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February 25, 2003

TRIO Programs Announce Science Fair Winners


Fourteen-year-old Jorrell Bonner of A.M. Jackson Academy in East St. Louis won the top ranking award at the East St. Louis Center's TRIO Programs 19th Annual Science Fair Competition. The contest was held Feb. 11 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville.

Jorrell won the Best of Fair award for his project, "Clap Your Hands If You're Happy With Your Weight." Jorrell also left the fair with four other awards: an Outstanding ribbon, a Scientific Impact plaque, an Originality plaque and a Regional Representative plaque.

Some other top winners at the science fair included SIUE's St. Joseph Head Start Center. The center won three plaques for Scientific Impact, Originality and Visual Display for its class project, "First Head Start Astronaut in Space." The SIUE Child Development Program won a plaque for Scientific Impact for its class project, "Leaf Prints."

Of the more than 600 projects that were displayed at the science fair, 45 received outstanding ribbons. A total of 10 students were selected to serve as regional representatives at the SIUE Regional Science Fair on March 21 and 22 on the Edwardsville campus. Regional winners will go to the State Expositions on May 9 and May 10 in Champaign.

The annual sponsor award went to Opal Crosby, science teacher at A.M. Jackson Academy, for the most projects selected to go to the regional competition.

The science fair was made possible by the following: the Illinois-American Water Co., the Greater East St. Louis Community Fund, Laidlaw, Solutia, Gillian Graphics, New York Cleaners, The Boeing Co., Shop N' Save, and Wal-Mart.

In other TRIO Program news:

The Belleville News Democrat recently named Aisha Franklin, a student in the Upward Bound Math and Science program, as the Scholar Athlete of the Year for Cross Country in St. Clair County.

Franklin, who has participated in Math and Science for four years, is ranked number five academically in her senior class at East St. Louis Senior High School. She will graduate in May and has been accepted for a scholarship at Tennessee State University at Nashville.

However, her mother Ronda Franklin says that offers from Howard University and Hampton are also being considered.

Some of her past athleticS accomplishments include: first place in the St. Clair County, Southwestern Conference and the Alton Class AA Regional cross-country meets; state honors at the 2002 State Finals; placed first in the Southwestern Conference class AA Regional cross-country meet; East St. Louis High School's record for three miles; athlete of the week for The St. Louis American and all metro girls cross-country award from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

lke McIntosh, assistant program director of Math and Science for the TRIO Programs at the East St. Louis Center, reports that three students who have been in Upward Bound have been accepted at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

The students are Armond Harold, Lorran Lewis and Jermya Harris. All three attend East St. Louis Senior High School and are ranked in the top 10 percent of their 2003 graduating class and have completed college preparatory courses.

Armond and Jermya have been Upward Bound students for four years. Lorran enrolled during her high school sophomore year. Each student believes that the Math and Science program has provided a rewarding experience, especially the summer component, that includes six weeks of instruction by SIUE faculty.

Armond and Lorran work after school at Walgreens pharmacy, while Jermya is employed at Taco Bell in Belleville. All three were active in the Junior Achievement program and have served in various high school activities. Armond wants to major in medical research. Lorran will focus on forensic science. Jermya plans to become a pediatrician.

As the probability of war intensifies in the Middle East, Deasha Gower, an Upward Bound Math and Science student, is facing possible activation of her unit, the Illinois National Guard Unit 634th Field Service Battalion station in Springfield, Ill.

Gower is a medical supply specialist with the 634th battalion. She expects to graduate in May from Lovejoy High School, where she has the highest grade point average. She has applied at Eastern Illinois University for the fall and plans to major in the medical studies.

"Upward Bound has helped me cope with life's ups and downs and hasprovided a certain amount of maturity," said Gower, a Brooklyn native. "The six weeks I attended summer camp and stayed in the dorms at Edwardsville allowed me to adjust and find out what it's like to be away from home. I don't think I could have served with the Guard if I didn't have the exposure with Upward Bound."

Lovejoy High School principal Catherine Calvert and counselor Sarah Rials both believe that Upward Bound has been a positive influence on Gower and has helped to build her self-esteem. Gower works as a tutor with Lovejoy grade school and serves as an usher at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Brooklyn.

"I hope our unit is not activated and there will be peace, but I will go if ordered to," she said.

Two World-Renowned Figures To Receive Honorary Degrees At Commencement

A jazz legend and a world-renowned genetic biotechnologist will receive honorary degrees at the May 10 commencement, according to action taken recently by the SIU Board of Trustees at its regular monthly meeting.

Recording artist John "Bucky" Pizzarelli, master of the seven-string guitar, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Music, and Roy Curtiss III, a professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Pizzarelli, who has conducted workshops at SIUE for the university's Jazz Studies Program, has been an integral part of the music world for more than a half-century. His career dates from 1943 when he was 17 and was asked to play guitar with the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra.

During his career he has performed with the NBC Orchestra, toured with Benny Goodman, and performed with Goodman and Frank Sinatra at the White House. He also was featured on the late Charles Kuralt's CBS-TV Sunday Morning program in 1992. In 1998, he played at the Carmichael Auditorium in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian Museum of American History exhibit, "Blue Guitars," with his son, John Pizzarelli Jr., a jazz recording artist in his own right.

Since the 1970s, Professor Curtiss and his research group have sought to define the biochemical bases and genetic controls by which bacterial pathogens cause tooth decay, gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, leprosy, pneumonia, and septicemia (blood poisoning). Some of their groundbreaking research has been patented to develop commercial products that will prevent disease in animals and humans.

Curtiss discovered the development of plant-edible vaccines and holds three patents in this area. In 1997 he was named Missouri Inventor of the Year. Before joining the Washington University faculty, Curtiss was the Charles McCauley Professor of Microbiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he established the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center.

In 1956, Curtiss earned a bachelor of science in agriculture from Cornell University and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Chicago six years later. In 2001 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Student Senate Approves FY05 Athletics Fee Increase

The SIUE Student Senate passed an $8.60 Intercollegiate Athletics fee increase for FY2005. The vote of 7-2, with one senator voting present, paves the way to increase the fee beginning July 1, 2004.

"I am extremely happy for the student-athletes and the athletics programs," said SIUE Athletics Director Brad Hewitt. "This increase will have a positive impact on the quality of the experiences for the students."

The increase is the third year of a four-year Campus Life Enhancement Plan. The increase places the athletics fee at $113 per semester. Hewitt said an increase of $8.70 also will be asked in FY06.

The first phase of the Campus Life Enhancement Plan began in FY03 with monies going toward enhancing scholarships for student-athletes. The second phase, which begins this July, provides for enhancements to all sports' recruiting budgets. "We're already seeing the positive results of the Campus Life Enhancement Plan, with the quality of the student-athletes and the retention of quality student-athletes," Hewitt said.

The latest increase slated for 2005 is expected to increase the athletics program budget by nearly $78,000. Numerous sports will see modest increases in operating budgets. Plans also call for the hiring of a full-time women's soccer coach and a boost to graduate assistants from nine-month contracts to 10-month contracts.

BOT Approves Bids For New Outdoor Sports Facility

The SIU Board of Trustees has awarded bids totaling more than $500,000 to four Southwestern Illinois contractors for construction of the first phase of an outdoor recreational complex at SIU Edwardsville. The action was taken at the board's regular monthly meeting earlier in February.

The four contractors are: Hart Contracting Inc., Alton, $308,497 for general work; Electrico Inc., Columbia, $119,734.00 for electrical; France Mechanical, Edwardsville, $64,000 for plumbing; and GRP Mechanical Co., Bethalto, $12,404 for ventilation.

The complex will be located across Northwest Road from the SIUE Early Childhood Center on what is now referred to as the Intramural Fields. The first phase of the two-phase project will include re-grading of the property, re-seeeding, and construction of a lighted softball field and an 1,800-square-foot support building. It will be funded through a combination of Campus Recreation and Student Welfare and Activity Fees (SWAF), as well as operating funds.

SIUE officials said construction of the first phase is expected by fall, but the field won't be open until fall 2004 so that the grass re-seeding will have one year of growth.

The complex would provide enhanced multi-purpose use for Campus Recreation's intramural, recreational, and club sports programs to accommodate needs expressed by a growing population of residential students at the university. The second phase of the project will include a second lighted field.

According to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Narbeth Emmanuel, the complex will provide a quality environment for intramural sports. "There is a continuing demand for expanded outdoor intramural activities," Emmanuel said. "Since building the residence halls, we have seen a significant growth in the number of teams wanting to participate in intramural sports.

"The new outdoor complex addresses those needs, thereby enhancing the quality of campus life we provide our students."

Summer Institute In Canada Is An Adlerian Experience

A journey into Adlerian Psychology may not sound like an interesting family vacation, but if you're looking to learn some new approaches to communication and cooperation and would enjoy a few high-summer days in the cool climate of Canada, listen up.

"Our summer institute really is a transforming experience for professionals and families interested in developing a system of real cooperation and teamwork," said Eva Dreikurs Ferguson, professor of psychology at SIUE. "We have experts come from around the world to teach about organizational, social, self-improvement and relationship issues."

The International Committee for Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI) was founded by Ferguson's father, Rudolf Dreikurs. The annual conference is held for two weeks in July and August in a different country every year. This year, it will be held July 27 through Aug. 8 at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

ICASSI is dedicated to the teachings of Adler and Dreikurs. Adler, according to the institute that bears his name, "developed the first holistic theory of personality, psychopathology, and psychotherapy that was intimately connected to humanistic philosophy of living."

That's another way of saying that Adler taught an approach to psychology and emotional health centered on the concept that the human being is also a part of larger wholes or systems, such as the family, or community. He taught that a feeling of "human connectedness," and a willingness to develop oneself fully and contribute to the welfare of others, are the main criteria of mental health.

"We stress these concepts in all our teachings (at ICASSI)," Ferguson said. "We draw a wide range of students … families, business leaders, attorneys, employee relations professionals. It's a very exciting, interdisciplinary environment. We have participants from all over the world, helping make this an exciting and enriching experience."

Course topics include "Psychology in the workplace," "Sexuality and Couples Relationships," "Families in Crisis," and "Constructive Communication." There also are children and youth programs led by expert staff members.

"This program presents life-changing strategies," Ferguson said. "It is a unique opportunity to gain a new perspective on yourself and your family, your workplace, your community."

For more information, go to the ICASSI website: www.icassi.org.

Auntie Anne's Pretzels Is On The Way ... To The MUC

It won't be long before students, faculty, staff and visitors of SIUE find there's a new twist to the food offerings in the Morris University Center (MUC).

Auntie Anne's Pretzels is on its way! "We've just signed a contract with Auntie Anne's Inc. to bring their pretzel store to SIUE," said Mary Robinson, director of the Morris University Center. "When we asked students what they wanted to see in the renovation of the center, new food retail outlets were at the top of the list.

"That's why Starbucks is here, that's why Auntie Anne's Pretzels is coming."

Robinson said that if everything goes according to plans, the new pretzel store will open in mid-summer with a grand opening celebration to follow in the fall. Auntie Anne's will offer hand-rolled soft pretzels and Dutch ices from its location across from Union Station and Starbucks on the first floor of the MUC.

Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels, got her first taste of entrepreneurship at the age of 12 when she baked cakes and pies for her family to sell at a farmer's market in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County. As an adult, Beiler ran a concession booth at a farmer's market selling everything from pizza to pretzels to help support her family.

Eventually her hand-rolled pretzels became her most popular item, and soon Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels was born. The company now has stores nationwide in more than 600 locations in 42 states. "In looking at potential food outlets, we wanted to be sure to offer a variety of options," Robinson said. "Auntie Anne's seemed to fit well into the mix of our expanded menu in the new Center Court, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Chik-Fil-A, the University Restaurant, and the new Casa Ortega Cantina that is scheduled to open by the spring of 2004 in Cougar Den."

The ongoing renovation of the Morris University Center is supported by a student fee increase that students approved through a referendum in 2000. Among the completed projects are new and brighter lighting throughout the building's main hallways, an expanded Union Station convenience store, new administrative offices, new offices for the Kimmel Leadership Center, a renovated and improved Meridian Ballroom, a new recreation center, a new copy center, and the aforementioned Starbucks and new Center Court.

Work continues on the infrastructure of the building, as well as the creation of a computer lab, an improved conference center, and a renovated University Restaurant with outdoor dining.

The anticipated completion date for the Morris University Center renovations is Summer 2004.

Choir Director Continues Vocal Legacy At SIUE

If someone suggested that Joel Knapp is a Renaissance man, he would politely brush the comment aside, but he might point out he's the conductor who has taken the SIUE Concert Choir twice to the Renaissance Fair in Kansas City.

He's also the SIUE choir director who started the university's Madrigal Dinner, featuring choir students singing madrigals during the holidays in a Renaissance setting. The annual dinner has caught on with Edwardsville-Glen Carbon residents who have flocked to the event at Sunset Hills Country Club for four years in a row.

"When I took over the choral program at SIUE four years ago, I had three men in the choir," Knapp said. "Now, there are 45, which provides a much better balance in the sound."

Knapp acknowledges his predecessor's work for three decades in building the program at SIUE, and he has been working to continue that tradition. Professor Leonard Van Camp started the program at SIUE in the early 1960s and built it into a powerhouse, but in the years before his retirement, recruiting became a problem.

"It's been tough, but I've tried to turn that around. With tight budgets, it's not easy to offer many scholarships," Knapp said. "I'd like to see us build another strong tradition such as Leonard created in the 1980s."

Knapp must be doing something right. The Concert Choir recently won a statewide competition among high school and college choirs to sing at the annual Illinois Music Educators Association Conference in Peoria, a prestigious achievement. "It was a blind audition," Knapp said, "in that participants sent a recording and the judges decided without knowing who was auditioning.

"Four choirs were selected from more than 50 and we were the only college choir chosen. I was proud of the choir's achievement and it was a thrill to stand in front of them at the concert. They were singing for many important music teachers in the state. It was intimidating but they did a great job."

But the choirs aren't all about competitions. "In addition to the Madrigal Dinner, we also sing an early fall concert, a Christmas concert, a major works concert with the SIUE orchestra in late spring, and a Broadway concert in late winter. "And, recently we had a chance to sing before an Eventide service at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. We sang with that incredible pipe organ at the cathedral and it was very exciting for the students."

As an educator, Knapp must balance the music curriculum with what audiences want to hear. "It's part of my educational plan to perform major works from all the musical eras in a two-year rotation. And, I have to plan programs that are appealing to audiences in addition to being educational for the students."

Knapp continues to conduct the Community Choral Society, a group of about 100 singers from the surrounding communities that was begun by Professor Van Camp. "It's an outreach group and it also allows the Concert Choir and the University Singers to perform with a larger group.

"And, we provide a creative outlet for the community," Knapp pointed out. "Because once you've sung in a mixed choir, it gets in your blood. If you don't have opportunities to sing later, it takes away a big chunk of your spirit."

Stephens Qualifies For NCAA-II Nationals

SIUE senior Zach Stephens (St. Charles, Mo.) won the 174-pound division at this past weekend's NCAA Division II Midwest Wrestling Regionals, and has qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships from March 14-15 in Wheeling, W.V.

Stephens, currently ranked third in the nation at 174 pounds, won all three of his matches at the regional tournament. He defeated Jason Tapio of Central Oklahoma, the fourth-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, 7-4 in the finals. "Zach wrestled tough," Coach Booker Benford said. "It's good that he's beating these good wrestlers by more than a point. He needs to keep up his intensity while he prepares for nationals."

Aaron Wiens (Cicero) was the only other Cougar to finish among the placewinners. His sixth-place finish at heavyweight, however, did not qualify him for the national tournament.

Cougars Face Bellarmine In GLVC Quarterfinals

The SIUE women's basketball team will face Bellarmine for the third time this season. The stakes will be raised for this game, however, as it is a quarterfinal contest at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.

Game time is set for noon Wednesday (3/5) at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind. Bellarmine (19-8) enters the game as the No. 4 seed. SIU Edwardsville (15-12) is the No. 5 seed.

Bellarmine took both games against SIUE in the regular season, including a 75-67 victory just last Saturday (3/1) at the Vadalabene Center. "In both games we've played against Bellarmine," said Coach Wendy Hedberg, "we dug ourselves a hole in the first half but came out and played well the second half.

"We are confident going into this game. If we give them 40 minutes of solid basketball I think we will be able to win."

Ruth Kipping (Quincy) leads the SIUE offense with an 18.6 scoring average. The Cougars also have been relying on the scoring of senior Liz DeShaiser (Carrollton), who has improved her scoring average to 9.2 points per game.

SIUE's three-prong backcourt has stepped up their play of late. Jessica Robert (Carlyle) is second on the team in scoring at 9.7 points per game. She also leads the team in assists with 126. GLVC Freshman of the Year candidate Amber Wisdom (Geneseo) has been steady at 7.9 points per game at the point guard position. Sarah Schweers (Chatham) leads the Cougars with 38 three-pointers.

For more on the GLVC Women's Basketball Tournament www.glvcsports.com.

Cougar Softball Escapes To Florida

After a handful of cancelled games and several practices in the Vadalabene Center, the SIUE softball team will have the opportunity to have some extended time oudoors.

The Cougars will travel to Florida for at least 16 games. Their spring break trip will take them to Saint Leo, Fla., for the Saint Leo Tournament, then to Orlando for the Rebel Spring Games.

"We're going down there to win," said Coach Sandy Montgomery. "We need to come out and play hard. We are playing some good teams."

The Cougars, ranked No. 11 nationally in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's NCAA Division II preseason poll, are the defending champions of the Saint Leo Tournament, and they posted a 7-2 record at last season's Rebel Spring Games.

The Cougars have had six games cancelled due to inclement weather this season.

Baseball Travels To Savannah, Ga.

The SIUE baseball team will travel to Kennesaw, Ga., for the 2003 Savannah Invitational. SIUE will play 10 games during its spring break trip, including three Great Lakes Valley Conference contests against Northern Kentucky.

"We play our first conference games, so this trip will be critical," said SIUE Coach Gary Collins.

The Cougars are currently 1-1 on the season after a win against Christian Brothers and a loss to North Alabama. They have had eight games cancelled due to weather.

The Cougars' home opener against Lincoln, originally scheduled for Tuesday (3/4), has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions.

Cougars End Season With Win Over Bellarmine

The SIUE men's basketball team ended its season on a positive note with an 84-76 win over Bellarmine on Saturday (3/1) at the Vadalabene Center.

SIUE, which finished 9-18 overall and 5-15 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, won two of its last three games.

The win against Bellarmine was the last home game for seniors Andy Gajewski (Nashville), Ben Garwitz (Springfield, Mo.) and Ron Helfin (Gary, Ind.). Heflin scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the game. Gajewski scored 10 points, including two crucial three-pointers. Garwitz was inactive due to an ankle injury.

For the season, junior Ron Jones (Kankakee) led the team in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game. His 74 three-pointers broke the all-time single-season mark, previously 73 set in 2000-2001. Heflin was second on the team at 13.3 points per game, and freshman Justin Ward (Moline) averaged 12.2 points per game.

"We didn't reach some of our goals we set at the beginning of the year, especially the goal of making the conference tournament," said Coach Marty Simmons. "But looking back on this season, the team kept working hard and was very resilient. Winning two of our last three games will give us some momentum in the off-season. It will give us something to build on."

Men Third, Women Fourth At GLVC Indoor

The SIUE men's track and field finished third and the women finished fourth at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships, held this past weekend at Wisconsin-Parkside.

"The majority of the team had personal records," said Coach Darryl Frerker. "It was an outstanding conference meet for us."

The men finished third with 134 points, behind second-place Indianapolis (153) and champion Lewis (154.5). Five individuals earned All-Conference honors by finishing in the top two in their respective event. They were Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis) at 400 meters, Darren Dinkelman (Nashville) at 800 meters; Phil Freimuth (Effingham) in the high jump, Steve Landers (Auburn) in the shot put, and Mark Milleville (Altamont) in the weight throw and shot put. The Cougars' 4x200-meter relay team and their distance medley team both came in first.

On the women's side, two Cougars earned All-Conference honors: Jennifer Jaquez (Aurora) at 400 meters and 200 meter hurdles and Carrie Carducci (Powell, Ohio) at 3000 meters. The Cougars finished fourth with 79 points. Lewis also took home the women's championship.

"I was impressed with what we accomplished," Frerker said. "People stepped up to the plate and performed really well. Assistant Coaches David Astrauskas and Ben Beyers have done a fantastic job with this group, which is one of the reasons we had outstanding team performances from both teams."


GLVC Indoor Championships Up Next For Track

The SIUE men's and women's track and field teams travel to Kenosha, Wis., Saturday (3/1) for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships.

The meet will be the final chance for the athletes to attempt to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14-15 in Boston.

"On the women's side, our goal is to see how many All-Conference performers we can have," said Coach Darryl Frerker. The top two finishers in each event earns All-Conference honors. "For the men, we'll see how close to the top we can get," Frerker said. "We have good individual performers in each area."

Mark Milleville (Altamont) has posted provisional qualifying marks in the shot put and the weight throw. Milleville will look to better his qualifying performances to ensure his spot at the NCAA meet.

Cougars Gear Up For NCAA Regionals

The SIUE wrestling team travels to Kirksville, Mo., Sunday (3/2) for the NCAA Midwest Regional.

"I hope this is where all our hard work and wrestling all the tough teams will pay off," Coach Booker Benford said.

Zach Stephens (St. Charles, Mo.) will look to defend his title in the 174-pound weight class. The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the NCAA Wrestling Championships March 14-15 in West Liberty, W.V.

"Everyone should wrestle to their potential," Benford said. "Everyone has the ability to qualify." Stephens currently has a 27-10 record. Aaron Wiens (Cicero) has a 16-17 record as a heavyweight.

Senior Men Enter Final Homestand

Andy Gajewski (Nashville), Ben Garwitz (Springfield, Mo.) and Ron Heflin (Gary, Ind.) will be entering their final home games this week. SIUE plays host to Kentucky Wesleyan Thursday (2/27) at 7:30 p.m. and will finish its season Saturday (3/1) at 3 p.m. against Bellarmine.

"Our seniors have been great," said Coach Marty Simmons. "It's been a joy to coach them, and I appreciate the opportunity to be around them."

Gajewski, a three-year guard at SIUE, has started 17 games in his career. "Andy has superb attitude," Simmons said. "He always wants what is best for the team. He worries about the team more than himself."

Garwitz, who had his final season cut short due to an ankle injury, has started 34 games in his three-year career as a Cougar. "Ben has given us good minutes," Simmons said. "He'll be successful in whatever he does after college."

Heflin, the team's second-leading scorer this season at 13.0 points per game, has started 28 games for the Cougars in his two-year career. "Ron is a wonderful guy and has been playing well lately," Simmons said. "He has had a great career at SIUE."

SIUE, 8-17 and 4-14 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, snapped its 10-game losing streak in a 63-61 victory over Missouri-St. Louis last Saturday (2/22). The Cougars also are holding on to a slim chance of advancing to the GLVC Tournament. The Cougars must win their final two games and hope for some help around the conference.

Simmons said he has been pleased with his team's attitude heading into the final two games of the year. "I've been impressed with the resilience of this team," Simmons said. "When you lose like we have, it is always a worry of the coach to see how the team will respond. They have good attitudes and play hard."

Senior Women Enter Final Homestand

Liz DeShasier (Carrollton), Megan Grizzle (Salem) and Ruth Kipping (Quincy) enter the final homestand of their SIUE careers. The Cougars play Kentucky Wesleyan Thursday (2/27) evening and Bellarmine Saturday (3/1) afternoon.

DeShasier, a four-year player for the Cougars, is in the midst of her best season. She is averaging 9.3 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game. "Liz is a leader on and off the court," said Coach Wendy Hedberg. "She just has a great love and passion for the game."

Grizzle, also a four-year player, has been a valuable asset for the Cougars during her career. "Megan gives us that added experience off the bench," Hedberg said. "She is capable of scoring any given night. She has been a solid contributor all four years."

Kipping, who has been with the Cougars two years after transferring from Michigan, has not only been the team's premier scorer, but the Great Lakes Valley Conference's as well. "Ruth is a very good offensive player and a strong rebounder," Hedberg said. "She is the go-to player for us when we are down. She's just a great offensive weapon."

SIUE, 14-11 overall and 10-8 GLVC, used overtime to win at Kentucky Wesleyan earlier this year. Bellarmine defeated SIUE in Louisville, a game that also went into overtime. "Both games will be tough," Hedberg said. "Bellarmine is coming off a great game and Kentucky Wesleyan played us hard at their place."

The Cougars also are likely to play Bellarmine in the quarterfinal round of the GLVC Tournament beginning March 5 in Evansville, Ind. Bellarmine and SIUE are likely to be the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds, respectively, when the brackets are announced on Saturday night.

Cougar Baseball Earns Split At North Alabama

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville baseball team finally got the chance to open its season this past weekend. The Cougars defeated Christian Brothers College 12-2 but fell to North Alabama 5-2.

SIUE was able to give its pitchers some work, as eight hurlers saw time on the mound in the two games. "As a group, our young guys pitched as good as our older guys," said Coach Gary Collins. "That is a good sign because I know our older guys will be fine."

In the two games, Kyle Jones (New Baden), Zach Wooley (Alton), Jeff Ebeler (Waterloo), and Jarrod Peters (Ellis Grove) all pitched without giving up a run. Craig Ohlau (Chester) and Jason Kessler (Mattoon) led the offense with .600 batting averages.

Next on the schedule for the Cougars will be a two-game series Saturday (3/1) and Sunday (3/2) at Missouri Southern in Joplin, Mo.

SIUE Softball Rained Out

For the second straight week, poor weather conditions forced the cancellation of SIUE's softball games. SIUE Coach Sandy Montgomery and her team are next scheduled to play at the Saint Leo Tournament in Florida on March 7-8.

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