At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Bobby Miller has a new look for his freshman season at Louisville with 30 extra pounds.
“The biggest challenge was definitely the offseason, putting on all the weight,” said Miller, a McHenry West graduate. “It was all in the way that I ate. Before I got here, I did not eat the best. I’ve started eating a lot better.”
Through eight outings this spring, Miller is chewing up opposing hitters as a relief pitcher.
He has a 3-0 record and a team-low 1.20 ERA for the Cardinals (19-9), who are ranked No. 11 in the country this week.
“I really like the role,” Miller said. “It takes a little getting used to because you usually don’t know what day you’re going to pitch. You’ve got to be prepared all the time.”
Miller has held opponents to a .063 batting average while striking out 15 in 15 innings pitched. His opposing batting average ranks third among all pitchers in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He has allowed only three hits all season, which also ranks third in the conference.
“I definitely have the most confidence in my fastball,” he said. “That’s working the best for me right now.”
Miller has shown off a unique versatility in his outings, pitching anywhere from one-third of an inning to 31/3 innings. In his most recent win, March 14 against Texas Tech, he struck out five and did not allow a hit over 31/3 innings.
“I’m fine throwing however many innings,” Miller said.
Miller’s impressive outings have kept the Cardinals playing at a high level. Louisville has been ranked in every national poll since the 2012 preseason.
“I love being part of a team with teammates who all have the same goal as you,” Miller said. “Everyone’s helping you achieve your goal also.”
Setting the pace at Iowa
Prairie Ridge grad Andrea Shine ran the fastest 10-kilometer time of her career last week at the Stanford Invitational. Her time of 33 minutes, 50.25 seconds was the sixth-fastest time in program history at the University of Iowa.
Shine, who finished fourth in her section of the race, ranks 15th nationally this season in the 10K, well in range for qualifying for the NCAA regionals next month in California.
The 10K effort is the fourth top-10 effort in Shine’s career at Iowa, including the indoor 5K and the 4K and 6K cross country distances.
Timm takes tennis award
D-III Augustana College freshman Annie Timm was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week in women’s tennis Wednesday.
Timm, a Prairie Ridge grad, improved her team-leading record to 20-4 last week with a victory at No. 2 singles against Cornell College.
Timm also won at No. 2 doubles, improving to 14-9. She has won the CCIW weekly honor twice this season. The Vikings are 16-5 this season in dual matches.
Top 10 for Hahn
Richmond-Burton grad Jordan Hahn shot a final-round 68 last weekend to finish in a tie for seventh as an individual at the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate golf tournament in Normal.
Hahn, a junior at Wisconsin, shot a 7-over-par 220 (81-71-68) to help the Badgers place second in the team standings among 17 schools.
Last month, he placed fourth at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational in South Carolina. He shot a three-round 207 total (70-70-67), the fifth-best 54-hole score in school history. For the season, he ranks second on the team with a 73.34 scoring average.
Weekly NACC honor
For the second time this season, McHenry East grad Paige Rauhut of Marian University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has won the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week award.
Rauhut was honored Monday by the conference after posting a
1.40 ERA in two complete-game victories last week. The sophomore right-hander combined for nine strikeouts in the wins, raising her league-high total to 69 this season. Rauhut (8-2) also leads the conference in victories and innings pitched (731/3).
The D-III Sabres (16-4) are off to a 6-0 start in conference play this season.
Burgard’s pitch on target
Crystal Lake South grad Samantha Burgard is one of three softball pitchers at D-II Purdue Northwest to have at least four victories this season.
A freshman, Burgard has a 4-2 record and a team-high 25 strikeouts in 46 innings. Opponents are hitting .275 against Burgard, who has four complete games and one shutout.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.