Some baseball players have a day. Bishop Noll’s Kody Alayon is having a season.
The sophomore went 3-for-4 with a double and run scored Saturday, and Rose-Hulman’s leading hitter helped lift the Fightin’ Engineers to a 6-3 victory over Manchester in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship game.
Alayon, who is hitting .429 on the season, helped Rose-Hulman earn a spot in the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2010.
The Fightin’ Engineers will enter the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 26-16 record. The draw comes out today with play beginning on Wednesday.
* Ball State continues to roll and freshman Zach Plesac keeps leading the charge. The Crown Point grad and freshman pitcher is 11-2 on the season with a 2.36 earned-run average and five saves.
The Cardinals are 34-16 overall and 18-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
* Huntington University’s Michael Crowley (Chesterton) was named All-Crossroads League as a catcher. The freshman has thrown out 14 of 25 base stealers and carries a .946 fielding percentage. He hit .336 with seven doubles, three homers and 22 RBIs.
Indiana’s Nicholas Grubnich (Crown Point) finished tied for seventh at the Big Ten Championships with a total score of 299.
Grubnich notched his second top-10 performance of the season and third of his career. In the final round, Grubnich recorded six birdies and two boys over his first 12 holes.
The Hoosiers finished eighth overall, behind team champion Minnesota.
Youngstown State’s Casey Crozier (Valparaiso) was named the Horizon League Softball Pitcher of the Year.
Crozier, a 2013 All-Horizon League Second-Team selection, led the Horizon League with wins (18), strikeouts (186), batters struck out looking (64), innings pitched (175) and games started (28). The senior was second in earned-run average (2.32).
Crozier set the Youngstown State career and single-season strikeout records with 555 and 186, respectively. She is the first Penguin to earn the pitcher-of-the-year honors since 2003.
* Indiana University Southeast earned a bid to the NAIA playoffs, which begin Monday.
Leah Podgorny (Highland) has started 32 of 39 games for the Grenadiers (41-10). The sophomore is hitting .225 with 10 RBIs and two doubles.
IU-Southeast plays the University of Houston-Victoria.
* Ball State (33-19) saw its season come to an end in a 3-2 loss to Northern Illinois Friday in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The 2014 MAC regular season champs had great years from Andrean grads Audrey Bickel and Nicole Steinbach.
Bickel, a senior third baseman, finished with a .369 average with 14 doubles, nine homers and 48 RBIs.
Steinbach, a sophomore pitcher, went 15-11 with a 3.61 ERA. She went 149 1/3 innings with 92 strikeouts.
* UIC’s Bridget Boyle (Lake Central) was named to the Horizon League All-Tournament team on Saturday. The sophomore made three appearances with two starts to go 1-0 during competition. She picked up her first career shutout against Wright State and first career save against Youngstown State. In 12 innings of work, she had a 1.75 ERA.
* Saint Xavier freshman Savannah Kinsella (Andrean) will lead the team into the NAIA Softball Opening Round Tournament. Kinsella is hitting .283 with five doubles, one homer and 20 RBIs.
The Cougars (45-7-1) open against Cornerstone University (Mich.).
Indiana’s Katie Klyczek (Andrean) won the prestigious Hoosier Award at the school’s annual Spirit of Indiana Showcase. The award recognizes a student-athlete for bringing honor and distinction to Indiana University in their respective sport.
Women’s track and field
North Central’s Ebony Stallworth (Thornwood) broke the meet and her own school record in the shot put (47 feet, 3/4 inches) at the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Outdoor Championship.
Stallworth, a junior, lead the Cardinals to their second straight conference title.
Indiana was 12th at the 2014 Big Ten Championship, with junior Kamryn Klawitter (Munster) finishing 68th. Klawitter closed the day with par on her final eight holes.
Michigan State and Ohio State finished as co-champions.