Valparaiso swept: Valparaiso University senior Jaymee Lawton hit home runs in consecutive at-bats in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday in Peoria, Ill. However, the Crusaders softball team lost both games to Bradley, falling 9-1 and 8-3 in their first Missouri Valley Conference games of the spring. The third game of the series has been moved back to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Valparaiso splits doubleheader: The Valparaiso University baseball team split a doubleheader Saturday against Northern Illinois, winning the opener 7-6 before dropping the nightcap 5-2 at Chicago State. Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Andrean) collected three hits in the first game, including a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and five on the day.
Iowa State romps past KU to win Big 12 tourney title: Lindell Wigginton found his way to Iowa State from Canada, Marial Shayok took a detour through the University of Virginia, and Michael Jacobson started his career at the University of Nebraska.
Three players from three very different backgrounds now have something in common: a title.
The trio helped the fifth-seeded Cyclones race to a big early lead against No. 17 Kansas on Saturday night, then contributed to enough crucial stops down the stretch, preserving a 78-66 victory over the Jayhawks in the Big 12 Tournament finale at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
"When you do something special, you win a championship, you got a connection for the rest of your life," said Cyclones coach Steve Prohm, who brought together his team from far and wide.
"Hopefully this is just step one. We'll enjoy this for a while, figure out where we're going for the NCAA Tournament and then we'll focus on that."
Wigginton finished with 17 points, Shayok had 15 on his way to winning tournament MVP, and Jacobson finished with 14 for the Cyclones (23-11), who became the lowest-seeded team ever to win the conference tournament. They also improved to 2-0 against Kansas (25-9) in the finals.
"I think it was our best team win of the year because it was gritty," said Shayok, who like Jacobson sat out last season after transferring. "Everybody stepped up."
Dedric Lawson had 18 points and Devon Dotson added 17 for the third-seeded Jayhawks, whose last chance to win some hardware will be the NCAA Tournament. Their run of 14 consecutive regular-season crowns ended last weekend, and they failed to defend their Big 12 Tournament title.
"The way we competed, we showed some signs where we really wanted to win this game," Dotson said. "But they hit some tough shots. We were missing some of our easy shots we usually make."
Meanwhile, the Cyclones made a tremendous about-face during their stay in Kansas City.
They arrived having lost five of their last six regular-season games, and looked rudderless in losses to Texas and lowly West Virginia. But beginning with a blowout of Baylor and continuing with a quarterfinal win over regular-season champ Kansas State, the Cyclones found their stride.
The Jayhawks, still looking for their own, were fortunate to trail 32-22 at halftime.