College Sports

Winthrop softball team looks good in fall tournament

Winthrop coach Mark Cooke was feeling pretty good Monday when he arrived at his office.

It looks like the ship that produced 50 wins, 17 school records and a trip to the NCAA Regionals is still on the right course despite the loss of four crewmen.

The Lady Eagles closed out their fall softball tournament schedule, going 5-1 this past weekend.

"It was a great weekend," Cooke said. "This weekend it was a different kid making the big plays. There's really no way to single out one, two or three.

"That's a good sign. They all did their job."

The Lady Eagles, who went 5-0 in their first tournament two weeks ago, lost the final game of the tournament to USC Upstate.

"They're a good team," Cooke said. "We made some mental mistakes."

Winthrop returns a roster full of veterans, including pitcher Megan Evans, who was 25-5 and was named Big South Conference Freshman of the Year. Evans had a 2.24 ERA with 170 strikeouts, also throwing a no-hitter in each tournament.

Cari Wooldridge, 17-6 as a freshman, also returns as does senior Izzy Trottier (8-5).

"What Megan, Cari and Izzy give us is three different styles of pitching," Cooke said. "There will be times that we will use all three in a game just to keep an opponent off balance."

One area of concern when fall practice started was replacing veteran catcher Jenny Scrymgeour. Cooke must choose from three freshmen -- Jo-Lynn Smith, Carole Reda or Lauren Levin.

"We let them call the pitches and I was impressed with how they did," Cooke said. "They're having to learn three new pitchers, so I'm sure there was some mental overload."

Cooke must also replace infielder Laura Hill, first baseman Hilary Peacock and infielder/outfielder Lauren Blaser.

• NET RESULTS: Freshman Lisa Wilkinson made an impressive run in the B consolation singles division of the Virginia Tech Invitational before falling to Ohio State's Angel DiPastina 6-3, 6-1 in the finals.

Wilkinson advanced to the finals with wins over Marshall's Yulra Kashelkine (6-4, 6-1), Virginia Tech's Jessica Brouwer (6-4, 6-3) and Ohio State's Ally Mueller (6-1, 6-4).

Wilkinson and Yelena Fadina lost to Davidson's Virginia Berry and Kelsey Linville 8-0 in the A consolation doubles.

• LEADER OF THE PACK: Junior Chelsea White's three goals against S.C. State this week vaulted her past Allison Stoltz and into first place on Winthrop's all-time women's soccer goals scored list.

White, who led the Big South with 10 goals last year and was selected to the All-Big South second team, has 21 goals. Stoltz, who played from 2003-06, had 18.

• TOUGH TIMES ON THE LINKS: The men's golf team finished last in the 15-team field at the Duke Invitational,

The Eagles shot a combined 42-over par 906 in the tournament that featured Duke, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Houston and Iowa.

The host Blue Devils and UTC tied for the top spot with a 22-under-par 842. The Mocs' Jonathan Hodge took medalist honors with a 12-under 204.

Winthrop freshman Jacob Carlsson tied for 20th at 217.

Pete Alminas and Kelly Manners tied for 67th with 227s, while Brent Martin (238) and Andrew Buergler (240) placed 83rd and 84th.

• BSC HONOR: Winthrop's Jutta Degerman and Charleston Southern's Oliva Jordan-Higgins shared Big South women's golfer of the week honors after tying for 15th place at the Great Smokies Collegiate in Waynesville, N.C.

Degerman shot 78-71, while Jordan-Higgins put together rounds of 72-77. There were 120 golfers in the 24-team event.

Winthrop and Charleston Southern tied for sixth in the team results.

• HOT TOPIC: Cross country coach Ben Paxton keeps checking a variety of weather channels, hoping to see a cold front headed toward the Carolinas.

"This is definitely anti-cross country weather," Paxton said. "It was even in the 80s when we ran in Pennsylvania."

But help might be on the way Saturday when Winthrop heads to Greenville for the Furman Invitational.

"I just pulled Greenville up on the Web and they're saying a low of 48, so it should be in the 50s when we run at 8:30," he said.

According to Paxton, the ideal temperature for cross country is 50-55.

"The body just functions better," Paxton said.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday

At Charleston Southern, volleyball, 7 p.m.

Saturday

At Liberty, women's soccer, streaming video

At Coastal Carolina, volleyball, 2 p.m.

Men's and women's cross country teams at Furman Invitational

Sunday

At VMI, men's soccer, noon

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