The Viking Report (May 12)
May 12, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
Softball & Golf Compete In The NCAA Championships. . .
And then there were three.
With commencement slated for Saturday (May 16), the athletic year at Cleveland State University is down to just three teams with two of them competing at the highest of levels this week. . . the NCAA Championships.
The softball team, which went 4-1 last week to win the Horizon League Championship for the first time, will be in Ann Arbor, Mich. this weekend to play in the NCAA Softball Championship. The Vikings (35-16) will take on Notre Dame (41-15) on Friday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Alumni Field on the University of Michigan campus. A win would send CSU to a 12:00 noon meeting with the winner of the Michigan (41-10) vs. Miami (OH) (32-22) winner while a loss would send CSU to a 2:30 p.m. Saturday elimination game meeting with the loser of the other game.
For the third time in four years, the men's golf team will take part in the NCAA Championships when the Vikings travel to Bowling Green, Ky. to take part in the NCAA Central Regional. The 54-hole tourney will be played with single rounds each day from Thursday (May 14) through Saturday (May 16).
The baseball team will be in Fairborn, Ohio to close the regular season with a three-game series at Wright State. The Vikings meet the Raiders on Friday (May 15) for a single game at 6:00 p.m. and then come back on Saturday (May 16) for a 12:00 noon doubleheader. CSU enters the week in fifth place in the league standings.
Softball To Face Notre Dame In NCAA Championships. . .
For the first time since 1997, Cleveland State will take part in the NCAA Softball Championships when the Vikings travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take part in the four-team Michigan Regional. CSU (35-16), which defeated UIC, 4-2, on Sunday to win its first-ever Horizon League Championship, will take on Big East champion Notre Dame (41-15) at 4:30 p.m. with host Michigan (41-10) taking on Miami (OH) at 7:00 p.m.
Play continues on Saturday (May 16) with the two winners facing each other at 12:00 noon followed by an elimination game between the two first day losers at 2:30 p.m.
"I am so proud of this team and how they came together last week to win the league championship," CSU head coach Angie Nicholson said. "They were focused from the time we arrived in Pendleton until the very last out on just one thing, winning the title. We had a little setback on Saturday night, but we picked ourselves up and played our best game of the year on Sunday to take the trophy."
The Vikings were well rewarded last week. Second baseman Christa Coppus and pitcher Amanda Macenko were each named to the all-league team with Macenko garnering league pitcher of the year honors for the second straight season. Seniors Amanda Houchin, Shalyn Adams and Lia Gordon were each named to the all-league second team. Junior Mimi Mahon, who transferred to CSU from Rio Grande, was named to the all-newcomer squad.
Cleveland State was sharp in the tourney, routing Butler (7-0), Wright State (8-2) and regular season champion UIC (8-5) to advance to the championship game. An 8-4 loss to UIC on Saturday night in the double elimination tourney set up the classic Sunday showdown for the title with CSU out-lasting the Flames, 4-2 to claim the title.
Senior Natalie DeMatteis (9-17, .529, 3 runs, 8 RBI was named the tourney MVP with senior Amanda Houchin (9-17. .529, 4 HR, 5 runs, 9 RBI) being tabbed as the batting champion and Macenko (4-1, 2.27 ERA) the pitcher of the tourney. Danielle Young (8-17, .471, 5 runs, 3 RBI) joined the trio on the all-tourney team.
Baseball Ends Regular Season With Three Games At Wright State. . .
Cleveland State concludes the 2009 regular season when the Vikings travel to Wright State for a three-game series this weekend. The series begins with a single game on Friday, May 15, at 6:00 p.m. and is followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, May 16, at 1:00 p.m.
"We know what we have to do this weekend to stay out of the play-in game in the league tournament," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "We did what we had to do over the weekend and that was earn a split with the top two teams in the league. This team is capable of playing with anybody in the league and I think we showed that over the weekend with our performance. We just can't afford to make the mental mistakes because teams will make us pay."
The Vikings enter the week in fifth place in the league with a 10-12 mark, two games behind fourth place Valparaiso (12-10) and two games ahead of sixth place Youngstown State (10-14) in the loss column. If CSU wins at least one game at Wright State, the Vikings can finish no worse than fifth place, thus avoiding the single elimination play-in game in the league tournament on Tuesday, May 19.
CSU went 2-3 last week, falling at Pittsburgh on Wednesday (May 5) before splitting doubleheaders at home with Wright State and UIC over the weekend. The Vikings dropped the first game each day, but rallied to win the nightcap each time.
Josh Hungerman hit .524 (11-21) in the five games last week with six runs, four doubles, two homers and six RBI. He leads the Horizon League with 11 home runs and is second with 48 RBI, while also hitting .349.
Men's Golf Preps For NCAA Regional In Kentucky. . .
For the third time in four seasons, the Cleveland State men's golf team will compete in the NCAA Central Regional Championship as the Vikings were selected as the 13th seed in the tournament that will be played in Bowling Green, Ky. Western Kentucky will serve as the host school with the three-day, 54-hole event being played at the par-72, 7,400-yard Club at Old Stone from Thursday through Saturday, May 14-16.
"We are excited to once again have the opportunity to pay in the NCAA Regional," head coach Steve Weir said. "We had a great experience last season and I think that will only help us as we prepare to enter this year's tournament. We have to go out, stay mentally strong, play our games and just manage the course."
Last season, the Vikings placed 23rd of 27 teams at the regional and were 25th of 27 teams when they hosted the event at Sand Ridge G.C. in 2006.
The Vikings earned the Horizon League's automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regional by virtue of winning the league championship on April 28. CSU defeated runner-up Detroit by five shots. Senior Jake Scott earned medalist honors for the second straight season, carding rounds of 71-70-71 (212). He became the first player in program history to earn league Player of the Year honors.
Weir was selected as the Horizon League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Men's Tennis Falls In First Round Of NCAA Championships. . .
Cleveland State's season came to an end on Friday, May 8, when the Vikings fell at 11th-ranked Kentucky, 4-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Championship. It was the second straight season that the Vikings earned a berth in the NCAA tournament after winning the Horizon League Championship.
"We didn't get off to the best start in the doubles matches, but a few of our guys played their singles matches pretty evenly," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "It was a little frustrating to judge our progress in sets instead of team points, but in order to score the big upset, we needed all six guys to put pressure on Kentucky at the same time.
"There are a lot of positives that we can take away from the match and the season. We achieved what we set out to do and now it is time to push the program forward and set out sights even higher for next year. It was an honor to have the opportunity to represent our school and our conference on a national scale and hopefully we can do that again next season."
The Vikings concluded the season with a 20-6 mark, with the 20 wins setting a school record. Juniors Phil Orno and Ryan Hamning, who were both first team All-Horizon League selections, combined to form a potent No. 1 doubles team and finished the season at 21-3.
Viking High Fives
Natalie DeMatteis: The softball senior had never hit a homerun until blasting a pair of long balls to lead CSU to the tournament title and earn tourney MVP honors for herself.
Andrea Nagy: When the league pitcher of the year faced the league player of the year with two outs in the seventh on Sunday, it was Nagy who saved the day, making a diving stop on a line drive that was headed for the wall to end the game.
Nate Dick: The baseball freshman improved to 4-1 with a 2.42 ERA by scattering seven hits and giving up one run to defeat league leading UIC.
Yannick Goosens: The men's tennis freshman won his first set at No. 4 singles, 6-4, but didn't get to finish the match as CSU fell to 11th-ranked Kentucky in the opening round of the NCAA Championship.
The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings
May 13 (Wednesday)
May 14 (Thursday)
May 15 (Friday)
Baseball at Wright State
Men's Golf at NCAA Central Regional
b>May 16 (Saturday)
Softball vs. Michigan/Miami (OH) (NCAA Champ.)
Men's Golf at NCAA Central Regional
May 17 (Sunday)