May 7, 2014
Big hitters lend to successful 2014
The wintry weather may have shortened the softball season, but it couldn’t stop
the Cyclones from playing over .500 ball with a finish in the NJCAA Region IV
Moraine Valley capped a successful year with a 22-17 overall record and 8-4 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference record that landed them in second place. They lost both games in the semi-finals on May 2 but otherwise dominated some teams and had a nine-game win streak—a testament to their team dynamic.
Several players had standout performances. Carly Trinley (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) intimidated other teams with her off-the-chart batting. She averaged .545 with a .841 slugging percentage in conference, leading to her Skyway Conference Player of the Year designation. She also landed on the All-Conference first team along with teammates Amie Raynor (Sandburg) and Jenny Vanek (Mother McAuley). Raynor was named to the All-Region IV first team thanks in part to her stellar pitching all season and overall .397 batting average (.450 in conference). Not only did Vanek average .295 at the plate (.356 in conference), but she was a wall at shortstop, being a defense anchor for the team. Ari Bulthius (Mother McAuley) and Dana Cummings (Richards) rounded out the awards with nods to the All-Conference second team. Bulthius contributed to the pitching rotation and continued her impressive hitting from last season with an overall .382 average (.357 in conference).
“This is one of the most fun teams I’ve had in my coaching career. I wish this was a four-year institution. I didn’t want to see the season end,” said head coach Mike Veen. “We were lucky we got in the number of games we did. Not only that, but there is real talent on the team. It’s hard to see the sophomores go.”
Sophomore Vanek intends to continue playing ball at North Central College while Raynor is set for Aurora University. Trinley is expected to return next season, and Veen has some recruits in mind to further develop his squad.
May 3, 2014
Cyclones take a hit in semi-finals
The NJCAA Region IV Semi-Finals is a familiar place for the Cyclones. In the
last couple years the team has had to face an always talented Kankakee Community
College squad. This season was no different as the Cyclones faced the Cavaliers
May 2 in the next round of the playoffs.
It was tough to challenge the Cavaliers, and the Cyclones were stalled at the plate, losing the matchup 12-1. A first-inning grand slam with two outs by Kankakee saw the Cyclones down 5-0. Carly Trinley scored the lone run. A few hits came from Ari Bulthius (2-for-3, double), Kristie Bagus (1-for-2) and Amie Raynor (1-for-3, double).
In the second game, the Cyclones faced South Suburban College. It was a game Moraine Valley could have won, but too many ground outs and fly outs led to a 9-4 loss. Megan Beckow (2-for-4), Sofia Lamb (1-for-3), Dana Cummings, and Jenny Vanek each scored a run.
April 30, 2014
Cyclones take two from Pioneers, advance to semis
In a virtual repeat of last year, the Cyclones had to face rival Prairie State
College in the NJCAA Region IV Quarterfinals (April 29). And just like last
season, Moraine Valley took two out of three games to advance to the
Amie Raynor gave up only five hits in the Cyclones’ 6-3 victory. She along with Ari Bulthius went 1-for-3 at the plate. Carly Trinley was the big hitter with a triple, homerun and two runs scored. Dana Cummings and Megan Beckow each scored a run as well.
The pressure was too much for Moraine Valley in game two which saw the lead batter and bottom half of the order yielding a collective one hit in the 8-5 loss. Contributions came from Janay McGovern (2-for-3, two doubles, run scored), Raynor (1-for-4, double, run scored), Bulthius (1-for-4, homerun, run scored), and Trinley (1-for-4, run scored).
The winner of the third game would move on in the playoffs. The bottom of the Cyclones' batting order made up for a lackluster second game, but it took a few innings to warm up. Prairie State was up 1-0 until the top of the fifth inning. After the Pioneers secured three more runs, coach Mike Veen gave his team a pep talk. “I told them they’ve been there before, and they could do this. I knew they’d pull it out,” he said. All Prairie State needed was six outs in the bottom of the sixth inning for the win. Beckow started the rally with a base hit that led to five runs and the lead. In the top of the seventh with a runner on first and second and two outs, a shot to Jenny Vanek at shortstop yielded an easy out and a Cyclone victory. McGovern, Trinley, Kristie Bagus, and Sofia Lamb each went 1-for-3. Cummings went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
“I had no doubt we were going to win. You can’t believe how proud I was of those kids,” Veen said. “It wasn’t the greatest game, but they came through when they had to.”
April 26, 2014
Cyclones crush Trojans
Moraine Valley far outmatched Triton College on April 25 in a sweep in their
last regular season home game. The Cyclones came out on top 11-6 and 15-3.
There was nothing but hit after hit in both games thanks to Dana Cummings (6-for-6, 3RBIs, four runs scored), Ari Bulthius (4-for-8, double, four runs scored, 6 RBIs), Amie Raynor (5-for-8, double, five runs scored, 3 RBIs). A couple players made some noise in the second game: Megan Beckow (2-for-4, triple, run scored) and Sam Newhall (2-for-3, one run scored, RBI).
April 25, 2014
Home split for 'Clones
In what should have been another sweep for the Cyclones April 24 was instead a
split with Oakton Community College at home.
The Cyclones were stale at the plate until the third inning when they were down 4-0. Some nice defensive plays on a windy day and gradual run gain brought the Cyclones back up to speed. Carly Trinley’s two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Moraine Valley the 5-4 lead. They held on to the win after Amie Raynor struck out the final batter with a runner on first. Raynor went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and 2 RBIs. Ari Bulthius also had an RBI.
Moraine Valley couldn’t make the same kind of come back in their second game, falling 4-1. Raynor, Dana Cummings and Sofia Lamb each had at least one hit. Jenny Vanek scored the lone run after being walked.
April 23, 2014
Cyclones running on eight-game win streak
Break out the brooms. The Cyclones keep sweeping their opponents, the latest
being conference rival Prairie State College on April 22, making it eight in a
The Cyclones were down 1-0 for a couple innings before coming back to win 5-2. Amie Raynor led the charge (2-for-4, two doubles, two runs scored) followed by Dana Cummings (2-for-3, triple) and Janay McGovern (1-for-3, run scored). Raynor earned the win.
McGovern crushed a walk-off, two-run homerun in the fifth inning to end the game by slaughter—8-0. She went 2-for-2 in the game. Jenny Vanek and Cummings each went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Ari Bulthius and Carly Trinley each went 1-for-3 with a double and run scored. Bulthius won on the mound.
“In the first game our defense was stellar. That’s what’s winning us these games. Our pitchers aren’t getting many strikeouts, but batters are hitting to our tough defense. We’re playing really well. Now is the perfect time for it to come together,” said head coach Mike Veen.
April 19, 2014
Cyclones sweep Hawks
The Cyclones added yet another sweep to their list. Harper College was the
victim in a rescheduled game April 18.
Moraine Valley continued their hitting ways in an 8-3 victory in game one. Amie Raynor went 2-for-4, scoring two followed by Ari Bulthius (2-for-2, two runs scored), Jenny Vanek (2-for-3, triple, 5 RBIs, one run scored), and Dana Cummings (1-for-2, RBI, run scored).
Although the Cyclones led 6-0 early on, the Hawks fought back to tie things up. The deadlock was short-lived as Moraine Valley surged to a 13-9 win. Vanek, Cummings and Carly Trinley each went 2-for-4 with Vanek and Trinley hitting a double. Raynor not only pitched both games, but went 4-for-4 with a double in the nightcap.
April 18, 2014
Cyclones crush Scots
In their doubleheader with McHenry County College on April 17, the Cyclones only
had to play a total of 10 innings while collectively scoring 35 runs.
Moraine Valley rocked the Scots’ pitcher both games winning 11-2 and 24-2. Even when head coach Mike Veen purposefully stopped running his players, they couldn’t stop the hits.
Big numbers in the first game came from Amie Raynor (3-for-5, 5 RBIs, double), Kristie Bagus (4-for-5, two doubles, RBI), Carly Trinley (3-for-5, two doubles, 4 RBIs) and Janay McGovern (4-for-5, 4 RBIs). Raynor won the game on the mound.
Ari Bulthius threw in the second game in addition to going 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs, two walks and a homerun. She had help from Trinley (4-for-5, homerun, double, 4 RBIs), Megan Beckow (2-for-5, 2 RBIs, homerun), McGovern (3-for-5, double, 5 RBIs), Dana Cummings (3-for-4, two doubles, 2 RBIs), and Jazmine Ramirez (2-for-4, two doubles, 2 RBIs).
April 14, 2014
Cyclones grab big wins in Freeport
Going three out of four is pretty good. The Cyclones stunned their opponents,
taking just one big loss at the East/West Tournament in Freeport, April 12-13.
Both Moraine Valley and Madison College were stunned at the plate in their first meeting April 12. After a fourth inning homerun by Amie Raynor, the Wolfpack answered with a tying RBI in the fifth. The game went into extra innings, but the Cyclones needed only one inning to win. Carly Trinley (1-for-3) was walked and scored on a passed ball to edge the Cyclones to the 2-1 victory. Raynor pitched a complete game for the win.
Later that Saturday the Cyclones shut down, losing 7-0 to a tough Rock Valley College squad. Raynor continued her hitting ways with a double.
For the first time in head coach Mike Veen’s tenure at Moraine Valley, his team had yet to defeat College of DuPage. On Sunday the Cyclones dominated the field with a 4-0 victory over the Chaparrals. Raynor earned another win on the mound and added to her impressive batting stats (4-for-4, double, triple, RBI, run scored). She had help from Janay McGovern (1-for-4, double) and Jenny Vanek (1-for-4, homerun, RBI).
To cap off a successful weekend, the Cyclones knocked down Joliet Junior College in five innings—9-1. Ari Bulthius earned the win while going 1-for-2 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Trinley had a big finish going 3-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs. Vanek had a double and RBI while Raynor hit a double and earned 2 RBIs. Abby Urchell went 1-for-2.
April 11, 2014
Splitsville for Cyclones
If there were more than seven innings in softball, the Cyclones might have swept
College of Lake County on April 10. Instead, they split the series at home.
The close games are always tough to lose. “I’d rather lose 9-0 than lose by one, but it was a good game,” said coach Mike Veen about his team’s 2-1 loss. Amid tight pitching and good defense from both squads, Lake County scored two runs early and the Cyclones held them. Moraine Valley found some momentum and scored in the seventh inning. Megan Beckow had the RBI scored by Sofia Lamb. Jazmine Ramirez had a double.
There was more action at the plate in the nightcap where the Cyclones won 8-4. Amie Raynor was the winning pitcher and helped her cause by going 2-for-5 with a double, run scored and 2 RBIs. Jenny Vanek (3-for-4) and Beckow (2-for-4, 2RBIs) each scored a run. Carly Trinley went 3-for-5 with a double.
April 10, 2014
Cyclones fall short to Bulldogs
The competition is always intense when Moraine Valley faces South Suburban
College. Their meeting on April 9 was no different. The Cyclones were shut down
at home, 10-5 and 9-0 in five innings.
Megan Beckow led the charge in the first game, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Both Amie Raynor (homerun, RBI) and Janay McGovern (1-for-2) scored a run.
The second game was less exciting. One player had a hit, but the Bulldogs only struck out two Cyclones. Despite the hard hits by Moraine Valley, they went to a fielder for an out too often, said coach Mike Veen.
April 9, 2014
Cyclones sweep Panthers
Combining both scores of their doubleheader against Morton College on April 8,
the Cyclones scored 22 runs. It was a sweep for Moraine Valley— 11-6 and 11-4.
The offense was on fire starting with Amie Raynor, who also earned the save, with a double, three runs scored and 4 RBIs. Jenny Vanek had a homerun and 2 RBIs while Carly Trinley had 3 RBIs and Dana Cummings was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Raynor pitched for the win and helped her cause with a homerun, double and RBI. She had help from Megan Beckow (2-for-4, homerun, 2 RBIs, two runs scored), Trinley (4-for-4, three doubles, 2 RBIs, three runs scored), and Sofia Lamb (2-for-4, 2 RBIs).
April 2, 2014
After a rough few days, the Cyclones were hoping for a better showing April 1
when they again faced Waubonsee Community College.
Although Moraine Valley had strong hits, they kept going right to a fielder in the first game. Jenny Vanek (2-for-3), Janay McGovern (1-for-1), Megan Beckow (1-for-2) and Carly Trinley (1-for-2) were the bright spots in the 8-0 loss.
The Cyclones got the bats going for the night cap, but fell again, 11-6. Vanek went 3-for-5 with a double and RBI. Ari Bulthius was 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Sofia Lamb was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Bulthius took the loss.
April 1, 2014
Cyclones can’t figure out Cavaliers
It’s never easy when the Cyclones face Kankakee Community College. In their
first meeting this season (March 31), Moraine Valley dropped both games but put
up a good fight.
The Cyclones scored first until the Cavaliers scored seven at the end of the first. Moraine Valley tied things up by the third inning, but once again Kankakee had another good at-bat which was all they needed for the 15-7 pounding. Emily Nettle started on the mound, but was replaced by Amie Raynor who took the loss. Raynor had an RBI and homerun while Jazmine Ramirez had a homerun and 3 RBIs. Sofia Lamb had a run, 2 RBIs and a double.
There wasn’t as much life in the bats for the second game where the Cyclones lost 10-2. Jenny Vanek and Carly Trinley each scored a run.
March 31, 2014
Rough tourney for ’Clones
The Cyclones competed in the South Suburban Tournament March 29 and 30,
finishing 1-4 for the weekend, but not without a fight.
In their first game, Moraine Valley went into a nine-inning showdown with Highland Community College. The game was close into extra inning when one RBI hit tabbed the Cyclones with a 5-4 loss. Ari Bulthius took the loss. There were about as many hits as walks in this game with four players going 1-for-3 at the plate: Jazmine Ramirez, Amie Raynor, Samantha Newhall, and Jenny Vanek. Ramirez scored a run and Vanek scored two.
Game two was another tight match, ending in a 3-2 loss to Rock Valley College, which scored in the last inning. Vanek was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Janay McGovern went 2-for-3 with a double. Emily Nettle pitched for the loss.
On March 30 the Cyclones had a new day to start over, and they were tested with their first game against Waubonsee Community College. Moraine Valley was down 6-2 in the seventh inning when the number nine batter got on base before back-to-back homeruns by Vanek and Megan Beckow put the Cyclones within one. Unfortunately, they couldn’t squeak out another run and took the 6-5 loss. Bulthius, Sofia Lamb and Dana Cummings each went 2-for-4.
The bats came to life in the Cyclones’ final game against Sandburg College. Bulthius earned the win in Moraine Valley’s 12-1 victory. She helped her cause going 3-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs. Big numbers also came from Beckow (3-for-3, homerun, three runs scored) and Raynor (2-for-4, double, two runs scored, 3 RBIs).
March 23, 2014
Cyclones open season by pouncing Wolves
The Cyclones were able to squeeze a doubleheader in March 22 between wild
weather spurts, and they showed their stuff in a sweep of Joliet Junior College.
All that indoor work with the bats paid off in Moraine Valley’s 12-5 and 9-2 wins. Amie Raynor pitched a complete first game. She had help from big hits in Megan Beckow (3 hits, 3 RBIs), Ari Bulthius (2-for-3, 1 run scored), Janay McGovern (3-for-3, 3 RBIs), and Carly Trinley (3-for-4, 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI).
With only one strikeout in the second game, pitcher Emily Nettle was able to force batters into easy outs and hold the Wolves to two runs. Big batters for this game were Jenny Vanek with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs; Raynor with one homerun that scored two; and Sam Newhall who was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs.
March 22, 2014
Cyclones ready for success in 2014
Another good crop of softball players are ready to strut their stuff in 2014.
Between poor weather and injuries, the Cyclones weren’t able to have the kind of season they are capable of in 2013, but they’re hoping for more luck this year. The Cyclones lost big hitters Sam Staisiunas and Danielle Stark along with starting pitcher Emily Kurek, but have solid contributors back in the lineup.
All-Conference first team players Amie Raynor (Sandburg) and Jenny Vanek (Mother McAuley), who batted .400 and .330, respectfully return along with fellow sophomores Ari Bulthius (Mother McAuley), who had 23 RBIs last season, and Janay McGovern (Argo). Vanek is the team’s shortstop and expected to be solid again this season while Bulthius is a terror at the plate with her hard hits. Raynor is pulling double duty with pitching and catching this year, but has the skill to play any position on the field. McGovern brings back her versatility behind the plate as catcher and at third base.
The talented incoming class includes Kristie Bagus (Shepard), Megan Beckow (Evergreen Park), Dana Cummings (Richards), Sofia Lamb (Evergreen Park), Samantha Newhall (Shepard), Jazmine Ramirez (Queen of Peace), Carly Trinley (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences), and Abby Urchell (Evergreen Park).
Head coach Mike Veen, in his fourth season at the helm, doesn’t have to tell his players to play hard and go for wins because they already have that mindset. The team gels and almost everyone is interchangeable in positions on the field.
The goal for the Cyclones is to finish the season well. It’s not how you start, but how you finish. “I want them to improve every game whether it’s a little or a lot, that’s what I tell my players,” Veen said. “I could care only about my record, and don’t get me wrong I like to win, but sometimes the ball is in the other court. I’m looking for a good season, and I want them to have fun.”