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The Viking Report (May 8). . .

May 8, 2007

Contact: Brian McCann

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Softball Hosts Horizon League Championship. . .
Baseball Plays Five Games At Home As Part Of A Busy Week

Even though there are just three weeks to go in the 2007-08 athletic year and just two teams have events remaining on their respective slates, the busiest home schedule of the season awaits Viking athletics.

The softball team will host the eight-team Horizon League Championship at Viking Field beginning Thursday (May 10) and running through Saturday (May 12). The double-elimination tourney will consist of as many as 15 games with the championship contest being slated to start on Saturday at 12:00 noon.

The Vikings, winners of 10 straight games, enter the softball championship as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 Wright State in the opening game of the tourney on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. A victory would propel CSU into a matchup against the No. 3 UW-Green Bay and No. 6 Butler winner beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. A first round loss would put the Vikings into an elimination contest against the UWGB-Butler loser at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. All tournament information, including the bracket, will be continually updated this week online at

The baseball team opens its season-ending nine-game homestand with five games this week. The Vikings host non-league contests against Duquesne on Tuesday (May 8) and Bowling Green on Wednesday (May 9) before entertaining Wright State for a three-game series over the weekend. CSU takes on the Raiders on Friday (May 11) at 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday (May 12) for a doubleheader starting at 12:00 noon. There will be a fireworks show following the Friday night meeting with Wright State.

Softball Carries 10-Game Win Streak Into Horizon League Championship. . .
Vikings Host Tourney After Finishing Second For The Third Time In Four Years

Riding its longest winning streak in more than three years, the Viking softball team (29-12, 8-6 HL) will be the second seed in the Horizon League Championship which will take place May 10-12 at Viking Field. In seventh place just 10 days ago, the Vikings rattled off 10 consecutive victories -- including two straight three-game sweeps on the road -- to leapfrog five teams to claim the second seed for the third time in the past four seasons. For the second year in a row, CSU will square off against Wright State in the opening game of the double-elimination tournament at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.

Freshman Amanda Macenko leads the Horizon League with 23 victories, a 1.70 ERA and five shutouts, while ranking second in strikeouts (132) and saves (2). Heading into the tournament, she needs just one more win to match Amy Kyler's school season record. At the plate, sophomore Amanda Houchin tops the team with a .385 average and 11 doubles, adding 19 runs, five home runs and 26 RBI.

"I feel like we're peaking at the right time," head coach Angie Nicholson said. "We've been coming up with the big hits lately, which had been our problem for most of the year. What I like most about this team is that they have no fear and never give up."

Cleveland State continued its hot play of late, rattling off seven straight victories last week. In their mid-week games, the Vikings took four from Robert Morris and Oakland by a combined score of 23-3. Included in the victories, was a stunning four-hit, 55-pitch performance by Macenko against RMU. CSU then headed to Detroit over the weekend, where it earned a sweep of the Titans, claiming the first game 8-0 before rallying twice for a pair of 6-5 victories. Senior Michele Penney fueled the Vikings' trio of wins, going 5-for-11 with three home runs and seven RBI, while Macenko earned all three victories in the circle.

Baseball Plays Five Games At Home. . .
Vikings Host Wright State In Three-Game Series Over The Weekend

The Cleveland State baseball team (10-35, 7-13 HL) plays five games at home this week, beginning with a rematch of last week's 9-5 loss at Duquesne on Tuesday (May 8) at 5:05 p.m. The Vikings then host Bowling Green Wednesday (May 9) at 5:05 p.m. before a three-game weekend series versus Wright State. The series against the Raiders begins Friday (May 11) at 6:00 p.m. and concludes with a noon doubleheader then next day.

"With two weeks remaining in the regular season, we're trying to build some momentum for the conference tournament," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "We can do that if we get our pitching and defense back on track."

CSU had a rough week last week, going 0-5, with the 9-5 loss at Duquesne last Wednesday being the closest contest. The Vikings began the week with a lightning-shortened 8-0 loss to Ohio on Tuesday and then dropped three games at UW-Milwaukee last weekend. UWM outscored CSU, 33-8, in the series.

Junior Bobby Cash hit .350 last week to regain the team lead in batting average at .274. Cash is followed by senior John Westra (.266) and junior Wallace Richardson (.262). Sophomore Josh Hungerman currently ranks fifth in the Horizon League and leads the team with a 3.48 ERA. Senior Stephen Procner sports a 4.89 ERA with a team-high 57 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .257 batting average.

Viking High Fives

Streaking Softball: Freshman Amanda Macenko went 6-0 last week and senior Michele Penney launched three home runs and drove in 10 as the Vikings extended their winning streak to 10. By sweeping its final two league opponents on the road, CSU vaulted from seventh to second in the standings.

Jake Scott: The Strongsville native capped off a successful sophomore campaign by finishing second at the Horizon League Golf Championship. Scott's closing round of 73 was the day's low score and propelled the All-Horizon League selection to his fifth top-10 finish of the year.

Katie Broere: The freshman golfer had a strong showing at the Horizon League Championship, coming in fourth place -- just four strokes off of the lead -- to put together the best finish of her young career.

The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings

May 8 (Tuesday)
Baseball hosts Duquesne
Lorain, OH, 5:15 p.m.

May 9 (Wednesday)
Baseball hosts Bowling Green
Lorain, OH, 5:15 p.m.

May 10 (Thursday)
Softball hosts Horizon League Championship
Viking Field

May 11 (Friday)
Baseball hosts Wright State
Lorain, OH, 6:00 p.m.

Softball hosts Horizon League Championship
Viking Field

May 12 (Saturday)
Baseball hosts Wright State (2)
Lorain, OH, 12:00 noon

Softball hosts Horizon League Championship
Viking Field