Busy slate on tap for Wildcat teams
The winter sports season continues in postseason mode and the spring sports season gets closer to being completely underway for Baker University's Wildcats this week.
The womens basketball team will play in the week's biggest game when it hosts Lindenwood University at 7 p.m. tonight in the Collins Center for the first round of the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament. Boosted by a late season surge in which they won 11 of their final 13 games, the Wildcats are seeded third. Because the game is part of the conference tournament, admission is $2 for students and $5 for adults.
Some members of the indoor track and field team that have qualified for the NAIA National Championships will compete in the Nebraska Wesleyan Open Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. Two women and three men have qualified. The national championships will be March 4-6 in Johnson City, Tenn., and the outdoor season will begin March 27.
Those waiting to see the seven new players on the softball roster in action will have to wait a little longer. The Wildcats and Allen County Community College canceled the scrimmage scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Baldwin City. Baker's first competition will be in the MidAmerica Nazarene University Tournament Friday and Saturday in Olathe.
The baseball team opened its season with a win over NCAA Div. II's Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., on Saturday. The Wildcats host Bethany College for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Baker hosts two more doubleheaders over the weekend, challenging Newman University at 1 p.m. Saturday and William Woods University at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The mens tennis team challenged the University of Missouri-Kansas City Friday, but fell 5-1. The next scheduled tennis match will be March 6, when both the mens and womens teams host Newman University.
Women's Basketball - First round of conference tournament vs. Lindenwood, 7 p.m. at home
Softball - MidAmerica Nazarene Tournament in Olathe, Day 1 of 2, times TBA
Indoor Track - Nebraska Wesleyan Open in Lincoln, Neb.
Softball - MidAmerica Nazarene Tournament in Olathe, Day 2 of 2, times TBA
Baseball - Newman, 1 p.m. at home (doubleheader)
Baseball - William Woods, 1 p.m. at home (doubleheader)
RANDLE LEADS HIGHLIGHTS AT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Baker indoor track and field teams scored 40 points apiece at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships Friday and Saturday in Lamoni, Iowa, capped off by a surprising freshman performance.
The mens team placed sixth, just a single point behind Central Methodist College and 13 points from tying host Graceland University. The Wildcats earned one-quarter of their 40 points in the final event of the meet when freshman Brent Randle of Dallas upset a top-notch field for a victory in the triple jump. Before the meet, Lindenwood University had athletes ranked first, second and fifth in the nation and Randle was seeded 11th. Randle jumped 49-feet, 10.5-inches to win, shattering his personal record of 47-feet and the school record of 47-05.75 set by Joel Thornton in 1995.
Junior Nick Codutti of Springfield, Mo., and freshman Marty Johnston of Leawood also medaled. Codutti placed second in the shot put with a toss of 48-06.5 and provisionally qualified for the NAIA National Championships March 4-6 in Johnson City, Tenn. Johnston tied for second and had to be declared third by a panel of judges to conclude a physical 1,000-meter race with a time of 2:36.60, fewer than two seconds away from qualifying.
Sophomore Brett Weir ran a 7.82 to place fourth in the 55-meter hurdles and was one-hundredth of a second from tying the school record. He also placed sixth in the pentathlon with a new personal record of 3,146 points.
"I was very pleased with how the mens team performed," head coach Rob Mallinder said. "It's unfortunate that we were 13 points from third place and only placed sixth. However, we historically do a lot better outdoors and this meet was a good platform for outdoor season."
The womens team placed fifth, with a trio of seniors leading the way. Emma Carter of Overland Park placed second in the mile racewalk with a time of 9:01.42 and automatically qualified for nationals. Becki Cargo of Pamona placed third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:28.58 in her first conference championship meet. Angie Heffner of Baldwin City tied for third in the pole vault by clearing 10-feet, and provisionally qualified for nationals.
Sophomore Blair Spencer of Alma tied with Carter for most team points scored by placing fourth in both the mile (5:33.22) and 1,000-meter run (3:17.11) for eight points.
"The women's team really maximized its scoring potential and were well deserving of a fifth place finish," Mallinder said.
Women's All-Conference Performances
Second Mile Racewalk 9:01.42 Emma Carter Senior from Overland Park
Third 800m 2:28.58 Becki Cargo Senior from Pamona
Third Pole Vault 10' Angie Heffner Senior from Baldwin City
Fourth Mile 5:33.22 Blair Spencer Sophomore from Alma
Fourth 1,000m 3:17.11 Spencer
Fifth Mile Racewalk 11:52.16 Cara Langston Sophomore from Tonganoxie
Sixth 400m 1:03.76 Jana Collins Junior from Highland
Fourth 3,200-meter relay 10:18.10 Cargo, Collins, Spencer
Jessica Barrand Sophomore from Topeka
Fourth 1,600-meter relay 4:31.46 Heffner
LaTasha Roberts Freshman from Louisburg
Lori Seidl Freshman from Benton
Arielle Wilson Junior from Oklahoma City
Fifth Distance Medley 15:09.81 Cargo, Collins, Langston
Kerry Fitzgerald Junior from Olathe
Men's All-Conference Performances
First Triple Jump 49-10.5 Brent Randle Freshman from Dallas
Second Shot Put 48-06.5 Nick Codutti Junior from Springfield, Mo.
Third 1,000-meter 2:36.60 Marty Johnston Freshman from Leawood
Fourth 5,000-meter 15:47.42 Matt Hallauer Senior from Holton
Fourth 55-meter hurdles 7.82 Brett Weir Sophomore from Topeka
Fourth Shot Put 46-06 Ryan Gardner Freshman from Chillicothe, Mo.
Sixth Pentathlon 3,146 points Weir
Fifth Distance Medley 11:05.80 Hallauer, Johnston
Zach Pope Freshman from Olathe
Aaron Jewell Junior from Wellsville
Sixth 3,200-meter relay 8:34.23 Johnston, Pope, Jewell
Jimmy Gillispie Senior from Baldwin City
BASEBALL TEAM WINS SEASON-OPENER
The Baker University baseball team started the season with a victory followed by two close defeats in doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday versus Cameron University in Lawton, Okla.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 7-6 win Saturday in their season opener. Senior Jerod Rigdon of Caney hit a home run, scored twice and knocked in two runs to lead the offense. Senior Jason Patty of El Dorado hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score junior Jay Small of Shawnee for the winning run. Freshman Randy Sutcliffe of Lee's Summit, Mo., picked up the win by allowing no hits and no runs in the sixth inning, and Patty also pitched a shutout in the seventh inning for the save. Baker fell 8-6 in the second half of the doubleheader despite senior Wade Evans of Emporia hitting two doubles and a home run in three at bats, with three runs and three RBIs.
Baker was defeated 4-3 in another close game Sunday. Patty and Evans hit home runs and Rigdon hit a double to score freshman pinch runner Stephen Durick of Overland Park from second base. Evans and sophomore Leon Davenport of Grandview, Mo., scored in the second part of the doubleheader, a 16-2 loss.
HENDERSON LEADS CATS AGAINST UMKC
Senior John Henderson of Oklahoma City won No. 1 singles and nearly won No. 1 doubles as Baker fell 5-1 to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Friday
Henderson lost the first set 7-6, but fought back with 6-1 and 7-5 victories. Henderson and junior John Richey of Wichita lost No. 1 doubles 8-6.
PONTIOUS TALLIES DOUBLE-DOUBLE IN SEASON FINALE
Junior center Jessica Pontious of Enid, Okla., led the Baker University Wildcats to a 68-54 victory over Culver-Stockton College Saturday in Baldwin City to conclude the regular season.
Pontious scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and also snagged four steals in a reserve role as Baker celebrated Senior Night and Queen of Courts.
Senior Cory Shoaf of Bonner Springs scored 14 points and junior Erin Robinson of Topeka had seven points and five assists with no turnovers.
The game marked Baker's fifth consecutive victory and 15th conference victory, both tying school records. The Wildcats have won 11 of 13 games dating back to Jan. 17 and received the third seed in the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament. Baker will host sixth seed Lindenwood University at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Collins Center. The Wildcats concluded the scheduled season with 20 wins and 11 losses, and are one win from tying the school record for wins in a season.
Seniors Shoaf, Amber Koblitz of Paola and Melissa Cox of Thayer were honored at the game. Shoaf is seventh on the All-Time Career Scorers List in womens basketball with 930 points and can pass Kara Hess in sixth place with 11 more points. She is having one of the finest long-range shooting seasons in school history with a 42.2-percent success rate from outside the arc. Koblitz, like Shoaf, has been with the team for the past four years as the program has evolved into a conference power. She is 19th on the career scorers list. Cox is a junior college transfer and has started games in each of her years.
Heart of America Athletic Conference coaches selected the all-conference teams Sunday. Pontious and Robinson were named to the second team and Shoaf received honorable mention. Pontious was also named Newcomer of the Year.
For the second time in three days, the Wildcats emptied their bench and had four players score in double figures as Baker defeated Rockhurst University 85-48 Feb. 18 in Kansas City, Mo. Reserve point guard Dana Schmidt, a sophomore from Topeka, led the Wildcats with 17 points and three steals in 18 minutes on just five field goal attempts. Schmidt missed only one shot, made two 3-pointers, and made all seven of her free throw attempts. Sophomore Ashley Ohlman of Emporia added 15 points with two 3-pointers, Pontious had 14 points and Koblitz scored 10. Robinson led the team with seven assists and six rebounds.
MCDONNELL CAPS CAREER WITH 21-POINT GAME
Senior point guard Brandon McDonnell of Topeka finished his career with a season-high 21 points with five assists in front of a home crowd on Senior Night as Baker University fell to Culver-Stockton 72-68 Saturday.
Senior forward Ryan Tenbrink of Meridan added 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Freshman guard Darin Redeker of Olpe scored 12 points.
McDonnell, Tenbrink, forward Luke Harris of Dodge City and center Pedro Dos Santos of Goainnia, Brazil were honored at the game, their final after four years with the program. McDonnell led the Wildcats in assists and steals this season, and was third in the conference in assists with 5.03 per game. Tenbrink finished second only to Dos Santos in rebounding. Dos Santos also led the Wildcats in blocked shots with nearly three per game and was second in the conference in that category. Harris was third on the team in rebounding and fourth in steals.
The Wildcats finished with eight wins and 24 losses and placed ninth in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, one team away from playing in the conference tournament.