—UE’s softball team opens play today at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. It’s win or go home for the seventh-seeded Aces, who face sixth-seeded Missouri State in a first round game at 1:35 p.m. in Omaha, Neb. The MVC will stream the game on its “Valley Live” web channel, and live stats are available here.
—The UE baseball team held off SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday at Braun Stadium, winning 11-7 to take its fourth straight game. The Aces (20-29) are on a roll at the right time with one MVC series left to play this weekend at Illinois State. Then come non-conference return games with Western Kentucky and SIU-E before the league tournament starts May 21.
—With now less than a week left in the NCAA’s spring signing period, a new men’s basketball recruit appeared Wednesday on UE’s radar. Former North Carolina Wilmington signee Tyler Ptacek has the Aces in his top two schools along with NCAA tournament Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast. Ptacek, a senior from the Cleveland area, is a two-star prospect by Rivals and ESPN.
—UE senior Samantha Heck, the women’s basketball team’s top scorer last season, is coming into her own while representing the United States in China. Heck scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds Wednesday in an 85-47 win over Brazil’s team, which moved the U.S. to 4-1 so far overseas.
—In other recruiting news, it doesn’t seem UE is recruiting Indiana transfer and Louisville native Remy Abell. The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday that Abell will move on to play at either St. Mary’s, Xavier or Saint Louis after growing unhappy about his role for the Hoosiers. The Indy Star also reported Wednesday that Evan Gordon, brother of Eric Gordon, will transfer from Arizona State to play closer to home.
—Speedway High School shooting guard Anthony Jones, a class of 2015 prospect, tweeted Wednesday that he had a discussion with UE assistant Jimmy Elgas. The Indiana Recruiting Guide rates Jones as the state’s 20th-best sophomore recruit and a “good all-around player who can fill it up.” Shy Ely also played at Speedway before going on to a big scoring career both collegiately at UE as well as professionally in the NBA D-League and overseas.
—The Horizon League moved quickly in replacing the University of Loyola Chicago, adding former Summit League member Oakland this week. Loyola, of course, announced plans to join the Missouri Valley Conference last month and enters the league next season.