VALPO BOUNCES BACK WITH WIN AT HORIZON TOURNEY: Janelle Bouchard’s two-run triple in the fourth inning was the difference in Valparaiso’s 3-1 win over Illinois-Chicago on Thursday in the loser’s bracket of the Horizon League Tournament.
Taylor Weissenhofer (18-11) tossed a three-hitter with six strikeouts for the Crusaders (30-24), while Kaitlyn Ranieri (Lake Central) was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
Valpo faces either Loyola or Cleveland State today.
Casey Crozier (Valparaiso) went the distance for Youngstown State in Wednesday’s 9-1 win over the Crusaders.
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN'S OPPENHUIS WILL PLAY FOR PEREGRINES: Purdue Calumet added the fourth member of its inaugural softball recruiting class, as Illiana Christian's Samantha Oppenhuis agreed to continue her career with the Peregrines. Oppenhuis is hitting .536 this season with four home runs and 19 RBIs for the Vikings.
NOLL'S SANDOVAL COMMITS TO PUC: Purdue Calumet secured the 19th member of the 2013 recruiting class with the commitment of Bishop Noll's Matt Sandoval. Sandoval is hitting .350 for the Warriors this season.
MORTON GRAD INNES AMONGST HONOREES: Lauren Innes, a Purdue Calumet junior women's tennis player, was named the Howard Cohen Student-Athlete of the year, which is given to a junior or senior with the highest cumulative grade point average among PUC student-athletes.
Men's basketball player Trent Tucker, a junior, earned the John Friend Leadership Award for characteristics of leadership and integrity.
Local auto racing
MOTHERS SALUTED SATURDAY AT ILLIANA: In recognition of Mother’s Day, a complimentary gift bag will be given to the first 200 mothers through the gate Saturday at Illiana Motor Speedway.
Gates will open at 4 p.m., time trials will be at 5:30 and the first race will start at 7. Cost is $12 for adults, $5 for children aged 8 to 12. For details, go to www.illianaspeedway.com, or call (219) 322-5311.
BEARS AGREE TO DEAL WITH BOSTIC: The Bears have agreed to a four-year contract with second-round draft pick Jon Bostic.
A linebacker at Florida, Bostic started every game his final two years in the middle for the Gators and figures to compete with veteran free agent acquisition D.J. Williams for Brian Urlacher's old job.
The Bears' only unsigned pick is first-rounder Kyle Long, an offensive lineman from Oregon.
COLTS TRADE SHIPLEY TO RAVENS FOR DRAFT PICK: The Baltimore Ravens acquired center A.Q. Shipley from the Colts for a conditional 2014 draft pick.
The trade, announced Thursday by the Ravens, will be finalized after Shipley passes a physical.
Shipley played in 14 games last season with the Colts, getting five starts. He played a key role on an offensive line that was often decimated by injuries. Shipley became expendable after the Colts selected Khaled Holmes, a center and guard from Southern California in the fourth round of last month's draft — part of Indy's revamped offense line that has added four new players through free agency and the draft.
A GREAT DEBUT FOR CASTRO, SOLID START FOR WOODS: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy had their best start ever in The Players Championship.
It still wasn't enough to catch a guy who had never played the TPC Sawgrass.
Roberto Castro hit shots to tap-in range on the famed 17th and 18th holes on his way to a 9-under 63. That tied the course record held by Greg Norman and Fred Couples, and gave him a three-shot lead over McIlroy.
Woods had a chance for his first bogey-free round until missing the 18th green and flubbing a chip. He still had a 67, the first time he has broken 70 in this event.
Around the horn
Purdue Calumet graduating women’s basketball standout Alex Starr is the guest on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). Starr, who will graduate with a biological sciences degree, has been admitted to optometry school. ... RailCats baseball games will be broadcast live on The Lakeshore, WLPR-FM (89.1), for the fifth consecutive season. The first broadcast will be for Monday’s final exhibition game against Schaumburg. ... Alyne S. Payton, the mother of late NFL Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, has died in Jackson, Miss. She was 87. Family members say she died in the hospital Monday after a long illness.