NOVEMBER 16 UPDATE
Adrena Anderson (Cal Cruisers) from Woodstock, Georgia who played at University of Tennessee as a freshman and Northwest Florida State College as a sophomore has committed to Morehead State University for the 2011 season.
Caldwell College received commitment from: Hanna Walkinshaw, P, 2011, San Jose Strikkers Gold
San Diego Legacy
Morgan Allaband – P – Weber State University
Hannah Akamine – C – University of Tennessee
Alyson Clemente – OF – Bradley University
Madison Jones – P/OF – Iowa State University
Dominique Madruga – 2B – University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Lexi Slater – SS/3B – Iowa State University
Kayla Wartner – C – University of Hawaii
3 latest commitments for Ohio Lady Lasers White
Linda Laeufer -2B 2011 to Cornell University
Lindsay Rich – P 2011 to Eastern Michigan
Caylor Arnold C/3B 2012 to Northwestern University
Alyssa Burnett 2012, 3B/P, Houston Power Gold Glowacz, University of Pittsburgh
Rebecca Stokes, 2012, SS/2B/OF, Kilgore High School, Texas Glory (Shelton), committed to UTA
Arizona Desert Thunder
Dani Colwill – North Alabama
Chelsea Dohrwardt – New Mexico State
Mattie Fowler – Nebraska
Kayla Henry – Grand Canyon Univ.
WA Ladyhawks – Miller (2011 NLI)
Hannah Melick – University of Oregon
Taylor Watkins – Ohio State University
Cara Custer – Texas Tech University
Bubba Morrow – Seattle University
Kylie McChesney – Miami University of Ohio
AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas Softball program signed Gabby Smith to a National Letter of Intent for the 2011-12 academic year, head coach Connie Clark announced Monday. Smith, a high school senior at Houston’s Bellaire High School, will join the Longhorns on campus next fall. Smith, a 5-7 right-handed pitcher/infielder, is coming off a stellar junior campaign that saw the left-handed hitter hit .533 with 40 run scored, 23 RBI, 17 extra-base hits and 13 stolen bases. In the circle she notched 22 victories, while posting a 0.79 earned run average and 269 strikeouts in 132.0 innings of work.
Missouri’s 2011-12 Class
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri softball team announced their 2011 incoming class on Friday, as nine prep standouts have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their career at the University of Missouri. The nine signees are Corrin Genovese, Kelsi Jones, Taylor Gadbois, Bailey Erwin, Ashtin Stephens, Alyssa Cousins, Kelsea Roth, Angela Randazzo and Kayla Kingsley.
“We are very proud to announce the 2011 recruiting class,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “It was important for us to sign a very talented class to replace the great players that will be graduating at the end of the year. Not only did it need to be a talented class, but also a very big one. With nine players in our current senior class, it was imperative that we replace those kids to maintain our level of depth. I can say with all certainty that we not only met our expectations, but exceeded them in every way.”
“Although these 2011 recruits cover all positions and styles of play, it is definitely the most speed-based class I have ever signed. Having said that, there is certainly no shortage of power in this class either. At the end of the day, you could take this group of nine alone and win a lot of championships. We certainly expect many of them to step in immediately to fill starting positions. I want to thank my assistant coaches for all of their time and effort in this process and in particular our Recruiting Coordinator Pete D’Amour. Coach D’Amour has changed everything in our recruiting with his ability to cultivate relationships and evaluate talent. Most importantly, we want to welcome these 2011′s and their families into the Missouri Softball program, and thank you for saying ‘yes’ to Mizzou!”
HALL OF FAME PITCHER COLGLAZIER JOINS MSU SOFTBALL STAFF
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Hall of Fame fastpitch pitcher Alan Colglazier has joined Mississippi State’s softball coaching staff, head coach Jay Miller announced Tuesday. The hiring is pending the approval of the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning. Colglazier comes to Mississippi State after most recently tutoring players through his Planet Fastpitch instruction academy.
Disney’s President’s Day Fastpitch Open, presented by Worth®
February 19-21, 2011
Age Divisions: 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U & 18U
Entry Fee: $525
Entry Deadline: January 21, 2011
Travel Packages: Optional
Hotel Reservations: Through Disney Sports Travel, the official Travel Provider of Disney’s President’s Day Fastpitch Open.
For more information or to apply, please visit disneyfastpitch.com. We look forward to seeing you and your team in February!
NFCA CHANGES LEADOFF CLASSIC
NFCA Announces Clearwater As New Home Of Division I Leadoff Classic
November 16, 2010
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The NFCA and the City of Clearwater, Fla., have entered into a three-year agreement to sponsor the NFCA Leadoff Classic, a 24-team Division I tournament. The event, which began in 1996 in Columbus, Ga., is taking a hiatus in 2011 before it reignites in Clearwater the last weekend of February (24-26), 2012.
“Clearwater’s first rate athletic facilities earned us Sports Illustrated’s SportsTown USA designation and I think it’s easy to understand why,” said Clearwater Mayor Frank V. Hibbard. “We are proud to welcome athletes and fans to enjoy all that Clearwater has to offer.”
The tournament, which features head-to-head competition over three days, routinely has featured some of the top teams in the nation, with some even going on to win NCAA national championships three months later.
“To add a tournament of this caliber to our roster of events is a prime example of how the St. Pete/Clearwater area is a leader in sports tourism,” said Kevin Smith, Director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission. “This area has always been a hotbed for competitive softball and we’re thrilled to begin a new partnership with National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the NFCA Leadoff Classic.”
Lacy Lee Baker, NFCA executive director who originated the Leadoff concept, also expressed her delight in the tournament’s new home. “The Clearwater facilities are outstanding, and the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department has done a stellar job in hosting other high-profile events. The people there understand what it takes to produce a first-class event, and we’re looking forward to a strong alliance for many years to come.”
THE 2010 QUIDDICH WORLD CUP (yes, it really happened!)
This weekend, NYC played host to the 2010 Quidditch World Cup tournament that pitted more than 40 real life muggle teams against one another for ultimate supremacy. SPY does not know who won, but we did receive this advance press release: (ps: don’t tell IOC’s Rogge)
“Harry Potter” enthusiasts have gathered at DeWitt Clinton Park in Hell’s Kitchen to watch quidditch leap from the pages of author J.K. Rowling onto the playing field. Five years ago, Middlebury College students in Vermont adapted the literary sport into a live-action, non-flying field game. Now, seven non-magical people, or “muggles,” form a team, straddle brooms and chase a ball. “This sort of developed from Sunday bocce into Sunday quidditch. It was just a time when we got together and played, and all of a sudden in over the past five years it’s become something a lot more than that,” said Quidditch World Cup founder Rainy Johnson. Organizers said competitors came from as far as Texas, Florida and Canada to take part in the tournament and two of the teams are from New York City. “It’s a fantasy game. When you read the game, you’re like, ‘Wow, I want to play this.’ And then someone creates a game that muggles can play, and now we’re here and we’re playing 46 other schools. That’s amazing,” said player Chris Shaw. Never in their wildest dreams did the organizers imagine that their love of the Harry Potter franchise would turn into such a large-scale sporting event that attracts legions of fans of the boy wizard. “We’re all a bunch of book lovers and if it wasn’t for this one book, or seven books, we wouldn’t be here. And it’s so fantastic to be able to see our love bring us out here on this gorgeous day, to be able to run around and have so much fun,” said Christine Scott, a diehard Harry Potter fan. The weekend-long competition’s winning team will earn a big trophy and international quidditch bragging rights, but some players said being in such a welcoming community made them already feel like winners. “For us, it’s just about having fun, enjoying ourselves. It’s about the experience, the atmosphere. You know, having a bunch of people around that feel the same way you do,” said player Chelsea Harris. International Quidditch Association officials estimate more than 100 schools now play the game.
THE WORLD OF FORMULA 1
The final F1 race of the season was noted in the agate type sports summary, about 10% of the space devoted to Quiddick. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel became the youngest champion in F1 history, clinching the title when he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ferrari driver Fernando Alonzo, who had been leading on points, aiming to win his second championship, faltered.
Have a bucket list? Include Formula 1. Great races at Monte Carlo, Nurburgring, Monza, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, France and Great Britain. They are the races of legends, pitting Ferrari against Alfa Romeo, BMW, British Motors Corp, and other manufacturers, with equally legendary drivers like Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan Fangio, Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham et al. Britain’s Jackie Stewart won Monaco and the world title in 1971, the year I attended Monaco. More than a race, it’s an event. And, in the case of the 24 hours of Les Mans, an endless party for spectators. Did some gambling in the back room of Monte Carlo with some of the Ferrari team; we all lost. But, stayed at the historic Colombe d’Or, the fabled Inn of the Gold Dove, over-run with movie stars and people seeking a good time. Very important to our foreign policy to have good relations with these people, eg, two blondes from Germany, both doctors, and the blonde roving correspondent from the International Herald Tribune.
GEORGETOWN’S PITCHING CLINIC
SPY seldom attends clinics but made an exception on Sunday for a pitching/hitting clinic on the athletic fields at Georgetown University. I have a Master’s Degree from GU but my interest in this clinic was spurred by comments at the Wide World of Sports tournament, where several college coaches commented on the need for several of the younger pitchers to work on mechanics. Ergo, SPY has published on Picasa almost 80 photos of pitchers in this clinic. Not intended to be wall-hanging photos but to show steps in the delivery.
Afterwards, I talked to several of these 13-15 year olds. There is no winter break for most as they prepare to compete in the spring for the next level of competition (most were playing 14U or 16U). Allison Davis, who aspires to be a D1 starting pitcher, has just turned 15 and is already making the rounds of the colleges which are on her short list. Some in softball want to limit unofficial visits to the summer before a girl’s senior year, but the fact is that players and coaches often decide on the basis of performances at camps. Allison, who pitched well at Orlando, will take part in camps before Christmas at Florida and Florida State, and has visited Tennessee. She already plays 18U for the Vienna Stars.
Carina Sterm, a 2013 now on the younger Stars, aspires to catch for Mike Candrea at Arizona. She will also point toward other top softball programs. Frames pitches well and has a strong arm. Sierra Maddox, also an able catcher, has a different agenda; she wants to be a brain surgeon so schools like Stanford, Georgetown et al are high on her list.
THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE MARATHON
According to legend, marathon races were created for the 1896 Olympics in Greece to honor Pheidippides, the messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce a victory for Greece in 490 BC – and collapsed and died. That first Olympic marathon was 25 miles but this was changed at the 1908 Olympics in London. At the direction of Queen Alexandra, the race began on the east lawn of Windsor Castle and ended in front of the royal box at White City Stadium – a distance of 26 miles and 385 yards, or 42.2 kilometers. Today, historians question whether there was a man named Pheidippides, but don’t tell that to the citizens of Marathon who built a statue in his honor. Indeed, the mythical runner may owe his fame to a Robert Browning poem.
WILLS AND KATE
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once assured Parliament and the world that the sun would never set on the far-flung British Empire. Sadly, the Empire collapsed many years ago, and Britain has been on its economic knees since World War II. The world owes it much for that gallant stand, and it retains a hold on thrones of power like the UN Security Council. But, the gloom of financial depression hovers over England like the mists.
Suddenly, Fleet Street is publishing extra editions, and Londoners are literally dancing around Trafalgar. A royal wedding has been announced! Prince William will marry his lady fair, Katharine Middleton. Bless those two for a groundswell of good will that spread immediately throughout Great Britain, and indeed dominated much of world news.
There was a time of scandal when opinion polls showed that the British public would rather see William, then a teenager, succeed his grandmother, the Queen, rather than Prince Charles. Charles and Diana and other royals dominated the scandal sheets. But, I learned that it was okay for Brits to twitter about the Royals, but no comments allowed by the Yanks. I was the keynote speaker at an international money laundering conference at Cambridge. The chancellor of that hallowed institution gave a long, rambling toast to the Queen – in Latin. I was at the high table with a member of Parliament, not knowing my microphone was on. When the chancellor concluded with a rousing “God Save the Queen” I raised my glass and intoned, “From her children.” I did not intend to be heard, but, magically, that phrase carried all the way to Whitehall and across the pond to the State Department. I apologized to the government for my impudence – which was noted in some British newspapers.
CHARLIE RANGEL’S PROVENANCE
An ethics subcommittee today found NY Democratic power broker Charles Rangel guilty of 11 violations of House rules. Rangel now awaits a decision on punishment by the full committee.
I have no brief on the merits of the charges against Charlie, and cannot gainsay his punishment. But, I feel sad for the many public servants whose careers I have seen crumble over 40 years in the nation’s capital – including Charlie, whom I have known for longer than that – and wish he had taken some of the “outs” offered him. Almost all bring their downfall on themselves, and Charlie is apparently no exception.
It is no defense to note that Charlie comes out of a New York political system, where grace and favor, to use an old British term, is the order of the day. When Charlie entered the New York State Assembly in 1958 (I was a staff director), members were given a “lulu” – a payment in lieu of expenses, intended to compensate them for the expenses of temporarily living in Albany during legislative sessions. However, New York Democrats were expected to funnel some part of their “lulu” back to the Democratic club houses in New York, especially to Tammany Hall, which was run with an iron fist by Carmine DeSapio. More, a certain number of staff slots in Albany were “no shows.” Names were put on the payroll, and checks were issued, which in turn went to the clubhouses, but the people never came to Albany. When I acceded to majority staff director, I was stunned to learn that most of my “staff” did not exist except on paper.
The dispensing of patronage had been refined into a political art form. There was a member of the legislature who had the ear of the Governor and could determine which banks benefitted from overnight deposits of state funds, which increased their “float.” Another member chaired the excise committee, and personally decided who would get liquor licenses. I had tried to expose some of these abuses as an investigative reporter.
When I left the Assembly to become the Governor’s special assistant for narcotics, and was in charge of a program to create/expand treatment facilities all over the state, especially in New York City, where there was an epidemic of heroin addiction, now spreading into the suburbs. I was having little luck at persuading hospitals and treatment centers in Harlem to adopt the state’s health regulations in exchange for state funding. Finally, Charlie intervened; he was one of the four power brokers who ran Harlem. I had to pay my respects to Queen Mother Moore, an elderly lady of great influence in the black community. I made the pilgrimage to her house, and somehow the word spread throughout Harlem – he’s okay, here to help.
Some years later, I flew to Mexico with Charlie and the former House Subcommittee on Drugs, a very effective body which Charlie chaired. We were talking about the Harlem riots, and I bragged about the many nights I walked the streets of Harlem and was never bothered. Rep. Ed Towns, a former cop now in Congress, laughed, then told me that Charlie had passed the word to the Police Commissioner – this guy works for Rockefeller, and is providing treatment dollars for our addict population — don’t let anything happen to him. Seems I was watched every night!
During those years, I occasionally went to Charlie’s house on Colorado Avenue, and had dinner with he and Alma. Charlie had a hand in two of the funniest incidents in the war on drugs.
Senator Jacob Javits (known to insiders as Jake the Fake) wanted to see the heroin problem in New York – first hand. Arrangements were made – Charlie and I had a benign influence on the site selection – and Javits was taken to one of the most notorious “shooting” galleries in New York, where he saw addicts with the needles in their arms. Javits was horrified.
Methadone was the big cure-all for heroin addiction, but there came a time when we learned that addicts were taking home doses which they would sell to other addicts. Black leaders protested the Nixon White House plan to fingerprint addicts to ensure unique distribution; many had long criminal records. So, a group of bright fellows working for Ehrlichmann came up with the idea of the “footprinter.” Looked something like a shoe shine box; the addict would step into the box, filled with goop, then press on a pad to record his footprint – which is as unique as a fingerprint. We all went to the White House annex where this revolutionary idea was unveiled. Charlie laughed so hard he shook, then told the White House drug policy director, he wanted to be on Amsterdam Avenue and watch as these White House types walked up to some strung-out, razor-blade mean addict and told him, “Put your foot in that box.” Nobody was that foolish and the idea died.
During the period of my service to the Governor, a very prominent Democrat criticized Rockefeller and me personally – with religious fervor – for the shortcomings of the state’s drug control program. One night, this man called to tell me his son was an addict and had been arrested; he would be sentenced to one of the state’s juvenile drug facilities. He asked for my help. I sent a message to Rockefeller; the reply told me to handle it personally, and keep it quiet. I had the boy released to my custody – he was in a state-owned detox facility and had not yet been booked downtown – the facility director resisted but I assured him he could release the boy or find new employment. I then had the boy admitted under a John Doe at a state-owned hospital on Long Island, and called the father. Grateful but concerned – would I tell the press, or would I demand he stop criticizing the Governor and me. None of the above; just spend more time with your kid. My message to the Governor’s office simply said the matter was handled, no details. I learned much later that the father had told Charlie about the incident; to my knowledge, Charlie never told a soul.
Charlie’s peers will exact a penalty for his alleged misdeeds. But, I will always remember when he was a voice of calm and reason who pushed effectively for sorely-needed drug abuse controls.