Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chaparrals Take Two From Hawks

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. – The Harper College baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader at conference rival College of DuPage on Tuesday afternoon.  The Chaparrals took game one, 10-0, and won game two, 7-2.

The Hawks (0-11, 0-8 N4C) and Chaparrals were scoreless through four innings of game one thanks to solid pitching from starters Christian Poulsen (Schaumburg, Ill. /Schaumburg) (Harper) and Colin Brauer (COD).  But in the bottom of the fifth inning, COD capitalized on three Hawks errors, had seven hits, and sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring 10 runs to close out the game. 

Harper managed just two hits in the game, both off the bat of freshman first baseman Nick Kouzios (Crystal Lake, Ill. /Prairie Ridge). Poulsen (0-4) ultimately surrendered four earned runs on nine hits while striking out two in 4 2/3 innings. Brauer (2-0) scattered the two hits, walked one, and struck out four in five scoreless frames.

Baseball: Christian Poulsen 2016
Poulsen pitched respectably in game one and had an RBI triple in game two at College of DuPage. (Dion Martorano, Journal & Topics Sports)
The Hawks trailed 1-0 through two innings of game two before they took the lead with a two-run inning. Kouzios drew a walk, and David Dugger (Matteson, Ill. /Rich Central) knocked him in with a two-out double to the gap in left center. Poulsen drove Dugger home with a triple of his own to put Harper ahead. 

COD scored once in the third and three times in the fourth off Harper starter Travis Lindquist (Madison, Wis. /James Madison Memorial ) (0-3) to take a 5-2 lead. The Chaparrals scored two more runs in the fifth inning and got solid pitching the rest of the way from starter Tyler Zunkel (1-0) and relief man Austin Loehman. The Hawks' Lindquist surrendered five earned runs on eight hits and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings while the Chaparrals got 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts from Zunkel.

The Hawks are scheduled to play their first home games on Thursday afternoon against McHenry County College (15-8). First pitch is set for 2 PM on the campus of Harper College.

Harper Athletics Takes Part in Spring Open House

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper College athletics had a strong presence at the Spring Open House on Saturday morning in the Wojcik Conference Center.

Prospective students turned out in large numbers for the open house from 9 AM-12 PM. The Harper College athletic department was represented by Student Athlete Success Center Coordinator/ Athletics Program Assistant Steve Hayes, who was pleased with the attendance and interactions he had with students and their parents.
The Harper Hawk and Steve Hayes 2016
The Harper Hawk and Steve Hayes pose for a photo at Saturday morning's Spring Open House. (Heidi Brown)
"I was able to make direct contact with probably 50 students, 25 of whom were kind enough to put their information on the contact sheet. So we've got some follow-up potential," Hayes said.

Of those students, there was a wide range of interest in Harper College athletics, including in track and field, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, water polo club, and interest in being a team manager. A majority of those students were in-district students.

Prospective students were given contact information, the latest Harper College Athletics Brochure, and a Harper Hawks sticker at the athletics table. Also, the Harper Hawk mascot was in attendance to greet students and was available for photo opportunities.

Athletics was located in room W214 along with other Student Support Services at Harper College that included: Academic Advising & Counseling, Academic Centers/Success Services, Tutoring & Writing Center, Access and Disability Services, Career Development Center, Center for New Students & Orientation, Dual Credit, Job Placement Resource Center, One Million Degrees, One Stop (Financial Aid/Registration), Office of Student Involvement, and Phi Theta Kappa/Honors Program/First Year Seminar/Learning Communities.

Gatlin Voted All-N4C Second Team

N4C Postseason Awards
Gatlin Bio
Gatlin Stats

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper College men's basketball player Marcus Gatlin (Chicago, Ill./Curie) added one more accomplishment to his already impressive sophomore season as a Hawk. The point guard was recently voted North Central Community College Conference (N4C) Second Team All-Conference.

Men's Basketball: Marcus Gatlin 2015-16
Gatlin was recently named Second Team All-Conference. (Jim Cummins)

"I am incredibly proud of this honor that has been awarded to him. To be voted All-Conference by the coaches of the N4C is a tremendous accomplishment," said Harper head coach Justin Welke.

The 5-foot-9 point started all 31 games for the Hawks and  averaged 18.0 PPG (second on team), 6.3 RPG (first on team), and 5.5 APG while averaging 36.9 minutes a game (fourth in nation). Gatlin shot 73.1 percent (179-of-245) from the free throw line and was second in the nation with the 179 makes from the foul line.

In 14 conference games, he averaged 20.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 5.1 APG while playing 38.6 MPG. He scored a career-high 33 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished out eight assists in a Feb. 10 game at College of DuPage and scored 17 or more points in 10 of 14 league games.

"Our conference is arguably the strongest in the entire nation, so for Marcus to be considered one of the top players in the conference is a true testament to the caliber of player that he is," Welke said. "Add this award to his accomplishments in the classroom and the character that he has displayed, and you have one heck of a great young man destined for greatness."

Harper Bats Lead Team to First Win

DES PLAINES, Ill. – The Harper College softball team had an unbelievable day at the plate in a doubleheader at Oakton Community College on Sunday afternoon. After a heartbreaking 11-10 loss in game one to the Owls, the Hawks rebounded for a 14-9 victory, their first win of 2016.

The Hawks (1-9) had 35 hits in 77 at bats in the two games (.455 team average) and did not strike out at all in either game. 

In game one, Harper scored six runs in the third inning to take a 7-2 lead. Jordan Dallmann (Roselle, Ill. /Lake Park) hit her first homer, a solo shot, and Danielle Reptowski (Hanover Park, Ill./Schaumburg) had an RBI triple in that frame. The Hawks added to the lead in the fourth inning with RBI singles by Isabelle McGuinnis (Arlington Heights, Ill. /Hersey) and Kristen Serviss (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) to make it 9-2. 

The Owls' big inning came in the fifth inning. They sent 10 batters to the plate and scored seven runs, capped off by a two-out grand slam by pitcher Atorena Michael. They took a 10-9 lead on a sixth inning homer from Emily Bernath. 

The Hawks did not give up when they trailed by one in the seventh inning. Shortstop Sandra Portogallo (Elk Grove Village, Ill. /Conant) smacked a two-out RBI triple to tie the game at 10-10. However, in the bottom half of the inning, Bernath had a walkoff RBI single to give the Owls the victory. 

Harper got two hits apiece from McGuinnis, Serviss, Jill Hoffman (Arlington Heights, Ill./Hersey), and Courtney Russ (Lake Zurich, Ill. /Lake Zurich). Emily Butler (Prospect Heights, Ill./Hersey) was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and Dallmans was 4-for-5 with three runs scored and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Softball: Emily Butler 2015
The Hawks had 35 hits in two games at Oakton CC on Sunday afternoon. (Jim Cummins)
The Hawks came out swinging again in game two. Dallmans's RBI triple in the first inning put the Hawks up 1-0. Oakton tied the game with a homer in the bottom half of the inning, but Harper kept scoring with one in the second, two in the third, and three in the fourth. The Hawks led 7-5 after four innings. 

In the fifth inning, Harper sent 10 to the plate and scored five runs, highlighted by Dallmann's two-run double. The Hawks led 12-5 into the sixth inning, but Oakton got back in the game with four runs. But in the top of the seventh, Dallmann continued her monster game by socking a two-run homer to push the Harper lead to 14-9. The sophomore was an incredible 4-for-4 with a double, two triples, a homer, six RBIs, four runs scored, and six RBIs. The catcher also recorded 10 putouts. 

McGuinnis (1-8) shut down the Owl attack in the bottom half of the seventh to preserve the Hawks' first victory. She struck out eight batters and only walked one in seven innings of work. 

Portogallo also had an impressive game two, going 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, and five runs scored. Butler and McGuinnis each had two hits and two RBIs, and Hoffman had another two-hit performance. 

Next up Harper is a trip to Madison College on Tuesday afternoon. The Hawks and WolfPack (17-12, 5-2 N4C) play a doubleheader at the Madison College Softball Complex starting at 3 PM. 

Unpredictable Weather Causes Baseball Cancellations

PALATINE, Ill. – Due to the unpredictable Chicago weather, the Harper College baseball team was unable to get in any games over the weekend and also had its games scheduled for today postponed. 

Baseball: Paul Kramolisch 2016
The weather forced the cancellation of all Harper baseball games over a four-day stretch. (Dion Martorano, Journal & Topics Sports)
The Hawks were scheduled to play Triton College at home on Friday afternoon, but those games were moved back to Saturday due to weather. The weather on Saturday once again caused a postponement of the games against Triton to Monday. However, due to unplayable field conditions and the frigid temperatures today, the games were once again cancelled. The makeup date for those games will be Monday, April 25. 

On Sunday, the Hawks were also unable to play Moraine Valley Community College. No makeup date has been announced yet.

Harper will be back on the diamond on Tuesday afternoon at College of DuPage (19-4, 5-1 N4C). First pitch of game one is set for 2 PM.

McCabe Swinging Confidently in Second Year

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper College softball player Jessica McCabe (Itasca, Ill. /Prospect ) is one two returning players from last year's team. As a sophomore, McCabe has elevated her play and leads the team in several offensive categories, including batting average. For this reason, she is the eighth Harper College Athlete of the Week for the 2015-16 school year.

McCabe's improvement from last year to now has been impressive. As a freshman in 2015, she recorded 11 hits, 16 runs, three doubles, one triple, one stolen base, 12 walks and 12 RBIs. In just eight games so far this season, McCabe already has 10 hits in just 22 at bats for a team-high .455 average.

She also is tied for the team lead in runs (4), doubles (1), stolen bases (1) and is second in both triples (1) and RBIs (4) while holding a .591 slugging percentage. The Hawks opened the season with six games at the Dome at the Ballpark in Rosemont, and the outfielder had at least a hit in five of those games.

She was 3-for-4 with an RBI and stolen base against College of DuPage March 5 and 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs against Prairie State College later that day.  In the two games the Hawks have played outside to date, McCabe recorded hits in each contest and scored a run.

Athlete of the Week: Jessica McCabe 2016
McCabe is the eighth Harper College Athlete of the Week for the 2015-16 school year. (Kevin Tiongson)

For McCabe, the biggest factor to her success this season has been confidence.

"I'm confident at the plate and not worried about missing," she said. "I'm focusing on making every swing a 100% good swing."

Defensively, she has not been tested too much in the outfield yet this season, but she does have two assists to her credit already.

McCabe is majoring in marketing and will finish up her Associate of Arts degree over the summer. She plans on transferring to Western Michigan University in the fall.

"This will probably be my last year, so I want to go out with a bang and make my last year a good year. I have that responsibility to be a team leader and help lead the team," McCabe said. "We need to focus on being positive and never giving up. We need to have that energy and drive throughout the whole game."