Central Michigan's Stephens and Miami's Iagulli Named MAC Scholar Athletes

Updated 4/18/2000
CLEVELAND, OH -- Central Michigan's Wendy Stephens (softball) and Miami's Nick Iagulli (track & field) were named the MAC Scholar Athletes of the Week on April 18, 2000.

Stephens (So., 3.98, math, Mira Loma, Calif.) led CMU with a .417 (5-for-12) batting average and two RBIs. The sophomore helped the Chippewas to a split against No. 12-ranked Michigan and to take 2-of-3 from conference rival Northern Illinois. In the key NIU series, Stephens picked up a hit in each game and was 4-for-9 with two RBIs.

Iagulli (Jr., 3.91, zoology, Toledo, Ohio) led a 1-2 Miami finish in the 800 meters run at the Southern Ohio Cup meet, hosted by the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, April 15. The junior ran a personal record of 1:52.35 on the day, to edge out fellow RedHawk Ed Morgan, who ran a 1:52.92. The time was a mere hundredth second away from ranking Iagulli among Miami's all-time top 10 in the event and ranks in the MAC's top-five times for this season in the event.

The MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week honor is presented to a MAC male and female student-athlete who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and performs well during that week's competition. The winners are selected by one of the conference's faculty athletic representatives.

Female Nominees:

Akron: Sherell Watson (softball, Jr., 3.17, sociology/law enforcement, Bellflower, Calif.) went 2-1 over the weekend with wins over Bowling Green (9-7) and Cleveland State (3-0). The win over CSU was a two-hit shutout. Watson's season ERA is now 2.33 with an opponents' batting average of .221 and has given up just 33 hits in 39 innings pitched.

Bowling Green: Nikki Rouhona (softball, Jr., 3.33, sport management, Westerville, Ohio) hit .455 last week, including .667 (4-for-6) in the Falcon's three-game MAC series vs. Akron. Bowling Green lost single games to Ohio State and Dayton, but took two of three from the Zips. Rouhona had an on-base percentage of .563 and a slugging percentage of .636 last week. Against Akron, she had an on-base percentage of .700 and a slugging mark of 1.000.

Kent: Kerry Kaser (softball, Sr., 3.68, elementary education, Louisville, Ohio) hit a game-winning home run on April 14 to lead the Golden Flashes to a 2-1 win over Miami. She was 2-for-8 on the week.

Miami: Janet Baker (tennis, Jr., 3.31, sport organization, Lexington, Ky.) helped Miami extend its MAC win streak to five matches over the weekend. She combined with Ivona Grujic for an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles and defeated Sara Rothenburg in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) at Nov. 3 singles, leading Miami to a 6-1 win over Toledo on Friday, April 14. Miami defeated the league leader, Eastern Michigan, 4-3 on Saturday. Baker earned a key victory at No. 3 singles (6-4, 6-2). She is 14-9 in singles action for the season and is a perfect 5-0 against MAC opponents.

Ohio: Kelli Bankert (softball, So., 3.95, childhood education, Clifton, Va.) was 5-of-11 (.454) batting in four games last week. She had two doubles and three RBIs that included the game-winner in the second game against Ball State. Bankert broke up a no-hitter in the first BSU game with a seventh-inning double. She missed the Pittsburgh doubleheader with injuries received in the EMU game. Bankert has recorded hits in nine of the last 10 games. She has improved her season doubles total to 10, ranking among the best in the nation in doubles per game. Bankert leads the Bobcats with a .333 average.

Toledo: Lisa Delrue (softball, Sr., 3.35, elementary education, Erie, Mich.) posted a .500 batting average (7-for-14 with one double) and .571 slugging percentage last weekend that included a 5-for-8 performance in the Rockets' split with Ohio.

Male Nominees:

Akron: Mark Malaska (baseball, Jr., 3.05, physical therapy, Youngstown, Ohio) hit .500 (8-16) in five games last week with three runs scored, five RBI, four doubles and a triple. He was 3-3 with three doubles, one run scored and two RBI in a 4-3 win over Miami. In that same game, Malaska picked up his second save of the season.

Bowling Green: Joe Cheney (baseball, Sr., 3.32, science comprehensive, Lima, Ohio) pitched 12 innings (five against Cleveland State and seven against Marshall) this past week and allowed only one run for a 0.75 earned-run average. He struck out nine batters and did not allow a walk. Cheney went the distance in a 7-1 win over Marshall. He pitched the first five innings of Tuesday's 3-2 BGU 11-inning win over Cleveland State.

Central Michigan: Scott Pieratt (baseball, Sr., 3.50, elementary education, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) hit .364 (8-for-22) last week with five RBIs and six runs scored. He hit two home runs on the week, including the extra-inning game winner at Ball State on the weekend. The senior had two home runs, a double and a stolen base on the week.

Kent: Jason Biniker (baseball, So., 3.60, business management, Perrysburg, Ohio) struck out six batters and gave up one hit in four innings in a 10-8 win over Cleveland State on April 12 (his first game since March 16 due to a sore pitching elbow). Biniker pitched six-plus innings of two-run, five-hit ball in a 5-2 victory over Ohio on April 16.

Ohio: Ryan Kyes (baseball, Jr., 3.30, business, White Lake, Mich.) went 4-for-16 over the weekend, including a home run and a double. Kyes also scored five runs and had three RBIs.

Toledo: Tim Rice (golf, Sr., 3.19, finance, Limerick, Ireland) placed fifth at Ohio State's prestigious Kepler Invitational with a three-round score of 220 to help the Rockets to a third-place tie.

Western Michigan: Dale Cowper (track & field, So., 3.60, elementary education, Marlette, Mich.) captured first place in the hammer throw at the BGSU Invitational with a throw of 199'1". He placed third in the shot put (51'10") and fifth in the discus (154'2").

Previous Winners Female

Week 1 (Sept. 7)  Ashlie Case, Akron (volleyball)
Week 2 (Sept. 13) Jennifer Mitchell, CMU (volleyball)
  	          Kerri Schoultz, BSU (field hockey)
Week 3 (Sept. 20) Kim Branam, Akron (volleyball)
Week 4 (Sept. 27) Jocelyn Teall, BSU (field hockey)
Week 5 (Oct. 5)   Alissia Thompson, MIA (volleyball)
Week 6 (Oct. 11)  Sally Northcroft, BSU (field hockey)
Week 7 (Oct. 19)  Heather Fueger, Ohio (women's golf)
Week 8 (Oct. 25)  Courtney Seyferth, Miami (field hockey)
Week 9 (Nov. 2)   Sally Northcroft, BSU (field hockey)
Week 10 (Nov. 9)  Carrie Patterson, Kent (volleyball)
Week 11 (Nov. 15) Katie Mullen, Ohio (volleyball)
Week 12 (Nov. 23) Tennille Hileski, CMU (volleyball)
Week 13 (Nov. 29) Emily Sallee, BSU (volleyball)
Week 14 (Dec. 6)  Emily Bresser, Ohio (swimming)
Week 15 (Dec. 13) Erinn Hitch, BSU (swimming)
Week 16 (Jan. 10) Tara Perrier, Buffalo (basketball)
Week 17 (Jan. 19) Laura Szczepanski, BSU (gymnastics)
Week 18 (Jan. 24) Jamie Stewart, Miami (basketball)
Week 19 (Jan. 31) Angie Farmer, BGSU (basketball)
Week 20 (Feb. 8)  Laura Szczepanksi, BSU (gymnastics)
Week 21 (Feb. 15) Erica Glover, Akron (basketball)
Week 22 (Feb. 21) Tara Overaitis, Toledo (basketball)
Week 23 (Feb. 29) Kim van Selm, Ohio (swimming & diving)
Week 24 (Mar. 7)  Julie Studer, Kent (basketball)
Week 25 (Mar. 14) Nikki Liphardt, CMU (gymnastics)
Week 26 (Mar. 21) Marny Oestreng, BGSU (gymnastics)
Week 27 (Mar. 28) Katie Geib, Ohio (track & field)
Week 28 (Apr. 5)  Nikki Liphardt, CMU (gymnastics)
Week 29 (Apr. 11) Christy Smith, Akron (track & field)

Previous Winners Male

Week 1 (Sept. 7)  Chad Pennington, Marshall (football)
Week 2 (Sept. 13) Blake McDowell, EMU (cross country)
Week 3 (Sept. 20) Jason Strasser, BGSU (football)
Week 4 (Sept. 27) Tim Lester, WMU (football)
Week 5 (Oct. 5)   Tim Rice, Toledo (men's golf)
Week 6 (Oct. 11)  Ty Fowler, BGSU (men's soccer)
Week 7 (Oct. 19)  Scott Niles, WMU (football)
Week 8 (Oct. 25)  Zac Derr, Akron (football)
Week 9 (Nov. 2)   Jon Eaton, Akron (football)
Week 10 (Nov. 9)  Brian Billips, Ohio (swimming & diving)
Week 11 (Nov. 15) Karoly Bozan, Kent (cross country)
Week 12 (Nov. 23) Andy Brumbergs, Miami (football)
Week 13 (Nov. 29) Mike Ensminger, Miami (basketball)
Week 14 (Dec. 6)  Demetric Shaw, Kent (basketball)
Week 15 (Dec. 13) Dan Hickey, Buffalo (swimming)
Week 16 (Jan. 10) Brian Baughman, Kent (wrestling)
Week 17 (Jan. 19) Jason Grunkemeyer, Miami (basketball)
Week 18 (Jan. 24) T.J. Lux, NIU (basketball)
Week 19 (Jan. 31) Dale Cowper, WMU (track & field)
Week 20 (Feb. 8)  Brian Billips, Ohio (swimming & diving)
Week 21 (Feb. 15) David Webber, CMU (basketball)
Week 22 (Feb. 21) Chad Kamstra, Toledo (basketball)
Week 23 (Feb. 29) David Webber, CMU (basketball)
Week 24 (Mar. 7)  Dan Bednar, Ohio (wrestling)
Week 25 (Mar. 14) Jason Stewart, Miami (basketball)
Week 26 (Mar. 21) Nate Tekavec, Miami (baseball)
Week 27 (Mar. 28) Demetric Shaw, Kent (basketball)
Week 28 (Apr. 5)  Sam O'Dell, Marshall (golf)
Week 29 (Apr. 11) Andrew Seni, BSU (tennis)