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posted: 5/13/2013 1:58 PM

Warren's Booker authors an All-Big Ten season

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  • Alex Booker

      Alex Booker

 
 

Illinois junior left fielder and former Warren star Alex Booker (Warren) has been named to the All-Big Ten second team.

She also earned a spot on the inaugural Big Ten all-defensive team.

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Booker has had a fantastic season for the Illini on both offense and defense, leading the Orange and Blue at the plate with a .352 batting average and a .425 on base percentage. The speed demon has stolen 20 bases in just 21 attempts, becoming just the third Illini in school history to tab 20 swipes in a single season, while tying for second with a .952 efficiency.

Through last week, the Gurnee native had put together a team-best 50 hits, 32 runs, 13 RBI, 4 doubles, 1 triple and 17 walks, while tabbing 3 sacrifice bunts.

"She has really improved both sides of her game," Illini coach Terri Sullivan said. "Offensively, she has really expanded her game by being a triple threat, getting some extra-base hits and more RBI. She's stepped up every time we asked her to and in whatever spot we put her in. She's really produced for us and has been getting better and better offensively."

Booker has been outstanding in left field, recording the most fielding chances in the Big Ten without recording an error, making 87 putouts and tallying 7 outfield assists.

"Defensively, I think she's improved a lot, especially in her throwing," Sullivan said. "She's made some big catches for us and is still working on her game to get better. We're excited for her. She's being honored for her hard work.

"Her love of the game and her passion to compete at this level and for the University of Illinois is really high."

• Aurora University junior infielder Sarah Clauser (Warren) was named the Northern Athletics Conference's position player of the week.

Clauser hit .421 (8-of-19) with a home run and a double. She scored 4 runs and had 4 RBI. She walked four times and did not strikeout in 23 plate appearances.

• Junior third baseman Lauren Moore (Antioch) was selected as a Loyola University athlete of the month for April. Moore was a key component in the lineup as Loyola went 15-5 in April.

She hit .343 (23-for-67) with a pair of doubles, 7 home runs and 18 RBI to go with a .687 slugging percentage in 20 games.

Moore was a first-team All-Horizon League selection for the first time in her career. She hit safely in 15 contests in April and established a Loyola single-season record with 13 homers.

Moore, who has delivered multiple clutch hits this season, book-ended the month with game-winning home runs. She belted a solo homer in the sixth inning to account for the only run in a 1-0 victory at Northwestern on April 2, then smashed a pair of deciding round-trippers in both ends of a doubleheader sweep of Green Bay on April 27.

Football

Former Libertyville safety and linebacker John Kuceyeski has been hired as the University of Toledo's director of football operations.

He played for Libertyville's 7A state championship team in 2004 and state runner-up team in 2003.

Kuceyeski's father, Randy Kuceyeski, was the head coach at Libertyville for 34 years until his retirement following the 2011 season.

John Kuceyeski will coordinate most non-coaching aspects of coach Matt Campbell's Rocket football program, including budget, team travel and team meals.

Kuceyeski joins the Rockets after a brief stint as the director of player personnel and on-campus recruiting coordinator at Western Michigan.

He began his career as a student-manager and undergraduate assistant coach at Penn State before working for three seasons with the football program at Northwestern.

"We are very happy to have John join our football program," said Campbell. "He has had valuable experience at Penn State and Northwestern that will serve him well in his new role as a Rocket."

Kuceyeski, a 2009 graduate of Penn State with a degree in finance, served as the offensive and special teams quality control intern at Northwestern during the 2010 season and moved to the director of offensive quality control in 2011.

He became the offensive graduate assistant for the Wildcats in March of 2012, working with the wide receivers in the spring before moving back to the offensive line for fall camp.

Kuceyeski also worked with all four phases of special teams during the 2012 season.

Women's lacrosse

Concordia (Wis.) freshman Danny Bundra (Lake Zurich) was named to the second team of the Midwest Lacrosse Conference.

Augustana sophomore Ty Benson (Libertyville) was honorable mention.

Benson finished the season second on his team with 22 caused turnovers.

Baseball

• Concordia University-Chicago designated hitter Thomas Gier (Grant) earned first-team honors to the All-Northern Athletics Conference team. Gier led the Cougars with a .394 batting average (52-132) while scoring 29 runs and driving home a team-leading 39. The junior collected 13 doubles among his 17 extra-base hits for a .568 slugging percentage.

"Thomas has been a great left-handed batter in the number three spot for us," said coach Adam Smith. "He has driven in some big runs."

• Illinois Wesleyan junior outfielder Jon Frericks (Warren) was named a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Baseball player of the week.

He batted .550 (11-for-20) with 6 runs, 4 doubles, 2 RBI and a .750 slugging percentage. Highlighting the week was a 4-for-5 effort with 3 runs and an RBI in an 11-8 win over North Park.

• Grinnell College freshman shortstop Anthony Mack (Libertyville) is one of the top hitters for the Pioneers with a .303 batting average, 30 hits, 21 runs, 18 RBI and 7 doubles.

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

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