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Ex-Panther pitcher signs with Frontier League team

Former Eastern Illinois pitcher Tyler Jones recently signed with the Joliet Slammers in the Frontier League, an Independent Professional Baseball League. Jones becomes the third EIU player this year to move on to play professional baseball after Michael YaSenka and Jimmy Govern were both selected in the MLB Draft.

Jones pitched two years for the Panthers earning second team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a junior making 12 starts in 13 appearances. Jones finished the season with a 7-3 record and 54 strikeouts. As a senior Jones became a versatile pitcher for the EIU staff that could either start or come out of the bullpen. He would make 15 appearances striking out 42 batters in 46.2 innings on the mound.

Jones becomes the fourth EIU player to sign a contract with a team in the Frontier League in the last two seasons. He has already made one start for Joliet.

Lennox named EIU nominee for NCAA award

INDIANAPOLIS – Eastern Illinois student-athlete Grace Lennox was named the Panthers nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Lennox was among the 585 student-athletes across all three NCAA Divisions that were nominated for the award.

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Lennox was a five-year member of the Panthers women’s basketball team and finished her career as one of three players in program history with more than 1,000 points and 500 assists. On the court Lennox was one of the top scorers for the program early in her career, earning first team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors in 2017 after ranking fourth in the league in scoring at 16.3 points per game. As a senior, Lennox was named one of the top 30 players for the Senior CLASS Award prior to a season-ending injury. She returned for her redshirt senior year in 2019-19.

Off the court, Lennox was an OVC Academic Medal of Honor winner, finishing her undergraduate degree and working on a master’s degree while playing basketball. She was active in the community as part of the EIU women’s team in participation with the CARE Game, Red Cross Blood Drives and Youth Clinics as a few of her activities.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

Next, conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee will choose the top 30 honorees, 10 from each division. The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from that top 30 and announce nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The winner will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.

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Sports writer

I cover Eastern Illinois football and basketball, as well as Mattoon/Charleston prep sports, for the JG-TC

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