Sports update March 7

Women’s basketball reaches Sweet 16

The No. 12 women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 with an incredible 56-52 upset of No. 4 Hope College in the second round of the NCAA tournament March 5 in Holland, Mich.

Senior Alex Hoover scored 16 points, and her sister, junior Dani Hoover, added 15, all of which came in the second half, to lead the Bears to an impressive second -round victory and their second-straight victory over a top 10 team.

Dani Hoover was especially clutch down the stretch, scoring eight of her 15 points over the final 2:30 of the game. Although the game was a rematch of the 2010 NCAA Division III national championship game, which Washington University won 65-59 last March in Bloomington, Ill., Hope was on its home court. The Flying Dutch had won 76 consecutive games and were 95-1 all-time at DeVos prior to Saturday night’s loss.

WUSTL advances to the sectional semifinals for the third straight season and the 14th time in school history. The Bears also increased their NCAA Division III postseason record win total to 57 and are now 57-18 all-time in postseason play.

Alex Hoover and senior Kathryn Berger both scored 11 points in Washington University’s 71-55 opening round victory over previously unbeaten No. 10 Denison University March 4.

The Bears (22-5) will travel to the campus of Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., for the sectional round March 11-12.

WUSTL will take on No. 1 Thomas More in the sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday, March 11. The winner will advance to play either the University of Chicago or Greensboro College Saturday, March 12, with a berth to the Division III Final Four on the line.

Softball wins ‘Spring Fling’ tournament in Arkansas

The No. 19 softball team captured the Warrior Spring Fling in Conway, Ark., March 6 with a 7-6 eight-inning win over host Hendrix College.

Freshman Maggie Mullen scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning on a wild pitch. WUSTL recorded 10 hits in the championship game, and scored 38 runs on 43 hits in the four-game tournament.

Senior Claire Voris went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the championship game, while junior Alyssa Abramoski was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Sophomore Kathy Peter (2-0) picked up the win on the mound, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs. She also struck out five in eight innings pitched.

In round robin play March 5, WUSTL defeated MacMurray College (9-0) and the University of Dallas (21-6). The Bears suffered a 3-1 defeat to Hendrix in the final round robin game Sunday.

WUSTL (3-2-1) begins a six-day, 10-game road trip to Florida. The Bears open University Athletic Association play on Thursday, March 10, against No. 20 Emory University in Altamonte Springs, Fla. First pitch is schedule for 12:30 p.m. (ET).

Women’s tennis defeats Kalamazoo 8-1

The No. 16 women’s tennis team improved to 3-1 overall following an 8-1 victory over Kalamazoo College March 5, at the Kings Point Racquet Club in Belleville, Ill.

The Bears swept three doubles matches before moving on to take five of the six singles contests in straight sets. Four student-athletes picked up victories in singles and doubles action in the win.

The match was the final warm-up before the Bears embark on a Spring Break trip to Orlando, Fla. WUSTL will compete in six matches over five days, including two contests against NCAA Central Region foes and a pair of matches against NCAA Division I programs.

Competition begins Sunday, March 13, when the Bears face the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Orlando, Fla.

Indoor track team shines at North Central

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams both had school record-breaking and NCAA automatic qualifying performances at the North Central College Last Chance Qualifier March 4 in Naperville, Ill.

Senior Chris Malaya was involved in two strong performances. Malaya easily surpassed the WUSTL record in the 400-meter dash and automatically qualified for this week’s NCAA championship meet in the process. He submitted a time of 48.68 March 4, eclipsing the old WUSTL record of 49.45. Malaya’s 400-meter time ranks fifth in Division III through Friday’s competition.

The women’s distance medley relay team turned in not only the best performance in school history, but also the fastest run in Division III so far this year. Senior Jessica Londeree, freshman Shannon Howell, junior Erica Jackey and junior Liz Phillips posted a time of 11:48.98, which broke the old school record of 11:51.31 and ranks first in Division III in 2011.

Baseball goes 2-3 on homestand

The baseball team played five home games last week and posted a 2-3 overall record. After defeating Greenville College 8-3 March 1, the Bears split a doubleheader with Westminster College March 2.

Westminster won game one, 3-1, while WUSTL won the nightcap, 2-0. Sophomore Taylor Berman tossed a shutout in the game two victory for the Bears. Berman, who was making his first career appearance in a WUSTL uniform, allowed one hit and three base runners while striking out eight in the complete-game victory.

The Bears ended the week by getting swept against No. 5 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater March 3 and 4. UW-Whitewater won game one, 11-1, and posted a 16-10 victory in game two.

The Bears begin a six-game Spring Break road trip to Florida Thursday, March 10, through Monday, March 14, with games against University Athletic Association foes Case Western University, Brandeis University, University of Rochester and Emory University.