The Ashland University spring 2016 postseason kicks into high gear this week with the women's golf team in the NCAA Division II East Super Regional, and the Eagle men's and women's outdoor track and field teams competing at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.
AU's baseball team is finishing the regular season this week with six GLIAC road games.
WOMEN'S GOLF – Beginning on Monday (May 2), the Eagle women will compete in their eighth consecutive regional as a team. The 2016 East Super Regional is at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill.
Ashland is looking for a program first – it has been to the NCAA Division II Championships on three different occasions (2011, 2013 and 2015), but never in back-to-back years.
The Eagles are coming off a third-place finish at the 2016 GLIAC Championship. Senior Ali Green became the second Eagle to earn GLIAC medalist honors following a 5-under round of 67 on April 24, which not only is a program record, but also is a GLIAC Championship record and tied for the fifth-best round in Division II in 2015-16.
TRACK AND FIELD – The AU men and women enter the GLIAC Championships, Wednesday-Friday (May 4-6) at Ferris State, with quite a bit of momentum.
On Saturday (April 30) at the Ashland Alumni Open, senior Jamie Sindelar posted the ninth-best women's outdoor shot put distance (16.99 meters) in the history of NCAA Division II. Meanwhile, both Eagle 4x100-meter relay teams were putting themselves into the national conversation. The men (freshmen Brandon Wilson and Myles Pringle and seniors Brandon Freeman and Eric Thompkins) are 10th in the country at 40.54 seconds, and the women (freshman Samantha Duale, senior Lauren Ellsworth, junior Shelby Jordan and sophomore Irene Skinner) are 13th at 46.35.
Outdoors, the Eagle men have finished first or second in the GLIAC in each of the last nine seasons, while the AU women were fourth in 2015 after finishing second in each of the last 11 championship meets.
BASEBALL – Ashland has clinched the GLIAC South Division title for a second straight season, and is heading to the 2016 GLIAC Tournament (May 12-15 in Xenia, Ohio). The Eagles – 28-15 overall, 19-5 GLIAC and 15-3 South – will end the regular season with a doubleheader on Tuesday (May 3) at Tiffin (17-27/8-18/7-15), then a four-game set at Findlay (14-25/7-17/7-15 North) on Saturday (May 7) and Sunday (May 8).
Junior right-handed pitcher Brandyn Sittinger enters the week as the GLIAC leader in earned-run average (2.58), wins (nine) and strikeouts (98). Sophomore third baseman J.P. Sorma leads the conference with 13 home runs, while senior first baseman Mackenzie Hampshire (48) and Sorma (46) are 2-3 in RBIs. Sorma is third in slugging percentage (.691), and sophomore left fielder Greg Ludwig is third in on-base percentage (.506).
For the composite Ashland University athletics schedule, go to http://www.goashlandeagles.com/composite.