JANUARY 1 2011 UPDATE
HAPPY NEW YEAR
A New Year Message from Spy
My passage through the course of a long, frequently adventurous journey, has been populated by popes and presidents, kings and queens, ministers of various ranks in numerous lands, members of the Senate and House, bureaucrats of high and low station – and enough rogues and spies to fill a good-sized prison. As the calendar turns over again today, signaling ever more clearly that I am deep in the winter of my years, the highs and lows of that life pass in reflection, events of major and minor significance in more than 130 countries. Their visages and my interactions with these people are burned into memories never far from conscious thought. Yet, events which I once thought were the grandest of accomplishments stand down in the sense of personal fulfillment to the experience of partaking in the world of fastpitch softball. I can say, without equivocation, that some of the finest people I have known the world over are the players, coaches, parents, managers and others who make up that world. This could be the final year, the great challenge of publishing Spy Softball has taken its toll, financially and physically. But, whenever that last chapter is written, in this or another year to come, know you all that, in the words of famous bon vivant Pogo Poole, it has been a pleasure to be a member of your company.
USA NATIONAL TEAMS
Spy has received the following information from National Teams Director Ronnie Isham, in response to Spy questions:
Applications are being taken for the USA WNT Coaching Pool until January 5, the pool will be named in mid January with coaching assignments made prior to March 1st. All current coaches have been evaluated and may or may not be re-assigned or selected as a coach for the WNT or the JWNT. The 2011 WNT and Pan Am Games Team will be selected at a Selection Camp in early June. The JWNT stays intact.
WORLD YOUTH CUP DAY TWO
(reported by ISF)
Although 17 games would be played over the course of today’s first full day of games at the Easton Foundation Youth World Cup in Plant City, Florida, it was more about the off-field events at the International Softball Federation’s world headquarters complex.
While sport has always been a source of eliminating barriers and bringing people together, today that is complemented by it being New Year’s Eve. The age 16-and-under athletes along with the coaches and families that have traveled with them will have memories of the calendar changing to 2011 while amidst fellow softballers.
Furthermore, the opportunity to interact socially with other teams was given to the event participants with a (catered) solidarity dinner this evening just outside the ISF’s administration building.
The morning had begun with Regina Gold (from Saskatchewan, Canada) defeating Russia, 6-2. Russia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but was done in by four errors and a Regina offense that got on the board in each of the second through fifth innings. Losing pitcher Stephanie Koop led the offense, going 2-for-3 at the plate, while posting nine strikeouts over four innings, although she walked four batters as well. Six different Regina players had one hit apiece as they rebounded from a close opening day defeat (2-1).
Meanwhile, the host Plant City team (Legends) was triumphant over another Florida team, the (Windermere) Wildfire, 8-3. The second and fifth innings were where the winners did most of the damage, scoring three and four runs respectively. All the runs in the fifth inning came after the first two batters were out with the score only 4-2 at that point. The Wildfire committed six errors and starting pitcher Chase Cassady walked five batters in five-and-a-third innings. Plant City was led by centerfielder Cacey Simmons, who went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs.
During the same time slot, Northwest Elite (Oregon) was defeating Brazil, 3-1. The winners got four consecutive singles in the top of the fourth en route to scoring all of their runs to support the pitching of Mackenzie Spencer, who had a whopping 13 strikeouts in six innings. Centerfielder Kiana Wood led the victors with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate (all singles). It was another two-run decision for Brazil, who had opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory last night over another team from the Pacific northwest (near Vancouver, Canada).
Four games took place at 12 Noon, with the main stadium hosting Manitoba #2 (Canada) posting a big 12-1 victory over the Bahamas. It was the Bahamas taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but after that it was all Manitoba. The Canadians scored three times in the second and six in the third, taking advantage of a game total of eight errors by the Bahamians. Four different Manitoba players had two hits each and pitcher Mia Gautron had twelve strikeouts in five-and-a-third innings in picking up the win.
In a slugfest, the Easton California Impact outlasted the Colorado All-Stars, 10-8. The Impact charged out to a 6-0 lead after two innings and was up 10-3 after three, but the All-Stars kept coming but couldn’t get closer than two runs. Katy Kibbe had the big bat for the winners, going 3-for-3 with two RBI. Kristyn Peters put up the same numbers for Colorado.
A team from the host county, the South Florida Mini Bulls, posted a 5-0 victory over the East Norriton (Pennsylvania) Avalanche. Winning pitcher Erica Nunn was a difference-maker, holding the Avalanche to just two hits over seven innings while striking out 13 and walking just one. She also led the Mini Bulls offensively with a 2-for-3 outing and a run scored and one run batted in.
And, the Sarasota Quicksilver topped the Philippines, 6-2. A four-run top of the third inning helped the Quicksilver on their way to victory. Eight different players had hits for the victors, including Mia Fung, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
The mid-afternoon games (2:30) were all quite close – except for Puerto Rico blanking the Plant City Legends, 7-0. Right fielder Nilbeth Torres was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, to go with two runs scored and an RBI and three of her teammates had two hits apiece as Plant City could only hope for a better outcome in their next game. The Legends managed just two hits off of two Puerto Rico pitchers. The winners were scoreless in their first at-bat but then got runs in the top of the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings.
The Orlando Flames got past the White Rock (Canada) Renegades, 6-4. White Rock was up 4-1 after an inning-and-a-half but Orlando got a pair of runs in the third and fifth innings, sandwiched around a single tally in the fourth in taking advantage of four Renegades error in victory. The combined ten runs came on just eleven combined hits, with only Orlando catcher Sara Newman getting more than one.
The East Norriton Avalanche bounced back from their earlier loss by winning 5-2 over Manitoba #1. The winners charged right out of the gate with four runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a Shannon DeFusco bases-clearing triple. Manitoba outhit the winners, 9-5, but stranded eight runners, including three to end the top of the second inning.
The Colorado All-Stars also rebounded from a defeat earlier today when they posted a 4-1 win over Regina Gold. They also rebounded from an early 1-0 hole and held Regina to just two hits. Mallory Paulson went 2-for-2 with a run scored and one run batted in, plus she picked up the save by pitching one inning, in which she struck out two Regina batters.
And, Ontario Red (Canada) defeated the Oviedo (Florida) Blaze, 4-1. Ironically, yesterday the Blaze had won over another Canadian team, only to have the tables turned today.
Final scores for Day 2’s final five games are below. Additional information will be added into this portion of the Day 2 recap on Saturday morning (Jan. 1), to include the boxscores for that quintet of games, which were:
Ontario Red 3 vs. Easton California Impact 1
Ontario Black 11 vs. (South) Korea 0
(Windermere, Florida) Wildfire 11 vs. Manitoba #2 6
Sarasota Quicksilver 6 vs. Brazil 0
Orlando Flames 3 vs. Philippines 0
NOTABLE 2010 DEATHS IN THE ATHLETIC WORLD
Bob Feller, baseball
Pat Burns, Hockey
Bob Fenimore, football
Clint Hartung, baseball
Quinton Dailey, basketball
Ken Iman, football
Joe Brown, baseball
Carl Braun, basketball
Nellie King, baseball
Keith Alexander, English football
Tom Brookshier, football
Vince Banonis, football
Don Doll, football
Manute Bol, basketball
Clyde King, baseball
Dottie Kamenshek, women’s baseball
Bill Dudley, football
Nodar Kumaritashvili, luge
Yeardley Love, lacrosse
Lew Carpenter, football
Gil McDougal, baseball
Franklin Meuli, basketball
Willie Davis, baseball
Dodge Morgan, sailor
Bobby Bragan, baseball
Robin Roberts, baseball
Maurice Lucas, basketball
Danny McDevitt, baseball
Fred Morrison, Frisbee inventor
Dave Niehaus, broadcaster
Melin Olsen, football
Bob Probert, hockey
Don Meredith, football (the party’s over)
Bob Sheppard, announcer
Patricia Rico, track and field official
Ron Santo, baseball
Fred Schaus, basketball
Freddy Schuman, baseball comedian
Don Coyell, football
Larry Siegfried, basketball
Chester Simmons, broadcaster
Andy Irons, surfer
Jack Tatum, football
Ralph Houck, baseball
Juan Antonio Samaranch, Olympics
George Blanda, football
Sparky Anderson, baseball
Bobby Thomson, baseball
George Steinbrenner, baseball
John Wooden, basketball
CELEBRITIES WHO PASSED OUR WAY
Capt Phil Harris
Pernell Rob erts
Elaine Kaufman (of Elaine’s)
Stephen J Cannell
Dame Joan Sutherland
Lauri “Bambi” Bembenek
Dino De Laurentis
Can you name one significant fact about each of these players and celebrities?
Thanks for the memories