Falkstrom finding rookie success

Updated 4/16/2018 3:12 PM
  • Antioch's Piper Foote is doubled up at first by Carmel's Karina Falkstrom to end the game during the Class 3A softball sectional final at Wauconda on Monday.

      Antioch's Piper Foote is doubled up at first by Carmel's Karina Falkstrom to end the game during the Class 3A softball sectional final at Wauconda on Monday. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Karina Falkstrom

    Karina Falkstrom

Carmel Catholic graduate Karina Falkstrom is enjoying a fine rookie season at Pomona-Pitzer in Claremont, Calif.

The freshman recently earned athlete of the week honors in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference when she helped the Sagehens to victories over Cal Lutheran and Redlands.

In two doubleheaders, Falkstrom batted .600 and hit a home run in three consecutive games while compiling 8 RBI.

Falkstrom went 1-for-2 in the first game against Cal Lutheran, lining an RBI single in a 9-1 victory. She followed with a perfect 2-for-2 performance with a solo home run in the third inning to help the Hens to a 4-3 win.

In the Redlands series, the Sagehen's catcher caught a runner stealing and crushed a solo home run over left center in the first game. In the second game, Falkstrom crushed a towering grand slam over the left field fence, followed by an RBI double to help the Hens to a 9-7 victory.

She is batting .338 this season with 4 home runs and 13 RBI.

• Illinois-Chicago sophomore Kayla Wedl (Wauconda) enjoyed a big day when the Flames (19-15, 8-3) extended their win streak to five with a pair of 12-4 wins against Northern Kentucky.

The Flames outhit the Norse 31-19 in the two games with Wedl getting 6 hits.

Wedl led UIC with a 4-for-5 performance and 3 RBI in the first game. In Game 2, she gave the Flames a 4-0 lead with her first grand slam.

The Flames also swept a twin bill from IUPUI as Wedl hit a 2-run homer to give UIC a 7-4 lead. She hit another homer later in the game won by UIC 12-7. Wedl then hit her third home of the day in Game 2 as the Flames recorded a 11-0 win in five innings.

Wedl lead the team with 6 homers and owns the team's second-best batting average at .317.

• Wisconsin-Whitewater freshman outfielder Vera Pflugradt (Stevenson) was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's softball position player athlete of the week.

She finished 4-for-5 with 1 home run and 2 RBI during the Warhawks' doubleheader sweep over Wisconsin Stout. In the opener, she posted 2 hits during the team's six-run sixth inning, including a base hit through the right side to lead off the inning and a two-out, RBI single later.

In the second game, Pflugradt posted two hits, including a bunt base hit in the second inning and a homer to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.


St. Norbert junior Sean Ferraro (Libertyville) went 7-for-10 as the Green Knights began Midwest Conference play with a doubleheader sweep of Beloit College 12-8 and 4-3 at Knox College's Blodgett Field.

The Green Knights (13-5, 2-0 MWC North) have won 11 of their last 13 games.

Ferraro started his big day with a solo home run in the first inning. He then cranked 2-run homers in the second and third innings to become just the third player in St. Norbert history to hit at least 3 home runs in a game.

Ferraro went 4-for-5 in the game with 5 RBI and 3 runs. He was 3-for-5 in Game 2.

Women's basketball

Lake Zurich all-area senior forward McKenna Zobel announced that she has committed to St. Xavier.

A four-year varsity player for the Bears, Zobel began last winter by scoring 24 points against perennial state power Fremd.

She finished the season by averaging more than 15 points in the Bears' last 12 games, the last of which was the Class 4A Hersey supersectional. "McKenna proved this year that she is multitalented: posting up, hitting midrange jump shots, and some big 3s at big moments in games," said Bears coach Chris Bennett after the season. "She was a leader of our team, always playing with her heart."

For the season, the 6-foot-1 Zobel averaged 11.7 ppg, 5-8 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 51 percent from the floor. She was also a three-year varsity starter and all-area selection in volleyball.

Men's volleyball

Augustana freshman Ryan Hirschel (Libertyville) led the Vikings with 927 assists and 34 service aces. He finished third in the Midwest Conference Volleyball League in assists (9.36 per game) and fifth in aces (0.34 per game).

The Vikings finished with wins in four of their final five matches and barely missed qualifying for the MCVL tourney. Coach Mark Lau's club finished its inaugural season with an 11-16 overall record and a 4-5

mark in the MCVL.

• Please email items to jleusch@dailyherald.com

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