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Senior Nick Brune struck out a career-high 14 to power the Illinois Wesleyan baseball team to a 7-0 victory over SUNY Purchase at Auburndale, Fla., on Thursday.

Brune (2-0) allowed Purchase (3-1) four hits and no walks during his nine-inning effort, the second complete game shutout of his career. His 14 strikeouts tie the seventh most in IWU history and is the most since 2010 when Jason Pankau had 14 against Benedictine.

The Titans did most of their offensive damage during a five-run seventh inning. IWU (6-3) pounded out 12 hits including three by Eric Kozlowski, who had a three-run double in the seventh. Adding two hits apiece were Dalton Fletcher, Ben Manski and Jeran Simpson.

Merritt nets honor: IWU senior center Maddie Merritt is among 30 players to earn honorable mention status on the NCAA Division III All-American squads, announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

The Tri-Valley High School graduate was earlier chosen to the third team of the all-Central Region squad and was selected to play in the inaugural WBCA Beyond Sports Women's Collegiate All-Star Game on Saturdasy at Salem, Va.

A unanimous first team all-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin player, Merritt led IWU with 16.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting .525 from the field and a school season-record .875 from the free throw line (119 of 136).

She finished her career as IWU's fifth leading scorer (1,408 points), 14th best rebounder (580) and the all-time leader in free throws (414) and free throw percentage (.854, 414 of 485).

Wheaton's Hannah Frazier made the 10-player WBCA first team and was the only other CCIW player selected.


Farley-Sepe sets swim record: Kierston Farley-Sepe clocked an ISU record 25.02 seconds in the 50-yard butterfly preliminaries at Cleveland, Ohio where she finished 19th in the finals in 25.05.

In the NCAA Diving Zone Championships, ISU's Caroline Lecoeur posted a 3-meter score of 230.35 points. She will compete on the 1-meter board on Friday.

Spence up for CLASS award: ISU softball player Allison Spence has been named one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, which celebrates seniors who use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as community leaders.

Spence is a two-time all-Missouri Valley Conference selection and made the NFCA All-Mideast Region Third Team in 2017. A first baseman, Spence holds the single-season putout record (527) at ISU and ranks fourth for a career with 1,098.

Spence has been on ISU’s AFNI Honor Roll and the MVC Honor Roll every semester. She has a 3.49 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) as a business administration major. She also has assisted children in after-school programs, promoted youth sports, welcomed students back to school and served as a pen pal. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the season.



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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