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Towson freshman golfer wins 2014 individual CAA championship

Juan Veloza

Juan Veloza, left, with Robert Goodman, senior associate commissioner of the CAA

Freshman Juan Veloza carded a round-tying-low 69, which included an eagle and four birdies, to claim the individual title at the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championships on Sunday. Veloza earns the league’s automatic individual qualifier for the NCAA Regional Tournament by winning the first tournament of his young career.

Veloza finished with a five-under-par 211 (74-68-69). He earned Most Outstanding Performer honors after carding the second-best 54-hole score of his career.  Veloza’s 211 ranks among the top 10 individual scores in CAA championship history. He’s also the first freshman to win the CAA tournament since 2009 and the first Tiger to win the title since 2004.

The Tigers placed second in team standings.

“Juan winning the individual title is huge for the school,” said head coach Brian Yaniger. “He’s just a freshman and clearly a very talented one. We’re going to work to build a future with him and our younger guys so that we can continue to compete for championships moving forward. This will be the fifth NCAA Tournament that Towson will be represented in which I think is a big deal.”

Veloza will find out where he plays for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships on May 5, 10 a.m. during Morning Drive on the Golf Channel.

Towson softball breaks out the bats for Senior Day

Missy McCormick and Maureen “Mo” Hepner both hit home runs, leading the Towson softball team to a 9-2 victory over UNCW on Sunday in the team’s final home game of the regular season. Prior to the start of the game, the Tigers recognized seniors Hepner, Delanie Dunham, Mickelle Oslin and Victoria Sindone for their contributions to the TU softball program.

It was an important victory for the Tigers, who improved to 27-20 overall and 6-6 in CAA play. With one weekend remaining in the regular season, the Tigers are in fourth place. The top four teams in the league qualify for the CAA tournament to be held at the site of the highest seed May 7-9.

Hepner and McCormick became the only teammates in school history with more than 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in the same season. Hepner has 12 homers and 49 RBIs, while McCormick adds 10 homers and 47 RBIs.

It was also a stellar day in the pitcher’s circle for McCormick. She tossed a complete game and allowed just two runs on eight hits while striking out five and not issuing a walk. It was her 15th win of the season.

Towson next travels to the College of Charleston for its final series of the regular season beginning Friday with a doubleheader.

Towson baseball drops 11-inning heartbreaker to James Madison

James Madison led off the top of the 11th inning with a solo home run to left field, leading the Dukes to a 3-2 victory over Towson baseball in the third and final game of their three-game CAA series at John B. Schuerholz Park Sunday. With the win, JMU won the weekend series, two games to one.

The Tigers, now 20-19 overall and 2-9 in the CAA, return to action on Tuesday evening with a non-conference game at UMBC. The opening pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Towson returns home Wednesday to host George Washington University at 3:30 p.m.

Lacrosse teams prepare to play in CAA tournament this week

The Towson women’s and men’s lacrosse teams were idle this past weekend; both start play in their respective CAA tournaments this week.

Coach Sonia LaMonica’s top-seeded women’s squad will travel to William & Mary, host of this year’s women’s tourney, May 2-4. The Tigers will face fourth-seeded Hofstra in the semifinals Friday at 5 p.m. The other semifinal game will feature second-seeded James Madison and third-seeded Delaware. The winners of Friday’s semifinal games advance to Sunday’s championship contest at 1 p.m. The Tigers are looking to defend their back-to-back CAA titles.

Coach Shawn Nadelen’s third-seeded men’s team will face second-seeded Drexel in the semifinals this Wednesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia. Delaware is the tournament’s number four seed and will face top-seeded Hofstra in Hampstead, N.Y. Wednesday night. The championship game will be held Saturday, May 3 at the site of the highest remaining seed. The game time will be determined after both semifinals are completed.