Lindahl last week announced his resignation effective at the end of the third year of his contract, to be replaced by top assistant Jolene Christensen, but the sixth-seeded Lady Vikings pulled off the only upset of the Heart of America Conference's quarterfinal round Wednesday by defeating No. 3 William Jewell, 74-64, at Liberty.
Valley appeared well on its way to a third double-digit loss of the season to the 19th-ranked Lady Cardinals, falling trailing by seven points at halftime, but the second half went the visitors way. The Lady Vikings, out-shooting Jewell 59.1 to 23.3 percent during the second half, scored 44 points after the break.
The second half began horribly for Valley, with a turnover and a three-pointer by WJC junior Amber Parker to extend the margin to 10 points. However, the Lady Vikings quickly went to work -- getting a lay-up from junior Ashley Sequeira, senior Teresa Gittens' three-pointer and three free throws by senior Bonnie Johnson to tie the contest with 16:24 remaining.
Johnson hit two more from the stripe and then got loose inside to break tie scores and senior Holly Siverling made three shots during a three-minute span as Valley built a nine-point lead with 5:50 left. The Lady Cardinals got to within two points three times, but MVC sank nine straight free throws over the final 1:43 to ward off the threat.
Sophomores Hillary Adams and Erica Ferguson led Jewell (15-14) with 15 points apiece.
Johnson scored a game-high 21 points and Siverling contributed 15 points and three assists and a pair of blocked shots in a mere 16 minutes off the bench. The Lady Vikings (15-14) will play in the semifinal round Saturday at No. 21 MidAmerica Nazarene, where on Feb. 11 they upset the Lady Pioneers, 73-70.
Missouri Valley 2-8
OTTAWA, Kan. -- It's been a rough start to the season for the Missouri Valley College softball team.
The Lady Vikings were due to open last weekend, but the Early Bird Tournament at Springfield was wiped out by snow. Valley hit the road Wednesday, but pitching and defense were both shaky during a non-conference doubleheader loss at Ottawa (Kan.), 10-2 and 12-8.
The Lady Braves scored five runs during the first two frames of the opener, but saw the margin whittled to three runs in the top of the fifth. Hits by junior Kimberly Fuller, sophomore Sydney Kaneshiro and junior Kristine Escujuri -- followed by a ground ball -- produced two runs for the Lady Vikings.
They got no closer, Ottawa racking up four runs in the bottom of the frame. Senior Jamie Miller and freshman Korey Higbie each had two hits, scored and knocked in two runs during the game to pace the Lady Braves.
Valley's bats got uncorked during the nightcap, but not enough to overcome the six runs yielded in the bottom of the first inning and three more in the second. The Lady Vikings committed six errors, although only one unearned run was officially recorded, during the contest.
Valley put up crooked numbers in the second, third and fourth innings -- when they cut the deficit to 9-7 -- but two runs in the OU fourth were more than the Lady Vikings could overcome.
Miller banged out four hits, sophomore Ashley Mundy and junior Josie Hildebrand each scored three times and sophomore Lori Ewalt drove in three runs with three hits for Ottawa (2-0).
Valley was led by junior Suzanne Horine with a double, triple and two RBIs. Fuller also produced a two-run double for the Lady Vikings (0-2), scheduled to make a trip to Springfield today for the Evangel Show-Me Tournament.
Vikings qualify three more for NAIA meet
LAMONI, Iowa -- When it comes to the specialized skill of race-walking, few on the NAIA level are better than Missouri Valley College's Thiago Ferreira.
The junior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, proved it Saturday by winning the 3,000-meter race-walk at the Heart of America Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in Lamoni, Iowa. Ferreira improved his qualifying time for the NAIA Championships, to be held March 6-8 at Johnson City, Tenn., his time of 13:52.66 being the second-fastest recorded in the event this season.
The Vikings finished fifth among men's teams with 69 points, thanks to a handful of other contributors. Chief among these was distance runner Anthony Flores. The senior from Fort Worth, Texas -- who was 64th among 258 runners at the NAIA cross country meet last November in Kenosha, Wis. -- placed second in the 5,000-meter run (15:38.52), fourth in the 3,000 (9:00.35) -- having previously met the national qualifying standard in both events -- and seventh in the mile (4:33.09).
Sophomore Cortavious Anderson was seventh in the 55-meter dash (6.64 seconds), having finished fifth in two preliminary races. He had also earlier become eligible for nationals in the 60. Valley's fifth NAIA qualifier among men is freshman shot putter William Coleman, who placed third (15.01 meters).
Other notable performances for the Vikings -- although they weren't enough to meet the national mark -- were a second place by junior Adam Willis in the 600 (1:15.78), second for the distance medley (11:07.66) and two medals for senior T.J. Tiefenbrun: fifth in the weight throw (14.01) and sixth in the shot (13.53).
The only Valley women to make the national cut was freshman Brittany Stallworth, second in the 55-meter hurdles (8.73). Other HAAC medals went to senior Natalie Reische of Brunswick for fourth in the shot put (11.12) and sixth to senior Linze Leimkuehler of Marshall in the 55 dash (7.46).
The Lady Vikings were seventh in the standings with 21 points.
Lindenwood, second in both the men's and women's team totals last year, knocked defending champions MidAmerica Nazarene out of the top spots this season.