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Article updated: 5/6/2013 12:26 PM

MSL strikes back at Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

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The Mid-Suburban League will present its second annual "Strikeout Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma" day this Friday.

The event was started in honor of Dennis Lynch,the longtime Rolling Meadows teacher and coach who died last spring after a long battle with NHL.

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Fremd softball coach Jim Weaver and Palatine softball coach Jeff Manz are sons-in-law of Dennis, whose daughters Laura, Lindsey and Jenna all played in the Fremd softball program.

All 12 Mid-Suburban League softball teams will be participating in the fundraiser which raised $2,818.74 at the game between Fremd and Palatine and $5,262.84 combined with the rest of the MSL.

"This cause is near and dear to my heart, as my father in law passed away last spring after a decade long battle with NHL," Weaver said. "Both Fremd and Palatine softball are asking for your help in supporting the fight against Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma by taking part in this special day."

All players will wear neon lime green socks and NHL T-shirts during pre-game and at school on game day.

There will be concessions (chips and drinks) and a bake sale asking for donations along with many raffles at the game hosted by Fremd.

Sports Notes Trivia

Laura Weaver, the daughter of Dennis Lynch and wife of Fremd softball coach Jim Weaver, has a significant part of Fremd softball history. Can you name it? Answer at end of column.

Breaking news

Fremd girls basketball coach Dave Yates has reported that his four-year starting guard, Ashley McConnell, will be a preferred walk-on for the University of Illinois women's basketball team.

McConnell, a four-time Daily Herald Cook County all-area selection and the 2012 honorary captain, scored more than 1,000 points at Fremd and is currently a member of the Vikings girls soccer team.

Women's softball

Former Fremd standout second baseman Lauren Zaworski is still playing softball at Loyola.

But when she is not on the softball field, the nursing student is often busy with clinicals and exams.

The school's website profiles Zaworski and her story as a rare student-athlete in the nursing program.

"Because of the demanding time constraints of clinicals and class work, student athletes are rare in nursing," said Nancy S. Hogan, PhD, a distinguished professor and associate dean for research, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. "However, Lauren is a model student and a great athlete who has the discipline and drive to balance it all."

Zaworski still travels with the Ramblers and is hitting .340 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. She also led the team with 9 doubles as she is enjoying her best season at Loyola.

Off the field, Zaworski was named to the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll. She also was nominated for the Academic All-District Team of accomplished student-athletes with a 3.3 GPA or higher for the school year. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association named her an All-America Scholar-Athlete in 2011, which requires a 3.5 GPA or higher.

"The nursing program is so challenging and a student athlete's time is stretched with training, traveling, playing, and community service," said Bill Behrns, Loyola's assistant athletic director for communications. "Lauren is a remarkable kid who has been able to accomplish success both on and off the playing field. This is a testament to her strong work ethic and organizational and time-management skills."

Most universities do not allow nursing students to participate in sports. However, Zaworski was drawn to Loyola for the resources that make it possible to do both.

"My coaches are flexible and stress that I am a student first and an athlete second," Zaworski said. "I am grateful that they have allowed me to play while supporting my passion for nursing."

On the days that Zaworski has clinicals, she reports to an area hospital at 5 a.m. and works until 3 p.m. She then attends practice or a game until 6 p.m. before completing a few hours of homework at night.

This leaves little room for down time, but Zaworski feels lucky to be involved with both and believes her experience as a student-athlete will prepare her well for nursing.

"High-intensity situations are common in college athletics," Zaworski said. "Softball has taught me to be calm under pressure, which will serve me well as a nurse."

Zaworski's nursing skills recently came into play when a teammate broke her nose and suffered a concussion on the field.

"My teammates turned to me for help, so I ran to get medical equipment to assist the athletic trainer," Zaworski said. "Helping others and having compassion are among the reasons I chose nursing. These skills have come in handy both on the field and at the bedside."

• Valdosta State freshman pitcher Hanna Lythberg (Prospect) was named Pitcher of the Week for the Gulf South Conference.

Lythberg is the second Valdosta State student-athlete to earn their first Pitcher of the Week honor this season.

She was sparkling as the Blazers swept doubleheaders against Christian Brothers and Delta State, getting 2 wins and a save while allowing just 1 earned run. Her best performance came against DSU, where she allowed just 4 singles, 1 unearned run, no walks and had 5 strikeouts in a complete-game, 7-1 win.

On the season, Lythberg is 13-3 with two saves, 90 strikeouts and a 1.70 ERA in 102 2/3 innings, including 11 complete games. She is fifth in the GSC in wins, third in strikeouts, and second in ERA.

• Davenport sophomore shortstop KC Dunne (Buffalo Grove) was named the WHAC 'Newcomer of the Year' and selected to the all-conference team.

Dunne is the second-leading hitter for the Panthers (.408) and her team won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championship, advancing to the NAIA national tourney.

• Millikin's Becca Thompson (Schaumburg) had 2 hits for the Big Blue in a 7-3 win over Illinois College in 10 innings.

• Carthage senior pitcher Krystina Leazer (Elk Grove), who is 19-3 with 1.84 ERA, was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin "Softball Pitcher of the Year" after earning "co-pitcher of the year" honors in 2012 and winning the award outright in 2011.

Basketball

The Bloomington Flex basketball team signed guard Chris McClellan (Wheeling), who played for Lewis University.

The 6-foot-1 McClellan led Lewis in scoring (15.7) this season as a senior while playing for former Illinois Wesleyan coach Scott Trost.

"He's quick and smart, a true point guard," Flex coach A.J. Guyton said. "He knows and understands the game, and that's the most important thing for a point in our system."

High school baseball

Five seniors on coach Paul Belo's Palatine baseball team have made college commitments.

They are second baseman Neal Ori (Carroll College), shortstop Jarrod Juskiewicz (Illinois Wesleyan), outfielder Matt Hogan (College of Dubuque), outfielder Anthony Fortunato (Carthage) and catcher Greg Grana (North Park).

• Senior Jake Andrews, a right-handed pitcherfor Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna, has committed to play for Benedictine University in Lisle.

Men's baseball

Oakton sophomore pitcher Joe Walsh (Palatine) and freshman outfielder Josh Jyawook (Fremd) were named to the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference first team.

In conference play, Walsh went 3-0 on the mound while Jyawook batted .510 batting.

Oaktone sophomore outfielder Kurt Kaufman (Fremd) was chosen to the ISCC's second Team.

Golf outing

The 13th annual golf/dinner dance sponsored by Wheeling High School's Spur Club will be held Friday, July 12 at Chevy Chase Golf Course.

It benefits Wheeling High School's Athletic club programs

A golf and dinner/dance ticket is $125 per person. Send payments to Wheeling High School- Spur Club, P.O. Box 124, Wheeling, IL 60090.

Jenna Eaker commits

Schaumburg's Jenna Eaker plans to attend Millikin University and play soccer for Big Blue coach Emily Johnson. She plans to study athletic training at Millikin.

"Jenna is a fast and physical forward, she will add speed and an attacking mind-set to our squad," said Johnson. Heading into her senior season, Eaker has earned three varsity letters in soccer as a forward at Schaumburg High School. She has 12 career goals with 5 assists. Eaker plays club soccer for Sports Club United.

Men's track

Eastern Michigan junior Pablo Ramirez (Conant) finished 11th in the 10,000 meters with a personal best 29:50.56 and Butler freshman Erik Peterson (Barrington) finished 19th in the 5,000 meters with a personal best 14:28.49 at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Cal.

• Missouri junior Chris Spudic (Prospect) finished 12th in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a personal best 9:12.56 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Women's track

Notre Dame senior Rebecca Tracy (Barrington) finished first in the 800 meters with a personal best time of 2:05.31 at the Stanford Invitational.

• Indiana State senior Kalli Dalton (Conant) finished 16th in the 3000 steeplechase (10:51.77) at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Illinois sophomore Britten Petry (Schaumburg) finished fourth in the 3000 steeplechase with a personal best 10:54.10 at the Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

Dana and Lauren Goggins commit

Buffalo Grove seniors, twin sisters Dana and Lauren Goggins, have committed to play tennis at Augustana for coach Jon Miedema.

Dana and Lauren were four-year letter winners for coach Kevin Schrammel.

They qualified for state four times in doubles. They earned All-Mid-Suburban League honors four times and received all-state recognition three times.

As seniors, the Goggins went 29-6 and were Mid-Suburban League champions at first doubles. They finished third at the Stevenson sectional and earned a top 16 finish at state.

The Goggins finished in the top 32 at state as both sophomores and juniors. They finished second at sectionals in their sophomore season and third as juniors.

Michael McGrath commits

St. Viator senior Michael McGrath has committed to play soccer as a goalie at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. DePauw ended the 2012 season in 20th place in the final D3 soccer rankings.

McGrath was the goalie for the Lions' 2012 Class 3A third-place finisher. He is also a third basemen for St. Viator's baseball team this spring.

Men's golf

Illinois Wesleyan sophomore Kenny Wienckowski placed ninth to earn all-conference honors and help the Titans win the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin meet.

Joining Wienckowski next year will be Hersey senior Jack Ferguson, who recently committed to the Titans golf team.

Trivia answer

Laura Weaver, a member of the special education staff at Palatine High School, threw the first no-hitter in Fremd softball history when she defeated Schaumburg in 1994.

• Please email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com or FAX to (847) 427-1173.

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