A Page -- June 2, 2011

Chardon native  Erin Hollinger Named 

UAA Athlete of the Week for Case 

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Following her All-American performance at the NCAA Division III Championship Meet, Case Western Reserve University junior Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) has been tabbed Co-University Athletic Association Athlete of the Week.

Hollinger earned All-American honors for the second time in her career (outdoor in 2009 and 2011) with a fourth-place showing in the high jump on Saturday, May 28 in Delaware. She entered in a tie for the second-best qualifying mark in the 22-person field and eventually finished fourth with a leap of five feet, five and three-quarter inches. Earlier this season, Hollinger captured the UAA high jump title during both the indoor and outdoor championships.
A two-sport standout at CWRU, Hollinger is also a three-time Capital One Academic All-American and was named as a finalist in the winter for the Jostens Award – given to the DIII Basketball Player of the Year.

Mullins Named ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-

American; Three Others Tabbed All-Region
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Just days after being named the D3Baseball.com National Player of the Year, Case Western Reserve University’s record-breaking third baseman Chad Mullins (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) has another piece of hardware to add to his trophy case. The senior slugger has been tabbed as an American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings first-team All-American. In addition to Mullins, two other Spartans earned All-Mideast Region honors and another was awarded with a Gold Glove Award.

Mullins, also a D3Baseball.com first-team All-American and the University Athletic Association Player of the Year, was one of the top hitters in the nation this season. He started all 48 games and batted .437 with eight homeruns and a nation-leading 71 runs batted-in.  He also ranked in the top-10 nationally in hits (83), runs scored (58) and total bases (125). Mullins is the first player in the history of CWRU baseball to earn ABCA All-American honors.
For his career, he finished as the Spartans' all-time leader in nine different statistical categories, including batting average (.409), at-bats (643), runs scored (160), hits (263), doubles (61), games played (178), RBI (185), total bases (397) and most times hit by pitch (26). He also ranks in the top-10 all-time in five other categories.
In addition to Mullins, junior rightfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) was tabbed as second-team All-Mideast Region while sophomore pitcher Jamie Hora (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg) was a third-team pick. Senior centerfielder Matt Richards (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./San Clemente) was named a Mideast Region Gold Glove Award recipient as well.
Alexander, also a second-team All-UAA selection, batted .368 with four homers and 55 RBI. He also led the team with 19 doubles and five triples.
Hora was the Spartans’ ace, posting an 8-3 record on the mound with a team-high six complete games. In 77.1 innings pitched, he totaled 46 strikeouts with a 4.54 earned run average.

Richards recorded 147 putouts with three assists from his center field position. He also committed only three errors while batting .326 with 35 RBI and 58 runs scored.

The Spartans finished the season with a school-record 33 wins (33-15 overall) and earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history. CWRU’s historic run concluded with a third-place showing (3-2 overall) at the Mideast Regional in Marietta.6:24 PM 5/31/2011

Gilmour’s Second Annual Swing for a 

Solution Triples First-Year Success
GATES MILLS – Gilmour Academy’s Second Annual Swing for a Solution 2011 more than tripled the fundraising efforts from the inaugural year, raising nearly $2,500.  Despite setbacks by Mother Nature which caused part of the event to be rescheduled twice and reformatted once, the event was an overall success and included a middle school softball game between Gilmour and Laurel School and an intrasquad game with Gilmour’s varsity and junior varsity teams.  At both events, volunteers ran a concession stand where all items were available for a donation of one’s choosing, with 100 percent of the gifts going to Autism Speaks.
Each event included an introduction of all participants, with the inspiration of the event, 7-year old Michael Hansen, making an appearance at the intrasquad game.  All teams wore commemorative Swing for the Solution 2011 shirts that were customized with their school colors and logos.  Fans of each team were able to order the apparel in advance with $5 from the sale of each item going to Autism Speaks.
Geneva High School was originally scheduled to participate in the event, playing a varsity and junior varsity game in early May, however, when inclement weather and tournament games pushed the date back further into the month, Geneva was unable to attend.  Eagles head coach Eleshia Pitcher said the team plans to participate next season and is hopeful for better weather.
“It was unfortunate that Geneva couldn’t make it to the event” said Solution founder and Gilmour assistant softball coach Kristy Booher.  “I’m grateful to Coach Pitcher for coordinating her team’s efforts to sell apparel to their fans and I hope it works out next year where weather doesn’t keep us from playing.”

Swing for a Solution, the brainchild of Booher, began in 2010 in honor of her best friend and fellow Gilmour coach Mandy Hansen’s youngest son who is autistic.  Booher and Hansen, both graduates of Willoughby South High School and key contributors of the Rebel softball team’s two state championships in the sport (1995, 1996), met each other at the age of seven, playing softball in the Willoughby Baseball League.
“We are able to use our mutual love of softball in order to raise awareness and money for a disease that affects so many,” said Booher.  “I cannot explain the emotions I’m overcome with at every event when I talk to people about this cause and then hear their stories.  It’s a great feeling knowing I’m part of something that can contribute to the research that could one day find both a cure and possible prevention method for autism.”
Booher isn’t the only one overcome with emotions.  When Michael Hansen comes to the event, there is always a golf cart on hand for him to sit in and even go for a ride around campus.  The squeals of joy can be heard by all in attendance as Michael enjoys his time on the cart.
“The golf cart is a release for him,” said Mandy Hansen.  “He’s in school all day and then has therapy four times a week on top of that which can be very demanding.  For him to be able to have fun and do something he really enjoys, that makes me happy as his mother to see him just being a kid.”
Hansen wants people to understand that children affected by autism are still very intelligent, they just don’t learn the same way.  “Michael can count coins and he is learning to read and write just like any other young child.  He just doesn’t learn in the same manner as children who aren’t affected.  Different methods of communication and teaching are used and more time goes into it, but Michael has come so far since first being diagnosed.”
“By having Michael at the event, people are able to get a better sense for what Swing for a Solution is all about,” says Booher.  “Michael is such a sweetheart, and when he looks at you, you can see it in his eyes that he has lots to say, he just isn’t ready to have the words come out yet.”
Although it’s Booher who takes on the majority of the work involved with organizing the event, both she and Hansen are appreciative of the many others who contribute to the event’s success.
“It means a lot to me and my family to see the outpouring of support from Gilmour, the team, students, parents, those who make donations and those who help with the event,” said Hansen.  “Raising a child with special needs is quite difficult, but it’s a lot easier with people behind you recognizing what you’re going through and doing what they can to make a difference.”
Donations are still being accepted up until the walk for autism takes place in September.  Anyone interested in making a donation on behalf of Swing for a Solution should contact Kristy Booher at booherk@gilmour.org or 440-473-8198. All donations are tax deductible.
To date, Swing for a Solution has raised just over $3,000. Any team interested in participating in the third installment of the event next school year should also contact Booher.  Teams do not have to be opponents of Gilmour to participate and can be at any level, including, but not limited to, middle school and high school softball and baseball teams.

#1 Warriors upset in District Final

Eight year Regional streak and fifteen year WJ win streak over rival 

Hoban snapped as successful season comes to a close
AKRON – For the first time since 2002, the #1 seed Walsh Jesuit Varsity Baseball team did not advance to Regional play, suffering a 3-0 defeat by rival Archbishop Hoban.

 The Warriors saw both their streak of eight consecutive District Championships and their fifteen year, twenty-three game win streak snapped by the Knights. Having started the season 15-0, it was a successful year overall for the Warriors as they were nationally ranked in multiple polls for the seventh time in the past eight years, climbing as high as #4 nationally by MaxPreps.com. 

The Warriors also claimed the league title in their final year in the Cuyahoga River Baseball Conference, and were picked as the Ohio State Poll Runner Up for third consecutive year and only the fourth time overall in school history.

Walsh Jesuit Baseball closes out its season with a 20-3 record, and with a small but talented graduating class of six tremendous seniors, WJ looks forward to welcoming back eighteen returning lettermen in 2012.