A Page -- April 20, 2012 -- PM Edition

Jessica Bolanz  Sarah Loyer 
Bolanz (L), Loyer (R)

Hiram Takes Two From Penn State-Behrend

ERIE, PA. -- The Hiram College softball team captured a two-game sweep against Penn State-Behrend in a non-conference doubleheader in Erie, Pa. The Terriers defeated the Behrend Lions, 10-2 in five innings and 8-3.

Following today's games, Hiram improves to 16-14 overall and PSU-Behrend falls to 19-13 overall for the season.

In game one, the two teams traded a pair of runs in the first inning with Hiram's scores coming on a two-RBI single by sophomore shortstop Jessica Bolanz (Randolph/Waterloo) with runners on second and third. The Terriers then broke the game open with a eight-run top of the third inning that included another RBI base hit by Bolanz and a two-RBI single by sophomore outfielder Sarah Loyer (Barrie, Ont./St. Joseph's) to make the score 10-2. The lead remained eight for Hiram after five innings of play putting the eight-run rule into effect to give the Terriers the overall victory.

Hiram tallied 12 hits in the game with senior All-Region outfielder Kristen Cooney (North Lewisburg/Triad) leading the way with three hits (three-of-four overall) to go along with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Three other players finished the game with two hits, including Loyer and Bolanz who both went two-of-three. Loyer also added two runs scored and a pair of RBI, while Bolanz scored a run and drove in three runs.

On the mound, senior pitcher Amethyst Brigham (Middlefield/Ohio State) had one of her strongest performances of the season going all five innings allowing two runs on four hits and struck out nine batters. She also claimed her fourth win of the season and is now 4-6 overall.

In the second game, PSU-Behrend tallied the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning to take the early lead. But Hiram took control scoring six runs in the second highlighted by a two-RBI single by freshman pitcher Taylor Charles (Akron/Ellet) to give the Terriers a 6-1 advantage. Hiram added a run in the sixth, but the Lions crossed the plate twice in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 7-3 ballgame. The Terriers tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with a RBI double by Charles to extend the lead back to five runs and went on to win by the final of 8-3.

The Hiram bats stayed hot in game two with 13 hits and freshman outfielder Miranda Wright (Richfield/Revere) posted a team-best three-of-four effort at the plate to go along with a run scored. Charles was one of four additional players to record a pair of hits and went two-of-four overall with a run scored and three RBI.

Junior pitcher Ashley Hinkle (Parma) started the game and pitched six innings to claim her second win of the season to improve to 2-2 overall. She allowed three runs on six hits and had one strikeout. Charles pitched the final inning in relief giving up no runs and no hits.

Hiram will look to extend its current winning streak when it travels to Oberlin for a North Coast Athletic Conference matchup against Oberlin College on Saturday, Apr. 21. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

B-W Softball Team Splits With NCAA Division II Ursuline

BEREA, OHIO --  The Baldwin-Wallace College softball team split a non-conference doubleheader today (Wednesday, April 11, 2012) with NCAA Division II Ursuline College at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds Field.  B-W won the first game 7-0 and  dropped the nightcap 3-2.

With the split, the Yellow Jackets are now 17-15 while the Arrows are now 9-21 overall.

In game one,  B-W jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as it scored the three runs on four hits.  Sophomore third baseman Lauren Feciuch (Kent/Field) singled up the middle with one out.  Sophomore pitcher Tabitha Murray (Mogadore/Field) doubled down the right field line and Feciuch advanced to third.  Feciuch and Murray scored on the RBI double by sophomore first baseman Kaity Mullen (Avon Lake).  Mullen advanced to second on a ground out and scored on the RBI single up the middle by sophomore leftfielder Ashley Elber (Huron/Edison).

The Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the bottom of the third when they plated one run on one hit to lead 4-0.  Junior rightfielder Alyssa Brown (Hudson) reached on a fielding error by the third baseman with two outs. Brown scored on the RBI double to right field by Elber.

B-W continued to score, 5-0, in the bottom of the fourth inning when it scored one run on two hits.  Sophomore centerfielder Nikki Peskura (Strongsville) led off the inning with a double to left center. After a ground out, freshman shortstop Brittany Lightel (Tallmadge) singled to right field and Peskura advanced to third.  Peskura scored on the RBI fielder’s choice by Feciuch.

The Yellow Jackets closed out the scoring, 7-0, in the bottom of the fifth inning as they plated two runs on three hits.

Mullen led off the inning with a single through the left side. Mullen scored on the RBI double to right center by Brown who advanced to third on the throw.  Sophomore outfielder Kate Carabin (Norwalk/St. Paul) pinch ran for Brown.  Elber was hit by a pitch. Carabin scored on the RBI single through the left side by senior second baseman Katie Finley (Vermilion).

The B-W offense scored seven runs on 10 hits and was led by Elber who went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI.  Mullen went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.  Brown, Feciuch and Finley each has a hit and an RBI.

On the mound, Murray picked up her sixth win of the season as she threw a complete three-hit game.  She recorded five strikeouts and allowed just one walk.

In game two,  Ursuline took the lead and scored its only runs of the game in the top of the fourth inning when it scored three runs on three hits.

The Yellow Jackets cut into the lead, 3-1, in the bottom half of the fourth inning as they scored one run on three hits.  Feciuch led off the inning as she belted a homerun to left center.

B-W inched a little closer in the bottom of the sixth inning as it scored its final run of the game on three hits.  Feciuch led off the inning with a doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a ground out. Feciuch would score on a ground out as she raced home on the throw to first.

The Yellow Jacket offense scored two runs on seven hits and was led by Feciuch who went 3-for-3 with a homerun, double, RBI and two runs scored.  Murray, Brown, Peskura and Elber all added a hit.

On the mound, sophomore Justina Wise (New London) suffered the loss as she pitched a complete game three hit loss.  Wise recorded five strikeouts with just one walk.

B-W is back in action this Saturday, April 21 when it travels to Ada to take on Ohio Athletic Conference leading Ohio Northern University in a doubleheader at 1:00 p.m.  

The Yellow Jackets will stay on the road when they travel to Wooster for a non-conference doubleheader with the College of Wooster on Monday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m.   

The final home doubleheader is on Wednesday, April 25 when B-W hosts cross-town rival John Carroll University on Seniors’ and Parents’ Day at 3:30 p.m.

Local Products Poggiali and Buckhannon Highlight Yeomen Football Class

Oberlin, Ohio - The Yeomen welcomed two exciting recruits to the class of 2012 this past Friday at Western Reserve High School for local players Lucas Poggiali and Blake Buckhannon.

Poggiali (6’2” 192, QB Sandusky, Ohio) and Buckhannon (5’10” 195, RB Collins, Ohio) have committed to Oberlin following highly decorated careers on and off the field.

Lucas and Blake 

Last fall Poggiali, a duel-threat quarterback out of Sandusky High School, capped off a stellar career that saw him throw for over 3,700 yards, with 800 yards rushing and 47 total touchdowns in just two seasons under center. As a sophomore outside linebacker, he recorded 48 tackles, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one interception in just six games. After leading Sandusky (sixth all-time in Ohio with 616 wins) to a second-straight playoff appearance last season, he was recognized as the Sandusky Register Player of the Year to go with First-Team All-NOL, First-Team All-NW District, Academic All-Ohio and Second-Team All-Ohio honors.

A 10-time scholar athlete, Poggiali captained the football and basketball teams before lighting up the track in the spring. Thrice-selected to the All-GBC team, he was ranked among the region’s top distance runners during his sophomore and junior seasons and named the team’s Distance Runner of the Year in 2011.

More than an accomplished athlete, Poggiali was an active member of Sandusky’s theater department, a regular on the Honor Roll, a member of the National Honors Society and the Class Vice President.

Today he will participate in the Ohio North-South All-Star Classic at Ohio Stadium, an exclusive contest featuring the top high school football players from all divisions in the state.

Buckhannon, a hard-nosed runner with outstanding speed, comes to Oberlin after finishing one of the most accomplished careers in Western Reserve’s athletic history.  

The owner of seven school records in football and track and field, he is the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (over 5,000) and scoring (60+ Touchdowns), and led the Roughriders to their first playoff appearance in 20 years in 2010 while also winning the Firelands Conference Championship with an undefeated regular season. Buckhannon also holds school records in the 100 M dash and 4 x 100 relay.

A threat every time he touches the ball, Buckhannon scored 57 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons while rushing for 1,965 yards to go along with over 400 receiving yards last season. He is a three-time All-District selection (twice named to the first team), a two-time All-Ohio honoree and was named the Firelands’ Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2010. Buckhannon also captained the squad during his senior campaign.

Both players will look to make an impact next fall for an offense already ranked among the conference leaders in total yards and scoring.
Mount Union's Tim Kelly and Denison's Dee Salukombo, both Lakewood High alums, Discover, Develop and Dedicate in NCAA Division III

April 20, 2012 


NCAA Division III promotes itself using three words – Discover, Develop and Dedicate and two Student/Athletes in University of Mount Union senior Tim Kelly and Denison University senior Dee Salukombo reflect these words.

At first glance it would appear that Kelly and Salukombo might not have much in common.

Kelly was born and raised in Cleveland while Salukombo and his family came to the United States in 2004 as refugees of war torn DR Congo in Africa. The two discovered a common bond in running as teammates at Lakewood High School and a friendship developed.


The friendship continued to develop as the pair went on to run in college – Kelly at Mount Union in the Northeast Ohio town of Alliance while Salukombo at Denison in the Central Ohio town of Granville.

"Dee and I got pretty close my senior year when I started running cross country for our high school," commented Kelly.

Both developed as runners on the college level.

Kelly, an All-Ohio Athletic Conference cross country selection, who was part of a conference championship in 2010 and ran at the NCAA Championships that year while Salukombo is a three-time All-American that capped off his career with an eighth place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships.

While dedicated to running, Salukombo's dedication to helping his homeland has inspired Kelly.

Last summer, Salukombo raised money for the children in Kriotshe – the village he called home until age 12 – by running 120 miles over three days from Denison's campus in Granville to Lakewood. He has earned a $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace organization which he plans to use to open the Torrens Learning Center, named in honor of longtime Denison cross country coach, Phil Torrens. The learning center will serve as a resource hub for the community, bringing computers, books and audio/visual equipment to the masses.

"After many interviews with school officials, parents, and students," Salukombo said in an interview at Denison, "it is evident that even though the Congolese are working together to make the educational change that is needed to bring peace in the country, there is an immense lack of learning resources to make this effort successful."

His longtime friend Kelly is now trying to do his part to help.

"When Dee had told me about the grant he received as well as what he plans on doing with it, I felt an immediate urge to help him in any way I could," stated Kelly.

A media communications major at Mount Union, Kelly had planned gallery showing of his own photography work in Cleveland as his senior project but now it has taken on a dual theme.

Industrial decay and the Cleveland skyline are the focus of his project and 15 pieces will be auctioned off in a gallery showing at Market Garden Brewery (1947 W. 25th St.) in Cleveland on Monday, April 23 from 6-10 pm with all proceeds going to Dee and his work.

Kelly, who also will be the marketing director at the family business – Kelly Restoration after graduation, has other plans to help his friend.

"There is a very good possibility I might be joining Dee in Africa for six months, helping out with the school and making a documentary about the whole trip."

Develop, Discover and Dedicate are three words that have always and appear to be staying with Kelly and Salukombo for a long time.

"He had a big part in my successes as a runner," says Kelly. "I can honestly say I've never met a kinder, more selfless person, someone I definitely want to have as a life-long friend."


Story was a joint effort of Mount Union assistant to the athletic director Lenny Reich and Denison sports inforamtion director Craig Hicks

Spartans Dial Up the Long-ball in Sweep of 

Local-Rival John Carroll

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University softball team hit a combined six homeruns, including a season-best five in the opener, en route to a doubleheader sweep of local-rival John Carroll University on Thursday at Mather Park. The Spartans took game one, 15-7 in six innings, and game two, 6-1.

The Spartans (23-14 overall) improve to 17-7 in 24 games since returning from their annual spring break trip in Florida. The 23 victories are the third-highest total in program history.

With the losses, the Blue Streaks fall to 22-12.

In game one, John Carroll jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning with four unearned runs aided by a pair of Spartan errors and a three-run double by Michelle Murphy. The Spartans cut their deficit in half during the bottom of the inning as freshman second baseman Molly O'Brien<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/o-brien%20molly%20x4y7> (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) and sophomore shortstop Makenzie Lein<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/lein%20mackenzie%20x40l> (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) led off with back-to-back homeruns.

After JCU added two runs to the lead with a homer by Mackenzie Griffin in the second, Case came back with two runs of its own on an RBI single by freshman rightfielder Gena Roberts<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/roberts%20gena%20ndjd> (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) and a double-steal that plated Lein.

Both sides then went scoreless in the third before Case exploded for five runs in the fourth to lead 9-6. Senior first baseman Lauren Wolz<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/wolz%20lauren%20c4fu> (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) drilled a three-run homer to left center and sophomore catcher Amy Taylor<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/taylor%20amy%2018wv> (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) added a solo shot to lead the charge. The Spartans then blew the game open with five more runs in the fifth as Wolz hit another homer, freshman pitcher Rebecca Taylor<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/taylor%20rebecca%208w8k> (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) singled in one, and freshman leftfielder Ashley Parello<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/parello%20ashley%20gwxn> (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) singled home two.

John Carroll got one run in the top of the sixth with a homer from Samantha Becker, but the Spartans ended the game with two in the bottom of the frame when Amy Taylor walked to force home a score and freshman designated player Hillary Bunnelle<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/bunnelle%20hillary%20ickr> (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) singled home the winner, invoking the eight-run rule.

For the game, Wolz was 2-for-3 with two homers, four RBI, two walks and three runs scored. The school's all-time leader in career homeruns (25) and RBI (119), Wolz is just one hit shy of tying another CWRU mark (168). Roberts and Rebecca Taylor were each 3-for-4.

Overall, Case set season-highs with 15 runs, 17 hits, 13 RBI and five homeruns.

On the mound, Rebecca Taylor improved to 16-10 with her 20th complete game. In six innings, she allowed three earned runs while striking out four. Her first strikeout in the top of the first set the CWRU single-season record.

In game two, Case picked up a quick run in the first via an RBI single by senior third baseman Kaeleen Boden<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/sball/2011-12/bios/boden%20kaeleen%20oafc> (Strongsville, Ohio/Holy Name). The Blue Streaks briefly tied the game in the second with a solo homer by Murphy, but the Spartans responded with three runs in their half of the inning with RBI coming courtesy of Roberts, Wolz and Boden. Case tacked on two more runs in the fourth with another homerun from Lein and an RBI double from Amy Taylor.

For the game, Lein, Roberts and Boden were each 3-for-4 with Lein scoring three runs.

On the mound, Taylor (17-10) recorded her 21st complete game with seven innings of two-hit ball and six strikeouts.

The Spartans are back in action this Sunday, April 22 at Hiram College for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.

Oberlin Ranks 122nd in Learfield Directors' Cup 

Cleveland, Ohio – Being just a few weeks away from the spring sports championship season, the Oberlin College Athletics Department finds itself ranked 122nd in the latest Learfield Director’s Cup standings that were released late last month.


Oberlin, which now has 89 points, earned its last 30 points last month when the men’s swimming and diving team finished in 30th place at the NCAA Championship Meet.

The current poll takes into account a team’s national finish in the fall and winter championships.

Out of the 449 NCAA Division III schools, Oberlin is just one of 168 schools to be ranked in this latest release.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 18 sports -- nine women’s and nine men’s.

The next release is scheduled to come out on May 24.