• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Eagles earn senior night victory over Brescia

The Midway University women’s basketball team finished the regular season on a high note on Thursday, Feb. 16, when they defeated Brescia, 66-57, on senior night inside Marshall Gymnasium. After suffering through a winless season in 2015-16, the women’s basketball program has done a complete 180 in head coach John Kenger’s second season, as he has led his team to a 21-9 overall record and a 12-6 record in River States Conference play. With the win, the Eagles clinch a share of the RSC West Division. The win also means Midway got to host West Virginia Tech in the River States Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Marshall Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Midway not only faced the pressure of needing a win to clinch a home game in the postseason, but they also dealt with the emotions of senior night. Four seniors – Breanna Ball, Jasmine Johnson, Libby Pike and manager and Maria Kochenova – were all honored prior to the game. In the game, even though the shots weren’t falling for the seniors, they found a way to make an impact whether it was grabbing a rebound or finding an open teammate. Ball led the seniors in scoring with eight points, while dishing out six assists and grabbing three rebounds. Johnson added seven points, three rebounds and two assists, while Pike added two points and three rebounds. With the seniors not scoring at their usual clip, the Eagles needed someone to step up. Doing just that was the freshman duo of Timitryi Patterson and Haleigh Yazell. Patterson finished with a team-high 17 points, while Yazell chipped in with 15. The Eagles led from the opening tap as freshman Madison Jones and Yazell knocked down back-to-back triples to give the home team their largest lead of the game, 59-33, just a minute into the fourth period. The Bearcats then came storming back with a 17-0 run cutting the deficit to nine, but the Eagles responded with a three-pointer from the corner by junior Jessica Rice to extend Midway’s lead back to 12. Brescia battled back cutting the lead to six, but once again the Eagles had an answer. This time it was Patterson who made a basket and a freethrow and Midway was able to hang on for the 66-57 win. Midway finished the night shooting 46.4 percent from the floor (26-56) and 42.1 percent from long range where they went 8-of-19. The Bearcats shot 32.7 percent overall (18-55) while going 6-of-26 from three for 20.7 percent. Baseball The Midway University baseball team continued to make history on Sunday, Feb. 19, as they won their first game in program history by coming away with a split against St. Francis (Ill.) at Chandler Field. After dropping a pair of one run affairs in Saturday’s doubleheader, the Eagles, who are 1-7 so far this season, turned the tables and came away with a 1-0 victory in the opener on Sunday to seal their first victory in program history. The game was a pitcher’s duel as both team’s offense struggled to find a hit. The two teams combined for just one run and two hits, while neither defense committed a miscue in the field. Junior left-hander DJ Lewis and St. Francis’ starter John Riordan each traded scoreless innings on the mound. Lewis never found himself in any trouble in his six innings of work after a runner didn’t reach second base until the fifth inning. He allowed a one-out hit by pitch and the runner moved up to second on a passed ball, but Lewis closed the door with a line out to end the inning. The Eagles entered the sixth inning without a hit with the game scoreless. Senior Reid Battles worked a lead off walk and moved to second on a stolen base. After a ground out, Battles represented the go ahead run standing 90 feet away with two outs. The next batter was Hector Quinones, who entered the at-bat 0-for-1 on the day with a walk. The senior came through when his team needed it the most as he sent a shot between the first and second basemen to score Battles from third giving his team the 1-0 lead. Luther Bramblett then made the call to the bullpen bringing in closer Jake McCoy, to start the seventh. The senior pitcher allowed a leadoff walk, but proceeded to strikeout the side to seal the 1-0 win. The save was the first of the season for McCoy. Lewis picked up his first win of his collegiate career after fanning six in six innings of work, while allowing just one hit. Midway and St. Francis would play their series finale later that day with the Fighting Saints coming away with the 4-3 victory to win the series, three games to one. The Eagles return to action on Friday, February 24, when they host Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) at Chandler Field with first pitch set for 5 p.m. (Information courtesy of Dylan Brown/Midway Univ. Sports Information)

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