For four straight years, Nicole Kruckman was a varsity softball player at Libertyville High School where she was a catcher and infielder.
As a freshman, she earned the Most Improved Player honors for the Wildcats.
Now at North Park, Kruckman is a freshman again -- and still earning honors.
She and sophomore teammate Lindsay Synek were named to the Great Lakes Division All-Region second team.
"Both Lindsay and Nicole are very deserving of this honor," said North Park head coach Dan Gooris on the school's website. "They had tremendous seasons and were a big part of our historic success this year."
Kruckman, who earned an All-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin first-team selection, finished her first season as the team's second-best hitter with a .418 batting average.
Named the "CCIW Hitter of the Week" in the final week of the regular season, Kruckman had a team second-best on-base percentage (. 495), slugging percentage (. 544) and ranked in the top-five in hits and home runs.
"Nicole really came on strong as the season progressed," Gooris added. "She had an intimidating factor about her against opposing pitchers, which helped us immensely."
North Park finished the season with a 24-12 record, the most wins for an NPU squad in softball history and the Vikings' coaching staff earned CCIW Co-Coaching Staff of the Year.
Augustana put the finishing touches on the season by winning eight events at the Twilight Qualifier at the Paul V. Olsen Track.
Senior Sarahbeth Jones (Warren) won the 1500 with a time of 4:37.24.
Jones will also compete in the 5,000 at the NCAA Division III national championship beginning on Thursday in Lacrosse, Wis.
Libertyville Kickball Leagues
The Libertyville Sports Complex (www.LibertyvilleSportsComplex.com) is offering a new coed adult Kickball League starting the end of May and there are some openings available.
Games will be on Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with a seven-game season and a single elimination postseason tournament. For registration info contact Scott Jenkins at (847) 367-7054 or email at email@example.com
The Gurnee Park District offers a wide range of golf lessons, including youth lessons, youth/high school golf camps, adult lessons and ladies only lessons.
The program is under the direction of PGA Professional Dino Lucchesi and all lessons are held at Bittersweet Golf Club, 875 Almond Rd. For more information or to register visit gurneeparkdistrict.com
Illinois Wesleyan commitments
Warren's Bobby Clarke and Jacob Perry (lacrosse), Joe Faso, linebacker, Elk Grove, Ill. (Conant HS) and Lake Zurich's Jack Sweeney (Lake Zurich HS) have committed to play for Illinois Wesleyan.
Concordia-Chicago senior pitcher J.P. Kulick (Buffalo Grove) closed out his team's 13-3 win over the Milwaukee School of Engineering by retiring the side in order in the seventh. He finished the game with a flourish, gettng the final batter swinging at a third strike to wrap up the Northern Athletics Conference title-clinching victory.
Senior pitcher Bobby Beelen (Wheeling) sophomore hurler Kurt Kempema (Schaumburg H.S.) are also former MSL players who have been big contributers to Concordia's success this season.
The wins gave the Cougars their sixth straight season of 30 or more wins. The team won its 100th game for coach Adam Smith when the Cougars beat Illinois Wesleyan 5-0.
Smith is a former Schaumburg-Carthage College player. He also was named NAC coach of the year for the second time in three years.
St. Viator senior setter Brennan Harrington, the Lions MVP in 2012, will sign a letter of intent to play volleyball at Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Ia.
You can join former Chicago Bear and Super Bowl champion Jim Schwantz for the inaugural season of the Northwest Flag Football League.
Coach Schwantz will lead all practices and the emphasis will be on the fundamentals of football.
Equal playing time for practices and games at all positions is guaranteed.
Registration is now open. Only 15 spots remain for the college league (third and fourth grade) and only 25 spots remain for the pro league (grades fifth and sixth).
The season begins Aug. 13 and ends Sept. 28 (every Tuesday and Thursday with no weekends or travel.
For more information go to http://nwffl.org/
Kindergarten through high school seniors (boys and girls) are invited to hone their basketball skills at Oakton's camp.
The coaches on the school's experienced athletic staff and students at the Des Plaines campus will run the camp from June 24 to 27.
For a registration form or for more details, contact Oakton men head basketball coach Mick Reuter at (847) 635-1753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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