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College Athletics: SXU sends two to track national championships

From Staff Reports

Saint Xavier will send two qualifiers to the 2019 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, to be held May 23-25 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Mario Scarcelli will compete in the men’s 5,000 and Alex Lambros will compete in the women’s long jump and triple jump.

The Saint Xavier track and field team closed the regular season by setting another program record.

The men’s 4×100 relay team of Jarvis Carter, Alex Collins, Anthony Glover (Oak Lawn) and Jamarri Watson posted a time of 42.54, topping the school record time of 42.69 set in 2015.

The new record is the fourth set by the men’s team this season, with Watson putting his name in the record books for the second time after previously setting the long jump.

In the women’s events, senior Deandra Stokes posted the Cougars’ best time in the 1,500, placing 44th with a time of 5:17.38. Freshman Jacey Schickel led the way in the women’s 5,000 with a time of 19:36.64 to finish 45th in her second appearance in the event. Schickel improved her personal record by 12 seconds.

SAINT XAVIER
Bright Shines
Cougars senior second baseman Garrett Bright has been named to the Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.

Bright is the second player in Saint Xavier history to earn the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team award, which is the only major award that recognizes successes both on the field and in the classroom. The SXU baseball program has now had an Academic All-District honoree in each of the past two seasons.

Bright hit .331, starting in all but two games for the CCAC regular season champion Cougars (34-15). He was named to the All-CCAC First Team and was a CCAC Gold Glove recipient at second base.

Bright finished the season with 54 hits, 32 RBI and 37 runs. The four-year senior will graduate this month with a degree in finance.

To be nominated for the Academic All-District Team, student-athletes must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 and be in sophomore academic standing. All members of the Academic All-District Team are placed on the ballot for the Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-American Team, which will be announced later this year.

Baseball
Saint Xavier pounded out 12 runs on 14 hits, but the pitching couldn’t match the offense’s performance and the Cougars fell, 13-12, to Union (Ky.) in the opening round of the NAIA Baseball World Series in Lawrenceville, Kentucky.

Third baseman and reigning CCAC Player of the Year Matt Monahan had four hit and six RBI, and shortstop Mark Martin of Evergreen Park also had four hits.

Union led 6-1 through an inning and a half, but the Cougars responded with four runs in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a two-run single by Monahan.

Then, down 7-4 entering the third, two more RBI by Monahan evened the score.

Saint Xavier took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the when Zordani’s single up the middle scored courtesy runner David Chianelli. Garrett Bright added another run with a sacrifice fly to put the Cougars in front, 9-7.

The Cougrad used a three-run seventh to take a 12-11 lead, with the go-ahead run coming via Mike Farnan’s groundout, scoring Monahan.

Union made one final rally in the top of the eighth, scoring twice to take a lead they would no relinquish.

The Cougars loaded the bags with two out on the eighth but couldn’t get the tying run across. They were retired in order in the ninth.

The Cougars played an elimination game on Tuesday, May 14.

Softball
A pair of solo home runs proved to be the difference as Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) defeated Saint Xavier, 2-1 in 8 innings, in the opening round of the NAIA Softball World Series in Columbia, Kentucky, on Monday, May 13.

Cougars junior ace Allison Golic went the distance, striking out nine batters and allowing only five hits to keep her team in the game, but the Saint Xavier offense mustered only four hits.

Lyda Robinson drove in Tori Keilman with two outs in the sixth inning to tie the game.

The Cougars had the chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh after Taylor Sterkowitz led off with an infield single, and pinch runner Kylie Zych advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but two foul popups thwarted the opportunity.

After the Blue Raiders took the lead on a solo home run in the top of the eighth, the Cougars threatened. Frankie Demack hit a one-out single to center and moved to second on Lexxie Lux’s sac bunt; however, SXU was unable to capitalize.

The Cougars faced South Carolina-Beaufort in an elimination game on May 14.

MORAINE VALLEY
Women’s Tennis
Brooke Zielke and Jasmine Abunaim, the Cyclones Nos. 1 and 2 singles players, respectively, were eliminated from the NJCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship on May 6, but came away with a positive experience and lessons they hope will benefit them next season.

Zielke fell 8-2 to Dayana Ortega from Iowa Central and Abunaim fell 8-2 to Zoe Freke from Meridian. The two later lost in doubles, 8-3, to Georgina Kaindoah and Takalani Molaoa from Cowley College, in the doubles consolation bracket, ending their seasons.

“Their doubles match was definitely the highlight,” said Cyclones head coach Breanna Vollan. “Many of the games went to multiple deuces, and they stepped up their game to a level they haven’t been at before. The team they were facing had a lot of tools in their arsenal, so to speak, but our players did a great job communicating and adjusting. There were multiple points that left me in awe,”

With the losses in the consolation bracket, the duo had officially ended their run but enjoyed every moment.

“The tournament was a great experience,” Zielke said. “None of the athletes had the same style of play, which is where this tournament differs from our regionals. It also was interesting to play and talk with the various international players. It was a great learning experience, and hopefully I can utilize the things I learned here for next season.”

Vollan said the experience was great for the team as a whole.

“It really was a wonderful trip,” he said. “I met a lot of coaches and made some good connections that will benefit Moraine Valley tennis in the future. It was great to observe other programs as well. The players learned a lot and had some great moments.”

Softball
The Cyclones dropped both games of a doubleheader to Kankakee Community College on May 3, falling 5-1 and 9-2.

In the first game, Annabelle Fritz had two hits and an RBI, however, the only other Cyclone hits came from Darcee Nichols, who had two, and Samantha Stahl.

In the second game, Angela Abrand had a hit and two RBI, Nichols had two hits, and Fritz had a double.

The Cyclones split a doubleheader with Triton College on May 4.

Moraine Valley won the first game 2-1, thanks to a strong outing from Mariah Martinez, who allowed two hits and one run while striking out 10.

Donna Booe had a two-run triple.

In the nightcap, the Cyclones out hit the Trojans 12 to 10 but fell, 10-6. Madi Davis had an RBI double; Nichols had three hits, a run and two RBI; Morgan Kaminsky had a double, run and RBI; Abrand had two hits, a run and an RBI; and Jessica Coyle had three hits, a run and an RBI.

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