Illinois State received solid pitching Saturday from Shannon Felde and Morgan Day while posting 6-4 and 1-0 Missouri Valley Conference softball victories over Valparaiso at Valparaiso, Ind.
Felde (3-8) allowed two earned runs, struck out five and walked none in the first game. She was backed by two hits and two RBIs each from Riley Hale and Allison Spence.
Day (9-15) struck out 11, walked one and allowed six hits in the game 2 shutout. Andrea Coursey drove in the Redbirds' run in the fourth inning. ISU concluded the regular season 17-32 overall and 11-10 in the Missouri Valley ahead of next week's MVC Tournament at Peoria. Valparaiso fell to 15-30 and 4-22.
Women's tennis drops NCAA tilt: The ISU women’s tennis team fell to No. 13 USC, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to end the season with a 20-7 record.
“We came out with the right attitude and played to win," said ISU coach Maja Kovacek. "It was a great learning experience, and I know these kids are motivated and excited to do whatever it takes to be in the same position next year.
"This whole year I’ve seen so much passion from our players, and we had great leadership in our seniors. Jana (Kustkova) and Veronika (Golanova) have been a big part of our growth as a program and it’s been a joy to work with them for four years.”
Women's lacrosse wins title: Riley Rooney scored four goals to lead the IWU women's lacrosse team past Chicago, 11-6, in the championship match of the CCIW Tournament at Tucci Stadium. Sam Biclack and Landry Elliott added two goals each for the Titans (17-2), who earned the league's automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
Dani Engelbreit had two assists for IWU, which led 8-2 at the half. Goalkeeper Janaye Godfrey had 14 saves. Chicago (15-3) was led by Lally Johnson's three goals.
Men's lacrosse NCAA bound: The IWU men's lacrosse team (16-1) won 25-18 over visiting Elmhurst (11-6) in the championship match of the CCIW Tournament to earn the league's automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
Will Rossi paced the Titans with nine goals while Rick Smith and Ty Collins added three apiece. Smith had a team-high three assists. Benigno Houser made eight saves in goal while Will Harris made 10.
Men's golf wins crown: Medalist Drew Pershing led the IWU men's golf team to its 11th straight CCIW title at the TPC at Deere Run in Silvis.
Pershing had a final-round 76 to end at 219, one shot ahead of teammates Andrew Abel and Ben Johnson with 73-220s. The Titans' Rob Wuethrich tied for fourth at 74-222. IWU's Skylar Le Vine was sixth with 74-223.
IWU's 54-hole 877 total was 23 shots better than runner-up Carthage. The Titans advance to the May 14-17 NCAA Tournament at Nicholasville, Ky.
Baseball splits pair: Quinn Gudaitis went the distance, striking out 11, to lead IWU's baseball team to a 6-2 CCIW victory over Carthage at Jack Horenberger Field. The Titans (21-17, 14-10) suffered a 6-0 loss in the second game of the doubleheader.
Gudaitis (6-1) allowed seven hits, one earned run and walked two. He was backed by two hits and one RBI each from Brandon Skopick and Dalton Fletcher. The Titans scored one in the seventh and four in the eighth to wipe out a 2-1 deficit.
IWU used 10 pitchers in the second game. Pasquale Atteo (3-0) went 6⅓ innings for Carthage (18-22, 8-16), allowing nine hits. Skopick had two hits for the Titans.
Women run 3rd, men 7th: The IWU women, led by double winner Jessica Franklin, scored 101 points to finish fourth in the CCIW Championships at Kenosha, Wis., where the IWU men tallied 39 in seventh.
Franklin, a freshman, won the heptathlon with 4,738 points and also captured the 400-meter hurdles in a school record 1:00.88. The previous record of 1:02.16 was set by Allie Boudreau in 2014.
The Titans' Jillian Cole took second in the 5,000 (18:27.96). IWU third-placers were Ayana Blair in the shot put (43-9) and Kelsey Wyman in the 400 hurdles (1:04.10). Franklin and Wyman ran on the runner-up 1,600 relay (3:58.98) with Becca Anderson and Davida Boron.
The top finish by the IWU men came in the 1,600 relay (3:24.88). North Central swept the men's (250) and women's (175) team titles.
Softball team sweeps: The Heartland softball team (30-11, 16-6) topped visiting Spoon River by scores of 11-0 and 9-0. Heartland's Abbey Walsh had two doubles and three RBIs in the opener while Alyssa Roll fired a one-hitter. In the nightcap, Maddie Mackey had two hits and four RBIs.
Shubert honored: Eureka College junior Sydney Shubert became the first Red Devil to be named the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Softball Player of the Year. A Heartland transfer, Shubert led the league in batting at .603.
She was named to the all-SLIAC first team along with teammates Morgan Ledbetter and Erin Smith. Earning second team honors were Morgan Osborn and Raelyn Payne. Adrianna Zeman made the third team.
Payne became the first Red Devil to receive the Newcomer of the Year Award, and Debbi Neff was named Coach of the Year for the second time in her seven years at Eureka.
Freshman Faith Bachtold was named to the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.