Morgan Bihun has become the 13th Division I player in coach Cathyann Smith's 17 years in charge of the Conant softball program.
And the Wisconsin-Green Bay recruit couldn't be more relieved.
"It feels amazing," said the veteran third baseman who also bowled at Conant this winter. "Once I verbally committed, I just had this relief of knowing where I was going. When I got accepted, my worries were over."
Now opposing pitchers must worry when Bihun steps to the plate for her senior season.
She led the defending Mid-Suburban League champion Cougars last spring with a .509 batting average, 31 RBI and 5 home runs.
"I always wanted to play D-I softball," said Bihun, who will be reunited with a teammate from her travel team at Green Bay. Glenbrook South graduate Katie Rossman (Schaumburg Sluggers) is a junior pitcher for the Phoenix. "What attracted me to the school was that it had a good education program."
Bihun plans to study secondary education in quest of becoming an English teacher and she would like to coach softball.
"Ever since I was young, I was always into reading books," Bihun said of her decision to become an English teacher. "I love writing paper and having that freedom to express myself through writing. That's what attracted me to be an English teacher. And I like being able to help kids express themselves. That is what I enjoy."
And for now, she plans to enjoy her final high school season -- with no worries.
Buffalo Grove graduate Mia Inman (class of 2015) earned a seat as a walk-on to the Michigan State University women's crew team after completing the grueling tryout process. Inman was a three-time letter-winner in cross-country and four-time letter-winner in track and field.
She was team captain her junior and senior years and had no previous on-the-water crew experience. However, she had logged plenty of meters on the indoor rower machine as part of her CrossFit training.
Bradley junior Ally Scaccia (Prospect) tied for seventh to help lead the Braves to a second-place finish in the 10-team field at the Bradley Spring Break Invitational on the par-71, 5,921-yard Brookhaven Country Club in the northwest Dallas suburbs.
Bradley matched its second-lowest 54-hole score of the season with a three-round total of 909 to finish second behind team champion Northern Illinois (890). The 909 by the Braves at the par-71 Brookhaven Country Club tied for the 10th lowest 54-hole score in program history.
Scaccia matched her lowest rounds of the spring with a three-over-par 74. She earned her second top-10 finish of the season, tying for seventh overall at 226.
Illinois State junior Kiley Walsh (Prospect) finished with a season-low 72 (37-35) in the final round of the tourney.
Walsh tallied three birdies. She carded a 2-under-par 34 on the back nine, collecting a pair of birdies at the start, before parring the final seven holes. She finished the tournament with a 235 (79-84-72), which was Illinois State's' third-lowest score.
Schaumburg senior outfielder Micaela Encarnacion committed to Ripon College to play softball and volleyball. Encarnacion played for the Saxons' Mid-Suburban League championship team in 2015.
Conant junior center fielder Makenna McCarthy committed to Winona State University. Making her varsity debut as a sophomore last season, McCarthy batted .426 in the Mid-Suburban League with 18 runs 6 doubles and 2 homers as the Cougars won the league title over Elk Grove.
Illinois State sophomore Shannon Felde (Schaumburg) went 7-for-13 at the plate, batting .558 with 7 RBI on the Redbirds' road trip in Boca Raton, Fla. last week.
For the second time this season, Augustana senior Lauren Goggin (Buffalo Grove) has been named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin's player of the week. She also earned the award on Oct. 5, 2016.
Goggin won both of her singles matches and split two doubles matches on March 12 against Wisconsin-Oshkosh and 19th-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater. One of her singles wins was a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 victory over the nation's fifth-ranked player, Megan Humphreys of Whitewater. Goggin also topped Oshkosh's Bailey Sagen 6-0, 6-0 on the day.
For her career, Goggin is now 90-38 in singles play and 87-37 in doubles. Her 177 total career wins are just one off Kim Sawyer's school-record 178 set from 2010-14. Sawyer is also the Vikings' all-time leader with 106 singles wins, 16 ahead of Goggin, who is currently second.
Lauren succeeds sister Dana, who was last week's conference player of the week.
Augustana senior reliever Nick Refka (Palatine) is 1-0 and has not yielded an earned run for the Vikings, who are off to an 8-1 start this year, Augustana has climbed into the D3hoops.com/NCBWA Top 25. The Vikings checked in at No. 20 in the week three poll.
Augustana senior Cameron Mager (Schaumburg) had an assist in the Vikings' 9-3 loss to Eastern University in a neutral-site game at Colorado College.
Carthage sophomores Greigh Hoeft (Conant) and Brynanna Barrera (Fremd) each had a goal in the Lady Reds' 12-10 win over DePauw University at Art Keller Field in Kenosha.
• Augustana sophomore Emily Lucnik (Schaumburg) is the Vikings' leading scorer through four games with 2 goals and 1 assist for 3 points.
Augustana junior Josh Yamamoto (Fremd) was part of the Vikings' 1,600-meter relay team which took fifth in a season-best 3:17.62 at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships at North Central College. The Vikings took 15th place in the team standings.
Oakton Community College sophomore guard Mallory Gonzalez (Prospect) was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region Team as a second team selection in Region IV, District D.
"Mallory combines athleticism with superior basketball IQ, and it's no surprise she was an all-region selection," said third-year Owls head coach Melissa Rauschenberg in a school news release. "She is a team leader on and off the court and involves the whole team when she is out there."
Gonzalez played in 16 games, averaging 17.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
"Mallory has great potential to continue her basketball career in her next two years and to become an even better leader," Rauschenberg added.
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