Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Rockville grad Lindsey Greene recently completed an outstanding freshman season for the Illinois State softball team, helping lead the Redbirds to the Missouri Valley Conference championship and a runner-up finish in the NCAA regional tournament.
Greene played in 50 games for the Redbirds, starting 48 at shortstop. She batted .159 with a double, triple, four RBI and 20 runs scored. She also had a .892 fielding percentage.
Casey-Westfield grad Kara Repp, also a freshman, played in 19 games and started 13. She hit .200 with a double, triple and two RBI.
ISU lost the regional opener 6-0 to No. 9 Missouri, then defeated Massachusetts 1-0 in nine innings and DePaul 3-0 before falling again to Missouri 2-1 in the championship game.
Greene scored the only run against UMass in the bottom of the ninth inning. She drew a one-out walk to set up the game-winning run and advanced to third on a double by junior Jhavon Hamilton.
The UMass pitcher then uncorked a wild pitch and Greene scored from third.
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n Reed honors continue — Terre Haute South grad A.J. Reed has been named one of the top-10 finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, given annually to the top two-way player in the nation.
Reed is the only freshman among the top-10 two-way stars in college baseball. A 6-foot-4, 230-pound left-handed pitcher and first baseman, Reed is coming off a dynamic performance in the opener of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday, where he tossed 5.2 shutout innings in his first career start vs. an SEC foe and went a career-high 4 for 4 at the plate with a homer in a 2-0 win.
On the year, Reed has hit .311 with nine doubles, four homers and 40 RBI. On the mound, Reed has tossed 15 games with five starts, posting a 5-2 record and a 2.62 earned-run average, tossing 44.2 innings, walking seven and striking out 43.
The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as a first baseman and a right-handed pitcher, will be presented as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas.
Reed had struggled at the plate recently and hadn’t started a game on the mound since April 10.
Reed hit cleanup and with the game locked in a scoreless tie entering the bottom of the fourth inning, the freshman launched his fourth homer of the year over the right-field fence for the game-winning RBI. Entering the tournament 3-for-his-last 22, Reed exploded with a career-best four hits.
“I have been struggling a little bit the past couple of weeks,” Reed said. “Going out there and having some success on the mound built my confidence. It also showed me that my team still trusts me and coach gave me a second chance to come out and perform well.”
Coach Gary Henderson did not lose confidence in him, and Reed repaid that gesture.
“Obviously an outstanding performance by him, both on the mound and at the plate,” Henderson said. “Good players show up late in the season. They show up when it is important and that is what he did [today].
“At no point in time did I think that A.J. was done hitting, but it was pretty clear that the game had become a little bit tougher for him,” Henderson said. “It happens to almost every freshman in our league. There’s going to be a little bit of valley there at some point. He went through his. To be able to get him back and hopefully be able to use him in the middle of the order here in the postseason is really going to be a benefit for us.”
n Local duo in NCAA finals — Wabash College’s 1,600-meter relay team, which includes Terre Haute South grad John Haley and Northview grad Joel Whittington, fought its way to the finals at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Claremont, Calif., with a third-place finish in their heat.
The Little Giants were scheduled to compete in the finals on Saturday.
The 1,600 relay team, which also includes Jake Waterman and Cole Hruskovich, ran a time of 3:14.24 — second fastest in school history — to finish third in the second heat and eighth overall. The top-nine teams advanced to Saturday’s finals.
Whittington gave the Little Giants the early lead, handing off to Waterman before falling to the track. Waterman continued to hold the first-place edge against the hard-charging teams from Wisconsin-La Crosse and Wisconsin-Whitewater. Hruskovich took over on the second exchange after dropping to third, then handed off to Haley who held on to give the Little Giants a third-place finish in the race.
n Bogle, Potter honored — Two Terre Haute tennis players have been honored for their performances at the collegiate level.
Maddy Bogle, a senior at Kentucky Wesleyan, was one of 300 student-athletes honored earlier this month. She was one of 13 student-athletes to be honored for having the highest grade point average in their sport.
Terre Haute North grad Sarah Potter was one of four Marian University student-athletes named to the Capital One Academic All-District men’s and women’s at-large teams.
Potter, a freshman, teamed with sophomore Olivia Pursell to set a school co-record for singles victories in a single season with 21. The previous record was 19.
The two players teamed up in doubles to finish the season with a 19-13 record at No. 1 doubles.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.