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College softball

VU's Trepanier, Packard earn All-Tournament accolades: Valparaiso juniors Carly Trepanier and Kelsie Packard were selected to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Tournament Team.

Trepanier notched a pair of extra-base hits (double, home run) in Valpo's win over Indiana State. It is the second career all-tournament selection for Trepanier

Packard recorded the victory in the circle as Valpo won its first-ever MVC Tournament game, tossing 6 2/3 innings against Indiana State and giving up just two runs while striking out six batters. Packard then threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball out of the bullpen, striking out four in a loss to Drake.

Hanlon helps UIC win Horizon League Tournament title: Illinois-Chicago pitcher Marley Hanlon (Hanover Central) tossed seven innings, had two strikeouts and allowed four hits in a 3-1 win for the Flames over Oakland in the Horizon League Tournament Championship game.

Hanlon pitched a total of 12 innings in the tourney and allowed one run, earning all-tournament team honors. The Flames advance to the NCAA tournament.

College baseball

Valparaiso drops MVC game to Illinois State: Valparaiso was touched up for 16 hits and fell 13-3 in eight innings to Illinois State in a Missouri Valley Conference game.

Sam Shaikin provided the offense for the Crusaders (17-28, 6-11) picking up all three RBIs, while going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. Chase Dawson (Andrean) was 1-for-3 with a double and scored twice.

Pro baseball

RailCats make roster moves: Outfielder Dale Carey and infielder Jimmy Norris were added to the RailCats' spring training roster Thursday.

Norris hit .148 with the American Association's Laredo Lemurs in 2016, while Carey hit .229 with the Washington Nationals' Class A-affiliate Potomac Nationals in 2017. 

During the preseason, American Association teams can have up to 28 players under contract. The roster must be trimmed to 22 active players two days before the start of the season, according to the league website.  

The RailCats season is set to begin at 7:10 p.m. Friday versus the St. Paul Saints.

Infielder Luis Diaz was also traded to Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League to complete a previous trade.

Women's basketball

South Carolina plans statue of hoops star A'ja Wilson: Basketball star A'ja Wilson is getting a statue at South Carolina.

University President Harris Pastides closed graduation ceremonies Saturday by announcing the school plans to build a statue of the national player of the year.

Wilson helped South Carolina win the 2017 NCAA title and left as the school's all-time scoring leader. Wilson received a loud ovation when she walked across the stage for her diploma.

She was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft and will play for the Las Vegas Aces this summer.

Wilson was the Southeastern Conference player of the year the past three seasons, a three-time All-American and swept all national awards this past season.

The project must be approved by the school's board of trustees.

Basketball

AAU circuit teams to wear anti-gun violence campaign patches: All the teams in an elite AAU circuit will wear orange patches this season, joining a New York-area program that started wearing them in a campaign against gun violence.

The New Renaissance Basketball Association — or Rens, as the program is known — developed the orange patch program three years ago after four shootings involving teammates. More than 300 teams later joined the campaign, for which the Rens were honored by President Barack Obama in 2016.

Now the Nike Elite Youth Basketball Circuit — of which the Rens are a member — will have its teams join in, beginning with games this weekend in Atlanta.

In a statement, Nike says it "supports efforts that help young people bring awareness to matters that help move the world forward."

Pro soccer

Zardes takes MLS scoring lead, Crew beat Fire: Gyasi Zardes scored twice to take the MLS scoring lead and the Crew beat the Fire 3-0 on Saturday night.

Zardes drew a penalty in the 27th minute when Chicago's Kevin Ellis grabbed him from behind by the arm. Federico Higuain opened the scoring a minute later, converting from the spot with a rising shot into the top of the net.

Niko Hansen started a counter in the 50th minute with a takeaway behind midfield and went all the way to about 5 yards from goal to set up Zardes, who finished with a left-footed stab to double the lead.

Zardes added his league-leading eighth goal of the season in the 70th minute.

Columbus improved to 6-3-3, and Chicago dropped to 3-5-2.

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Sports Reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.