal-caller in limbo.

“I think, ultimately, the teams that we were closest with, the surgery gave them pause and they ended up going in other directions,” Lynch said.

Garoppolo isn’t expected to be cleared to resume throwing at full strength until before training camp.

San Francisco would gain $25.55 million in cap space by trading Garoppolo now but would only receive that entire saving with a release once he is healthy due to a $7.5-million injury guarantee.

Sophomore signal-caller Trey Lance is widely expected to take over the starting role. Lynch didn’t rule out keeping Garoppolo – who’s been with the 49ers since 2017 – for the 2022 season, though he declined to say if he’d get a chance to compete with Lance.

Browns’ Stefanski hopes Mayfield situation ‘resolved soon’

Baker Mayfield is no longer the Cleveland Browns’ franchise quarterback following the arrival of Deshaun Watson, but his next move remains a mystery.

While Cleveland intends to trade the 2018 No. 1 overall pick, Mayfield’s market doesn’t appear to be strong after a host of teams made their decisions at quarterback when free agency started.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday that he hopes Mayfield’s future “is resolved soon,” according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.

“It’s a unique situation,” Stefanski said at the NFL’s annual meeting. “We’ve got to see how it plays out. I think all of us would love an answer yesterday, but that’s not the reality of it.”

Mayfield was reportedly eyeing a move to the Indianapolis Colts, but the AFC South club acquired Matt Ryan.

The Carolina Panthers – one of the few quarterback-needy teams yet to make a related move this offseason – apparently aren’t interested in pursuing Mayfield.

The Seattle Seahawks could have interest in the signal-caller as the successor to Russell Wilson at the right price, sources told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. However, the Seahawks are reportedly keen on Drew Lock, who arrived from the Denver Broncos in the Wilson trade.

Mayfield’s lack of suitors could be due to his guaranteed full base salary of $18.858 million. He is also entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Cleveland bolstered its depth behind Watson in free agency, signing Jacoby Brissett to act as the team’s primary backup.

Report: Jets adding Solomon Thomas

The New York Jets are signing defensive lineman and former No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas, a source told Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Thomas is coming off a one-year stint with the Las Vegas Raiders. The San Francisco 49ers drafted him third overall in 2017 but moved on after four unproductive campaigns.

While he hasn’t lived up to his draft status, Thomas recorded a career-best 12 quarterback hits last season, adding 3.5 sacks in a backup role.

The 26-year-old will join a Jets defensive line that features Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers on the ends and Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins at tackle. Thomas, who’s undersized compared to most interior linemen, has played all over the defensive front since breaking into the NFL.

Detroit to host 2024 NFL Draft

The NFL draft is headed to the Motor City.

Detroit will host the 2024 draft, the league announced Monday.

“With the help of Visit Detroit, the Detroit Sports Commission, and the City of Detroit, the Lions’ passionate fan base and all visitors will be treated to an incredible three-day experience,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said.

The NFL picked Detroit over Green Bay and Washington, D.C., according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

“The Packers and the event’s community supporters remain optimistic that Green Bay will have the opportunity to host the NFL Draft in the near future,” Packers president Mark Murphy said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Discover Green Bay and our other partners in the effort to update our bid details and continue our dialogue with NFL officials so they remain excited about our community’s plan to host this significant event.”

New York exclusively hosted the draft every year from 1965 to 2014. However, the league has expanded the three-day event to other cities in recent years.

The 2022 draft will take place April 28-30.



Beefy, mountainous nose tackle with the size, power and will to clog the drain and alter the offense’s desire to run between the tackles. Davis has anchor and quick-shed talent to eviscerate single blocks and successfully occupy double teams, allowing linebackers to thrive in pursuit of ball-carriers. He plays upright, lacking agility and reactive quickness to mark up a stat sheet with any consistency, but that’s not what he’s asked to do. Davis won’t be as effective against outside-zone teams and won’t offer much rush, but he could become one of the league’s best run-pluggers as soon as he takes the field.


  • Assignment-oriented player but still thrives.
  • Squares the block and tosses it aside when he’s ready.
  • Flows through an edge when he finds his positioning.
  • Pure power to battle through wash-down blocks.
  • Can shed blocks and transition a gap over.
  • Has talent to do more than just neutralize double teams.
  • Hands are pinpoint accurate into the blocker’s shoulders.
  • Plays with hand quickness to slap opponent’s hands off of him.
  • Never on the ground.
  • Won’t be blocked by a single block.
  • Has size to overwhelm certain opponents.
  • Potential to alter opponent’s game plan.


  • Occasional leverage issues due to his height.
  • Can be a little straight-legged into lateral engagement.
  • Below-average first-step quickness.
  • Lacks knee bend to roll downhill with bull rush.
  • Change of direction is not a thing for him.
  • Can’t disengage and tackle suddenly.
  • Redirected due to lack of bend in his rush.


Highly active defensive tackle with decent strength. Wyatt is made for movement and disruptions. He helped himself in 2021 with better tape both against the run and as a pass rusher. His lateral quickness is useful in beating zone blocks and in sliding across the front in a game-based pass rush. Wyatt has adequate strength but struggles to withstand a second blocker. The traits are average, but the effort is consistent and Wyatt should fit nicely as a rotational, gap-seeking three-technique with disruptive flashes.


  • Initial punch lands with some pop.
  • Lateral quickness beats move-blocker to the spot.
  • Uses slip-rip for penetration into A-gap.
  • Locates ball-carriers quickly when two-gapping.
  • Hustles around the field looking to make a play.
  • Shows urgency in locating a pass blocker’s edge.
  • Enough lower-body strength to plow through redirect blocks.
  • Above-average change of direction inside pocket.


  • Length is below average.
  • Average explosiveness into the neutral zone.
  • Tendency to drop helmet into initial contact.
  • Not enough sand to withstand down blocks.
  • Average hand usage and shed quickness.
  • Rush energy bogs down when stiff punches find him.
  • Lack of length shows up in his rush.
  • Doesn’t have go-to moves for quick-rush wins.


Nose tackle with size and power that fuels his rumbling playing style. Jones lacks explosive get-off and hand twitch. He’s unlikely to be a quick-win defender, but the anchor and upper-body power are present for gap-control duties once he gets his footwork and hand usage schooled up. He was a standout on a bad defense and more than held his own against the toughest competition he faced. Jones has the demeanor, traits and overall ability to become a successful run-plugger and potential starter in a two-gapping scheme.


  • Adequate length with large mitts.
  • Wide-body who is built for battle.
  • Play strength to press and stabilize when setting an edge.
  • Gap-control potential in the middle of a defense.
  • Sees into backfield and activates counters to get rid of the block.
  • Possesses potential to elevate his game.
  • Flashes power to push through attempts to seal him.
  • Centers will require help to block him.


  • Not very twitchy off the ball and into the block.
  • Fails to generate early control with hand quickness.
  • Room for improvement with pad level and hand usage.
  • Inconsistent reading and reaching with early zone steps.
  • Doesn’t have a proper game plan against edge pressure from down blocks.
  • Average hip sink to anchor against double teams.
  • Hands and feet aren’t synced up with enough quickness to unlock edges as rusher.


Scheme-versatile wide body with long arms and solid technique at the point of attack. Mathis is a Nick Saban-style run-plugger with powerful hands and a dense anchor. He comes into the league ready for two-gapping duties. He’s more effective against downhill rush attacks than move-blocking schemes, but he’s more a piece of the front than a standout playmaker. He can push the pocket on early down passing plays but is likely to come off the field on passing downs. Mathis should compete for early playing time as a 4-3/3-4 nose or as a five-technique.


  • Named a permanent team captain for the 2021 season.
  • Outstanding blend of girth and length.
  • Instant ground-to-pads hand quickness off the snap.
  • Will punch and separate with two hands or one.
  • Possesses three-position versatility in odd/even fronts.
  • Harmonious hands and feet to punch and slide laterally.
  • Two-gapper with traits to sit and fight versus downhill run game.
  • Dents protection with bull rush or edge attack.
  • Maintains sack viability as muddle rusher.


  • Limited range away from home base.
  • Below average capturing the spot against reach block.
  • Unable to keep pace with wide-flowing run game.
  • Needs a more consistent response to down blocks.
  • Premature shed gives runners a shot to alter their track.
  • Takes a while to free himself from a sticky punch.
  • Upfield rush lacks desired edge-to-edge quickness.


Early entry defensive lineman who appears to be caught between “best fit” positions at this time. Leal possesses adequate rush skills and knows how to craft a rush plan, but a lack of suddenness and closing burst turns potential sacks into hurries without the help of a long pocket count. When the motor is cranked up, he can stack and slide past run blockers with efficiency and quickness. He didn’t put together the tape that was expected and disappointing reps against Evan Neal (Alabama) and Charles Cross (Mississippi State) could create concerns about his pro readiness. Most will see him as an even-front defender in some capacity, but playing 3-4 DE might be his best fit as a pro.


  • Lands hands quickly with initial strike.
  • Hands and feet work well together.
  • Efficient in punching and sliding around the block at point of attack.
  • Treats staggered blocks in his direction like a bag drill.
  • Hips and shoulder-turn to entice whiffed blocks.
  • Uses one-arm press to lift and separate.
  • Rushes with a plan.
  • Ability to toggle between finesse and power.
  • Times counters according to blocker’s weight distribution.
  • Spin counter is quick and well-balanced.


  • Lacks clear-cut position fit.
  • Below-average contain quickness and range as a DE.
  • Late getting lateral versus zone blocks.
  • Average knockback pop as interior defender.
  • Pass rush lacks suddenness to put blocker in a bind.
  • Disappointing acceleration as looper on tackle/end twists.
  • Gradual closing burst turns would-be sacks into hurries.

Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi signs new contract fresh off ACC title

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh and football coach Pat Narduzzi have agreed on a new contract that will keep Narduzzi with the Panthers through at least 2030.

The deal announced Monday comes three months after Narduzzi led Pitt to its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship on its way to an 11-3 record and a No. 13 ranking in the final AP Top 25 poll, the program’s highest postseason ranking since 1982.

Narduzzi is 53-37 in seven seasons with the Panthers. His 53 wins rank fourth all-time in program history.

“I am so appreciative of our players, coaches and staff,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “Nothing great can be accomplished without their efforts and commitment. I’ve always talked about the importance of pushing together in the same direction. We have that at Pitt across the board.”

Pitt will have to reset on offense heading into 2022 following the departure of quarterback Kenny Pickett, the 2021 ACC Player of the Year. The Panthers open the season on Sept. 1. Pitt is in the middle of spring drills, which will wrap up with the Blue-Gold Spring Game on April 9.

“Our ACC championship season was the result of a strong culture and foundation that Pat Narduzzi has tirelessly built for Pitt football,” athletic director Heather Lyke said. “That foundation has our program positioned for sustained success well into the future.”

Welcome back: Pujols returns to Cardinals for a final season

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) With a wave of his hand and a tip of the cap, Albert Pujols walked back into the world of the St. Louis Cardinals for one final season.

“This is it for me,” the 42-year-old Pujols said Monday. “This is my last run.”

It was quite a scene as Pujols rejoined the Redbirds.

Wearing a big smile and his familiar red No. 5 jersey, he emerged from beyond the right field wall at Roger Dean Stadium between the first and second innings of a game against Houston.

Cardinals pitchers, catchers and coaches sitting on chairs far down the line stood to acknowledge the three-time NL MVP, as did the fans in the stands. Pujols strolled around to the St. Louis dugout on the third base side, where he was greeted with hearty hugs and high-fives.

All these years later, the slugger who helped the Cardinals win two World Series championship was home.

The Cardinals and Pujols agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract, giving him a chance to end his career in the place where it started.

“Seldom does one get to share in watching or being a part of `living’ history,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said. “From the day we called Albert’s name in the draft room back in 1999, to now, as we set our sights on 2022, this reunion just makes sense in so many ways.”

“We are all looking forward to reuniting Albert with his Cardinals family, and for the fan in all of us, including myself, this feels like looking through the pages of a favorite scrapbook or baseball card album and seeing those images and memories jump off the pages.”

Pujols spent part of Monday video conferencing with 39-year-old Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, his teammate during eight seasons in St. Louis.

“I’m happy for him to be here,” said Molina, who likely is in his final season. too. “It’s going to be a fun year.”

Pujols played the first 11 years of his career in St. Louis, teaming with Molina to lead the Cardinals to the 2006 and 2011 World Series titles.

“We’ve only got one thing in mind – winning another championship,” Molina said.

Prior to Monday’s Graprefruit League game, Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader posted a photo on social media of what appeared to be a No. 5 Pujols jersey hanging in a Cardinals’ locker.

Pujols doesn’t swing nearly as fearsome a bat as he did during his St. Louis hey-day, but the Cardinals decided they have a spot for a designated hitter who can hit left-handed pitching.

That’s one thing Pujols still does well.

Pujols hit a combined .236 for the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers last season, but hit .294 with a .939 OPS against lefties.

Pujols needs 21 homers to become the fourth career major leaguer to hit 700 in a career.

“Adding someone like that is crazy important,” first-year manager Oliver Marmol said. “What he does with that clubhouse outside of his skill set is unbelievable.”

The deal brings Pujols back to where he became one of the game’s most powerful and dangerous all-around hitters. The NL Rookie of the Year in 2001 hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons in St. Louis.

A wildly popular player in St. Louis, Pujols played his last game for the Cardinals on Oct. 28, 2011, a Game 7 win over Texas in the World Series.

Pujols won those three MVP awards and made nine All-Star teams with the Cardinals before signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels in 2012. He was waived by the Angels last May while hitting .198, and signed with the Dodgers, for whom he hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.

With use of the designated hitter extending to the National League, the Cardinals found a fit with Pujols as opening day on April 7 against Pittsburgh at Busch Stadium approached.

“This reunion with Albert is a wonderful opportunity for not only him and the Cardinals, but also for our great fans, the St. Louis community, our players and staff, and everyone connected to the St. Louis Cardinals organization,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.

“We look forward to seeing Albert in the `Birds on the Bat’ once again, and wearing his familiar uniform No. 5,” he said.

NOTES: Pujols would earn $150,000 for World Series MVP, $100,000 each for All-Star, Gold Glove, League Championship Series and MVP, and $50,000 each for Silver Slugger and finishing second and 10th in MVP voting. … RHP Blake Parker has agreed to a minor league contract and been invited to major league camp. Parker, 36, was 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 47 games with Cleveland last year. He is 16-11 with 34 saves and a 3.47 ERA in parts of nine seasons with seven teams.

Giants third baseman Evan Longoria to have finger surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is scheduled for surgery Tuesday to repair a ligament in his right index finger.

The team announced Monday night that the veteran infielder would undergo the procedure in Los Angeles, performed by Dr. Steven Shin. A timeline for his return isn’t immediately clear because Longoria must keep the finger immobilized for at least 10 days after surgery before he is re-evaluated.

Longoria, 36, was limited to 81 games last season for the 107-win NL West champions because of a sprained left shoulder he injured July 5 in a collision with shortstop Brandon Crawford.

Longoria batted .261 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs. San Francisco traded for Kris Bryant during the season to give the club depth at third base given Longoria’s absence. Bryant signed with Colorado this offseason.

Report: Twins add Archer on 1-year, $3.5M deal

The Minnesota Twins and right-hander Chris Archer have agreed to a one-year, $3.5-million contract, sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Archer can reportedly earn up to $9.5 million this season with performance bonuses.

Archer, a two-time All-Star, posted a 4.66 ERA with 21 strikeouts over 19 1/3 innings (five starts) during an injury-plagued campaign for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched more than 148 1/3 innings in a season since 2017.

The Twins already added Sonny Gray and Dylan Bundy this offseason, bolstering a rotation that finished with the American League’s second-worst fWAR last year.

Hurricanes rout Capitals, lose Kotkaniemi to injury

WASHINGTON (AP) The Carolina Hurricanes gave the Washington Capitals something to think about if the division rivals meet in the playoffs, though it came at the cost of a potentially serious injury in the final seconds.

Martin Necas scored twice, Sebastian Aho added his 29th goal and the Hurricanes routed the Capitals 6-1 on Monday night in a potential first-round preview. Carolina center Jesperi Kotkaniemi put no weight on his left leg after getting injured on a penalized hit by Lars Eller with 1.8 seconds left, and his uncertain status overshadowed a big victory.

“I don’t know the extent, but it’s not good,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said during a somber postgame news conference. “He’s injured. I don’t know how bad, but he’s definitely going to be out. The game was over. Let’s just get it over with. Two seconds left. I don’t like it. But nothing you can do about it.”

Kotkaniemi’s injury could linger long after a game that should have been remembered for Carolina’s domination and a heavyweight fight between teammate Brendan Smith and Washington’s Tom Wilson.

Tensions had been simmering between them since Wilson rocked Vincent Trocheck with a big shoulder-to-chest hit at center ice in the second period, and he wanted to fight Smith early in the third before officials intervened. Wilson and Smith finally dropped the gloves midway through the third, with each landing multiple punches in a bout that fired up a crowd that had been dormant much of the game.

“It’s two tough dudes going at it,” said Hurricanes forward Max Domi, who had two assists. “I have so much respect for Smitty, obviously for doing something like that. He certainly doesn’t have to, but it’s a part of the league. He’s a big part of the win.”

If the fireworks were a sign of things to come, a Hurricanes-Capitals playoff series would be must-see entertainment. This result moved that one step closer to reality.

Tarasenko’s three-point game powers Blues past Canucks 4-1

ST. LOUIS (AP) Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and an assist, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

Tarasenko has 23 goals this season, and the three-point game gave him 500 points in his NHL career.

“It’s a great accomplishment. He’s been a very good player for quite a while. He’s continuing to be a good player. He’s actually a more well-rounded player than when I first got here, seeing him now,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “He was very good tonight. He’s a leader of this team; he’s won here.”

David Perron and Marco Scandella also scored for the Blues, who had lost of three of four. Robert Thomas had two assists.

Ville Husso rebounded after allowing five goals Saturday and recorded 35 saves. He is 8-3-3 in his last 14 starts.

“It’s always, like I said, it’s nice to get a win,” Husso said. “I don’t care if I let four goals and we still win, it’s a big thing. And yeah, it was nice to get a win today.”

Brad Hunt scored for Vancouver. Former Blues goal Jaroslav Halak had 25 saves.

It was the first of a home-and-home set against the Canucks. The teams play in Vancouver on Wednesday.

St. Louis, outscored 12-4 in its last two games, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Thompson winner with 10.6 left, Sabres rally past Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) Tage Thompson scored the tiebreaking goal on a fortunate bounce with 10.6 seconds left and the Buffalo Sabres rallied from four down to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 on Monday night.

Victor Olofsson had two goals and an assist to help the Sabres win for the first time in three games. Kyle Okposo, Vinnie Hinostroza and Alex Tuch also scored for Buffalo.

Thompson, the team leader with 28 goals, broke his stick on a shot from left wing. The puck caromed off the boards behind the net and hit Chicago goaltender Kevin Lankinen’s left skate before going in.

“I was already halfway to the bench,” Thompson said. “I turned around and saw them chasing me down. I had no clue.”

Buffalo coach Don Granato talked about the United Center’s lively boards before the morning skate.

“When it went against that back wall, it does click in your mind that it can bounce back and back in,” Granato said.

Tuch forged Buffalo’s second tie of the night with a slot deflection of Olofsson’s pass with 2:14 to play. Olofsson took Casey Middlestadt’s feed and relayed it to Tuch.

Alex DeBrincat gave Chicago a 5-4 advantage midway through the third period with his 38th goal of the season and fourth in four games, but the Blackhawks blew yet another lead.

Indiana, Northwestern and Rutgers Earn Big Ten Weekly Softball Awards

Co-Player of the Week
Rachel Lewis, Northwestern
Grad. – OF – Liberty Township, Ohio – Lakota East – Major: Learning & Organizational Change
• Batted .444 with a 1.111 slugging percentage and .545 on-base percentage in last weekend’s series sweep over Michigan State to open Big Ten play, adding two home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored
• Had a home run, four RBI and two runs scored in each of the final two games of the series, including a walk-off grand slam in Sunday’s 9-1 six-inning victory over the Spartans
• Extended nationally-ranked NU’s current winning streak to 12 games
• A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and 2021 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar
• Captures her fourth career Player of the Week honor and second this season
• Last Northwestern Player of the Week: Rachel Lewis (Feb. 14, 2022)
Co-Player of the Week
Gabrielle Callaway, Rutgers
Grad. – OF – Mobile, Ala. – Poway – Master’s Program: Social Work
• Posted a .714 batting average with a 1.571 slugging percentage and .818 on-base percentage in last weekend’s conference-opening series vs. Minnesota, collecting a home run, three doubles, seven RBI and three runs scored
• Hit her second career grand slam as part of a five-RBI outing in RU’s win over the Golden Gophers on March 25, Rutgers’ first-ever victory against Minnesota
• Earned recognition as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten honoree last year
• Receives her first career Player of the Week award
• Last Rutgers Player of the Week: Kyleigh Sand (March 21, 2022)
Pitcher of the Week
Danielle Williams, Northwestern
Sr. – LHP – Pleasanton, Calif. – Amador Valley – Major: Human Development in Context
• Went 2-0 with a save, 0.00 ERA, two complete games, one shutout, 28 strikeouts and just four walks in 14.0 innings last week, helping NU open conference play with a sweep over visiting Michigan State
• Tossed a one-hit shutout with a career-high 17 strikeouts in the March 25 series opener, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning
• Gave up just two hits and an unearned run with nine strikeouts in Sunday’s series finale, extending her current streak to 26.0 innings without allowing an earned run
• Named a 2021 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten selection
• Collects her eighth career Pitcher of the Week plaudit and third this season
• Last Northwestern Pitcher of the Week: Danielle Williams (March 21, 2022)
Freshman of the Week
Brianna Copeland, Indiana
P/IF – Pelham, Ala. – Pelham – Major: Comprehensive Design
• Registered a .500 batting average, 1.200 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage in last weekend’s conference-opening series at Ohio State
• Collected two home runs and six RBI (all in Indiana’s 17-5 win on March 25) while playing three different positions during the series (pitcher, third base, left field)
• Also pitched 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run with four strikeouts
• Receives her second career Freshman of the Week award
• Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Brianna Copeland (March 8, 2022)

Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska and Purdue Earn Baseball Weekly Honors

Co-Players of the Week
Troy Schreffler, Maryland
OF – Jr. – Harrisburg, Pa. – Central Dauphin

  • Collected nine hits for a .450 average to go along with nine RBI and nine runs scored in five games for the Terrapins last week
  • Had a .850 slugging percentage and a .478 on-base percentage on the weekend
  • Finished the weekend going 5-for-6 with four runs scored, four RBI and a home run against Siena
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award
  • Last Maryland Big Ten Player of the Week: Matt Shaw (Feb. 23, 2022)

Griffin Everitt, Nebraska
C – Sr. – Lincoln, Neb.– Southwest/Kansas City Kansas

  • Hit .450 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs in six games last week for the Huskers
  • Went 4-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs while hitting the walk-off double in 6-5 win against Omaha on March 14
  • Opened the series with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, home run, four RBI and three runs in a 13-12 win
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award
  • Last Nebraska Big Ten Player of the Week: Cam Chick (March 24, 2021)

Pitcher of the Week
Connor O’Halloran, Michigan
P – So. – Mississauga, Ontario – St. Martin’s

  • Set a new career high with 13 strikeouts in Michigan’s 2-1 win over Dayton on March 17
  • Threw 8.0 innings while giving up three hits and only allowing one run
  • Improved to 4-2 on the season with a 2.70 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award
  • Last Michigan Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Cameron Weston (May 11, 2021)

Freshman of the Week
Troy Wansing, Purdue
P – Kansas City, Mo.– Staley

  • Struck out a season-high seven batters in the Boilermakers’ 9-2 win over Illinois State on March 20
  • Allowed just seven hits and one extra-base hit over 9.1 innings
  • Improved to 5-0 on the season with a 1.33 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched
  • Wins his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Purdue Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Bo Hofstra (Feb. 26, 2018)

HCAC 2022 Softball Notebook, Week 6

Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
Izzy Dittmar (Warsaw, Ind.) Manchester University | Infield | Sophomore – Dittmar helped lead Manchester to a 6-4 mark over Spring Break at the Spring Games in Florida. Dittmar went a combined 15-29 (.517) at the plate with two doubles, two triples, and nine RBI. Dittmar also swiped three bases and is currently on an eight-game hitting streak.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Kamryn McCool (Brookville, Ind.) Mount St. Joseph University | Pitcher | Senior – McCool appeared in all four games for the Lions this week. She secured a pair of wins and a save for her efforts. For the week she threw 11.1 innings of five hit, four runs (2 earned) softball while striking out 16 opposing hitters. In both of her wins she threw 5.0 inning complete games.
Notable Performances:

  • Sydney Bosti (Aurora, Ind.) Franklin College | Catcher | Junior – Bosti clobbered opposing pitching in two games with Olivet last week, going 6-for-7 with a double, three RBI and three runs scored as Franklin won both games. She recorded her second 4-for-4 outing of the year with a double and two RBI in a 9-1 victory in game one. Bosti finished the day with a 2-for-3 outing with two runs scored in a 13-3 game two win. She leads the Grizzlies and ranks second in the HCAC with a .553 average heading into this week.
  • Sephanni Kleber (Seymour, Ind.) Franklin College | Pitcher | First-Year – Kleber turned in a stellar outing against Olivet on Friday afternoon, going the distance and picking up the W in a 9-1 win over the Comets. She scattered four hits and allowed one run over five innings, striking out a career-high six batters.
  • Kaitlyn Carr (Valparaiso, Ind.) Manchester University | Pitcher | First-Year – Carr threw 16.0 innings for the Spartans down in Florida over Spring Break. She allowed just five earned runs while striking out nine as the Black & Gold posted a 6-4 mark in the Sunshine State. Carr earned three pitching victories during the trip after helping the Spartans defeat SUNY Cobleskill, Bates, and Middlebury.
  • Kelsi Stevenson (Mooresville, Ind.) Mount St. Joseph University | Second Base | First-Year – Stevenson led the Lions to a 3-1 week this past week. In doing so she went 6-for-13 (.462) with six RBI, three runs, two stolen bases, and a double.
  • Angela Boulboulle (Slidell, La.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Third Base | Senior – Boulboulle batted .571 (4-for-7) with one home run, one double, three runs scored and five RBI as Rose-Hulman improved to 11-3 on the season with a doubleheader sweep over Eureka on March 26.
  • Phoebe Worstell (Bicknell, Ind.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Pitcher | First-Year – Worstell tossed a six-inning complete game with four strikeouts and just one run and five hits allowed as Rose-Hulman improved to 11-3 with a 9-1 win over Eureka.
  • Carlee Jeter (Lexington, Ky.) Transylvania University | Pitcher | Sophomore – Jeter won her starting pitching game in the first of a double header against Wooster. Jeter allowed three hits and one run with zero earned runs and also three strike outs in five innings, as the Pioneers won the game in the fifth 9-1 due to the run rule. The next game she did not start but allowed three earned runs while striking out three batters.

HCAC 2022 Baseball Notebook, Week 7

Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
AJ Sanders (Clayton, Ind.) Franklin College | Short Stop | First Year – Sanders went 10-for-16 with a home run, 10 RBI and seven runs scored for the Grizzlies as they picked up wins in all three of their contests last week. He recorded a pair of 3-for-5 games with five runs scored and four RBI on Thursday night in a double-header sweep of Trine. Sanders turned in a massive 4-for-6 performance on Sunday against Williams College in Florida, smacking his first career home run and driving in six in a 15-5 win.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Aidan Talarek (Middletown, Ohio) Earlham College | Pitcher | Senior – Talarek earned the winning decision in a 7-4 win over No. 22 Adrian on Friday. Talarek pitched four innings in relief and recorded six strikeouts. He only allowed three baserunners from 14 batters faced and did not allow any runs on the afternoon.
Notable Performances:

  • Jake Baumgartner (Toledo, Ohio) Bluffton University | Second Base | Junior – Baumgartner went 3-of-4 with three runs scored and two walks in Bluffton’s 16-12 loss to Otterbein on Thursday night.
  • Nathan Lancianese (Lexington, Ky.) Earlham College | Outfield | Sophomore – Lancianese helped lead the Quakers at the plate to beat No. 22 Adrian on Friday. The sophomore hit a solo home run to left field to put Earlham on the board in the third inning. Lancianese capped off scoring for the Quakers with an RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth inning.
  • Matthew Johnson (Griffith, Ind.) Franklin College | Pitcher | First-Year – Johnson turned in his second straight quality start on Thursday night against Trine, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts over seven innings in a 12-2 Grizzly win.
  • Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.) Hanover College | Outfield | Senior – Littlefield led the Panthers to a 2-1 week with the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan. In game one of the three game series, the senior went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a double. He carried the momentum into the Saturday doubleheader posting an impressive 2-for-3 with five RBI and two runs scored in the team’s 14-2 win. He added a double and a homerun in the win.
  • Matthew Alter (Indianapolis, Ind.) Hanover College | Pitcher | Junior – Alter picked up the game one win of a three game series with the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan. The junior pitched seven and two third innings with four strikeouts. He scattered seven runs on 10 hits.
  • Griffin Garwood (Fishers, Ind.) Manchester University | Outfield | Sophomore – Garwood went 4-for-8 in Manchester’s lone DH of the week against Chicago. Against the Maroons, Garwood doubled twice, hit a home run, scored three times, while driving in a pair.
  • Josh Mesenbrink (Troy, Ill.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Infield | Senior – Mesenbrink batted .533 with three home runs, one double and one triple as Rose-Hulman finished 3-1 last week.  Mesenbrink was 8-15 at the plate with seven runs scored and nine RBI.  He blasted two home runs against DePauw on Monday and added a home run against Illinois Tech on Sunday.
  • Brett Borcherding (East Hampton, N.Y.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Pitcher | Sophomore – Borcherding pitched six scoreless innings in Rose-Hulman’s Sunday victory over Illinois Tech. Borcherding allowed five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts without allowing a run as part of the team’s 11-3 win.
  • Walter Munday (Louisville, Ky.) Transylvania University | Outfield | Sophomore – Munday hit a home run and had two RBI, two runs scored, and a walk on Wednesday against Spalding University. On the week, he hit .333 (3-9) with one HR, three RBI, two runs scored, and two walks.
  • Connor Arnold (Lexington, Ky.) Transylvania University | Pitcher | First Year – Arnold started on Saturday at Denison University and pitched 7.0 innings allowing three earned runs (3.86 ERA) with six strikeouts, and just five hits, two walks allowed.

River States Conference weekly awards winners presented by Brown & Brown Insurance

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – The River States Conference Player/Athlete of the Week award winners presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for the week of March 21-27 have been announced at RiverStatesConference.com. Brown & Brown Insurance is the Official Student-Athlete Accident, Health, Property and Casualty Insurance Endorsed Broker for the River States Conference.   


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Indiana University Southeast left-hander Hunter Kloke struck out 14 in a two-hitter to earn River States Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27.

A native of Henderson, Ky., Kloke pitched all 7.0 innings of a 2-1 win over Rio Grande (Ohio). His gem evened the series at one game apiece after an earlier loss to the RedStorm on the day. 

But Kloke allowed just two hits and fanned 14 to pull even. He walked only one to make quick work in the shutout. No. 17-ranked IU Southeast is 19-9 overall, 8-1 RSC and will host Campbellsville (Ky.) on March 29. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — No. 17-ranked Indiana University Southeast had infielder Trevor Campbell hit four home runs on the week to earn River States Conference Baseball Player of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance March 21-27.

Campbell, from Louisville, Ky., hit .350 in five games with his four homers and nine RBIs. That led the Grenadiers to a 4-1 week, which included a series win over Rio Grande (Ohio), two games to one. 

IU Southeast dropped the series opener to the RedStorm despite two home runs and four RBIs from Campbell. He homered the next day to win the series with a 10-8 victory. Campbell started off his week with three hits in a doubleheader sweep of Georgetown (Ky.). That included a homer, a triple and four RBIs. 

IU Southeast will host Campbellsville (Ky.) on March 29.  


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Madison Ludwig had six decisions in a 5-1 week for Midway (Ky.) University to claim River States Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week presented by Brow & Brown Insurance for March 21-27.

The junior from Louisville, Ky., was 3-1 with two saves on the week. She started four times, turned in four complete games, closed out two others for saves and gave up just two earned runs in 29.2 innings. Ludwig amassed 22 strikeouts compared to seven walks and had a 0.47 ERA for the week.

In a 4-0 RSC week, Ludwig started the first game versus Carlow (Pa.) and tossed a three-hitter before getting the save in the second game. She pitched all 13 innings in a doubleheader sweep of Point Park (Pa.) giving up only two runs, both of which were unearned. 

Midway is 17-4 overall, 7-1 RSC and will host Alice Lloyd (Ky.) on March 29. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Ohio Christian University first baseman Lexi King hit .526 in six games to claim River States Conference Softball Player of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27. 

King, from Terre Haute, Ohio, was 10 for 19 on the week to lead the Trailblazers to a record of 5-1 overall and 3-1 within the RSC. Seven of her 10 hits went for extra bases with three homers and four doubles. King drove in 15 runs, walked three times and was 2 for 2 in stolen bases. 

King’s play had Ohio Christian sweep two games from UNOH, split an RSC twinbill with IU Southeast and take two conference games from Brescia (Ky.). She was 2 for 4 with a double and four RBIs in a 7-1 win over IU Southeast. Versus Brescia, King was 3 for 4 with two doubles in the opener and then 2 for 3 with a homer and five RBIs in the nightcap. 

Ohio Christian will face WVU Tech and Point Park (Pa.) this weekend. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Point Park (Pa.) University sprinter Daimiere Stephens-Stewart was named River States Conference Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27.

The Pittsburgh, Pa., native had a standout day in the sprints at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. In cold, windy and snowy conditions, he placed second in the 100, second in the 200 and led off the 4×400 relay that placed first. 

Stephens-Stewart ran the 100 meters in 11.31 and the 200 meters in 22.62. The time in the 200 meters took over the RSC lead, and his school record in the 100 last week already had that honor. 

Point Park will be at the West Liberty Invitational April 2. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Point Park (Pa.) University thrower Daniel Jacobs continued his lock on the River States Conference Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance. He won the award again for March 21-27, his second time in as many weeks. 

Jacobs, from Elizabeth, Pa., hit the NAIA ‘A’ standard in the javelin for the second week in a row. His toss of 57.09 meters won first place at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. That was good enough to surpass the NAIA top standard of 57.00 although his win at WVU last week was farther. 

Jacobs, who still ranks No. 6 in the country for the javelin, was also ninth in the discus at CMU with a throw of 37.57 meters. Jacobs was busy in the throws as he also placed 20th in the hammer. 

Point Park will be at the West Liberty Invitational April 2.


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Point Park (Pa.) University freshman Emma Pavelek was named River States Conference Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for her performance March 21-27.

Pavelek, from Beaver, Pa., won the high jump at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational to earn the honor. The NAIA national runner-up during the indoor season had a leap of 1.63 meters to take first place.

That is the top height in the RSC so far this outdoor season, and it ranks sixth in the NAIA. She just missed the NAIA qualifying minimum of 1.64 as the meet progression had the next height go up to 1.68 meters. 

Point Park will be at the West Liberty Invitational April 2. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Carlow (Pa.) University sophomore Molly Wagner registered four Top 10s to claim River States Conference Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27.

Wagner, from Pittsburgh, Pa., won the 100 and 200 meters at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. She was also seventh in the 400 and anchored the 4×400 relay that set a school record and placed second. 

In cold and windy conditions, she had a time of 12.92 in the 100 and 26.83 in the 200. The 400 meters had Wagner come in at 1:02.77. Wagner finished off the mile relay at 4:22.57. 

Carlow will be at the Dave Labor Invitational hosted by Slippery Rock on April 2. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — For the second week in a row, Indiana University East senior Jo Wisecup is the River States Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance. The latest award is for March 21-27.

The Enon, Ohio, native placed fourth of 40 golfers at the Heritage Hill Collegiate to earn the weekly honor. She did so with rounds of 82 and 81 at the par-72 layout of Heritage Hill Golf Club in Shepherdsville, Ky.

Wisecup led the Red Wolves to second place as a team. IU East had a team score of 328 in the final round, the best of any team in the two-day event. Conditions were cold, rainy and overall miserable. 

IU East will be at the Midway (Ky.) Invitational April 4-5. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Indiana University East sophomore Jake Miller is the River States Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27, his second time in as many weeks claiming the award. 

Miller, from Richmond, Ind., took third place individually at the Alice Lloyd (Ky.) Spring Invitational. That led IU East to second place of eight teams and 48 total golfers in the field. 

Playing in cold and miserable conditions, Miller carded rounds of 76-69 at the 36-hole event. He shot 1-under the final 18 holes to get within one stroke of the lead. 

IU East will be at the Midway (Ky.) Invitational April 4-5. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Indiana University East sophomore Thorben Waldburger earned two points in a conference win to pick up River States Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27.

Waldburger, from Wesel, Germany, won his singles and doubles matches in a victory over Ohio Christian to earn the award. He was victorious at No. 5 singles in straight sets without losing a game, 6-0, 6-0.

He also played No. 1 doubles for a victory of 6-1. The Red Wolves won the match, 7-0, in their conference opener. 

IU East is 4-8, 1-0 RSC on the year and will be facing IU Southeast and Midway (Ky.) this weekend. 


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Liz Aristizabal led Oakland City (Ind.) University to a pair of conference wins to claim River States Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week presented by Brown & Brown Insurance for March 21-27. It is her second RSC weekly honor this year. 

The Bogota, Colombia, native kept the Mighty Oaks undefeated in RSC play by going perfect on the week individually. She won at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles in a 7-0 team win over IU Kokomo. The singles match had her win the final two sets. 

In a 7-0 team sweep of IU Southeast, Aristizabal won a first-set tiebreaker in No. 1 singles on her way to a 7-6(5), 6-4 win there. She also was apart of a 6-0 win at No. 2 doubles.

Oakland City is 10-6 on the year and 4-0 RSC. The Mighty Oaks host Ohio Christian on Friday. 




Coming off a pair of road losses, the Pacers hoped a trip back home would bring good fortunes.

Unfortunately, a red-hot Atlanta Hawks (38-37) offense had other plans. Despite the shorthanded Pacers putting up a fight, the visitors shot 54.7 percent from the field and dropped 17 threes to dispatch the shorthanded Pacers, 132-123 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

“We’re in a tough spot with personnel,” Rick Carlisle said. “But we have to do our best. And we didn’t do our best tonight.”

Playing an eight-man rotation, six Pacers (25-51) finished in double figures. The former Kings duo of Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton tallied 26 and 25 points, respectively. Haliburton also added 13 assists. Keifer Sykes also had a solid night, finishing with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep. Goga Bitadze recorded 14 points and five boards, while Lance Stephenson finished with a bench-high 13 points.

The squads remained in tight quarters over the opening minutes. Hield provided all the offense for Indiana, scoring the first eight Pacers points. However, tied at eight apiece with 9:01 left, the visitors rattled off seven unanswered in 60 seconds, forcing the Blue & Gold to call a timeout.

Although the Hawks stayed hot from deep, Indiana chewed into the lead. Trailing 21-13, the squad mounted a 7-0 spree to cut the deficit to one with 5:38 left. A few moments later, the Blue & Gold answered another three with a beautiful bucket. Justin Anderson hurled a three-quarter court pass to an open Terry Taylor to make it a 26-24 ballgame with 3:57 remaining.

But the Hawks’ offense remained scorching. Young drilled the visitors’ 10th trey of the frame with 1:14 remaining. The Pacers fell into a 44-30 hole after the first quarter.

Atlanta soon stretched the advantage to 18 points as Indiana struggled to slow its offense. At the 9:23 mark, Bogdan Bogdanovic nailed the visitors’ 11th triple. Yet, the Blue & Gold were determined to hang around. Trailing 56-39, Tyrese Haliburton dropped in back-to-back pull-up triples to trim the deficit to 11 with 7:26 left.

The Blue & Gold trimmed the gap to 11 two more times over the next few minutes. Yet, Atlanta appeared to have the answers. Finally, the squad cut the margin to single digits as Keifer Sykes drilled his second triple at the 2:11 mark.

But the Hawks’ buckets still rained in too easily. After Sykes’ trey, Atlanta reeled off a 6-1 run — all from the paint — to increase their lead to 74-60 with 38.8 seconds remaining. The Pacers managed to cut the gap to 74-63 before halftime.

Indiana countered a Delon Wright trey with seven unanswered to start the third. Hield, Anderson, and Bitadze earned buckets as the Pacers cut the gap to 77-70. However, the Hawks soon found their footing and managed to keep the Pacers from coming closer. Wright’s floater with 7:16 to play pushed Atlanta’s edge to 87-77 and prompted an Indiana timeout.

Although Atlanta stayed hot, Indiana remained in rhythm. Sykes and Hield each hit their fourth three of the contest to keep Indiana hanging around. At the 3:59 mark, Jalen Smith joined the action, draining his first trey to make it a 94-86 ballgame. He added a jumper less than a minute later to cut the gap to six. The spree forced a Hawks timeout with 3:08 left.

Unfortunately, that would be as close as they got in the frame. Atlanta closed the stanza with an 8-2 run — five from Bogdanovic — to take a 102-90 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks opened the fourth quarter with a 7-2 spurt to stretch the gap to 17. But, Stephenson kept the Pacers within striking distance by answering with four straight. Atlanta led 109-96 with 9:31 left.

As the midway mark approached, Indiana stayed in stride. Despite Atlanta scoring at will, the Pacers matched them. On three separate occasions, the Blue & Gold kept the Hawks’ advantage to 13. Hield and Taylor each did it with triples, while Bitadze added a bucket in the paint to do it again. The squad’s tenacity forced the Hawks to call a timeout with 6:24 left. Indiana trailed 119-106.

With 5:29 remaining, the Blue & Gold finally broke that barrier on a pair of Stephenson free throws. Bitadze then added a spinning layup to cut the deficit to 121-112.

But, as time ticked away, so did the Pacers’ comeback hopes. While the offense clicked, the defense struggled to stop Atlanta’s offense. With 3:08 left, Kevin Huerter provided the Hawks with their 17th 3-pointer. The bucket stretched their advantage to 129-116.

Down the stretch, Haliburton gave the Pacers one final chance. The 22-year-old tallied five points to cut the gap to 130-121 with 1:07 remaining. But, it turned out to be too little, too late.



Tickets on Sale for Butler vs. Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Two of Indiana’s top college baseball programs – Butler University (away) and Indiana University (home) – take the field this April at Victory Field. The Bulldogs and Hoosiers clash on Tuesday, April 26 with first pitch at 6:35 PM. Gates open at 5:30 PM. Tickets are on sale today.

Assigned seating is available for $10 per ticket or $8 for groups of 25+ individuals. Children ages 2 and under are free. Contact Indianapolis Indians Director of Ticket Sales Chad Bohm at CBohm@IndyIndians.com for more details on premium and suite options.

“We’re excited to showcase two of our state’s best collegiate baseball programs at our beautiful downtown ballpark,” said Randy Lewandowski, Indianapolis Indians President & General Manager. “The players, coaches and passionate fan bases bring energy to every game, and we expect Butler and Indiana to provide a competitive and compelling matchup.”

Victory Field has hosted numerous college games over the years. Butler last played at the corner of West and Maryland Streets in 2018, falling to Indiana State University. The Hoosiers will be making their sixth trip to The Vic since 2015. Indiana is 4-1 at Victory Field with two wins apiece over Notre Dame University and Ball State University. The Hoosiers’ lone defeat came to the Fighting Irish in 2016.

Fans can purchase Indians single-game tickets by visiting IndyIndians.com or contact the Victory Field Box Office at Tickets@IndyIndians.com or (317) 269-3545. Season tickets, mini plans, group and premium reservations are also available.


The Colts hired former Panthers, Broncos and Bears head coach John Fox as a defensive assistant coach.

“This was a role I really wanted to hire,” Reich said. “I’ve seen this role working in some other teams, I’ve talked to some other head coaches about how this worked for them.”


Warren Central’s Tae Davis on Louisville decommitment list

Warren Central senior Tae Davis decided to open his recruitment from Louisville and will visit Utah this Monday.

Davis averaged 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game this season and is rated a #3 prospect by 247Sports recruiting.

Davis scored 1,178 career points and pulled down 492 rebounds. He attended Warren Central his final two seasons after transferring from Lawrence Central.


Purdue guard Isaiah Thompson enters NCAA transfer portal

Purdue junior guard Isaiah Thompson is leaving the Boilermakers. He made the announcement on Instagram Monday.

Thompson started 20 of 37 games for the Boilermakers this season.

Thompson’s departure gives coach Matt Painter two open scholarships to search the transfer portal.


Busy Fortnight Begins with Home & Away Midweek Dates


UIC (5-12, 1-2 Horizon) at No. 16 Purdue (18-1, 1-0 B1G)

Tuesday, March 29 at 4 p.m. ET / Watch B1G+

Alexander Field / West Lafayette, Indiana

$3 GA Tickets, Hot Dogs, Popcorn, Nachos & Draft Beers

Trading Card Tuesday: Baseball Cards Set No. 2 (of 7)

Purdue at Indiana State (13-7)

Wednesday, March 30 at 4 p.m. ET / Watch ESPN+

Bob Warn Field / Terre Haute, Indiana


Tuesday: Troy Wansing (Fr, LHP) vs. UIC’s Chris Torres (Jr, RHP)

Wednesday: TBA for both teams


All-Time vs. UIC: Purdue leads 13-7

All-Time in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 8-1

Last Meeting: Purdue 5, UIC 3 (April 2014 in West Lafayette)

First Meetings: Purdue Swept a Doubleheader – 5-0 & 14-4 (May 1982 in West Lafayette)

All-Time vs Indiana State: ISU leads 43-30-2

All-Time in Terre Haute: ISU leads 21-15-1

Last Meeting: ISU 4, Purdue 3 (April 2019 in West Lafayette)

Last Meeting in Terre Haute: ISU 4, Purdue 3 (March 2019)

Purdue’s Last Win vs ISU: Purdue 3, ISU – 10 Innings (April 2018 in Terre Haute)

First Meeting: Purdue 7, ISU 0 (April 1902 in West Lafayette)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – No. 16 Purdue baseball continues midweek play with the front ends of its home-and-home series vs. UIC and Indiana State, hosting the Flames on Tuesday and visiting Terre Haute on Wednesday.

First pitch Tuesday at Alexander Field is set for 4 p.m. ET. It’s also a planned 4 p.m. first pitch Wednesday at Indiana State’s Bob Warn Field. The return matchups with this week’s non-conference opponents are set for April 6 (vs. ISU) and April 19 (at UIC).

The Boilermakers moved up to No. 16 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball rankings. They also debuted at No. 29 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s (NCBWA) weekly poll. Purdue had not been ranked in the NCBWA poll since the end of the 2012 season.

Purdue and UIC squared off 11 times from 2009 to 2014 before the midweek series went into a hiatus. Longtime UIC assistant Sean McDermott took over as the Flames head coach in June. The Boilermakers will get their first look at UIC’s Curtis Granderson Stadium, which officially opened two weeks after Purdue’s last visit in April 2014, next month.

Wednesday at Indiana State will be just the third true road game of the season for the Boilermakers. The Sycamores earned another at-large bid to an NCAA Regional last season, their third since 2012 as well as an auto-bid in 2019 as the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion. Indiana State has wins vs. BYU, Minnesota (2), Michigan, Southeast Missouri (2), Kansas (2) and Memphis (2) during a strong non-conference showing this year.

The Boilermakers have consecutive five-game weeks on their schedule. Beginning Tuesday, they’re slated to play 10 games over the next 13 days. It’s 14 games in 19 days through Saturday, April 16 before Purdue is off for Easter. Another five-game week begins April 19 with the rematch vs. UIC.


• Mike Bolton Jr. – 20-game on-base

• Cam Thompson – 12-game RBI, 19-game on-base

• CJ Valdez – 16-game on-base

• Evan Albrecht – 11-game on-base, scored a run in 6 straight games

• Curtis Washington Jr. – 7-game on-base

• Wyatt Wendell – 14 consecutive innings without a walk

• Landon Weins – 15 consecutive innings without a walk


• Mike Bolton Jr. – 3 Triples, 14 Stolen Bases

• Cam Thompson – 10 Hit by Pitch

• Landon Weins – 0.79 ERA

• Troy Viola – 3 Sac Flies

• Purdue – Stolen Bases (57), ERA (2.81), Fielding Pct. (.978), Hit by Pitch (48)


Butler Baseball to Battle Bellarmine on Tuesday

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler will play at Bellarmine this Tuesday, March 29. The game will stream on the BU Knights Sports Network at 2 PM.

Scouting Bellarmine

The Knights are 3-20 this season with victories over Gardner-Webb, Morehead State, and Central Arkansas. Bellarmine will step away from ASUN Conference action to host the Bulldogs. They are 1-5 over their last six games against conference foes.

Matt Higgins and Jacob Mulcahy are the top two bats in the Bellarmine order. Mulcahy is hitting .301 with a team-high 28 hits in 23 games. Higgins provides a little more power with a similar average at .300. He has a team-best 11 doubles and five home runs this year for 20 RBI.

Head Coach Larry Owens is in his ninth season at Bellarmine in 2022. The Knights first season in Division I and the ASUN Conference came in 2021.

What a Week

Aaron Steinhart has hit a home run in four-straight games. His streak started on Tuesday, March 22 at #5 Tennessee. The BU designated hitter homered to left in the fourth inning against the Vols. He picked up where he left off on Saturday by homering again in the fourth inning against Northwestern to straight-away center field and matched that effort in the nightcap vs. Southern Illinois with a solo shot to center in the third. On Sunday, Steinhart increased the Butler lead over the Wildcats with a two-run home run over the wall in right during the second inning. Steinhart now has six home runs on the year. He hit two in the same game on March 1 at Northern Kentucky.

Hit a Homer

Butler hit eight home runs last week over a four-game stretch. They hit three at #5 Tennessee, two vs. Northwestern on Saturday, one at Southern Illinois, and two Sunday vs. the Wildcats. Their last home run of the weekend was a memorable one with Kollyn All taking Northwestern deep in the top of the ninth inning with two outs. All’s second home run of the season gave BU an 11-10 lead that would hold over the bottom half of the inning.

Double Figure Hit Total

The Bulldogs came up with 11 hits in the win over Northwestern. That game marked the 10th time this year that BU has recorded at least 10 hits in a game. Their season-high total of 13 was reached twice this year (Prairie View A&M, NKU). Those 11 hits vs. the Wildcats helped Butler produce 11 runs, just one shy of tying their season-high total of 12 which came at Murray State.

Reached Base Streak

Billy Wurch has reached base safely in 13-straight games for the Bulldogs. The BU infielder is tied with Aaron Steinhart for the team lead in walks this season (12).

On the Move

Travis Holt leads Butler with 13 stolen bases this season. As a team BU has swiped 45 bags, 15 more than the opposition. The Bulldogs are much more aggressive this season than last. In 2021 they only stole 27 bases all year.

McDaniel on the Mound

Cole McDaniel is slated to get the start for Butler on Tuesday. The left-handed freshman is 1-2 on the mound this year with a 3.79 ERA. Over 19 innings, McDaniel has 14 strikeouts and has only walked four batters. Tuesday will be his fifth start of the year.

New Season-High Totals

Butler hit five doubles and posted 22 total bases in their victory over Northwestern on Sunday. Ryan O’Halloran was responsible for two doubles against the Wildcats. James Gargano also tied a single-game season-high mark with three runs scored.

Better Defensively

Butler didn’t commit an error in either contest vs. Northwestern over the weekend. Heading into the action at Carbondale, BU had only gone without an error in two games (at NKU, at Jacksonville). Scott Jones is the last every day starter on the roster to hold a perfect fielding percentage.

Up Next

Butler will play four games at Bulldog Park this weekend. Eastern Illinois will visit Indianapolis in the final weekend before the start of BIG EAST play. Game one will land on Friday at 4 PM. Saturday’s doubleheader will get underway at Noon and Sunday’s getaway game will begin at 1 PM. All games can be streamed on FloSports.



SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team is back at Melissa Cook Stadium for a pair of games Tuesday and Wednesday evenings against Loyola-Chicago and Central Michigan, respectively. The Irish made the most of their one contest last weekend, defeating No. 7 Duke 8-1 Friday night. The win helped the Irish improve to 23-6 on the season.

The Irish had four of their five games scheduled last weekend either canceled or postponed. Tuesday’s game against UIC was postponed with a makeup date not scheduled. Wednesday’s game with DePaul was canceled before the Irish and Duke had to cancel two of the three meetings on the weekend.

Karina Gaskins picked up where she left off after winning ACC and NFCA National Player of the Week honors as she finished the Friday game 3-for-3 with four RBI, two runs scored and hit a home run. Abby Sweet added a pair of hits and a homer of her own as this 1-2 punch has been creating havoc for opposing pitchers this season.

Payton Tidd worked a complete game one hitter against Duke. The Blue Devils entered the series as the top hitting team in the ACC, hitting at a .338 team average. The one hit is the lowest total for an opposing team this season, and the lowest for Duke this season.

Scouting the Opponents

Loyola-Chicago enters Tuesday’s matchup with an 8-15 record after having dropped three-straight games at Southern Illinois last weekend. The Ramblers are 0-4 against Power Five competition this season, with losses to Florida State, Virginia, Iowa State and Arizona.

Amelia Thomas leads the Rambler offense with a .268 average. She’s hit five doubles and four triples while driving in six and stealing three bases. Haley Wallace adds a .254 average with a team-leading two home runs and nine RBI. The Rambler offense hits for a .202 team average with 32 extra-base hits and have stolen 20 bases in 31 attempts.

The Rambler pitching staff has earned a 5.02 ERA, led by Peyton Pepkowski’s 4.02 ERA in 71.2 innings. Pepkowski has started 10 games, going the distance in six of those with 65 strikeouts. Andie Broniewicz has started eight games with three complete games. She’s logged 44.2 innings and struck out 20.

The Central Michigan Chippewas are 13-12 this season, taking a doubleheader against Ball State Friday afternoon. Against Power Five opponents this season, the Chippewas are 1-4 with a win over Maryland in the second weekend of the season, and dropping contests to Indiana, Michigan State and two to Louisville.

The Chippewas hit for a .267 team average, led by Abbey Tolmie’s .373 clip. Tolmie has started all 25 games, hitting five doubles, scoring 16 runs and driving in seven. Michaleigh Vallimont hits for a .364 average in 23 games with 11 runs scored and a pair of homers. Shannon Stein and Caitlyn Britton provide the pop in the lineup, hitting a combined 14 home runs. Stein has driven in a team-best 23 runs and scored 21 times. Britton adds 19 RBI with five doubles.

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 30-2 at Melissa Cook Stadium, including a perfect 15-0 at home last season. In the Gumpf-era, the Irish are 289-63 when defending home turf and have won the last 22 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.

National and ACC Player of the Week

Karina Gaskins had one of the most productive weeks in all of NCAA softball last week, leading the Irish to a 5-0 record and a three-game ACC sweep at Pitt. She finished the week 12-for-16 with a double, two home runs, eight runs scored and 11 RBI. She had at least one hit and one RBI in all five games, four of which were multi-hit and multi-RBI games.

Against Pitt, all of her hits drove in at least one run in the sweep. She had clutch at bats in the first and third games of the series. In game one, she hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to extend the Irish lead to 7-4. Pitt rallied to score a run and put the tying run on second before Irish pitching got the strikeout to win the game 7-5. In the finale, She hit a solo home run to right center to extend the Irish lead to 5-2 before Notre Dame added three more runs in the seventh.

Gaskins has come on strong over the last 10 games, hitting at a .704 average with five home runs, 17 RBI and scored 12 runs.

Record Setting 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.

Getting Out of the Blocks

Notre Dame has scored 36 runs in the first inning of games this season, and 100 runs in the first three innings this season. When scoring in the first inning, the Irish are 12-2 this season and when scoring the first run of the game Notre Dame is 19-2 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 .527 on-base percentage this season. She owns a .422 batting average, drawn nine walks and has been hit by 11 pitches. The 11 hit by pitches in 29 games ranks 10th nationally in HBP per game. Her .767 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.

Lineup Shuffle

In the final game of the Liberty Invite, the Irish flipped the first and third hitters of the first 18 games of the season. Abby Sweet moved to the 3-spot in the order, and Leea Hanks moved to the lead-off role. Since the 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, with 12 hits, three doubles, three triples, a homer, and scored 10 times. Sweet has crossed 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 6.44 per game this season. Abby Sweet has scored 33 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 in LSU and Texas.

Against LSU, the Irish rallied late, using a fifth inning home run from Payton Tidd to tie it, and Miranda Johnson drove in the game-winning runs in the seventh. Tidd shut the door as the Irish earned the 8-6 win.

Notre Dame followed that with a 9-2 win over then No. 9-Texas. A 7-run fifth inning paved the way for the first win over a top 10-nationally ranked opponent since beating No. 3 Florida State in Tallahassee in 2019.

The Irish added a top 10 win after knocking off No. 7 Duke at home. Notre Dame used a 3-for-3, 4 RBI performance from Karina Gaskins and got a dominant start from Payton Tidd. Tidd worked 7.0 innings and allowed just one hit in the 8-1 victory.

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.


Sycamores Take Series With 5-4 Win Over Bradley

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State softball captured their first series win over Bradley since 2017 with a 5-4 victory Monday afternoon at Price Field.

The Sycamores (16-12, 4-2) utilized two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to hold on for the victory over the Braves (14-15, 2-4).

ISU broke a scoreless tie in the third inning with RBIs from Cassie Thomerson and Isabella Henning to take a 2-0 lead.

Bradley tied the game in the fifth inning after a Sycamore throwing error allowed a run to score. Hailey Griffin entered at pitcher for Indiana State and struck out the first batter she faced to strand a runner on third.

Indiana State quickly retook the lead as Randi Jo Pryor drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Sycamores a 3-2 lead. Bradley was able to get out of the inning and leave the bases loaded, only allowing the one run.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Kaylee Barrett doubled to centerfield, driving in a pair of runs to extend the Sycamore lead to 5-2.

The Braves did not go down without a fight, plating two in the top of the seventh. Cassi Newbanks would enter to replace Griffin and got the final two outs to get her first career save and secure the 5-4 win for the Sycamores.

Indiana State finished the game with eight hits, getting multi-hit performances from Cassie Thomerson, Isabella Henning and Kaylee Barrett. Olivia Patton and Abi Chipps each had a base hit as well.

Lexi Benko started the game and went 4 2/3 innings, striking out a pair of batters while allowing two runs on five hits. Hailey Griffin threw 1 2/3 innings in relief, picking up her second win of the season. She struck out three Bradley batters. Cassi Newbanks earned her first career save, recording the final two outs of the game to hold off the Braves. Griffin improves to 2-0 on the season with the victory.

The two teams combined to leave 20 runners on base, with ISU leaving 11 and Bradley leaving nine.

After reaching base three times today, Cassie Thomerson has raised her on-base percentage to a conference best .492 on the season.

The Sycamores eight hits pushed them over the 200 mark on the season, putting them at 204 which is second-most in the MVC.

Up Next

Indiana State will travel to Champaign on Wednesday for a midweek matchup at Illinois and then head to Illinois State for a three-game series in Normal beginning on Saturday.


Mallory extended through 2027

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State University and Head Football Coach Curt Mallory have agreed to a contract extension that will keep Mallory in the Blue and White through the 2027 season.

“I’m extremely excited to continue this opportunity here at Indiana State,” Mallory said. “This has been home for my family and I, and I look forward to being a part of building a championship program here at Indiana State.”

Mallory became the 21st head coach in the history of Indiana State back in 2017 after a coaching stint at Wyoming and continues to have the program moving in the right direction on and off the field. The 23-year coaching veteran guided the Sycamores football program through a COVID-related shutdown as Indiana State opted out of playing the 2020-21 year due to concerns about the pandemic.

His leadership ability has both Indiana State President Deborah Curtis and Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales looking forward to what will happen next within the program.

“Coach Mallory has guided Indiana State University’s football program with a competitive spirit, integrity, and class,” said Dr. Curtis. “I am pleased that he will continue leading our student-athletes to achievements on the field and in the classroom.”

“When I first interviewed Curt Mallory, the first thing he made clear was that he was coaching to develop men, and that he would have a staff that personified this,” Clinkscales said. “Five years later, he has done that and so much more. Curt and Lori Mallory have become pillars in this community and I am thrilled he will be leading our program for years to come.”

The Sycamores are coming off a 5-6 season with a 3-5 mark in Missouri Valley Football Conference play. Highlighting the year include four All-Conference selections including First Team selection Inoke Moala, while Dante Hendrix, JJ Henderson, and Wyatt Harwood also earned recognition from the conference office.

Key wins from the 2021 season included a come-from-behind victory at Eastern Kentucky, while victories over Western Illinois, Youngstown State, and Illinois State highlighted the conference schedule. The Illinois State win was significant as the Sycamores topped the Redbirds in Normal, Ill. for the first time since the 1997 season and was just Indiana State’s eighth road win in the series dating back to 1936.

The offseason continued the momentum as the Sycamores added talent across the field by way of the #ForestCrew22 signing class. Thirty-nine players committed to joining the program from 13 different states and three countries as the Sycamores hit the recruiting trail hard.

Additional career highlights include leading Indiana State to the biggest turnaround in collegiate football in the 2018 season with the Sycamores posting a third-place finish in the MVFC and a No. 22 national ranking. During the run, Mallory became just the second head coach in program history to earn MVFC Coach of the Year honors. He was also named a finalist for the STATS FCS Eddie Robinson award which honors the National Coach of the Year.

Mallory has also guided two Sycamores to professional careers in the National Football League with both Dominique Dafney (Green Bay Packers) and Jonas Griffith (Denver Broncos) both seeing regular playing time within their respective organizations.

Indiana State is scheduled to open the spring practice schedule on Tuesday, March 29, as the Sycamores return to the field for 15 days of spring practice during the months of March and April. The spring slate will go through the culmination of the Spring Game on Saturday, April 30.

The Sycamores are scheduled to play an 11-game schedule in the 2022 season featuring six home games at Memorial Stadium. ISU will face three non-conference opponents with a pair of first-timers on the schedule including the 2022 home opener against North Alabama on Thursday, September 1. Season ticket and single game ticket information for the 2022 season will be available in the coming weeks.


Sycamore Basketball Signs Transfer Jayson Kent Ahead of 2022 Campaign

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State head basketball coach Josh Schertz announced the addition of Jayson Kent (Oak Forest, Ill./Bradley/Oak Forest HS) on Monday. Kent will join the Sycamores for the 2022-23 season as a junior with three years of eligibility remaining.

“We are excited to add a player and a person of Jayson’s quality to our program. The fact that he has two years of playing experience in the Valley and has been exceptionally well-coached by Matt Manzke (Oak Forest HS) and Brian Wardle (Bradley University) should allow him a very smooth transition,” Schertz said. “We think Jayson is a great fit for what we want to do on both ends of the floor, as he’s an instinctive cutter and mover without the ball on the offensive end and has great feet and length on the defensive end.”

Schertz added: “Most importantly Jayson represents what we want our program here at ISU to be culturally and we look forward to welcoming Jayson along with his parents Jason and Anna into our family.”

An Oak Forest, Illinois native, Kent saw action in 51 games for the Braves, including 19 starts over his career. Last season the guard played in 28 games and started 15 while averaging 20.3 minutes and 6.9 points per game. Kent scored in double-figures in 10 games with a season and career-high 18 points coming against Missouri State (1/5). Kent also added four or more rebounds in nine outings for the Braves. During his freshman campaign, Kent played in 23 games, starting four contests. He averaged 3.6 points per game in 9.9 minutes of action. He saw an increased role during the final six games of the season, posting 6.8 points per game as his 41 points matched his total from his first 17 games.

Kent will join former high school teammate and Sycamore commit Robbie Avila next season. In his final season at the high school level, Kent helped lead Oak Forest High School to its first conference and regional titles since 1987. He earned all-state honors from the IBCA and Prep Hoops during his senior campaign, while receiving honorable mention to the Associated Press team. He averaged 17.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a senior – shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from 3-point range. Kent also collected all-conference, all-area and South Suburban Hoops First Team accolades. He finished his career with the Bengals with 1,290 points, 14.7 points per game and 350 rebounds.

He is the son of Jason and Anna Kent. His father played college basketball at Ohio University and the University of Charleston while his mother played basketball at West Virginia. Kent’s sister, Janae will begin her basketball playing career in the fall at LSU.


Evansville back home to start eight-game homestand on Tuesday

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Fresh off an 11-game road trip, the University of Evansville baseball team returns to German American Bank Field for a midweek contest on Tuesday evening against Austin Peay at 7 PM in Evansville.

Previewing the Matchup: Austin Peay

The Aces and Governors are meeting for the 62nd time in series history with the Aces owning a 37-22-2 advantage in the all-time series.

Tuesday’s matchup wraps-up the home-and-home series between UE and Austin Peay, following Evansville’s 20-4 win in Clarksville, Tenn. on March 16.

Evansville has won six of its last 10 contests coming into the weekend and has not lost a home midweek contest since May 7, 2019.

Superlatives Against the Govs

Flashing back to the contest against APSU two weeks ago, Evansville reached a number of marks that it had not done in a long time.

In an offensive explosion in a 20-4 win over Austin Peay on March 16, the Aces rewrote much of its “Last Time” page.

The 20 runs were the most scored by Evansville since March 8, 2016 and the 12-run sixth inning was the highest-scoring inning for the Aces since April 5, 2011.

The Aces also tallied 20 hits in the game, its most since March 8, 2016.

Craig Closes In

The chase for the top of the Evansville record book is winding to a close for Tanner Craig.

Over the weekend, Craig smashed two more home runs, bringing his season total to nine, putting hime just one away from tying the program’s all-time record of 40 homers, set by Jeff Starks from 1979-82.

Purdue Fort Wayne Baseball

Plays Mid-Week Game Against the Beacons

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The non-league schedule rolls on for the Mastodon baseball team. The ‘Dons travel to Valparaiso on Tuesday (March 29) for a contest against the Beacons. The game will air on ESPN+.

Game Day Information

What: Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (3-19, 2-4 Horizon) at Valparaiso Beacons (9-9, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Where: Emory G. Bauer Field | Valparaiso, Ind.

When: 4 p.m. ET

Live Stats: Link

ESPN+: Link

Weather: 43/37, cloudy

Series History: The Beacons lead 20-15. The series dates back to 1984.

Scouting the Beacons: Valparaiso is coming off three straight wins, two over St. Bonaventure and one at Murray State. Kaleb Hannahs leads the team with a .377 batting average. He also owns a team-high 11 walks. Nathan Chasey has six appearances out of the pen with a 1.69 ERA.

Probable Starters:

Mastodons: TBD

Beacons: RHP Connor Lockwood (11.17 ERA, 0-1)

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball: Purdue Fort Wayne is third in the Horizon League in home runs with 22. Cade Fitzpatrick is second in the league with five home runs. Braedon Blackford and Ben Higgins are tied for fifth in the league with four home runs.

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball X2: Nine different Mastodons have a home run this season.

Is That Good?: Cade Fitzpatrick is 18-of-37 (.486) in his last 11 starts with 11 runs scored.

3 In 2 In 1!: Twice this season a Mastodon has hit three home runs in a doubleheader. Braedon Blackford hit three home runs in a doubleheader against California Baptist (Feb. 26). Cade Fitzpatrick hit three home runs in a twin bill against Youngstown State (March 20). Fitzpatrick was named one of the best hitters of March 20th by D1Baseball.com.

Of Late…: Ben Higgins has two or more hits in four of his last five starts. He has eight runs in this stretch.

Miller Time: Justin Miller owns 155 career strikeouts, sixth in program history.

Strikeout Time: Justin Miller and Mitchell Spencer are tied for sixth in the league with 29 strikeouts.

New Faces: The 2022 Mastodon roster features 15 returners from last season and 18 newcomers.

Up Next: The ‘Dons host Wright State this weekend. Friday’s game will be a noon start at Mastodon Field. Saturday’s game will start at 2 p.m. at Indiana Tech. Sunday’s game will be a 1 p.m. start at Mastodon Field.

Purdue Fort Wayne Softball

Hosts Kent State for Midweek Doubleheader

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne softball team returns home on Tuesday (March 29) for a midweek doubleheader against MAC foe Kent State.

Game Day Information
 Kent State (7-13, 1-4 MAC) at Purdue Fort Wayne (4-19, 3-5 Horizon)
When: March 29 – DH at 3 PM
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind.
Live Stats: Link

Know Your Foe
Kent State is 7-13, 1-4 MAC and is coming off an 11-3 win over Akron. The Golden Flashes have played five games against ranked foes this season, but have only played a full game against No. 19/17 Michigan. Savannah Wing is leading Kent State with a .310 batting average with 13 hits and seven RBIs. The Golden Flashes have a 3.28 team ERA, with Jessica LeBeau and Kylie Ringler both owning three wins.

Series History
The Mastodons and Golden Flashes have met just twice, both in 2012. The Mastodons won both games, the first 14-4 and the second 6-3.

Wintlend in the Books
Brooke Wintlend has a slugging percentage of .732, which if it holds for the remainder of the season, this would be the second-best in program history. This is only behind Mastodon Hall of Famer Kristina Karpun’s .812, and is better than Ashleigh Bousquet’s .713.

Breath of Fresh Eyre
Shaina Eyre is seventh in program history in wins with 20. She needs two more wins to move into a tie for sixth with Mindy Pomeroy (2001-04). Eyre is also third in program history in career pitching appearances with 108.

In League Play…
>> Brooke Wintlend is slugging .950, which is third-best in the in the league. Alise Hale is sixth with .857.
>> Brooke Wintlend has a 1.450 OPS, which is also third in the league. Alise Hale is sixth with 1.395.
>> Alise Hale has scored 10 runs, which leads the league. Brooke Wintlend (7) and Emma McMillan (6) are also in the top-10.
>> Brooke Wintlend has five home runs, the third-most in the league.
>> Taryn Jenkins has drawn six walks, the second-most in the league.
>> Sonia Solis has 12 RBIs, which is a league-best.
>> Lauren McConnell and Shaina Eyre have two of the three saves in league play.

Streaky ‘Dons
The following Mastodons have an active streak of games where they get on base
>> 9 – Sonia Solis
>> 8 – Brooke Wintlend
>> 6 – Taryn Jenkins
>> 5 – Alise Hale
>> 4 – Brayden Lickey
>> 2 – Alyson Quinlan

Smarty Pants
Five current Mastodons were named NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes in 2021: Shaina Eyre, Ashley Haas, Alise Hale, Jadelyn Johnson and Emma McMillan. Hale is a two-time honoree. All five student-athletes were required to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better over the year to earn the award.

Last Time Out
The Mastodons dropped three games on the road at Green Bay.

Next Time Up
The Mastodons will welcome Oakland as they resume Horizon League play on Friday (April 1). First pitch at the Purdue Fort Wayne Softball Field will be at 4 p.m. on Friday. A doubleheader will start at 12 p.m. on Saturday.


Longtime Greyhound John Higgins Accepts Position at Xavier

CINCINNATI—Longtime University of Indianapolis men’s soccer head coach John Higgins has accepted the head job at Xavier University, it was announced Monday. A two-time graduate of UIndy and former standout student-athlete for the Greyhounds, Higgins compiled a 150-56-29 (.700) record in 12 seasons at his alma mater and will depart as the program’s all-time winningest coach.

“John is an incredible person and coach, and he has made a huge impact on the soccer program and Athletic Department at UIndy,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Young. “He is caring, creative and innovative and will make a wonderful addition at Xavier. He will be greatly missed at UIndy and we wish him all the very best.”

In a dozen years at the helm, Higgins led the Greyhounds to two GLVC championships, five NCAA tournament berths and Midwest Region titles in both 2019 and 2021. The Greyhounds also made back-to-back appearances in the national semifinals, finished with an impressive 31-1-7 record his final two seasons.

All told, Higgins coached 62 All-GLVC honorees, 12 All-Midwest Region recipients, four All-Americans and seven Academic All-Americans in 12 seasons as the UIndy head coach.


“I’m going to miss UIndy; I spent nearly half my life there, which is crazy to think about. And I’m going to miss the people there for sure. I want to give a special thanks to Sue Willy (former UIndy VP for Intercollegiate Athletics) for taking a chance on me as a young coach. I was 25 when I got the head coaching job, but I was really only three semesters out from playing so it was a massive risk that she took with me at the time, and it was great to have her as a mentor through the time and going forward.

“Also, I’d like to give a big thanks to Scott Young as well. He was working in facilities at that time and moved to compliance. He was always a guy I could lean on. He thoroughly deserved the athletic director position and I loved working under him. It will be really difficult for me to leave him because he’s a fantastic leader and a guy I consider to be a friend of mine.

“It is certainly really difficult to leave; I never ever, you know, tried to leave UIndy, but this opportunity is just such a great one for me and my family that it was too good to turn down.

“There are loads and loads of people that I’d like to thank and I’d hate to leave somebody out, but I want to give a huge thanks to (Senior Associate Athletics Director) Jackie Paquette and all that she’s done for men’s soccer over the years that I’ve been the head coach. I think we built a great culture here within the men’s soccer program and certainly she was a big part of it because she cares so much about the student-athletes.

“So it certainly breaks my heart to leave UIndy, but I know I’m leaving it better than I found it, and I know it’s going to continue to be one of the premier programs in Division II. I’m proud of that and I’m going to continue to always support UIndy and be a big fan and be a very proud alum and continue to come back to the University to connect with men’s soccer players and the staff.”


Comeback Falls Short as Softball Splits at Quincy

QUINCY, Ill.—The fifth-ranked UIndy softball team endured its second split in as many days, taking down Quincy University, 4-1, before falling 5-4 in game two. In a rare Monday matchup, the Greyhounds erased a 4-0 deficit late in the capper, but the host Hawks pushed across the deciding run in their final at bat.

GAME 1 | UIndy 4, Quincy 1

The Hounds scored the initial run in the second inning and never trailed. Sydnie Foster drove in her sister Kamrie to get UIndy on the board, while Emily O’Connor added a two-out solo shot in the third.

Two insurance runs followed in the top of the seventh on Sydnee Perry’s two-run bomb, which plated K. Foster with her second run of the contest.

Sophomore ace Kenzee Smith (12-2) got the pitching win, fanning 10 Hawks and allowing just one run.

GAME 2 | Quincy 5, UIndy 4

Trailing 4-0 after fifth innings, the Hounds delivered some clutch at bats to claw back to even. Perry connected on her second home run of the day and third of the year to get the Hounds on the board in the sixth.

Maddy Stout followed suit with a solo homer to lead off the seventh – the first of three more timely tallies for the Greyhounds. A one-out single by O’Connor and a double from Gianni Iannantone put two runners in scoring position for Megan Nichols. The freshman came through with one of the biggest hits of her young career – a two-run double to left-center – to knot it at 4-4.

But Nichols would be stranded at second and the Hawks used back-to-back singles and an error to walk off with the win.

Game-two starter Haylie Foster was charged with four runs in 4 1/3 innings of work, while Smith (12-3) came on in relief and was tagged with the loss.



Jackson, Mich. – For the second consecutive week, the Marian softball team has swept the Crossroads League Players of the Week, as the Knights Shelbie Stotts and Olivia Stunkel claim the honor. Stotts repeats as the league’s Player of the Week, while Stunkel claims her first career Pitcher of the Week award.

Stotts went off for No. 16 Marian at the plate, helping the Knights to a 4-0 week by hitting .538 with three home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored. The senior cleared the fences in three-straight games and posted a slugging percentage of 1.231. Stotts has the No. 10 batting average in the NAIA.

Stunkel went 2-0 in the circle without allowing a run over nine innings in No. 16 Marian’s wins over Spring Arbor and Indiana Southeast. The freshman piled up 16 strikeouts and only gave up five hits. Stunkel ranks No. 6 in the NAIA this season in strikeouts per seven innings, and is among the NAIA leaders in strikeouts on the season.

Marian begins a busy week with a home doubleheader on Tuesday against Taylor at 3 p.m.



Jackson, Mich. – The Crossroads League Athletes of the Week were announced on Monday, recognizing the league’s top athletes from March 21 through 27. Sports Information Directors from the league institutions nominate student-athletes for the awards and vote on each week’s winners.

Following his stellar performance in Marian’s series finale against Goshen, the league has tabbed Marian baseball’s AJ Bordenet as the March 28 Crossroads League Player of the Week. The honor is Bordenet’s first of his collegiate career.

Bordenet had six hits in seven at bats for Marian in a doubleheader sweep of Goshen. The freshman left the yard twice in those six hits hitting his first career collegiate home runs, adding four runs, four RBI and two stolen bases to a slash line of .857/.889/1.714.

Marian kicks off a busy week on Tuesday traveling to Bethel University for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.



KANSAS CITY – Just five days later, Indiana Wesleyan men’s basketball senior Seth Maxwell is back in the news, this time earning National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) NAIA All-America Team honors. This prestigious award is given to just ten NAIA basketball players across the country.

Maxwell has now been named an NABC All-American, NAIA First Team All-American, Crossroads League Player, and Defensive Player of the Year. The 7’0 center dominated teams on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor, totaling 95 blocks which is good for third-best in the country, while averaging 17.7 points-per-game on 55% shooting.


Talarek claims weekly pitching honor

CARMEL – On Monday, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference selected winners weekly awards. Claiming Pitcher of the Week honors for Earlham was junior pitcher Aidan Talarek.

Talarek pitched four innings in relief and earned the winning decision against Adrian College on Friday afternoon in Sadler Stadium. He recorded six strikeouts and only allowed three baserunners off of 14 batters faced with no runs scored.

The Quakers defeated No. 22 Adrian by a score of 7-4 after back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Earlham (11-3) will travel to Wittenberg University on Tuesday for its first away game of the 2022 season. After Wittenberg, the Quakers will host DePauw University on Wednesday, and travel to Mount St. Joseph on Saturday to begin the HCAC slate.


Earley Repeats As NCAC Baseball Player of the Week

Wabash College sophomore outfielder Kamden Earley received North Coast Athletic Conference Baseball Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after helping the Little Giants to wins over Earlham and Illinois Wesleyan last week.

Earley hit .733 over three games with an .867 slugging percentage and drove in eight runs to help Wabash to three victories and an overall 12-2 record. He collected a total of 11 hits in 15 at-bats for the week. Earley drove in six runs with a five-hit effort at Earlham Wednesday evening to tie for the fifth-most RBI in a single game in Wabash history. His five hits tied for the most in a single game by a Little Giant player, making him the 11th player in school history to accomplish the feat. Earley added three hits in each game of Sunday’s doubleheader versus Illinois Wesleyan. He drove in two runs in the Little Giants’ comeback 12-4 win in the series finale.

Earley captured his first NCAC Player of the Week Award on March 14.


Grizzlies Rally Late to Beat St. Olaf, Win Fourth in a Row

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Franklin College baseball team continued their spring break trip on Monday (Mar. 28) afternoon, taking on the Oles of St. Olaf College in the first of two straight matchups between the two teams.

The Grizzlies (14-4) got clutch hitting and shutdown pitching over the final three innings, erasing a three-run deficit to take a 9-8 victory over the Oles (4-5).

How it Happened

The Grizzlies got off to a great start, scoring four times in the top half of the first inning. Logan Demkovich, Sean Sullivan and Adam Taylor all knocked in runs with doubles and the Grizzlies got another run from an error, but the Oles answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to tie things up.

Demkovich tagged on a run in the second with his eighth home run of the year, but the Grizzly offense would stall out over the next four frames. St. Olaf plated two in the fourth and one in both the fifth and sixth to take an 8-5 advantage into the top of the seventh.

Matthew Earley cut the Oles’ lead to 8-6 with an RBI double in the seventh and one inning later, the Grizzlies used their patience to take the lead. Four batters reached by walk or hit by pitch and Tysen Lipscomb, Noah Wood and Sullivan all knocked in runs to put FC in front.

Alex Reinoehl took over from there, allowing just one runner to reach over the last two innings to earn his third save of the season. Mitch Merica (2-1) worked three innings in relief to get the win. Jackson Young got the start for FC, allowing three earned runs over four innings.

Up Next

The two teams will face each other against on Tuesday (Mar. 29) afternoon. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.


AJ Sanders Slugs Way to First HCAC Hitter of the Week Award

CARMEL, Ind. – Franklin College freshman shortstop AJ Sanders was rewarded for punishing opposing pitching over three games last week, earning his first career HCAC Hitter of the Week award on Monday (Mar. 28) afternoon.

The Clayton, Ind.-native went 10-for-16 at the plate with a home run, 10 RBI, seven runs scored and three stolen bases as Franklin claimed wins in all three games last week. Facing frigid temperatures last Thursday against Trine, Sanders recorded a pair of 3-for-5 outings, scoring five times and driving in four to help the Grizzlies sweep the Thunder.

He saved his best outing of the week for Sunday afternoon against Williams College in Florida, going 4-for-6 with a career-high six RBI and his first career home run, belting a grand slam as part of a 15-5 victory over the Ephs.

Sanders becomes the third Grizzly to earn the league’s weekly position player honor, joining Colby Reed and Logan Demkovich. Sanders carries a .366 average over 17 games, leading the team with 32 runs scored and 14 stolen bases and ranking second on the team with 21 RBI.

AJ and the rest of the Grizzlies are currently in action against St. Olaf College down in Florida. The Grizzlies continue their spring break trip on Tuesday (Mar. 29) with a rematch against the Oles at 2:30 p.m.


Hosts Wabash on Tuesday at 6 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology baseball team hosts Wabash College (12-2, 5-0 NCAC) on Tuesday at 6 pm at Art Nehf Field in a non-conference, in-state matchup.


* Rose-Hulman stands 8-4 overall and has won five of its last six games entering Tuesday’s matchup.

* Kade Kline is batting .500 (11-2) with 1 triple and 9 RBIs in 22 at bats this season.

* Adam Taylor has a .375 batting average with 16 runs scored to provide offensive depth.

* Josh Mesenbrink has team-highs for home runs (5), RBIs (19) and slugging average (.814).

* Shane Garner has also added 4 home runs to the lineup.

* Colter-Couillard Rodak adds a .341 batting average with 3 doubles and 1 home run.

* Drew Roberts (.429 on 6-14), Harrison Finch (.320 on 8-25) and Brett Tuttle (.283, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR) add offensive depth.

* Ian Kline leads the pitching staff with a 3-0 record and a 2.04 ERA.  Kline has 21 strikeouts in 17.2 innings of work.

* Brett Borcherding has added a 2-0 record with 19 strikeouts in 17 innings of work after tossing 6 scoreless innings Sunday vs. IIT.

* Matthew Rouse stands 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA and 6 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.

* Korey Marlow (1-0, 1.17), Adam Taylor (0.00, 1 save), Paul Durell (0.00 8 IP) and Schuyler Wilcox (1 save) have added pitching depth.


* Overall Series: Rose-Hulman leads 37-17

* Current Streak: Wabash won 2

* Last Meeting: WAB 11, RHIT 3 on 4/7/2019


Jillian Rejczyk Secures MIAA Women’s Lacrosse Defensive Athlete of the Week

FREELAND, Mich. – Senior goalie Jillian Rejczyk [Wauconda, Ill. / Wauconda] of the Trine University women’s lacrosse team was named Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Woman’s Lacrosse Defensive Athlete of the Week.

Rejcyzk recorded a career-high 15 saves in a 12-11 overtime loss at home versus the College of Wooster on Wednesday night. She played over 64 minutes in net in the driving rain that delayed the game for nearly one hour. In the team’s 18-4 victory at Wartburg College on Sunday, Rejczyk had four first half saves before being removed with the team ahead 14-2. With 42 saves so far this season, she is closing in on the top five in career saves in program history.

The Thunder are off this week and will prepare for the MIAA opener at home versus Calvin University on Saturday, April 9. The 12 pm contest will also serve as Senior Day.


Evie Miller Honored by MIAA as Women’s Track Athlete of the Week

FREELAND, Mich. – The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) has announced senior Evie Miller [Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead] as Women’s Track Athlete of the Week following her outdoor debut this past weekend.

Miller competed at North Carolina State University in the Raleigh Relays, where she shattered the school record with a 16:26.99 in the 5000-meter run. That time is good for the 13th fastest time in DIII history.

This weekend, Trine will compete in the Hilltopper Relays at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the WashU Distance Carnival at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and the George Glass Invitational at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.



JACKSON, Mich. – The Crossroads League announced the League Athlete of the Week Award winners for the week of March 21-27 on Monday and Victor Bonsergent was named the Crossroads League Men’s Tennis Player of the Week.

Bonsergent went 2-0 for Bethel, helping the Pilots to a pair of team victories. The sophomore won at No. 1 doubles in BU’s defeat of Manchester and added a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles in a win over Grace Christian.



JACKSON, Mich. – The Crossroads League announced the League Athlete of the Week Award winners for the week of March 21-27 on Monday and Alexia Pena was named the Crossroads League Women’s Tennis Player of the Week.

Pena won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles and 6-0 at No. 1 doubles for Bethel in a 7-0 team victory over Manchester.



GREENVILLE, SC – Bethel Women’s Basketball received seven postseason awards from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) this season. Sandra Carlsten, Maggie Deboy, Alba Garcia, Katie Kinker, Taylor Pasquale, and Kara Sandy all were named Scholar Athletes by the NCCAA.

Additionally, Maiah Shelton was named to the NCCAA North Central All-Region Team. Shelton led the Pilots with 11.8 points per game on 47.2-percent from the field and finished with 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game—third in the Crossroads League in steals.



GREENVILLE, SC – Bethel Men’s Basketball received six postseason awards from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) this season. Nathan Aerts, Life Granville, Drew Greene, and Filip Segota all were named Scholar Athletes by the NCCAA.

Additionally, Aerts and Jared DeHart were named to the NCCAA North Central All-Region Team. Aerts averaged 11.5 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds per game, to go along with 2.2 assists per game while shooting 52.3-percent from the field.

DeHart averaged a team-leading 16.8 points per game this season, shooting 48-percent from the field and 46.4-percent from the three-point line—tied for seventh in single season program history. He finished the season sitting at 1,321 career points—39th in program history.


Pasch Selected NCAC Athlete of the Week for a Fifth Time This Year

Greencastle, Ind. – Erin Pasch (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) has been selected as the North Coast Athletic Conference Women’s Track Field Events Athlete of the Week. The honor was Pasch’s fifth of the 2021-22 year.

Pasch won the heptathlon and broke an 11-year old school record at Murray State’s Margaret Simmons Invitational after totaling 4,978 points which leads Division III this spring.

Among her seven events were the four field events. Pasch’s top marks in those events included high jump (1.53m/5-0.25), shot put (11.81m/38-9), long jump (5.37m/17-7.5) and javelin (37.01m/121-5).

The Tigers return to action on April 1-2 at the WashU Invite.


Harris Named NCAC Athlete of the Week

Greencastle, Ind. – Following his performance at Millikin University’s Big Blue Spring Opener, DePauw’s Wyatt Harris (Sr., Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) has been selected as the North Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week.

Harris shot a 75 to tie for third in the tournament that was shortened to one round due to weather. He was tied for second in the 39-player field with three birdies. The Tigers finished fourth as a team with a 321. Harris averages 79.78 over his nine rounds this season and the 75 was a season best.

DePauw returns to action on April 1-2 at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational at Ironwood G.C. in Normal, Ill.


Stenger tabbed HCAC Field Athlete of the Week

CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference announced the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week Monday afternoon with freshman Jessie Stenger (Brookeville, Ind.) receiving the honor.

The first year paced the Panthers as part of the cold and windy Hanover Invitational this past weekend. Stenger won the shot put with a toss of 12.04 meters. She would also pick up a first place mark as part of the discus throw, winning the event with a distance of 37.51 meters. In the hammer throw, Stenger notched a fifth place finish.

Hanover returns to action on Saturday, April 2 with a trip to Franklin.


Johnson named the HCAC Track Athlete of the Week

CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference announced the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week Monday afternoon with junior Justin Johnson (Camby, Ind.) receiving the honor.

Johnson paced the Panthers as part of the cold and windy Hanover Invitational. The junior won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.06 seconds. He also turned in a second place finish as part of the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.91 seconds.

Hanover returns to the track on Saturday, April 2 when they compete at Franklin.


Mallory Sands Named HCAC Athlete of the Week

CARMEL, Ind. – Manchester University senior Mallory Sands has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday March 28.

Sands (Gas City, Ind./Mississinewa) helped key the Black & Gold’s first win of the season over the weekend against Grace Christian. Sands teamed up with Avin Demaso for a 6-3 win at no. 3 Doubles. Sands would then rally for a thrilling three-set win at no. 4 singles 4-6, 6-1, 12-10.

The Spartans’ win over the Tigers were their first victory since September 2019.


Blake Rentschler Named HCAC Athlete of the Week

CARMEL, Ind. – Manchester University senior Blake Rentschler has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday March 28.

Rentschler (Griffith, Ind./Bishop Noll) went a perfect 4-0 over the weekend, winning a pair of no. 2 doubles matches with fellow teammate Samuel Hollingsworth 6-3, 6-0. Renstchler also won both of his no. 4 singles matchups, winning 6-4, 6-3 against Bethel (Ind.) and 6-0, 6-0 against Grace Christian. His efforts helped the Spartans to their first win of the season against Grace Christian as Manchester topped the Tigers 6-1.


Izzy Dittmar Named HCAC Hitter of the Week

CARMEL, Ind. – Manchester University sophomore Izzy Dittmar has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week, the league announced on Monday March 28.

Dittmar (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) had an outstanding week for the Spartans, helping guide the Black & Gold to a 6-4 mark during its Spring Break trip in Florida.

Dittmar went a combined 15-29 (.517) at the plate with two doubles, two triples, and nine RBI. Dittmar was also a perfect 3-3 on stolen base attempts and is currently on an 8-game hitting streak.

The Spartans picked up wins over Lawrence, SUNY Cobleskill, Keuka, Bates, Centre, and Middlebury.



HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Forester women’s basketball program inked another dandy in Carmel High School standout Laura Valiente-Marin.

Valiente-Marin helped guide the Greyhounds to a 15-8 overall record this past winter, which included a 6-1 league record, by posting 5.3 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals per night. The 5-6 point guard canned 47.0 percent of her threes this season.

“We are very pleased to add Laura to the Forester family,” said Coach Lori Culler. “As a point guard, Laura sees the floor well and does a great job of getting her teammates involved.

“Her quickness gives her an edge at both ends of the floor. She can use it offensively to get to the rim, and her quick feet and hands allow her to apply a lot of pressure defensively. We’re excited to see her career unfold.”


Lady Lancers’ pair tabbed as All-Americans

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – After a stellar year, Grace College’s women’s basketball team saw a pair of players earn national honors.

Maddie Ryman and Karlee Feldman’s efforts on the hardwood were recognized nationally as both players earned All-American status this past week.

Ryman was named NCCAA First Team All-American as well as honorable mention for NAIA All-American. Feldman was named NCCAA Third Team All-American

Ryman is the fourth Lady Lancer to earn a spot on the NAIA All-American roster, joining Vironnica Drake (2020), Allison Kauffman (2015) and Juaneice Jackson (2014). 

Ryman led the Lady Lancers with 17.1 points per game and finished the year seventh in program history for single-season scoring (563). She also led Grace in assists (2.9) and steals (1.6) per game.

In her first season with Grace, Feldman had a massive impact as Grace’s starting center. She averaged a double-double for the season with 14.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. She also shattered the program’s single season double-double record with 22 on the season. She bested the previous mark of 14 which was set in 2015 by Allison Kauffman.

Ryman and Feldman’s contributions helped propel the Lady Lancers to a memorable season.

Grace made the Crossroads League semifinals and qualified for the NCCAA National Championships for the seventh consecutive season.

The Lady Lancers also tied the single-season record for wins, reaching the 20-win mark for the third time in program history.

Ryman and Feldman were part of a quartet of Lady Lancers who were also selected to the NCCAA All-Region team.

Ryman won Midwest Region Player of the Year, and Feldman was recognized as a first team selection. Kiersten Poor made the second team, and Kenzie McMahon was an honorable mention.

Grace head coach Dan Davis was selected as the Midwest Region Coach of the Year in his fourth year guiding Grace.

The Lady Lancers also had a plethora of players recognized for their work in the classroom. McMahon, Kate Rulli, Olivia Pearson, Kaylee Patton, Kate Schlatter, Poor, Taylor Cooney, Kiara Gill, Ryman and Feldman were all named NCCAA Scholar-Athletes.


Everence Student-Athlete of the Week: Alexander Rabadzhiev, Men’s Volleyball

GOSHEN, Ind. — Alexander Rabadzhiev, a senior on the men’s volleyball team, has been named the Everence Student-Athlete of the Week for March 21 – March 28!

Rabadzhiev had 14 kills on Senior Day in his final match at Goshen. He had just one attack error during the three-set win over Cornerstone and had a hitting percentage of .619 for the match. His effort led Goshen to their highest team hitting percentage in a match this season at .500.

Rabadzhiev had 17 kills on Wednesday at Mount Vernon Nazarene and averaged 3.88 kills per set this week. He totaled 402 kills this season – placing him fourth in the NAIA and second in the WHAC. He is also tied for ninth in the NAIA in service aces with 42.

“[Rabadzhiev] has forced everyone around him to be better, even the opposing team,” boasted head coach Lauren Ford in her Senior Day remarks. “He made me a better coach.” Rabadzhiev finished his career at Goshen with 1,430 kills.


USI’s Fair nets GLVC Player of the Week honors

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—University of Southern Indiana sophomore first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) has been named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Softball Player of the Week in an announcement by the league office Monday afternoon.

Fair, a biology major at USI, hit .550 (11-20) on the week with five doubles, a triple, a home run and 10 RBI to lead the Screaming Eagles to a 6-0 record in league play.

Her week was highlighted by a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning of USI’s 5-3, come-from-behind win in the second game of USI’s doubleheader sweep of Quincy University Sunday.

On the week, Fair scored six runs, had a 1.050 slugging percentage and a .591 on-base percentage.

For the season, Fair is hitting .435 with a team-high 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 30 RBI.

Fair is the first USI Softball player to earn the conference’s weekly honor since Alicia Webb was named GLVC Player of the Week last February.

USI (22-8, 8-0 GLVC) has won a season-high 10 straight games and is currently the last unbeaten team in league play.

The Eagles return to action Saturday at noon when they host Rockhurst University in a GLVC doubleheader before finishing the weekend with a GLVC doubleheader against William Jewell College Sunday at noon at the USI Softball Field.

All four games will be aired on the GLVC Sports Network, while 95.7 The Spin will air game one on Saturday and both games Sunday.


• Kunkle claims 600th win. USI Head Coach Sue Kunkle earned her 600th career with USI’s 8-0, game-one win over Quincy Sunday. She is the first coach in school history to win 600 games at USI.

• Rager gets half a cycle in one inning. Junior shortstop Jordan Rager (Fishers, Indiana) had a two-run triple and a grand slam in one inning during USI’s 11-2, game-two win over Truman State University Saturday.

• USI breaks triples record. Rager’s triple against Truman State was the Eagles’ 20th on the year, which set a new single-season school record. The former record (19) was set in 1994 and 1995.

• Grand slam club. Rager’s grand slam also was USI’s third of the month, which tied the single-season school record of three (2017). She joins Martinez, who hit a grand slam in USI’s 6-2 win over Central Missouri on March 4, and freshman outfielder Kennedy Nalley (Huntingburg, Indiana), who had a grand slam in USI’s 8-0 win over Lynn on March 7.

• Newman goes on strikeout tear. Freshman pitcher Josie Newman racked up 17 strikeouts in USI’s game-two win over Quincy after striking out seven of the 10 batters she faced in USI’s game-two win over Truman State the previous day. Newman, who was 3-0 with 1.40 ERA, .100 opponent batting and 27 strikeouts in 15.0 innings of work last week, struck out 12 of the final 13 batters she faced in the Eagles’ win over Quincy.

• Eagles put up ridiculous numbers. USI finished a red-hot week at the plate, hitting .416 as a team with 14 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 49 RBI in six games. The Eagles had three players hit .500 or better and eight players with a .400 batting average or better.

• Hit streaks. Both Fair and sophomore catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) currently have a hit in a team-high seven straight games. Sophomore outfielder Mackenzie Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) and junior second baseman Rachel Martinez (Chicago, Illinois) each have 11-game hitting streaks under their belts, while Kihega is one game shy of her season-high (8).

• Schedule change. USI’s doubleheader against the University of Indianapolis that was postponed on March 11 has been rescheduled for Friday, April 15 in Indianapolis. To facilitate that change, the USI-McKendree University doubleheader which was originally scheduled for April 15 has been moved to Saturday, April 16.


Helmuth and Hesting Earn Crossroads League Weekly Honors

JACKSON, Mich. – Taylor’s Alex Helmuth and Liam Hesting were honored as the Crossroads League Track and Field Athletes of the Week, after their impressive performances at TU’s outdoor opener in Atlanta, Georgia last weekend.

Alex Helmuth, a senior from Monticello, Illinois, picked up the Crossroads League Men’s Track Athlete of the Week distinction. Helmuth hit the NAIA A-standard in the 10,000-meters at the Emory Thrills in the Hills Invite. The senior cranked out a race-winning time of 30:38.63.

Hesting, a junior from Columbia City, Indiana, was named the Crossroads League Men’s Field Athlete of the Week. Hesting hit three national qualifying marks at the Emory Invite, provisionally qualifying in the hammer throw, discus throw and shot put. Hesting took home a pair of wins in the hammer (54.92m) and shot put (15.42m), while claiming second place in the discus (48.10m). 

The Taylor men will be back in action next weekend on their home track for the George Glass Invite on Saturday, April 2.


Brennan Awarded Crossroads League Track Athlete of the Week Honor

JACKSON, Mich. – Abbey Brennan was named the Crossroads League Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week on Monday, after claiming a pair of wins in the 1,500-meters and 4×800-meter relay for the Trojans in the first outdoor meet of the season at the Emory Invite in Atlanta, Georgia.

Brennan finished in first place out of 31 runners in the 1,500-meters. The senior clocked a career-best time of 4:40.69 and qualified for NAIA Nationals with B-standard. With that time, Brennan is currently ranked No. 11 overall in the NAIA.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana native also helped the TU 4×800-meter relay squad to a first-place finish, beating the field by 23-seconds. Brennan anchored as the final leg in the relay and helped the Trojans hit the NAIA A-standard as the team of Brooke Studnicki, Giovanna Domene and Corinne O’Leary clocked a combined time of 9:23.11 to secure the victory. The group currently boasts the top relay time in the NAIA.

This is Brennan’s second weekly Crossroads League honor this track season. She previously was honored as the CL Indoor Track Athlete of the Week on January 24.

The Trojans will be back in action next weekend on their home track for the George Glass Invite on Saturday, April 2.


1933       After missing half of last season when he broke his leg, Cubs outfielder Kiki Cuyler breaks his other leg and will miss nearly three months of this season. The 36 year-old future Hall of Famer has led the league in stolen bases four times and will finish with 328 career steals.

1935       The reigning National League champion Cardinals release 44-year-old right-hander Dazzy Vance, who appeared in his first and only World Series this season. The future Hall of Fame hurler will return to the Dodgers, where he spent the most productive years of his career, finishing his major league 16-year tenure in the major leagues with a 197-140 (.585) record along with an ERA of 3.24.

1944       During a Pacific Coast League minor league exhibition game, Oakland lends L.A. five players after some of their opponents suffer an assortment of injuries in a car accident. The ‘visiting’ team beats the hometown Oaks, 6-2.

1948       Thirty-four players participate in an unusually long exhibition game when the Yankees and the Red Sox take 17 innings to play to a 2-2 tie. The four-hour, two-minute contest features the Bronx Bombers scoring runs in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings to keep the score knotted, but the team fails to push in the winning run in the final frame when Frank Crosetti attempts a two-out bunt to squeeze in a runner from third.

1954       The Cubs fire skipper Phil Cavarretta after he tells reporters the team had little chance to finish in the first division. The 36 year-old player-manager, who compiled a 169-213 (.442) record during his three years at the helm, is the first to lose a managerial position during spring training.

1973       At the suggestion of A’s owner Charlie Finley, orange-colored balls are used in an 11-5 exhibition game loss to the Indians. Major League Baseball drops the novel concept after Cleveland outfielder George Hendrick, who hit three home runs in the contest, claims he had difficulty picking up the ball due to the lack of red seams on a white sphere.

1975       Mel Stottlemyre, suffering from a torn rotator cuff, is given his unconditional release by the Yankees. The team’s future pitching coach compiled a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA, tossing 152 complete games that include 40 shutouts.

2000       The Expos and Labatt announce the C$100M sponsorship deal, negotiated two years ago, will go forward as planned. The Brewery has committed to pay C$40M over the next twenty years for the naming rights to Montreal’s proposed downtown ballpark and approximately another C$60M to be the team’s primary sponsor, a role the company has played for the past 15 years.

2001       Todd Helton signs a nine-year, $141.5 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid player in Rockies’ history. Last season, the Colorado first baseman batted .372, hit 42 homers, and knocked in 147 runs.

2002       After the team purchases Rickey Henderson’s contract from Pawtucket, the Red Sox places future Hall of Fame outfielder on their Opening Day roster. The ‘Man of Steal,’ who joined the exclusive 3,000-hit club on the final day of last season, will begin his 24th year in the majors, appearing with his eighth different club.

2002       Major League Baseball announces there will be a minute of silence at 9:11 at every major league team’s first-night game this season to remember September 11th’s tragic events. The song God Bless America will continue to be sung during the seventh-inning stretch of all contests.

2002       The Brewers announce the Miller Park’s retractable roof will be used only on a limited basis at the start of the season as engineers try to eliminate persistent noise coming from the year-old structure. According to the engineers who designed the building, the problem in the pivot system, located behind and above home plate in the so-called Uecker seats, is not a hazard.

2007       In a split-squad game between the Cubs and Diamondbacks at Mesa’s HoHoKam Park, Ria Cortesio, serving alternately as the first and third base umpire, becomes the first female ump to work a major league exhibition game since Pam Postema in 1989. The thirty-year-old Davenport (IA) native, who is starting her ninth year overall as an arbitrator and fifth in Double-A minor league ball, hopes to be the first woman umpire in major league history.

2008      In an exhibition game celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary of their move west from Brooklyn, the Dodgers lose to the Red Sox in front of 115,300 fans at the LA Coliseum. The crowd is the largest ever to watch a baseball game, surpassing the previous record when approximately 114,000 patrons attended an exhibition contest between the Australian national team and an American services team during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

2009       The Yankees dedicate a permanent September 11th memorial at the entrance of George M. Steinbrenner Field, the team’s Spring Training home in Tampa (FL). The tribute to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks of 2001 features a foundation in the shape of the Pentagon, which supports two towers made from steel from the World Trade Center placed on a grassy spot representing the heroes of United Flight 93, who perished in a field in Pennsylvania.

2009       John Franco throws out the ceremonial first pitch to a standing ovation from the crowd attending the collegiate matchup between St. John’s and Georgetown in the first baseball game ever played at Citi Field. Before tossing his signature pitch, a breaking ball in the dirt, the former Mets reliever goes to the mound wearing a familiar blue and orange jacket, removes his coat to reveal his alma mater’s colors, a Red Storm jersey with his number 45.

2009       On a damp and chilly afternoon, 22,397 patrons become the first fans to attend a baseball game at Citi Field, the Mets’ new home, when St. John’s University hosts Georgetown in a collegiate contest. The weather dampened the schools’ hope of breaking the NCAA attendance record of 40,106, set during a game between San Diego State and Houston played at Petco Park in 2004.

2009       Dontrelle Willis is placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Tigers. D-Train, unsuccessful since winning 22 games with the Marlins in 2003, has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, believed by the doctors to be easily treatable, according to the southpaw.

2010       Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announces President Obama will throw out the first pitch before Washington’s game against the Phillies at Nationals Park on Opening Day, continuing a century-old tradition. In 1910, William Howard Taft became the first Commander-in-Chief to toss the ceremonial first pitch to start the season.

2013       The Giants and Buster Posey, the National League’s MVP, come to terms on an eight-year, $159 million extension that includes a full no-trade clause. The deal, which will keep the 26-year-old backstop in a Giants’ uniform through 2021, is the second-richest contract ever given to a catcher, surpassed only by the Twins’ signing of Joe Mauer two seasons ago to an eight-year, $184 million pact.

2013       Tiger right-hander Justin Verlander agrees to a seven-year, $180 million contract, the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history. The 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner, already signed through 2014 under a previous $80 million, five-year deal, decides not to test free agency in two years, stating that “the pull of Detroit was too much.”

2017       The Dodgers commemorate Kirk Gibson’s historic pinch-hit, walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series by offering a special ticket package to sit in the right-field pavilion seat, recently painted blue and autographed by him, where the ball landed. The team is donating two-thirds of the $300 price of the ducats, including a companion seat, two commemorative T-shirts, and food and drink, to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s research, a neurological disease affecting the Fall Classic hero.

2018       Matt Davidson becomes the fourth major leaguer to hit three home runs on Opening Day, contributing to the White Sox’s 14-7 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The White Sox slugging third baseman joins Dmitri Young (Tigers, 2005), Tuffy Rhodes (Cubs, 1994), and George Bell (Blue Jays, 1988) in accomplishing the feat on the first day of the season.

2018       Excluding international openers, this date marks the earliest start of the major league season in the history of the game. The schedule calls for all the teams to play on Opening Day for the first time since April 10th, 1968, the last season before divisional play started in the American and National Leagues.

2018       On Opening Day, the late right-hander Roy Halladay’s number #32 is retired during an emotional on-field ceremony at Rogers Centre. In his 12 seasons with Toronto, the six-time American League All-Star, who died in a plane crash off the coast of Florida in November, compiled a 148-76 record along with a 3.43 ERA before his trade to the Phillies in 2009 for minor league prospects.

2018       At Miami, Cubs’ leadoff hitter Ian Happ goes deep on the season’s first pitch, homering to right field off a Jose Urena fastball in the team’s 8-4 victory over Marlins. The 23-year-old center fielder, playing in his first Opening Day, becomes the first player to accomplish the feat since Red Sox’s Dwight Evans took Tiger right-hander Jack Morris deep on the initial delivery of the 1986 campaign.




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