Teams optimistic for spring season

Northern Kentucky University enters the 2005 spring sports season with high expectations. From outstanding individuals to dominating teams, thoughts of championships are prevalent on campus.

“The sports are good quality products,” NKU Athletic Director Jane Meier said. “The games are fun, and if students want to follow a winner, they will attend (the team’s) games.”

Every sport has high hopes entering the spring.


The baseball team won the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship last season, and made the Division II tournament for the second time in three seasons.

The team begins this season with equally high expectations, being ranked first in the GLVC in the preseason poll, and 24th in the nation by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

The Norse will feature a strong pitching staff again this season, led by Third Team All American Derrik Moeves. Last season, Moeves finished eighth nationally in Division II baseball with a 1.74 earned run average. He did not allow a home run all season and set a NKU record with 102 strikeouts. Moeves begins the season seventh on the all-time strike out list for the Norse.

Also returning is senior pitcher Justin Seiter. Seiter was a major asset out of the bullpen last season and received an All-North Central Region selection as a result.

Alex Frank batted .290 and Keith Jackson batted .288 and are the returning leading hitters for the Norse this season. Conor McGeehan is the returning leader in home runs, with four.


The softball team had a record-breaking season last year, finishing 54-7, and making it all the way to the final eight of the Division II Tournament.

The team did not have a senior last season, so every player returns for a team picked to finish first in the GLVC preseason poll.

All American pitcher Krystal Lewallen returns following a dominating season last year. Lewallen finished the season with 31 wins and led the nation with a 0.27 ERA.

Also returning to the mound for the Norse is Emily Breitholle. Last season, Breitholle finished the season with a 16-2 record with a 1.10 ERA.

NKU has several players holding records, or close to breaking all-time records returning this season. Breitholle needs only four victories, and Lewallen needs six to become the all-time leader at NKU.

At the plate, Stephanie Leimbach set a school record with 70 hits last season and needs two hits this season to become the all-time leader at NKU. Leimbach already has the school record for most runs scored all time.

Angie Lindeman is the all time RBI leader at NKU, and set a single-season record, driving in 50 last year.

Ricki Rothbauer also returns after setting a school record with 42 runs last season.

Women’s Golf:

In the fall, the women’s golf team captured the GLVC title, and coach Daryl Landrum was named coach of the year in the GLVC.

The team kicks off the second half of the season in the spring traveling to Kiawah Island, S.C. and to Florida Southern to play in tournaments before hosting the NKU Invitational from March 25-27.

Kim Keyer-Scott returns this season after boasting one of the lowest shooting averages last season. Also returning is Bianca Hutton who finished third at the Ferris State Invitational and the Screaming Eagle Golf Classic in the fall.

Keyer-Scott, Hutton and Michelle Bellish all finished in a three-way tie for second place at the GLVC Championships in the fall.

Men’s Golf:

The men start playing again in the spring in a tournament March 3-9 in Barry, Fla.

The team returns several golfers who put up impressive showings in tournaments in the fall: Curtis Phelps, Jerod Cahill, David Shearer, Jon Ehlen and Mark Krahe.

During the fall the men finished in the top five at the University of Indianapolis Invitational, the NKU Fall Invitational, the Murray State Individual and the Great Lakes Fall Regional.

Individually, Ehlen finished third at the NKU Fall Invitational and fifth at the Great Lakes Fall Regional.

Men’s Tennis:

The men’s tennis team dominated last season, finishing undefeated in the GLVC, and winning the conference tournament for the second consecutive season.

The team returns key players Oliver Marinkovic, Marek Pawelec, Nick Herzog and Billy Hopkins.

With so much talent returning for every team at NKU, it is easy to see why expectations are so high.

The baseball and softball teams travel to California and Florida, respectively, to play against some top-notch competition, and to showcase their great players.

“The teams are facing a very competitive schedule,” Meier said. “All it can do is make us better prepared for GLVC play.”

The class of the individual athlete at NKU is also apparent.

“The quality of the student athlete is very high at NKU,” Meier said. “I think Derrik (Moeves) may be drafted pretty high.”

With all of the excellent teams, you cannot go wrong attending any of the games. There has also been an upgrade to the sound systems for baseball and softball, with new units being used for both teams.