The Viking Report (April 5)
April 5, 2010
Contact: Brian McCann
Home Events Dominate Athletic Schedule. . .
The busiest home weekend of the spring lies ahead for the Vikings this week as four of the five spring sports in action will stay in Northeast Ohio to each host multiple events.
The softball team (21-8, 2-1), which is in third place in the Horizon League, will play six league games at Viking Field. CSU will host Detroit for three games, playing a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday (April 6) and a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday (April 7). Wright State then visits Cleveland for a three-game series over the weekend, starting with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday (April 10) and a single game at 12:00 noon on Sunday (April 11).
The baseball team has five home games ahead. The Vikings will play mid-week contests against Baldwin-Wallace at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday (April 6) and against Toledo at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday (April 7) before facing Wright State for a three-game series over the weekend. The two teams will play a single game on Friday (April 9) at 4:00 p.m. followed by a 12:00 noon twinbill on Saturday (April 10). All four games will be played at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
Both tennis teams are at home as well. Wright State will be in town on Saturday (April 10), facing the women's team at 10:00 a.m. and the men's team at 2:00 p.m. Butler is the opponent on Sunday (April 11), playing the women at 10:00 a.m. and the men at 2:00 p.m. Weather permitting, the matches will be played at the Malaga Tennis Center on campus instead of the River Oaks Indoor Facility in Rocky River. Check CSUVikings.com on the day of the contests for match location.
The only team that will be traveling this week is women's golf, which will be in Farmville, Va. to take part in the Longwood Lady Invite on Monday-Tuesday (April 5-6).
Softball To Play Three-Game Series With Both Detroit & Wright State
The Viking softball team remains at home this week when they close a nine-game home swing with a pair of Horizon League three-game series. CSU hosts Detroit on Tues.-Wed., April 6-7, playing a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday and a single game at 1:00 p.m. the following day. Wright State visits over the weekend, playing a twinbill at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and a single game on Sunday (April 11) at 12:00 noon.
After playing their first 26 games away from home, CSU opened its home schedule last week by taking two of three games from defending league champion UIC to improve to 21-8 on the year and 2-1 in league play, marking the ninth straight season that CSU has won 20 games or more. The Vikings dropped the first game, 12-0, but bounced back to win 4-3 in the nightcap on Friday and 6-1 on Saturday.
"It was good to finally get to play at home last week and although we had some problems in the first game, we bounced back pretty well and played some good softball in the final two games," CSU head coach Angie Nicholson said. "I think we can now build on this past weekend and continue to do some good things in the league race."
Freshman Tess Sito, who entered the week ranking fourth nationally in batting average, stood out in the circle for CSU, going 1-0 with a 2.15 ERA in 13 innings. She allowed three runs in six innings in the 4-3 win on Friday and came back to throw a complete game six-hitter in the win on Saturday.
The long ball was the key for CSU during the weekend. Junior Amy Powell won the nightcap on Saturday with a two-out walkoff HR in the seventh inning while Sito hit her team-leading 11th of the season (second highest total in CSU history). On Saturday, senior Lia Gordon hit her fourth HR of the year, allowing her to tie the school career mark with her 21st long ball.
Baseball To Play Five More Games At Home
The Vikings will return to All Pro Freight Stadium this week, hosting Baldwin-Wallace on Tuesday (April 6) and Toledo on Wednesday (April 7) with both games beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Vikings will host Wright State in their first league series at home, beginning with a 4:00 p.m. game on Friday (April 9) and a doubleheader on Saturday (April 10) at 12:00 noon.
"We got off to a rough start in league play last weekend at Milwaukee, and we just need to get back on the field and start playing how we can play and see how we do on our home field," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "Wright State will be a tough team to face, but if we get our offense and pitching working together we will have a good shot at posting some wins this weekend."
This past week CSU went 1-3, winning a 12-10 decision at Ohio University (March 30) and dropping a three-game series at Milwaukee (April 2-3) to open the Horizon League schedule. Bob Suitca went eight-for-18 (.444) over the week, with seven RBI, four runs, four doubles and one home run. Suitca now leads the team with five homers and seven doubles.
Nate Blankemeyer (1-0) picked up his first win of the season at Ohio (3/30), pitching 5 2/3 innings allowing five funs on seven hits, while Jimmy Cowhy recorded his first save of the season, pitching one inning with no hits.
Women's Tennis To Host Wright State & Butler
Cleveland State concludes its home schedule when the Vikings host a pair of Horizon League matches this weekend, beginning with a 10:00 a.m. contest against Wright State on Saturday (April 10). CSU will then host Butler at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 11. The matches will be played at the Malaga Tennis Center on the campus of CSU if weather permits, or at River Oaks Racquet Club if there is inclement weather.
"This is a huge weekend for us if we want to maintain our position as one of the top three teams in the league," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We have been playing some of our best tennis over the last few weeks and know that we have two tough matches this weekend against good, quality teams. We have to continue to play with a high level of intensity and stay focused each and every point."
The Vikings enter the week at 12-11 overall and 4-1 in league play after splitting a pair of road matches last weekend. CSU won at Valparaiso, 7-0, on Saturday (April 4) before having its five-match win streak snapped at UIC on Sunday, April 5, with a 6-1 loss.
CSU swept the doubles matches against Valpo and then lost just seven games in winning all six singles contests. Mengdi Liu was the lone Viking to win at UIC, claiming a three-set win at No. 6 singles.
The No. 1 doubles team of Charlotte Gibbons and Catrine Bjerrehus extended their win streak to 11 with a win at Valparaiso before having the streak snapped against UIC. Freshman Maria Lazaris continues to lead the team with 18 singles wins, while Gibbons is close behind with 16.
Wright State & Butler Up Next For Men's Tennis
The Cleveland State men's tennis team continues its busy stretch of tennis with three home matches this weekend, beginning with a 2:00 p.m. contest against Wright State on Saturday, April 10. CSU will also host Butler at 2:00 p.m. and Case Western at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday (April 11).
"We are continuing to play at a high level and with a lot of confidence," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Each player still has some things to work on and improve, but I feel we are headed in the right direction to accomplish the goals we have laid out as a team."
CSU improved to 13-6 overall and remained perfect in the Horizon League (4-0) with two road wins last weekend. The Vikings won at Valparaiso, 7-0, on Saturday, April 3, before knocking off UIC, 5-2, on Sunday (April 4) in a rematch of last year's Horizon League Championship match. The two wins extended CSU's streak of consecutive wins over league foes to 20.
The Vikings won all three doubles matches against Valpo and swept the six singles contests in straight sets. CSU also took the doubles points at UIC, winning two of the three matches, while Yannick Goossens (No. 2), Ryan Hamning (No. 3), Rob Fox (No. 4) and Chris Klepatz (No. 5) all won their singles matches.
Phil Orno continues to lead the team with 24 singles wins and is two wins shy of reaching 100 for his career. Rob Fox is close behind with 23 wins, while Goossens has won 20. Orno and Hamning lead the team in doubles, posting a 19-6 mark.
Women's Golf Is In Virginia For Tina Barrett Invitational
Following a week out of competitive action, the Cleveland State women's golf team returns to action when the Vikings compete at the 54 hole Tina Barrett Invitational hosted by Longwood on Monday and Tuesday (April 5-6) at the par 72, 6,067-yard Manor Resort G.C. The nine team field will play 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 on Tuesday.
"I don't think we have reached our full potential as a team yet, but we are continuing to grow and mature as a team," head coach Steve Weir said. "We have continued to work hard as a team and this is a very important tournament for us as its our final chance to play 54 holes before the league championship at the end of the month."
The Vikings were last in action on March 23 when CSU played at the rain shortened Butler Spring Invitational at the par-72, 5,445 yard Prestwick C.C. The tournament was originally scheduled to be 36 holes, but was shortened to 18 when rain washed out the first day of competition.
Men's Golf Not In Action This Week After Strong Showing In Indiana
The Cleveland State men's golf team will be out of action until April 16-17 when the Vikings compete at the 54 hole Detroit Titan Invitational at the par-72, 6,783 yard Golden Fox G.C. It will be CSU's final tournament before the Horizon League Championship at the end of the month.
"I think we are starting to put things together and play like the team I know we are capable of playing," head coach Steve Weir said. "We are going to use this week off to continue to improve and work on some things that will make us a better team that will hopefully allow us to peak at the right time of the year."
The Vikings placed 10th of 19 teams at the 54 hole adidas Indiana Invitational on Saturday and Sunday (April 3-4) at the par 71, 6,813-yard IU Championship G.C. CSU opened the tournament with rounds of 303 and 306 on Saturday before posting a 290 on Sunday.
Viking High Fives
Maria Lazaris: The women's tennis freshman, who is playing at No. 2 singles, continues to lead the team with 18 singles wins.
Men's Tennis: The squad has dominated the Horizon League over the last three years with Sunday's win at UIC being its 20th consecutive victory against a league opponent.
Lia Gordon: The softball senior tied Amy Jauert's record with her 21st career home run in Saturday's win over UIC.
The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings
April 5 (Monday)
April 6 (Tuesday)
Softball hosts Detroit (DH)
Women's Golf Longwood Lady Invite
April 7 (Wednesday)
Baseball hosts Toledo
April 9 (Friday)
April 10 (Saturday)
Baseball hosts Wright State (DH)
Softball hosts Wright State (DH)
Men's Tennis hosts Wright State
April 11 (Sunday)
Softball hosts Wright State
Men's Tennis hosts Butler