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Baseball—The Golden Eagles' baseball team traveled to central Florida to participate in the RussMatt Invitational. Cornerstone notched their first win of the season and went on to finish the week with a 3-6 record.
On Tuesday, the Golden Eagles were eager to get back to the mound after dropping both contests of the double-header on Monday to Olivet Nazarene University. Cornerstone would face the Crusaders of Evangel University from Springfield, Mo. In the first of two games, the Golden Eagles lost 5-1 in spite of an excellent outing by starting pitcher Luke Heller. Cornerstone struggled at the plate, managing just three hits while committing six errors. During the second game of the double-header, the Golden Eagles earned their first win of the season, a 6-5 victory behind starting pitcher David Mitroff. The redshirt senior went 4.2 innings only giving up two hits and allowing five walks. Mitroff allowed four earned runs and struck out four batters. Ryan Harris relieved Mitroff in the fifth inning to pick up the win while Jon Knapp closed the sixth and seventh innings to earn his first save. During the win, CU tallied eight hits while driving in six runs.
Following the win, Cornerstone dropped their single game on Wednesday to the University of Saint Francis (Ill.), 1-8. Pitcher Cullen Montgomery dropped his first outing of the season while the Golden Eagles struggled defensively, committing eight errors on the day.
Thursday, the Golden Eagles split their pair of games. During the first contest, Cornerstone took the 2-0 victory over Clarke University. Freshman Ryan Harris picked up his second win of the week and improved to 2-0 on the year. The right hander struck out four and allowed eight hits but no runs during 6 and two-thirds innings. The game remained scoreless until the sixth inning when CU pulled in front off two runs by Adam Brooks and Adam Homan. The defense only committed one error in the field. The loss of the day came at the hands of nationally ranked Point Park University. Point Park overwhelmed the CU pitchers with great hitting, taking a 16-0 victory.
Friday and Saturday were the final two days of the RussMatt Invitational. Cornerstone notched a victory over Calumet College of Saint Joseph with a final score of 10-2. Highlighting the contest, Daniel Marlow pitched a complete game giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts. The Golden Eagles put up 10 runs on 12 hits while four players tallied two hits. Geren Albury had two RBI and two runs scored during the game. The Golden Eagles lost their final two games in Florida to the hands of Clarke University and the University of Saint Francis (Ind.).
Following the week, the baseball team is now 3-10 overall. Looking ahead, Cornerstone hosts their first contest in the new stadium as Indiana Wesleyan University comes to town for a double-header on Thursday. Cornerstone will then host Taylor University on Saturday for another double-header. The first pitch for both Thursday and Saturday is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Softball—During spring break the Golden Eagles softball team traveled to Clermont, Fla., to participate in the NTC Spring Games. Cornerstone finished the week with a dominant record of 10-2. The only losses came to the hands of Ave Maria University and Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Saturday, March 2, was the first game of the 2013 campaign and the first time playing outside this season for the Golden Eagles. Cornerstone faced Ave Maria University in the first contest. With the scored tied 1-1 heading into the sixth inning, Ave Maria broke the game open with five runs in the sixth and seventh innings to defeat Cornerstone 6-1. Heidi Warmelink (0-1) dropped her first game of the season, yielding six runs on eight hits in seven innings of work during her first start of the season. During the second contest of the day, Cornerstone started out much better, notching the 9-6 victory over Southeastern University (Fla.). Jenna Weightman went 2-for-4 with a run scored while Warmelink went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Cornerstone pitcher Rachel Nelson (1-0) picked up her first career win during her first career start.
On Monday and Tuesday, the bats continued swinging in favor of Cornerstone as the Golden Eagles picked up wins against Hannibal-LaGrange University, Lourdes University, Point Park University, and Clarke University. The Golden Eagles outscored their four opponents 22-3 as the Cornerstone bats erupted on Tuesday. Highlighting the four contests, CU pitcher Heidi Warmelink tallied two more wins while Rachel Nelson advanced to 3-0. Megan Oberst had five RBI against Point Park and Lauren Pasciak notched three RBI against Clarke University.
Wednesday, the Golden Eagles picked up another win against Bellevue University before a loss to Hannibal-LaGrange University. Warmelink picked up her third win of the season, yielding no runs and only giving up one hit in seven innings of work as the Golden Eagles took the 2-0 victory against Bellevue. Warmelink led the bats for CU as she went 2-for-3 during the contest. During the 3-2 loss to Hannibal-LaGrange Rachel Nelson picked up her first loss of the season while going 5.1 innings and yielding three runs on seven hits. Designated hitter Megan Oberst went 2-for-3 driving in one runner during the contest.
During the final two days of the NTC Spring Games, CU went 4-0 against Mount Vernon Nazarene, University of Saint Francis (Ill.), and Spring Arbor. Highlighting the fourth game, the Golden Eagles found themselves down 6-2 to St. Francis through six innings. During the top of the seventh, Heidi Warmelink stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and seized the opportunity, sending a grand slam over the fence. Jenna Weightman followed with a solo shot of her own to give the Golden Eagles a 7-6 lead. Solid pitching performance throughout the seventh by Warmelink gave CU the victory.
Cornerstone pitcher Heidi Warmelink advances to 6-1 and was honored the WHAC Pitcher of the Week while Rachel Nelson begins her career with a 3-1 record. Megan Oberst leads the team with 14 RBI with a .375 batting average.
Following the week, the Golden Eagles are 10-2 overall and will host their first home game of the 2013 season on Saturday. Lake Superior State University will come into town for a double-header with the first pitch out at 2 p.m.
Men's Outdoor Track & Field—Sunny skies and warm temperatures created ideal conditions for Cornerstone's Track & Field sprint crew at the Coastal Carolina Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Senior Eric Schroeder combined with freshmen Jon Brinks, Austin Hazen and Tyler Kubik for second place in the 4 x 100 meter relay. Their time of 42.88 was less than one second away from the NAIA provisional standard.
Track & Field head coach Rod Wortley commented, "For three freshmen to pass the baton effectively in the first meet and run a good time is impressive."
Schroeder also ran a personal best 11.25 in the 100 meters to take 12th place while Ryan Versen claimed third in the 400 meters in 49.05. Spencer Perry placed eighth in the 400 with a new best time of 50.36. Perry also added over 14' to his best in the javelin, taking tenth with a throw of 167' 10".
The meet ended with sense of what might have been in the 4 x 400 meter relay. After Schroeder and Perry split sub-50 second legs, Versen put the Golden Eagles in contention with a 47.7. Zach Yeo was closing what was left of the gap on the leaders from Coastal Carolina when he felt a twinge and pop in his hamstring coming off the final turn. The senior wisely pulled up and walked off the track as the host team went on to win in 3:15.29.
The men are idle until the end of the month when they compete at the Grand Rapids Open at Housemen Field on March 29-30.
Women's Outdoor Track & Field— The Cornerstone University 2013 Outdoor Track & Field season opened at the sunny Coastal Carolina University Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C. After a week of practice and oceanfront relaxation, the Golden Eagles put up two national qualifying marks.
After earning All-America honors in the 60 meter hurdles at the NAIA Indoor National Championships one week earlier, Anita Souza ran her way to outdoor nationals in the 100 meter hurdles. The sophomore from Brazil took sixth in 14.58, well under the automatic qualifying mark of 14.90. Brittany Green took 14th in 15.57. Green also took third in the long jump with a mark of 17' 9".
In other sprint action, Souza placed fifteenth in the 200 meters at 25.56 and Larissa Hampton ran 49.74 to finish 18th in the 400 meters . Lindsay Lipa, Souza, Hampton the Katie Walker combined for fourth in the 4 x 100 meter relay with a time of 48.73. Kaitlyn Bronkema and Lyndee Sayers joined Lipa and Hampton to run 4:01.93 for eighth in the 4 x 400 meter relay.
In the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Jill Louisignau of Cornerstone and Amber Thompson of Mount Olive College repeated their duel from 2012. Last year, Thompson set the pace but Louisignau won with a great kick. In the 2013 rematch, Jill took the early lead, with the goal of running 11:10 for the seven and one half laps. Thompson sat back and reversed the outcome, having the better finish and winning in 11:15.83. Louisignau came within one second of her school record, taking second in 11:19.74, bettering the NAIA automatic standard of 11:25.00. Liz Baller was sixth in 12:17.41.
On Friday, Louisignau, Audrey Tremaine, Tanner Hostetler and Julia Contreras battled 20 mph winds on their way to third in the 4 x 800 meter relay in 9:51.15. Saturday, with the wind reduced to a breeze, Contreras took third in her heat of the 1500 meters, running 4:56.32. Tremaine used a 74-second last lap to take fourth in her heat, clocking 5:02.90 in her 1500 meter debut. Freshmen Trinity Hulst and Hostetler took second and third in their heat of the 800 meters with Hulst running 2:23.37 and Hostetler 2:24.83.
The Golden Eagles will take a break before the next meet scheduled for March 30-31 at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids.
Men's Tennis—The Golden Eagles men's tennis team traveled to Florida for a week of matches. After the week, Cornerstone is now 2-5 overall during the spring season.
Cornerstone notched wins against Ursinus College and Warner University on Wednesday and Thursday. Highlighting the two matches, Austin Hunt, Christ Reed, and Andrew Son both picked up two wins during the singles competition while Alex Tarnow notched a single win against Warner University. During the double competitions, partners Elijah Yi and Austin Hunt took two wins while Chris Reed and John Andrew and Andrew Sonand Alex Tarnow defeated Ursinas College double partners.
Following the two wins, Cornerstone dropped a disappointing 1-7 loss to Webber International and finished their Florida competitions. On March 13, the Golden Eagles will head back to the court to face Calvin College at 5 p.m.
Women's Tennis—After dropping their first two matches of the spring season, the Golden Eagles women's tennis team traveled to Florida to participate in a handful of matches during spring break.
On Monday, the tennis team dropped both matches to Bethel University and the University of Saint Francis. Hannah Guest and Samantha Akert were the lone Golden Eagles who were able to notch wins against Bethel while in the doubles competition Guest and Akert notched a win for Cornerstone. During the second match of the day in Orlando, Fla., the Golden Eagles were swept by the University of St. Francis, 9-0.
Tuesday the Golden Eagles dropped an 8-1 loss to Ursinas College. The only win for Cornerstone came during the singles competition when Janie Silvers defeated Ursinas' Audrey Whitebloom.
Wednesday brought Cornerstone their first win of the spring when they defeated Warner University (5-4). After losing the first three singles competitions, Cornerstone's Ashley Green, Hannah Guest, and Samantha Akert notched wins. During the doubles competition, Allison Rusticus and Ashley Green and Hannah Guest and Samantha Akert helped CU grab the victory.
Before heading home to Michigan, Cornerstone faced Webber International for their final match in Florida. Webber came away with the 2-7 decision. The Golden Eagles' wins came from Samantha Akert defeteaing Aleena Jack (6-0, 6-0) while partners Guest and Akert notched the last win for Cornerstone.
After the week, the Golden Eagles went 1-4 and are now 1-6 overall. Coming up next Cornerstone will face Grand Rapids Community College at 10 a.m. on March 23.
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