Archive | May, 2014

Lady Colonels to Play in 2014 Preseason WNIT

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin



RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team will play in the 2014 Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), head coach Chrissy Roberts announced on Wednesday.

It is only the second time in the history of the program that EKU has been invited to play in the prestigious, 16-team event. The Lady Colonels fell to Vanderbilt, 91-62, in the first round of the 2001 Preseason WNIT.

“We are very honored to be playing in such a respected tournament,” Roberts said. “The Preseason WNIT draws some of the top programs in the country every season and to be included in that field is an indication that the Lady Colonels are on the rise. We have high expectations for 2014-15 and the Preseason WNIT will provide us with a great early-season test.”

Nine of the 16 teams comprising the 2014 field are coming off postseason appearances, including five teams that played in the NCAA Tournament and four in the WNIT. The field features Albany, Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Colorado, EKU, Jackson State, Mercer, Mississippi State, North Dakota, Penn State, Rider, Seton Hall, St. Francis Brooklyn, Towson, West Virginia, and Western Kentucky.

The Preseason WNIT is formatted to give all teams a three-game guarantee. The event opens Nov. 14-15 with Round One. Round Two will be played Nov. 16-17; Semifinals will be Nov. 19-20; and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET.  The championship game will be nationally televised live in HD on CBS Sports Network.

Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on Nov. 21-22. All games are hosted by participating schools.

The official tournament bracket with first-round opponents, game dates, and times will be announced in June.

No. 5 Louisville claimed the 2013 Preseason WNIT title, knocking off the Oklahoma Sooners, 97-92, in a thrilling overtime game at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.  In 2012, North Carolina came away with the title after a 77-64 victory over host Iowa.  The 2011 event featured the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country as Brittney Griner led Baylor to a 94-81 win over Notre Dame in Waco, Texas.

This past season, EKU reached the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Lady Colonels are expected to return three starters from a squad that finished 17-13, including junior #Shelly Harper#, who led the team in rebounding (6.2 rebounds-per-game) and was second in scoring (10.4 points-per-game).

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Eastern Kentucky Captures 2013-14 OVC Commissioner’s Cup

Posted on 27 May 2014 by admin

EKU Desktop Background 2 (1920x1200)

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University has won the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Cup for the 2013-14 school year the league office announced on Tuesday. It marks the second Cup title in the last three years for the Colonels under the new format which began six years ago (they also won in 2011-12). The award, which is a symbol of overall athletic excellence in Conference-sponsored championships, will be presented to university officials on May 30 at the league’s annual Honors Brunch in Nashville.

Eastern Kentucky finished the year with 115 points, 3.25 points more than second-place Eastern Illinois, who won the Cup last year. EKU was bolstered by first-place finishes in men’s and women’s cross country, a first-place tie in women’s tennis, a second place finish and OVC Tournament title in men’s basketball and second-place finishes in each men’s and women’s golf.

Prior to the Commissioner’s Cup being instituted in 2008-09, the Colonels won an OVC record 15 Men’s All-Sport Championships and seven Women’s All-Sport Championships.

Eastern Illinois finished with 111.75 points while Southeast Missouri (107.5), Jacksonville State (106) and Belmont (102.5) each eclipsed the 100-point mark to finish third through fifth. The standings were rounded out by SIUE (95), Murray State (93.1), Morehead State (93), Austin Peay (86.5), UT Martin (77.7), Tennessee State (72.25) and Tennessee Tech (67).

The award (which started in 1962-63 for men’s sports and 1980-81 for women’s sports) was previously divided into a Men’s All-Sport Champion and a Women’s All-Sport Champion. Points were awarded for each of the 18 sponsored sports and each school was required to count its totals from each sport in its grand total.
Under the latest scoring system, schools are required to count point totals for four main sports (football, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball) along with their next eight highest point totals from the remaining sports, regardless of gender. Belmont, Morehead State and SIUE, which do not compete in OVC football, count baseball as one of its four required sports.

The points system for scoring is as follows. For all sports (except rifle, men’s indoor and men’s outdoor track – which have fewer participating teams), the first place team earns 12 points, the second place team earns 11 points, etc. For rifle, men’s indoor and men’s outdoor track and field, the first-place team earns 12 points and subsequent point increments are calculated by dividing the total number of OVC member institutions by the number of institutions sponsoring the sport (for rifle that number is 2.4 less, for men’s indoor track that number is 2.0 less and for men’s outdoor track that number is 1.75 less). The scoring system also includes a bonus point for the winner of OVC Tournaments (soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball and baseball).


All-Time Commissioner’s Cup Winners
2008-09 — Murray State University
2009-10 — Eastern Illinois University
2010-11 — Eastern Illinois University
2011-12 — Eastern Kentucky University
2012-13 — Eastern Illinois University
2013-14 — Eastern Kentucky University

Full Results

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Five Colonels Qualify For NCAA East Region Championships

Posted on 23 May 2014 by admin


INDIANAPOLIS – Five Eastern Kentucky University track and field student-athletes have qualified for the NCAA East Region Preliminary Championships to be held May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Junior Ole Hesselbjerg enters the preliminary rounds ranked No. 1 in the East Region in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The native of Charlottenlund, Denmark ran a 8:41.17 at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 19. Hesselbjerg was a first-team All-American in the steeplechase last spring after placing seventh in the event at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Seniors Soufiane Bouchikhi and Wade Meddles qualified in the men’s 5,000 meters. Bouchikhi is currently ranked No. 3 in the region with a 13:45.92 that he ran at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 19. Meddles is right behind him at No. 4 with a 13:46.27 that he ran at the Stanford Relays on April 6. Bouchikhi was a second team All-American in the 5,000 meters in 2012, while Meddles was a second team All-American in the 5,000 meters in 2013.

On the women’s side, junior Ann Eason enters the preliminary rounds ranked No. 13 in the region in the 5,000 meters with a school-record 16:03.87 that she posted at the Stanford Relays on April 6. Eason, a native of Lexington, Ky. finished ninth in the 5,000 meters at the 2013 NCAA Championships, earning second team All-America honors.

Sophomore Cecile Chevillard, meanwhile, qualified in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, coming in at No. 37 with a 10:25.08 that she ran at the Virginia Challenge on May 11. This is the first time Chevillard has qualified for the NCAA preliminary rounds.

The top-12 finishers from each event at the regionals advance to the NCAA Championships to be held June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

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Hagen named 1st team All-OVC; Colonels place 4 on all Freshman team

Posted on 21 May 2014 by admin



Colonel catcher Sean Hagen was named to the 1st Team All-OVC team this season. Hagen was also named as an All-OVC member last season also. Hagen, a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, hit .313 with 37 runs, eight doubles, nine home runs, 36 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 53 total games for the Colonels this season.  Hagen ranks third in the OVC in stolen bases and is tied for 10th in home runs.  The senior had three or more hits in a game six times this year. On May 4, Hagen went 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs against Eastern Illinois.

DH  Bryan Soloman was also named to the 1st Team All-OVC team. Soloman ended the year with a .344 batting average and was 4th in the OVC in RBIs with 55 and 4th in HRs with 14.

The Colonels also placed 4 players on the All-Freshman team including first baseman Ben Fisher, outfielders Taylor Blair and Shea Sullivan and pitcher Caleb Johnson.


2014 All-OVC Baseball Teams
OVC Player of the Year: Matt Tellor, Southeast Missouri
OVC Co-Pitcher of the Year: Brock Downey, Murray State
OVC Co-Pitcher of the Year: Travis Hayes, Southeast Missouri
OVC Rookie of the Year: Alex Robles, Austin Peay
OVC Coach of the Year: Steve Bieser, Southeast Missouri

C – Sean Hagen, Eastern Kentucky
1B – Matt Tellor, Southeast Missouri
2B – Eddie Mora-Loera, Jacksonville State
2B – Anthony Bayus, Murray State
SS – Dylan Bosheers, Tennessee Tech
3B – Daniel Miles, Tennessee Tech
OF – Derek Gibson, Southeast Missouri
OF – Brandon Thomasson, Tennessee Tech
OF – Brandon Rawe, Morehead State
DH – Bryan Soloman, Eastern Kentucky
UT – Ridge Smith, Austin Peay
SP – Brock Downey, Murray State
SP – Ryan Daniels, SIUE
SP – Travis Hayes, Southeast Missouri
RP – Travis Stout, Jacksonville State

C – Chris Robinson, Morehead State
1B – Zach Stephens, Tennessee Tech
2B – Zach Zarzour, Tennessee Tech
SS – Andrew Bishop, Jacksonville State
3B – Brant Valach, Eastern Illinois
OF – Caleb Howell, Eastern Illinois
OF – Griff Gordon, Jacksonville State
OF – Devin Caldwell, SIUE
OF – Drew Ferguson, Belmont
DH – Paschal Petrongolo, Jacksonville State
UT – Tyler Schweigert, Eastern Illinois
SP – David Hess, Tennessee Tech
SP – Austin Coley, Belmont
SP – Alex Robles, Austin Peay
RP – Troy Barton, Eastern Illinois

P/UT – Alex Robles, Austin Peay
OF – Cayce Bredlau, Austin Peay
UTIL – Ridge Smith, Austin Peay
1B – Ben Fisher, Eastern Kentucky
OF – Taylor Blair, Eastern Kentucky
OF – Shea Sullivan, Eastern Kentucky
RHP – Caleb Johnson, Eastern Kentucky
RHP – Luke Humphreys, Morehead State
C/DH – Tyler Lawrence, Murray State
DH/IF – Keaton Wright, SIUE
RHP – Kyle Keatts, Tennessee Tech
RHP – Evan Fraliex, Tennessee Tech
DH – Ben Upton, UT Martin

Note: There are two 2B’s on the first-team and four OF’s on the second-team due to ties in voting.

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Sean Hagen A Semifinalist For Johnny Bench Award

Posted on 20 May 2014 by admin



RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University senior Sean Hagen is one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced recently. The award is given annually to the top NCAA Division I catcher.

The initial watch list was released in March with 72 catchers from across the nation. He is the only player from the Ohio Valley Conference, and the only player from a team in Kentucky, to be chosen as a semifinalist.

The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission started the Johnny Bench Award in 2000. The criteria for the award include athletic ability, sportsmanship, team leadership and character.

Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 3. A final vote by the national committee will occur during the College World Series with the winner announced on June 26.

Hagen hit .313 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs, 37 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. The Reading, Pa., native also had 29 walks and eight doubles. He had a .516 slugging percentage and a .432 on-base percentage.

Hagen ranks third in the OVC in stolen bases and is tied for 10th in home runs.

The senior had three or more hits in a game six times this year. On May 4, Hagen went 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs against Eastern Illinois.

While Johnny Bench is remembered for his offense, he may have had the greatest impact behind the plate. He was the first receiver to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back to protect it from foul tips.

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Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky to Meet in 2017

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Bret Shroats

Fans and team celebrate after beating Western Kentucky 26-21.

Fans and team celebrate after beating Western Kentucky 26-21.


According to a report in the Bowling Green Daily News the Eastern Kentucky Colonels will open the 2017 season at Western Kentucky.

The Colonels and Hilltoppers last met Sept. 6, 2008, with WKU winning 37-13 in Richmond.

WKU moved up to FBS after the 2008 season when they joined the Sun Belt.  Starting July 1, 2014 WKU will be a member of C-USA.

EKU flirted with the Sun Belt this year but was passed on by the Sun Belt. EKU has said it will work on getting the athletic facilities upgraded in the next two to three years  before they try and move up again.

WKU holds a 48-34-3 edge over Eastern Kentucky in the Battle of the Bluegrass.

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Leanna Pittsenbarger Named to NFCA All-Region Team

Posted on 16 May 2014 by admin



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University softball pitcher Leanna Pittsenbarger was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) all-region second team the organization announced today.

The junior from Urbana, Ohio set three program single-season records this year – strikeouts (297), shutouts (12) and opponent batting average (.139). Pittsenbarger currently ranks among the top-20 nationally in ERA (1.35 – 16th), strikeouts (fourth), shutouts (fifth) and hits allowed per seven innings (3.29 – third).

Earlier this month, Pittsenbarger became the first Eastern Kentucky pitcher to notch first team All-OVC honors since 2004. The righty tossed her second career no-hitter on April 1 in 5-0 win over East Tennessee State. Pittsenbarger also set a new program record for strikeouts in a game when she fanned 18 Eastern Illinois batters in a 2-1 nine-inning triumph on April 5.

For their impressive performances on the field of play this season, 392 players from 158 different programs have been chosen to the 2014 NFCA Division I all-region squads. Pittsenbarger was one of five OVC softball players to earn NFCA all-region honors.

The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each respective region, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to one of three 2014 NFCA Division I All-America teams.

The 2014 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced on Wednesday, May 28 via at approximately 5 p.m. ET.

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EKU Eliminated from OVC Tournament Contention

Posted on 15 May 2014 by Bret Shroats

Taylor Blair


Eastern Kentucky and Murray State are meeting this weekend with both fighting for the last OVC Tournament spot.  Murray State wins game one 6-1.

Murray State (22-28, 13-15 OVC) was coming off a win over Kentucky while EKU (23-30, 11-17 OVC) is coming off a win over Ohio.

Murray State would strike first with a three run home run. A couple of batters later a sacrifice bunt to bring in the fourth run if the third inning.

Luke Wurzelbacher would put the Colonels on the board in the fifth with a RBI double. EKU would load the bases up in the eighth but failed to get any closer.

EKU errors in the ninth would allow two runs to score for Murray State making it 6-1.

Eastern Kentucky would get the first two batters on in the ninth but fall to Murray State 6-1.

With the loss the season will end on Saturday for EKU.

The two teams will meet tomorrow at 4 pm.

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Colonels Power Their Way Past Ohio

Posted on 13 May 2014 by Bret Shroats

TJ Alas hit a grand slam to help EKU beat Ohio 7-6

TJ Alas hit a grand slam to help EKU beat Ohio 8-7


Eastern Kentucky played their final non-conference game of the season against the Bobcats of Ohio University today at Turkey Hughes Field. The Colonels beat the Bobcats 8-7.

Eastern Kentucky (23-29, 11-6 OVC) is now 8-2 all-time vs Ohio (11-37, 7-17 MAC).

Ohio would start the game up 3-0 after one and a half innings.

The Colonels would then load the bases in the bottom of the second and TJ Alas would unload the bases with a grand slam to put EKU up 5-3.

Ohio would then battle back and even the game up in the fifth inning.

Kenny Hostrander wouldn’t let that last for long though. Hostrander hit a two run single in the fifth to regain the lead for the Colonels.

Ohio would attempt a rally in the eighth cutting the Colonel lead to one run.

Shea Sullivan would get that run back with a RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.

Ohio would add a run in the ninth but could not extend the game.

Myles Scott would come in to the game to get the save as Eastern Kentucky wins 8-7.

TJ Alas is the Maroon Nation Player of the Game. TJ Alas went 3-5 with a grand slam.

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Rain ends.Colonels softball season

Posted on 10 May 2014 by admin



JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Steady rain in eastern Alabama has forced the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference softball tournament to go to single elimination to determine this year’s champion. Because Eastern Kentucky lost on the opening day, the Colonels have been eliminated.

EKU (29-22) did play 1.5 innings of an elimination game this morning against Eastern Illinois (38-17). However, rain returned and has not let up as the afternoon has moved along.

No. 2 seed SIUE and No. 4 Murray State were the only teams remaining in the winner’s bracket. Those two teams will square off in the championship game at some point later this evening. The winner of that game will receive the OVC’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

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