March 17, 2015

My Championship Experience -- 2015 Women's Basketball Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.

Western Illinois senior Tori Niemann writes about her experience at the 2015 Summit League Women's Basketball Championship: 

What an atmosphere! The Summit League doesn’t get enough credit. Playing in the new Danny Sanford PREMIER Center was incredible. As a senior, it was really special to end my career in such a great basketball environment. The competition between all the teams this year made the season a lot of fun. There were no guaranteed wins or losses for any team and that carried over into the tournament. I’m going to miss playing, but I will also miss playing in The Summit League.

A little about our game day…

We played on Sunday, which was Daylight Savings and that was pretty rough! It’s always hard
to wake up when it’s still dark out. We had shoot around at 7:30 a.m. (which was actually 6:30 a.m.) and then went back to the hotel. Don’t worry, we napped. When we came down the elevator to leave for the game, all of our parents were waiting to send us off and wish us luck. Our parents and fans are awesome and have been so supportive over the years. Obviously, we’re a little further from Sioux Falls than SDSU or USD, so it was really neat to see so many purple shirts and familiar faces in the stands cheering us on.

We lost in the first round, which was really tough, but I read something the other day about what makes athletes special- and that’s the ability to fail more times than we succeed, but we always get back up and find a way to win. I’m so proud of my team and proud to be a Leatherneck! Oorah!


Don’t forget to check out the next edition of My Championship Experience as it follows the Women’s Golf Championship, April 20-22 and throughout the 2014-15 season for coverage at each of The Summit League Championships.

March 16, 2015

WIU Trio Named to Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team

HONOLULU, Hawaii - Following the conclusion of the 2015 Rainbow Wahine Classic, Sammy MarshallTierney Bottino, and Kacyee Hart were named to the All-Tournament Team. Western Illinois had the most representatives on the team.

Marshall hit .500 over five games, stealing a pair of bases from the leadoff spot for Western. The senior also scored three runs and drove in another. Marshall led the tournament with seven hits.

Bottino hit .412 and capped her week off with a solo home run to left against St. Bonaventure on Saturday, the second home run of her career. The junior hit two doubles against Hawaii and also scored three runs during the week

Hart finished the weekend with a 1.11 ERA and a perfect 2-0 record. The junior recorded complete game victories over Hawai'i and Columbia. Hart finished the week with 17 strikeouts. Hart struck out seven batters against Hawai'i and Columbia, one shy of her single-game high. The righthander threw 19 innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on 12 hits.

Western Illinois finished the tournament 3-2 with victories over Hawai'i, St. Bonaventure, and Columbia. The Leathernecks three representatives were the most of any team.