Moraine athletics wrap

  • Written by Maura Vizza

Cyclones softball team has sweep time

Moraine Valley College’s softball team made it a point to double its pleasure in recent outings.
The Cyclones had a sweep time as they captured both ends of three straight doubleheaders to run their unbeaten streak to eight games. Win No. 9 in a row was gained at Oakton College’s expense before the latter turned the tables in Game 2 last Thursday.
Without question, Moraine’s most impressive exhibition came against McHenry College, which gave up 35 runs in the span of only 10 innings and suffered a pair of lopsided Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference defeats as a result. The April 17 outcomes favored the Cyclones by scores of 11-2 and 24-2.
Moraine coach Mike Veen opted for station-to-station play in an attempt to keep the margins reasonably close, but even that couldn’t slow the Cyclones’ onslaught. Janay McGovern led Moraine’s first-game blitz with a 4-for-5 showing and four RBI.

SXU sports summary

Softball team sets national record

Establishing a program record is certainly noteworthy.
Eclipsing a national standard, however, is headline-worthy.
St. Xavier University's softball team got a chance to accomplish both feats last Wednesday. Although visiting Judson University scored one run in each end of a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader, it waited until the fourth inning to do so in the opener.
And by blanking the Eagles for the first 3 1/3 frames, the Cougars surpassed California Baptist's four-year-old national mark for consecutive shutout innings by that same amount. SXU is now No. 1 in NAIA annals with 60 2/3 scoreless innings in a row.
And by virtue of their 3-1 and 6-1 victories, the No. 9-ranked Cougars stretched their winning streak to 21 games, which bettered by two the school standard that was set in 2013.
The record setting didn't stop there, either. Senior pitcher Megan Nonnemacher's Game 1 win gave her 80 for her collegiate career, which equaled SXU's all-time best individual effort. In raising her season ledger to 17-1, Nonnemacher tossed a five-hitter and struck out six.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

 With a pair of shutouts to its credit last week, Shepard’s girls’ soccer team moved two steps closer to a South Suburban Conference Red championship.

  The Lady Astros (9-4) maintained their grip on first place as the league schedule got reduced to four matches. And Shepard coach Scott Wilkins couldn’t be happier with how his squad is proceeding.
  “We’ve been really playing good lately,” he said. “We were having some challenges getting things going earlier in the season, but I think we’re going the right way. Everybody is starting to understand their roles and those who are assuming roles of leadership.”
  The Lady Astros’ first whitewash came against Argo, which dropped a 2-0 SSC Red verdict. Netminder Heather Banis was credited with the shutout, while Tiffani and Christina Kotas supplied Shepard’s goals.
  Tiffani Kotas scored before intermission and Christina Kotas added her goal shortly after the second half got underway.
  “Tiffani and Christina are providing outstanding senior leadership,” Wilkins said. “Both of them are scoring a lot of goals this year and both are really stepping up as outside midfielders for us. After their goals, we played good defense and kept the possession of the ball really well.
  “We were really happy with our second-half effort. When we’re able to control the ball, it usually works out well for us.”
  Fresh off that success, the Lady Astros kept the momentum going against Joliet West on Saturday as they registered a 1-0 triumph behind Kelly Evancich’s marker and more strong goaltending from Banis, who made three saves en route to notching her fifth shutout of the year.
  Evancich’s goal came halfway through the first half, when Shepard had the wind at its back.
  “It was a real windy game,” Wilkins said. “We were playing against the wind in the second half, so we were just trying to keep the ball on the ground and keep possession of it. We did a great job again in the second half.”
  Wilkins said he has been pleased with Evancich’s season-long performance, which has resulted in 11 goals to date.
  “Kelly has really stepped up and taken on a significant offensive role this year,” he said. “The goals that she has scored have been solid.”
  Also shining for Shepard has been Banis, who missed her freshman year after tearing her ACL in the season’s second match. She played basketball this winter for Shepard and has maintained her athletic edge by competing in soccer.
  “Heather has been doing a solid job for us,” Wilkins said. “We’re hoping she’ll be around for the next couple of years. She provides good leadership and knows how to control things in front of her.”
  Next up for the Lady Astros are matches versus Oak Lawn and Bremen, which could help determine Shepard’s ultimate fate within the SSC Red.
  “We have four more conference games left,” Wilkins said. “Hopefully, we can wrap the conference up in the next couple of games.”
  Sandburg also won twice via shutout last week as it blanked Homewood-Flossmoor 2-0 in a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue match and edged Benet Academy 2-0 in a Thursday nonconference encounter at Wheaton North.
  Emily Osoba and Sam Messina did the scoring for the Lady Eagles (7-2-1, 3-0) versus the Lady Vikings, while Jayna Kozlowski and Rachel Mokersky took care of the offensive business against the Lady Redwings.
  Behind goals from Hannah Henderson and Erin O’Leary, Stagg (4-4-2, 2-0) defeated Joliet West 5-2 in an SWSC Blue match on Thursday.
  Stagg dropped a hard-fought, three-set verdict to Lockport after winning Game 1 of the SWSC Blue match. The Porters prevailed 25-27, 25-19, 25-22.
  Trevor Crain put down 10 kills for the Chargers, while Trevon Velasco was also strong along the net with six blocks. Nick Stanek dished out 28 assists and Sean Runyon finished with 18 digs.
  Ivan Magana’s nine kills and two service aces led visiting Shepard (6-12, 1-2) to a 25-23, 26-28, 25-18 triumph over TF United last Thursday. Dave Prince added three solo blocks for the Astros in the SSC crossover match.
  Sandburg’s attempt to win the Brother Rice Tournament fell short on Saturday night, as it lost 9-8 to Lockport.
  The Eagles (17-6) found themselves behind 2-0 after the first quarter before fighting back to tie the game at 4-all by halftime. Zach Roper (five goals) spurred Sandburg’s comeback and also inched it in front by tallying in the opening minute of the second half.
  The Porters responded with three straight goals, but the Eagles forged another deadlock at 7-all when Majd Ibrahim scored with 4:07 left in regulation. However, Lockport got the final say with two more tallies in the remaining time.
  Roper did put Sandburg in a position to tie with a goal, but a turnover in the last 18 seconds dashed any hopes the Eagles had of creating the need for overtime.
  Stagg beat Bradley-Bourbonnais (14-10) and Lincoln-Way Central (11-8) in a pair of SWSC crossover affairs last week.
  Connor Kaufmann netted five goals and Zack Amendola scored four times to lift the host Chargers past the Boilermakers. Lane Hollin made 17 saves for Stagg.
  Amendola netted six goals and Holin was credited with 13 saves to lead the Chargers in their other win.
  Stagg dropped a 13-1 decision to Lincoln-Way Central in an SWSC crossover last Wednesday.
  After getting shut out by Lemont in an SSC crossover last Tuesday, Shepard rebounded to take down Riverside-Brookfield 4-2 on Wednesday. Among Wednesday’s winners were the No. 1 doubles tandem of Brian Spoon-Kyle McNamara.
  Shepard won four relays en route to securing the team crown with 184 points at Friday’s Richards Invitational. Marist (127) was second and Eisenhower (81) third in the eight-team meet.
  The Lady Astros finished first in the 400-meter relay (49.6 seconds), 800-relay (1:48.2), 1,600-relay (4:12.5) and 3,200-relay (10:16). Individual winners for Shepard included Zipporah Allbritton in the 400 (1:03.7) and Jada Jackson in the discus (117 feet, 9 inches).
  Sandburg finished fourth at its own 11-school invitational last Thursday by scoring 54 points. Meet-champion Lincoln-Way East had 160 points, and Thornton (75) and Mother McAuley (62) also bettered the Lady Eagles’ total.
  Supplying first-place finishes for Sandburg were Casey Jensen in the 1,600 (5:33.87) and Rayphina Foma’i in the shot put (35-1).
  Shepard defeated Argo 15-0 in an SSC Red match last Wednesday.


Trinity sports report

  • Written by Tim Cronin

Trolls softball most improved in league

  The goal all along for Trinity Christian College’s softball team was simple: finish in the top six and make the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
  Achieving it, however, wasn’t easy. The Trolls didn’t assure themselves of a playoff berth until the final game of the conference schedule, when they hung on for a 4-3 victory over the University of St. Francis to lock up fifth place with an 11-9 league record.
  The tourney begins today, with Trinity (23-23 overall) expected to face St. Xavier University (42-5-1) in the opener on the Cougars’ field. The championship game is Saturday, with the winner advancing to the NAIA Tournament.
  Just getting to the postseason is a big plus for the Trolls, who had won no more than 12 games in any of the past four seasons, which included last year’s 12-32 mark. Nearly doubling that total this year, and coming up only one short of it in conference play alone, marks Trinity as the most improved team in the conference and may earn coach Missy Bolhuis postseason plaudits.
  The road to the conference tournament reached the finish line last Thursday at the Route 83 Complex. The Trolls led 4-1, half of the offense coming from Bailan Reynolds’ two-RBI double in the bottom of the third, before USF mounted a two-out rally in the top of the seventh.
  Kiley Southall singled and scored when older sister Lexi doubled her home. Then Natalie Ward singled to bring in Lexi Southall, closing the gap to 4-3. The threat to Trinity’s success and its postseason berth ended when the Fighting Saints’ Tori Johnson made the final out.

Community sports news

Water polo athletes honor Caliendo

Members of the boys’ water polo teams at Sandburg and Andrew honored Jane Caliendo by wearing Warrior T-shirts created to support her battle with cancer during a match last week.
Caliendo is the wife of Eagles coach Jim Caliendo and has been involved herself with Sandburg’s swimming and water polo programs in the past. Eagles athletes have sold T-shirts and wristbands to raise money, and also performed charitable acts on the Caliendos’ behalf.

Palos Hills to host Pitch, Hit & Run competition
The Palos Hills Community Resource and Recreation Department will host a Pitch, Hit & Run competition for youngsters aged 7-14 on Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. at Glacier Park, 101st Street and 78th Avenue.
Participation is free. Registration is being accepted at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St.
For more information, call 430-4500.