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James hits walk-off shot, grand slam, for Graceland

Alyssa James
Alyssa James

Allysa James is having a grand old time for the Graceland University Yellowjackets.

The junior second baseman from Princeton belted a grand slam home run in the bottom of the fifth inning in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader in Lamoni, Iowa, against Peru State College. She also contributed a RBI double in the fourth to power the Yellowjackets to a 7-2 win.

That hasn’t been James’ only heroics this season. She also cracked a walk-off, game-winning home run on April 9, depositing a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for a 4-3 win over Culver-Stockton, much to the delight of the home crowd.

On the year, she’s batting .245 with the two homers and 15 RBIs.

• Anna Phillips, the 2011 BCR Player of the Year, is continuing her hitting ways for Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. She had two hits with two runs scored in Wednesday’s Game 2 at Benedictine-Springfield, batting lead-off for the Trolls. For the season, she is batting .329 with a team-high 34 runs scored and 13 (16 attempts) stolen bases. The Trolls finished the season at 10-37 and will not advance to postseason play.

• Two area products are teaming up at Monmouth College. Senior Brittany Forney (Hall) drove in the only run for the Fighting Scots in Wednesday’s 4-1 Game 1 loss to Augustana in Rock Island. She is batting .250 overall in 21 starts. Junior teammate Sam Sons (St. Bede) played in both games and has made 19 starts for the Scots (14-15).

• Sam Shepard caught but did not bat for Iowa Wesleyan in a Game 2, 8-6 loss to Ashford University Monday. The former Bureau Valley standout has appeared in 35 games, with 24 starts, batting .244 for the Tigers.

• Former BCR Player of the Year Brittany Burgess of St. Bede has appeared in 25 games with five starts in her freshman season for the Bradley Braves (17-26).

• A re-aggravated knee injury from basketball ended Sarah Stariha’s senior softball season just as it started for Beloit College. The former St. Bede standout played in six games before having to hang up her spikes.


Three area products are seeing mound duty this spring.

• Sophomore Brik Wedekind of Princeton, in his first year with the Monmouth College program, is 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in eight appearances (7 starts). In his most recent start April 21 vs. Knox, the right-hander scattered four hits and four walks, while striking out three before departing in a 1-1 tie. He earned a no-decision in the 3-2 loss. He’s also a punter and quarterback for the Scots’ football team.

• Former Bureau Valley pitcher John King, who transferred to North Central College this year from Coe College, is 2-2 in seven games for the Cardinals. The freshman lefty was tagged for a loss April 18 in relief against the University of Chicago when he was tagged for three hits and five runs.

Jordan Jereb drew headlines on the Fontbonne University (St. Louis) website for his effort April 15 against Spaulding University. Citing “Griffins salvage a game with Jereb’s arm,” the former St. Bede Bruin pitched eight innings, scattering eight hits, to notch an 8-3 victory.

• Another area baseballer, Nick Hueneberg, a freshman from St. Bede, has appeared in 11 games with three starts for the Tiffin (Ohio) University Dragons (18-23).


• Junior Gwen Holmes of Princeton placed seventh for Olivet Nazarene University in the NAIA Super Regional in Angola, Ind., with a two-day total of 170.

• Collin Slattery gained first-team all-conference honors to lead Illinois Central College to the Midwest Athletic Conference championship. Coach Bo Ryan said the freshman swinger from Princeton had a three-day total of 235, fighting off wind gusts of 30 mph to shoot a 5-over par 77, one of only three players to break 80 in the final round at Pekin’s Lick Creek Golf Course.

• Bekki Prokup, a sophomore from St. Bede, led the Quincy University Hawks with a rounds of 90-92 last weekend in the U of I-Springfield Shootout.

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