The Lindenwood Lions baseball team recently completed two of the biggest accomplishments in the program’s history – winning its first MIAA Conference Tournament championship and earning its first Division II Tournament bid.
Scoring 26 runs on May 14 in the final day of the Midwest Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament, the Lions claimed the conference tournament title with a 12-8 win over Central Oklahoma. With that victory, the team also claimed an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament, another first in school history.
Down 6-1 in the title game, Lindenwood caught up with Central Oklahoma at 8-8 in the sixth inning. The Lions went ahead to stay in the top of the eighth thanks to a pair of unearned runs. Kyle Teter ripped a single to score Tyler Muehling [Jefferson College/St. Peters] and Connor Behrens drove home Ryan Sosnowski [Fort Zumwalt South] from third.
In the top of the ninth, Lindenwood tacked on two more tallies, boosting its lead to four runs.
Connor Law started and allowed just two runners in four innings of work. Marshall Shill pitched three-and-one-third innings of relief.
Drew Quinones [Fort Zumwalt South] led the Lions hitters with three hits, three runs driven in, three runs scored and a home run. Sosnowski, Teter, Behrens and Paul Sherwood all had two hits.
Lindenwood made it into the finals on the strength of a 14-4 win over host school Missouri Southern. The Lions rallied back twice from deficits and took control with four runs in the sixth and seven runs in the seventh inning.
Blake Beckman earned the win on the bump and Brendan Feldman picked up the save.
Sosnowski and Race Singbush both drove in three runs.
Lindenwood went 4-1 in the tournament.
High school soccer
It was another superb spring on the field for the Francis Howell girls junior varsity soccer team.
Francis Howell’s JV kickers finished out the 2017 campaign with a sparkling 14-1-2 record.
Howell went 2-0-1 in the Borgia Tournament to start the season in mid-March and then reeled off eight straight wins through mid-April.
“We were kind striving for the undefeated season coming in and we came up one game short of that goal, but we had a good group of girls and we’re fortunate that we’ve got a school that’s pretty deep when it comes to soccer, football and other sports,” Vikings coach Michael Enright said.
Enright, who has been at the school for the past 10 years said that the junior varsity program has been very strong the past four seasons averaging better than 10 wins and less than two losses a season.
“I know that in the time I’ve been here, we’ve had some pretty good seasons, especially with the junior level the past few years,” he said.One of the best things about the season was going undefeated in Gateway Athletic South Conference play, as Howell’s only blemish was a scoreless tie against Timberland late in the season.
Sophomore Bella Kinnaw and freshman Claire Samuel were the top two offensive threats. Each scored 12 goals to lead the Vikings.
Freshman Cat Eyler and sophomore Taylor Kirkpatrick provided playmaking and solid ball distribution from the left and right wings respectively.
Sophomore Ally Lowry stepped into goal for the Vikings and gave them strong backline play between the pipes as she recorded eight solo shutouts.
This group will move on to help the Vikings varsity and should provide them a major boost on the field next year.
“I think they will be able to go on next year and help the varsity squad and meld with the nine seniors that will be returning,” Enright said. “Hopefully, we will try to win a conference championship.”
High school golf
The recent Class 4 boys golf tournament held at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club in Joplin turned out to be a fairly productive two-day event for Timberland golfer David Meindl and Fort Zumwalt East golfer Nick Heimann.
Meindl finished 11th in the field as he tied De Smet Jesuit’s Kevin Wahle and Lafayette’s Max Kreikemier.
Meindl shot a 74 and 78 for a two-day total of 152, finishing the tournament 8 over par.
Heimann, a junior at Fort Zumwalt East, made his second straight state appearance, shooting 77 and 78 for a total of 144. Heimann finished 11 shots off the pace.
It was not exactly the finish Heimann was seeking in his second consecutive trip to state, but he was still pleased with his effort in the event.
“It was a good week and I had a chance to play some solid golf again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a medal but I was right there,” Heimann said. “So it’s a positive outlook for next year.”Fort Zumwalt East senior Tom Buffington finished with a two-day round of 162, which was good for 44th in the field of 96 golfers.
For Buffington, medaling in the tournament was not nearly as important as being able to play in it again for the fourth straight season. He is the first golfer in Fort Zumwalt East history to qualify for the state tournament all four years.
“It’s just nice to have one record that can never be broken and only tied,” Buffington said. “I didn’t do as well this year as I would have liked and bring home first place, but it was a really fun experience and I really learned a lot.”
Fort Zumwalt East coach David Biesenthal felt that Buffington getting to state in his senior season was a perfect end to an outstanding four-year career as a Lion.
“For Tom, he got to go out on a high note,” Biesenthal said. “He birdied his last hole to kind of cap off his fourth straight year of the state tournament. To be able to do that, that’s quite an accomplishment in itself and I think he was pretty happy.”
Adam Bosciewicz, of Francis Howell, rounded out the St. Charles area golfers that competed at state. Bozciewicz finished in 75th place and was 26 shots off the pace.