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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Friday, June 14, 2024
The Echo

Spring sports looking to finish strong as seasons come to an end

Several teams have high hopes for postseason

As spring season for all seven of Taylor’s spring sports begins to wind down, several teams are making a strong argument for postseason success.

Coming in at no. 6 in the nation, the men’s golf team has had a strong start to their spring season, losing to only three teams. They earned third place at the Showdown at Legends, losing out to no. 3 Lindsey Wilson and Crossroads League rival Marian University. They earned a second place finish at the Garn Championship, falling just 9 strokes short of NCAA Division III team Illinois Wesleyan who is currently ranked no. 13. Most recently, the team won the Purgatory Intercollegiate tournament. What’s most important for the team is that they have beaten Crossroads League teams 10 times out of the 11 they have played. 

While an experienced squad has certainly helped, what first year Head Coach Lorne Oke has done with this team is nothing short of exceptional — especially considering the team has had much less time to practice in the winter on golf courses compared to teams further south. 

The Crossroads League Championships for men’s golf begin on May 1.

Oke has also done a great job with an inexperienced women’s golf team, as they are currently ranked no. 10 in the latest national poll. At the Showdown at Legends tournament, they earned a third place finish, beating two Crossroads League opponents and losing out to a top-five squad in Cumberlands and no. 18 Northwestern Ohio. At the Purgatory Intercollegiate tournament, they once again finished third behind Crossroads League opponent, Bethel and lost to no. 21 St. Thomas. In their latest tournament, the Roadrunner Invitational, they placed a strong fifth in a loaded field filled with six of the top 10 rated teams in the nation, one of them being Indiana Wesleyan — their main rival this year in the Crossroads League.

To win a Crossroads League title and do well on the national stage, the team will need to work on being more consistent before the Crossroads League Championships begins on May 8.

Baseball is once again thrashing their conference this season — winning five of the six series they have played in conference, while they split the series with Huntington. Both games they dropped against the Foresters were decided by only two runs. The Crossroads League tournament begins on May 3 where the Trojans look to repeat as champions.

Under first year head coach Jessica Brown, the mostly inexperienced softball team is off to a solid start. The team is composed of only six juniors and seniors, with 15 freshman and sophomores. Freshman Livie Lehmann has been a bright spot for the team — hitting at a .321 batting average with a team high of four home runs and 28 RBI’s.

Key wins over no. 3 Cumberlands and a sweep of no. 20 Mount Vernon Nazarene are highlights of the season for the team. They currently sit sixth in the Crossroads League, with the conference tournament beginning on May 3.

Both Taylor track teams at time of publication have only competed in one event, the Sunny and 65 meet. This was a makeup for the cancellation of the annual George Glass Invitational. The women’s team won five events in that meet. Sophomore Emma Muterspaw won the 1500-meter race, freshman D’Arjha Davis won both the 100 and 200 meter races, junior Patience Sakeuh won the 100-meter hurdles and sophomore Betsy Underwood cleared a height of 2.9 meters to win the pole vault.

The men’s track team had four event winners in the same meet. Senior Damon Knowles hit an NAIA B-standard with a height of 4.70 meters in the pole vault, winning the event. Freshman Luke Harber won the 5,000-meter race, sophomore Braden Bixler won the 400-meter hurdle race and senior Liam Hesting won the shot put event.

Both teams still have numerous meets before the Crossroads League Championships meet that begins on May 4.

The men’s lacrosse team is playing much better than their current 2-8 record shows. At time of publication, their past five opponents — all conference opponents — were ranked in the top 10 or just outside the top 10. The team nearly upset no. 7 Siena Heights in Upland, losing 13-11. The team continues to battle through a grueling schedule and have convincing wins over Thomas More and Missouri Valley College. The WHAC tournament starts on April 25