Valparaiso sophomores dominate Horizon softball
Three Valparaiso sophomores have been named to the Horizon League pre-season allconference first team, including Lake Central grad Kaitlyn Ranieri.
Ranieri batted .314 in her rookie year and was second in the league in hits and walks to help the Crusaders notch their second title in a row.
Record-setting Taylor Weissenhoffer was named the preseason pitcher of the year. The 21-game winner led the Horizon with a school record 234 strikeoutsand with six saves.
Catcher Janelle Bouchard, who topped the league with 53 RBIs, was also named. She batted .323 and was theHorizon tournament MVP.
Pitcher Sierra Pico was chosen to the second team.Also a sophomore, she posted an 1110 record. The Crusaders are scheduled to open their season Friday in the Campbell (N.C.) Hampton Inn Invitational.
Northern Illinois’ Amanda Corral (Hobart) leads the Huskies in the classroom as well as on the court. The junior guard was recently named to the Academic All-District V team with a 4.0 GPA in pre-physical therapy. She is the school’s first honoree since 1982.
“Amanda has that same tenacity when it comes to her academics,” coach Kathi Bennett said.
Corral tops the Huskies in scoring with a 14.6 average. She also averages 4.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Manchester’s Matt Brown (Hobart) scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in a loss to Franklin. The sophomore forward is shooting a team-best 93.3 percent (28 of 30) from the free throw line. He is averaging 6.5 points.
Alec Houpt’s (Chesterton) layupand steal capped a Rose- Hulman rally from a sevenpoint deficit for a 58-54 victory over Defiance in a Heartland Conference battle of firstplace teams.
Houpt scored 10 points and hauled in a team-high rebounds for the Engineers, who improved their record to 14-4, 10-2.
IU-South Bend boosted its record to 15-8 with an overtime victory against Judson. Emily Strilich (Boone Grove) is scoring at a 13-point pace and averaging 7.7 rebounds.
The senior forward’s 87.3 free throw percentage tops the Titan starters.
Austin Richie’s (Lowell) basket with seven seconds left sealed Western Michigan’s 75-72 Mid-American Conference victory over Central Michigan. The 6-3 junior finished with eight points and three rebounds.
The Broncs hiked their record to 12-8, 5-3.
Valparaiso University will play a 12-game schedule for the frist time in history announced new coach Dave Cecchini. The Crusaders open at Western Illinois on Aug. 28. Their home opener comes against St Joseph’s on Sept.6.
They make their PFL debut on Sept. 27 at Campbell, which has lost three straight games to the Crusaders.
Benedictine’s (Ill.) Trent Altieri (Highland) was named to the Northern Athletics all- conference team. The senior linebacker averaged seven tackles for the Eagles, who posted a 7-3 record.
Defensive tackle Matt Neal (Merrillville) appeared in three games for the Idaho Vandals. He is a 6-3, 260-pound sophomore.
Wabash’s Derek De St. Jean (St. John/Hanover Central) won the shot put (48 feet, 83/4 inches) and the weight throw (58-83/4) at the Rose-Hulman Invitational.