Athletics

Basketball teams end regular season with eyes on tournament, spring sports begin

Both the Lady Senators and Senators basketball teams have concluded regular season play.

As The Hub went to press, the women had just claimed the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Associationís Eastern Division championship.

Coach Dave Kragelís team headed to the NJCAA Region VII Tournament in Dyersburg as the number one seed from the east. The team clawed its way back to the top after dropping two of the first five conference games. They finished the year with five straight wins against teams from the east, posting a 22-8 record with an 8-2 mark in conference play.

In many ways, Coach Kragelís latest championship is the most unlikely of the ten Eastern Division titles he has now won while at WSCC. Several of the players who were expected to contribute heavily missed much or all of the year due to injuries or decisions to leave basketball behind.

The Senators got off to a tough start in conference action, losing several close games in heartbreaking fashion. They also saw several key players battle nagging injuries and illnesses throughout the season. At press time, the Senators still had one hurdle to clear to earn an opportunity to play in the tournament in Dyersburg. As the fourth place team in the east, Bill Carlyleís men were forced to battle St. Catherine College of Kentucky in a play-in game to see who would claim the fourth and final seed in the post season tournament. The Senators compiled a regular season record of 17-13 with a 4-6 division worksheet.

The baseball team came out of the gate strong in Ken Campbellís second season at the helm. After losing several top hitters from last yearís squad, the Senators expect to win with pitching in 2001. Since they took the field in mid February, winning is about all that the team has done. Their early season record was 10-1, including a doubleheader sweep of Young Harris College, the number three team in the nation at the time. Though they lost several players from last yearís team, the Senators still have 13 sophomores to go along with the same number of freshmen.

Coach Larry Saucemanís softball squad began play March 1, after The Hub went to press. Last year the Lady Senators finished with a 35-17 record. Seven Lady Senators are back for a second year. They are joined by a freshman class of five players.

Walters Stateís success in recruiting local student athletes is evidenced by the fact that 21 of 26 baseball players are East Tennesseans. Each of the 12 softball players are also from East Tennessee.

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