Sports update April 4

Women’s golf wins Illinois College Invitational

The No. 5 ranked women’s golf team won its second team title of the year, capturing top honors at the Illinois College Spring Invitational April 2-3 in Jacksonville, Ill.

WUSTL led the two-day tournament from start to finish, completing the 36 holes of play with a 686 (333-353). The Bears finished 12 strokes ahead of No. 11 ranked Illinois Wesleyan (342-356, 698) and 32 strokes in front of No. 12 ranked North Central College (348-370, 718).

WUSTL was paced by sophomore Hannah Buck and freshman Andrea Hibbert, who tied for medalist honors with a two-day score of 165 (80-85). The victory for Buck was the seventh of her career, while Hibbert picked up the first individual title in her rookie season.

Freshman Allyson Chee tied for seventh place with a 177 (85-92), while sophomore Melanie Walsh tied for 12th with a 181 (90-91). Freshman Marcy Koonce rounded out the Bears lineup with a 182 (88-94), good for 14th place.

The team returns to action Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10, with 36 holes at the DePauw University Invitational in Danville, Ind.

Baseball on eight-game winning streak

The baseball team went 6-0 last week to stretch its current winning streak to eight games. The Bears are now 19-11 and have won 13 of their last 15 games.

WUSTL opened the week with an 8-7 extra-inning win at Millikin University. Junior Brandon Rogalski hit the game-winning RBI in the top of the 11th and pitched the final two innings to pick up the win against Millikin.

The team went on to take three straight from Greenville College and needed dramatic comebacks in two games to sweep a doubleheader April 2. Down to their last out in game one at Greenville, WUSTL scored three times to tie the game 7-7 and force extra-innings, scoring again in the ninth to win 8-7.

The Bears trailed 9-4 in game two but scored six runs over the final two innings, highlighted by a two-run Rogalski home run in the seventh to come away with a 12-10 win.

The next day, April 3, the team had another doubleheader sweep of Knox College with WUSTL winning 11-10 and 25-5. Senior Ben Ingell was 8-for-10 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in the two games, and the 25 runs scored in the second game was the most in a single contest for the university baseball team since March 27, 1991.

The team returns to action Tuesday, April 5, for a single game at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., at 3:30 p.m.

Softball wins three-of-four in Iowa

The No. 24 softball team won three of four games at the Hy-Vee Classic April 1-2, at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

WUSTL split a pair of games with Simpson College (won, 12-8) and No. 9 Central College (lost, 2-3) April 1 before sweeping a doubleheader with host Grinnell, 25-1 and 20-5 April 2.

Head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté picked up career win number 200 and became WUSTL’s all-time wins leader with the game one victory against Grinnell. Pineda-Boutté is 180-59-1 (.750) in six seasons on the Danforth Campus, and 201-85-1 (.702) in seven seasons as a collegiate softball coach. She passed former head coach Cindy Zelinsky (178-68, 2000-05) as Bears’ all-time wins leader.

The Bears had a school-record 25 runs on 24 hits in the game one victory. Sophomore Sondra Polonsky went 7-for-8 with seven RBIs in the doubleheader sweep, upping her average to .471.

WUSTL (19-6-1) returns to action at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, as the Bears host a doubleheader against NCAA Division II Maryville University.

Men’s track team has six NCAA qualifiers

The men’s outdoor track & field team had six student athletes meet NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship qualifying standards as the two-day Washington University Invitational drew to a close April 2. The men’s team compiled a score of 104 points to finish second out of 24 schools, while the women’s team finished fourth in a field of 24 with 74 points.

Senior Ben Harmon became an automatic qualifier in the decathlon with a third-place finish at the meet. Harmon, who is a two-time All-American in the decathlon, has qualified to compete in the grueling event at the NCAA championships for the fourth year in a row.

The Bears were dominant in the men’s 10,000-meter run April 1 with three student-athletes meeting NCAA provisional qualifying standards and senior Dave Spandorfer breaking the school record in the process.

Spandorfer won the 10,000 with a school-record breaking time of 30:10.47, which fell just 0.47 shy of the NCAA automatic qualifying standard. Junior Michael Burnstein was the runner-up in the 10,000 finishing 33 seconds behind Spandorfer for an NCAA provisional finish of 30:43.32, and junior Tucker Hartley came in third with a provisional time of 30:55.00.

Senior Alden Black and junior Dan Davis were also provisional NCAA qualifiers. Black won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:19.90. Davis was the runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.61, just 0.20 short of the automatic qualifying mark.

Both the men’s and women’s teams return to action at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 9, for the Washington University Select Meet.

Women’s tennis travels to San Antonio

The No. 17 women’s tennis team went 2-1 during a weekend road trip to San Antonio, Texas. The Bears were upset by No. 30 Trinity University April 1, but bounced back to beat No. 26 University of Texas-Tyler, 7-2, and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 8-1.

The Bears won two of three doubles matches in the win over Texas-Tyler, with all three contests decided by a super tiebreaker to break an 8-8 tie. The Bears swept doubles against Mary Hardin-Baylor and won five of the six singles matches in straight sets.

Freshman Theresa Petraskova was 5-1 overall playing at second doubles and second or third singles. She was 2-1 in doubles matches but 3-0 in singles play.

WUSTL (10-3) returns to action for the Midwest Invitational Tournament April 8-9 in Madison, Wis.

Men’s tennis suffers first home loss to Chicago

The No. 5 men’s tennis team suffered its first home loss of the season and third in the last seven years after a 5-4 defeat to No. 15 University of Chicago April 2. The Bears entered the match winning 41 of their last 42 home matches, and are now 84-8 (.924) all-time at home under 10th-year head coach Roger Follmer.

Chicago (12-3) set the tone from the start of the match, by winning all three doubles matches. That was the first time this season WUSTL has been down 3-0 entering singles play.

The Bears rallied back with straight-set singles victories by senior Max Woods (No. 2, 6-3, 6-0) and sophomore Kareem Farah (No. 5, 6-4, 6-4) to trim the lead to 4-3. Troy Brinker sealed the victory for Chicago with a 6-3, 6-7 (7-4) win over sophomore Adam Putterman at No. 3 singles.

Senior Isaac Stein (No. 1, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0) and sophomore Gary Parizher (No. 4, 3-6, 6-0, 6-0) added three-set victories for the Bears, but it was not enough.

WUSTL (8-4) has five days off before returning to action at 2 p.m. Friday, April 8, against NAIA Lindenwood University at the Tao Tennis Center.

WUSTL third in Division III Directors’ Cup standings

The WUSTL Department of Athletics dropped to third place in the 2010-11 Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings, as announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Williams College, a 14-time Directors’ Cup champion, holds the lead at the conclusion of the winter season with 719.50 points, while Middlebury College is second with 664 points. Washington University is third with 649.50 points, while Calvin College (599.75) and Amherst College (587) round out the top five.

After sitting in first place following the fall season, WUSTL recorded 313.50 points in the winter after five teams competed in NCAA postseason play. The women’s basketball team highlighted the winter season for the Bears, picking up a second-place finish after making its Division III record 10th Final Four Appearance.

Senior Ben Harmon’s fourth-place finish in the pentathlon and eighth-place finish in the long jump highlighted the men’s indoor track and field team’s school record eighth-place finish at the national meet.

WUSTL also picked up a 16th place finish in men’s swimming and diving, 24th in women’s swimming and diving, and 27th in women’s indoor track and field. The Bears’ winter total of 313.50 points was seventh highest in Division III.

WUSTL has recorded eight straight top 10 finishes in the Directors’ Cup: 2009-10 (third), 2008-09 (fourth), 2007-08 (second), 2006-07 (fifth), 2005-06 (seventh), 2004-05 (third), 2003-04 (ninth), 2002-03 (fifth).