Lonnie Kauppila bounces back with Stanford baseball

Keeping tabs on local athletes competing in college.

Lonnie Kauppila (Burbank High, 2010) junior infielder, Stanford University baseball: The former Bulldog has bounced back nicely after missing the final two months of his sophomore season last year with a knee injury.

That injury cut short a productive season in which Kauppila hit .280, scored 16 runs, drove in 13 runs and had a .920 fielding percentage at second base and shortstop.

This season, he has seemingly picked up where he left off. Heading into a weekend series against Utah to open Pacific-12 Conference play, Kauppila — who was taken in the 44th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics — had a .263 average with 10 hits, seven runs scored, four RBI and a .938 fielding percentage.

The Cardinal, ranked No. 17 in the nation, heads into the weekend series with a 10-5 record. Stanford won nine straight games before being swept two weeks ago at home by UNLV. Heading into that series with the Rebels, Stanford was 7-0 at home in 2013 and had won 11 straight on its home turf dating back to last season.

Rishonda Napier (Bell-Jeff High, 2012) freshman guard, Southern Illinois women's basketball: The former high school All-American candidate proved she could play at the next level by enjoying a fine first season with the Salukis.

Southern Illinois saw its season come to an end March 15 with a 60-43 loss to Creighton in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Salukis (5-26, 1-17 in the Mid-Valley Conference) set a new program record for fewest points in a half with nine in the opening frame and trailed 22 points at the half.

Napier scored 20 points in the loss to lead the Salukis.

Napier started 26 of the team's 30 games and ended the season averaging 11.3 points a game, which was second-best on the team. In addition, she averaged 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Amanda Keith (Burbank High, 2010) senior, Brigham Young University, women's golf: It has been a productive final collegiate season thus far for the former All-Area selection.

Keith helped the Cougars to a fifth-place finish Tuesday at the BYU at Entrada Classic in St. George, Utah.

BYU shot a final round 313 (+25) and 54-hole total 920 (+56) to finish seven strokes behind fourth-place Cal State Fullerton (+49) and 32 strokes behind tournament champion Wisconsin (+24). The fifth-place finish in the 15-team tournament at the Entrada at Snow Canyon course marks BYU's best finish of the season.

"A lot of positives," BYU Coach Carrie Roberts said on the university's website. "The girls hung in there well. We know what we need to do better. We're going to work hard for the next tournament and see if we can improve upon it."

Keith had a strong final round, closing out the final 18 holes with a six-over-par 78. Keith made two birdies on the day and finished the tournament tied for 16th place on the individual leaderboard at 14-over-par.

Last month, Keith shot a final round 75 (+3) to solidify an eighth-place finish for BYU at the UC Irvine Invitational at the Santa Ana Country Club. Keith had a consistent final round, making two birdies and finishing the tournament with seven birdies. She ended in 16th place after strong play in the second and third rounds and shot 13-over-par on the tournament.

Margeaux Gupilan (Bell-Jeff High, 2010) junior, University of Buffalo, women's basketball: Gupilan, who helped the Guards to a state championship in 2009, played herself into a starting position for the Bulls this season.

Unfortunately for Buffalo, its season ended March 14, but not before nearly pulling off an upset of third-seeded Akron in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Bulls lost to Akron, 83-79, in a game that featured 15 lead changes.

Gupilan had 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

On the season, Gupilan started 28 of 32 games and averaged 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and four assists a game.

Buffalo graduates just one senior from a team that went 12-20 (8-8 in conference).

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