EIU track qualifies two women for NCAA West Regional

CHARLESTON—Eastern Illinois women’s track had two athletes qualify for next week’s NCAA West Regional which will take place in Sacramento, Calif. MaKenna Wilson, a Charleston grad, and Pedra Hicks both ranked in the top 48 in their events this season and will be in action next Thursday, May 23.

Wilson is to compete at 6 p.m. (Central) in the women’s hammer after the sophomore was ranked 30th in the NCAA West Region this season. Wilson’s season best throw of 197 feet, 3 inches, came at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships as she won the event to earn first team All-OVC honors. The throw improved upon Wilson’s school record in the event which was set earlier this year. This will be the first NCAA Regional appearance for the Charleston native.

Hicks is to run at 6:30 p.m. (Central) in the women’s 400 meter hurdles after the senior was ranked 31st in the NCAA West Region this season. Hicks ran two sub-60 second 400 meter hurdle times this season with her best effort of 59.40 coming at the EIU Big Blue Classic. Hicks holds the EIU school record in the event and was the Ohio Valley Conference champion this season earning first team All-OVC honors. This will be the first NCAA Regional appearance for the Chicago native.

EIU baseball drops first two against VMI

LEXINIGTON, VA. -- The Eastern Illinois baseball team took on Virginia Military Institute in the second game of their non-conference series on Friday.  The Keydets were able to secure the series with a 7-3 win over the Panthers.

With the loss, EIU falls to 25-29 on the season. The Panthers lost to VMI Thursday 5-4. 

Friday Hunter Morris got the Panthers on the board in the top of the first inning when he hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Christian Pena. 

The Panthers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning on a Pena RBI single down the right field line.

VMI rallied in the bottom of the third hitting three home runs to take their first lead of the game, 6-2.

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Morris blasted his 12th home run of the season in the top of the seventh inning with a solo shot to right field.

Alex Spahman suffered  the loss on the mound for EIU. Spahman fell to 1-2 on the season after tossing 2.1 innings with two strikeouts.

Thursday Michael YaSenka got the ball on the hill for the Panthers to open the series. YaSenka fell to 4-7 on the season with the loss after tossing five innings with nine strikeouts.

The Panthers , who trailed 5-1, scored late to cut the Keydets lead to one run. Jimmy Huber kicked off the late inning rally for Eastern Illinois with a solo home run to right center in the top of the eighth. The Panthers scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning, but the Keydets were able to hold them off to secure the series opening victory.

 The two teams will wrap-up their series Saturday at 12 pm. 

Slaria named CoSIDA Academic All-District

Eastern Illinois senior tennis player Srishti Slaria was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Five Women’s At-Large team on Thursday. Slaria was one of ten players selected from NCAA Division I schools in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Those ten All-District selections will now move onto the ballot for Academic All-American honors.

Slaria recently wrapped up her senior season on the court earning second team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors. She played in 22 dual matches during the season posting a 14-8 singles record playing the entire season at number two singles. She ended her EIU career with 47 singles wins which ranks seventh on the EIU all-time wins list. She ended her career ranking in the career top ten for wins at the number two, three, four and five singles positions. She was 15-4 in doubles play as a senior and ended her career with 42 doubles wins.

Slaria graduated with a 4.0 GPA in Economics and won the 2019 EIU Athletic Director Award presented to the top senior based on a combination of academic, athletic, leadership and community service accolades.

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