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First-place WSU softball faces Southern Illinois

  • Published Friday, April 25, 2014, at 8:46 p.m.

Wichita State’s softball team has the Missouri Valley Conference race under its control. All the Shockers need to do is win.

WSU (30-18, 17-4 MVC) plays third-place Southern Illinois (25-20, 12-8) this weekend at Wilkins Stadium. It finishes the regular season with a series at second-place Illinois State (21-24, 13-5) beginning May 3. Illinois State has eight MVC games remaining.

The Shockers, who have never won an MVC title, start the weekend series with a noon doubleheader on Saturday. The series concludes at noon Sunday. WSU leads the MVC with a .314 batting average and 274 runs. In MVC games, it is hitting .340.

Sloan Anderson, Molly Baker and Ali Vandever will be recognized Saturday as the program’s seniors.

WSU has wrapped up its first winning season since the 2008 team went 33-28. Its 17 MVC wins are its most since the 2007 team went 18-9 in the conference.

Shockers serving — WSU’s men’s tennis team will defend its conference tournament title beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at Normal, Ill.

The second-seeded Shockers (17-8, 3-1 MVC) play third-seeded Southern Illinois (10-10, 2-2) in a semifinal match. Top-seeded Drake faces fourth-seeded Illinois State at 10 a.m. Sunday’s championship match begins at 10 a.m.

WSU’s women’s team (17-6, 6-0), top-seeded, meets fifth-seeded Illinois State (10-9, 2-4) at 10 a.m. in Normal. Illinois State defeated fourth-seeded Northern Iowa 4-0 on Friday. Sunday’s championship match begins at 2 p.m.

WSU has won six straight MVC titles and has not lost a regular-season MVC match since 2008. It has won five straight tournaments.

WSU’s Julia Schiller was named MVC Player of the Year after going 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Colin Foster earned Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career. Schiller, Rebecca Pedrazzi and Veronika Blaskova were named to the All-MVC team. Lucia Kovalova was named to the All-Select Team. Schiller and Abby Stevens were named all-conference at No. 3 doubles.

Montse Blasco Fernandez, Blaskova and Kovalova earned spots on the scholar-athlete team while Pedrazzi earned honorable mention.

On the men’s side, Ilija Cuic and Tin Ostojic were named to the All-Select team.

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