PENS BEAT HAWKS IN SHOOTOUT: James Neal scored in the shootout to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in a preseason game on Monday night.
Bryan Bickell scored two goals in the second period for Chicago, but Kris Letang had two goals in the third for Pittsburgh.
Bickell had a short-handed goal at 1:09 of the second, batting in a fluttering puck out of midair. He added a tip-in for a power-play score with six minutes left in the period.
Letang converted a breakaway at 9:23 of the final period, and then had a power-play goal with 2:16 to go.
VALPO'S PFAENDER LEADS AT SIUE INVITATIONAL: Valparaiso's Erika Pfaender carded an opening-round 4-over-par 76 to take the lead at the SIUE DoubleTree Invitational at Sunset Hills Golf Course. The Crusaders are tied for second as a team at 324, three shots from overall leader Lipscomb.
CRUSADERS DOWN ROBERT MORRIS: Kaitlyn Hamel and Megan Barthels won their singles matches and teamed for a doubles victory as Valparaiso downed the visiting Eagles 5-2 in their fall dual match opener.
VU TO PARTICIPATE IN COACH TO CURE MD EVENT: Valparaiso University, in partnership with the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the American Football Coaches Association, will participate in the 6th annual Coach To Cure MD program Saturday, when the Crusaders host Campbell at Brown Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Valparaiso coach Dale Carlson will join other AFCA members in wearing a Coach To Cure MD patch to raise awareness of Duchenne MD. Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle disorder that causes loss of muscle function and independence. Duchenne affects approximately one in 3,500 boys worldwide.
Fans will be asked to donate to research projects supported by PPMD, the largest muscular dystrophy non-profit organization in the country. Donations can also be made online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word CURE to 90999. A $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill.
NIU’s LYNCH EARNS MAC HONORS: Northern Illinois University quarterback and Mount Carmel grad Jordan Lynch earned his second Mid-American Conference West Division offensive player of the week honor after his performance in NIU’s 43-39 win over Eastern Illinois.
Lynch, The Times 2008 Illinois offensive player of the year, ran for 189 yards on 23 carries and completed 21-of-30 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown to lead the Huskies past the Panthers. Lynch accounted for 424 yards of total offense to record his fourth career 400-yard game and it was his sixth career game with 150-plus yards passing and 150-plus yards rushing.
Women's cross country
CRUSADER NAMED HL RUNNER OF THE WEEK: Junior Jessica Richardson was 18th of 190 runners at the Iona Meet of Champions over the weekend, enough for the Horizon League to name her the Runner of the Week for Sept. 17th-23rd.
The award is Richardson's first this season, and third overall. She finished with the best team time in all six races last season and has led the pack in both meets so far in 2013.
VANDEN BERG NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Ellen Vanden Berg, a senior Valparaiso volleyball player, was the Crusaders' representative on the Blue & White Classic All-Tournament Team last weekend.
Vanden Berg paced her team over the course of the tournament with 1.40 blocks/set, tallying six blocks apiece against No. 13 Ohio State and Maryland Eastern Shore. She also recorded a team-best 10 kills on .400 hitting in the Crusaders' sweep of UMES in their tournament finale.
PIRATES CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT WITH WIN OVER CUBS: The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.
After two consecutive decades of losing, the Pirates (90-67) clinched at least a National League wild card Monday night when they beat the Cubs 2-1 and the Washington Nationals lost to St. Louis 4-3.
It will be Pittsburgh's first trip to the postseason since Barry Bonds, Jim Leyland and Co. won three straight NL East titles from 1990-92. Bonds then left for San Francisco as a free agent, and the small-budget Pirates piled up 20 consecutive losing records — the longest streak in the four major professional sports.
QUINTANA, SEMIEN LEAD SOX OVER JAYS: Jose Quintana pitched into the eighth inning and rookie Marcus Semien hit his first homer to lead the White Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
Quintana (9-6), who entered the game with the most no-decisions in the American League at 17, allowed two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings. Addison Reed pitched the ninth inning to record his 39th save of the season.