2-10-2011 February 10 2011 Update

FEBRUARY 10 2011 UPDATE

College scores will be reported separately

NFCA TRAVEL BALL REP

NFCA announced today that Lew Currier, Mizuno Pride CA, has been elected travel ball representative.  Breakdown of the  vote for the seven candidates was not announced.

Monica Abbott to ink deal with Bandits Tuesday in Rosemont

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Team USA pitching superstar and National Pro Fastpitch veteran Monica Abbott and the Chicago Bandits are hosting a press conference on Feb. 15, for the Olympic pitcher to sign a contract with the team. 

Scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites (10233 West Higgins Road) in Rosemont, Ill., the Bandits and Abbott will meet to finalize the contract and talk with fans and media about the new acquisition. The addition of Abbott will make her the Bandits ace, adding a powerful third arm to a Chicago pitching staff that will most likely feature Nikki Nemitz and Taryne Mowatt. 

Bandits outfielder and former Canadian National Team member Caitlin Lever will join Abbott to also sign their respective contracts and meet with fans. 

Abbott finished the 2010 season as the Tennessee Diamonds team leader in wins, going 7-9 on the year with 115.1 innings pitched — 47.9 innings more than the next Diamonds pitcher. Among pitchers, Abbott ranked first in the NPF in strikeouts (146) and ERA (0.79) and third in wins with seven. 

Following the press conference and contract signings, Abbott and Lever will sign autographs and take photos with fans in attendance.

Season tickets for the 2011, which features the Bandits in a brand new stadium, are on sale now! Packages start as low as $4 per game and can be ordered by calling 877-7BANDIT (877-722-6348). For more information about the Bandits, visit www.chicagobandits.com

COMMITMENTS

Janelle Bouchard, C, ME Frozen Ropes 2012, committed to Valparaiso.

ASA Hall of Fame Complex schedule set for 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today that events including the NCAA Women’s College World Series, the World Cup of Softball VI and Border Battle III will be hosted this year at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City. From March through October, the country’s premier softball facility will host 26 fast and slow pitch events for both youth and adults as well as postseason events for high school, junior college and Division I college ball. Both international men’s slow pitch and women’s fast pitch will also be featured at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex.

For the complete 2011 schedule of events for ASA Hall of Fame Complex, please click here.

“ASA is very excited about the schedule that has been put together for this year at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex,” ASA Assistant Director of Membership/Stadium Events Chris Sebren said. “Some of the events are ASA girls’ fast pitch, ASA men’s and women’s slow pitch, Oklahoma Special Olympics softball and a variety of high school and college events. We are also very excited to be hosting the World Cup of Softball, the Border Battle and the NCAA Women’s College World Series, all of which will be featured on the ESPN family of networks.”

The action packed schedule kicks off March 4-6 with The Preview college tournament featuring Auburn, Illinois-Chicago, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on March 5 as well as a 12-Under and 14-Under youth tournament spanning the three days. It concludes October 13-15 with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSSA) 5A and 6A Fast Pitch State Championship.

“Getting to play at the Hall of Fame Stadium means a lot to me,” said Julia Minter, a 12 year old who plays ASA. “Playing on the best softball field in the world is awesome and not a lot of young ladies get the chance to do it. Playing on this field where the very best women in this sport have played is every softball players dream.  Just knowing that I have stood and played on the same field as Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman and Natasha Watley, gives me hope that I will someday wear the USA uniform. I have played at numerous softball complexes and in countless tournaments, but by far take away the best memories when playing at Hall of Fame Stadium.”

Minter’s 14-Under fast pitch team, the Lady Cardinal of Edmond, Okla., are playing at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex during the opening 2011 event.

The ASA Hall of Fame Complex schedule is highlighted by the NCAA Women’s College World Series, June 2-8, which features the top eight teams in Division I softball playing for a National Championship. From July 21-25, the complex plays host to the top athletes in international softball with the World Cup, which features the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team playing teams from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain and Japan. The 2011 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch Team will play Canada in Border Battle III during the World Cup on July 23.

“When you put on the Team USA uniform, you know that you are among the best of the best. And I could not imagine a more exciting time to wear the Red, White and Blue than this year’s Border Battle against Canada,” two-time USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team member Brian Wegman (Hamilton, Ohio) said. “The fans watching in Oklahoma City and those tuning in on ESPN are going to witness an incredible moment for the sport of slow pitch softball. We’ve never played at a level higher than this. With Canada taking last year’s game, I’m ready to get out there and take the Border Battle title back for all of our amazing supporters.”

Tickets to The Preview and the World Cup/Border Battle are on sale online through SoftballOutlet.com or by calling 800-654-8337. To purchase tickets to the NCAA Women’s College World Series, go to NCAA.com or call Oklahoma City All Sports Association at 405-236-5000.

Other events being held at the complex include the Capital City Classic for adult slow pitch (April 1-3), Region 2 Junior College Championship for women’s fast pitch (May 6-8), ASA Hall of Fame Tournaments for girls fast pitch (June), the ASA Girls’ 18-Under GOLD National Championship qualifier for girls (July 8-10), the Tuttle High School Tournament for girls fast pitch (August 26-27) and the ASA Men’s A and Women’s Open Slow Pitch National Championship (September 30-October 2).

 For more information on the ASA Hall of Fame Complex events, visit ASASoftball.com.

THE CONFESSION APP

Indulge me on this; thank you

The Catholic Church has approved an iPhone app that helps guide worshippers through confession. The Confession program has gone on sale through iTunes for £1.19 ($1.99).

Described as “the perfect aid for every penitent”, it offers users tips and guidelines to help them with the sacrament. Now senior church officials in both the UK and US have given it their seal of approval, in what is thought to be a first.

The app takes users through the sacrament – in which Catholics admit their wrongdoings – and allows them to keep track of their sins. It also allows them to examine their conscience based on personalised factors such as age, sex and marital status – but it is not intended to replace traditional confession entirely.  Instead, it encourages users to understand their actions and then visit their priest for absolution.

“Our desire is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology,” Patrick Leinen of developer Little iApps told Reuters.

The launch comes shortly after Pope Benedict XVI gave urging to Christians to embrace digital communication and make their presence felt online. In his World Communications Address on 24 January, he said it was not a sin to use social networking sites – and particularly encouraged young Catholics to share important information with each other online. “I invite young people above all to make good use of their presence in the digital world,” he said.

He warned them to keep in mind that digital communication was part of a bigger picture, however. “It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives.”

The app guides users through different elements of the sacrament

Confession’s developers, who are based in Indiana, said they took the Pope’s words to heart when they were preparing the application for public consumption. “Our goal with this project is to offer a digital application that is truly ‘new media at the service of the word’,” said the company. The firm said the app was developed with assistance from several priests and had been given the church’s imprimatur by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne in Indiana.

A spokesperson from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales told BBC News the app was a “useful tool to help people prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation”. “The Church believes in embracing new technology and this creative app will hopefully help people to make a good confession.”

It is thought to be the first time the church has approved a mobile phone application, although it is not entirely unfamiliar with the digital world. In 2007, the Vatican launched its own YouTube channel.

THE CATHOLIC Church in Ireland has stressed that a new smartphone “confession” application is not a replacement for a priest despite receiving the approval of an American bishop.The director of the Holy See’s press office, Fr Federico Lombardi pointed out that the Vatican did not regard the app as a replacement for actual confession.

“It is essential to understand that the sacrament of penance requires a personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor in order for absolution to be given. This cannot be replaced by any computer application such as the iPhone,” he said. A spokesman for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference yesterday gave the Vatican’s position which “succinctly summarises the issue from the Catholic Church perspective.

“The acts of the penitent and the absolution of the priest who, in the name of Christ, grants forgiveness and determines a way of repentance. The sacraments can never be substituted by technology,” he said. In their statement announcing the release of the application, the developers said the app “invited Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the rite of penance. “Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find ‘Confession: A Roman Catholic App’ to be a useful and inviting tool,” the statement said.

An Associated press story says that half of the Catholics surveyed never go to confession.

Editor’s note:  An old Scottish proverb holds that confession is good for the soul.  But in many churches, the belief is in open confession.  We seem to get a lot of that on Facebook and Twitter.  Personally, I think the format is useful as an opening into one’s conscience, indeed a time for revisiting the day and one’s lifestyle.  Like my father, I progress through the confessional process every night, just before saying the rosary.  Does it make for a better man?  Not sure, but I do believe that, were I to die during the night, I would enter my house justified, having settled accounts with the God who created me.

Must admit to a prank a few of us committed during grade school at our Lady of Victory.  At the start of Lent one year, our very German priest wanted to boost participation in confession, and placed placards in the vestibule, on which were listed all the mortal and  venial sins.  I began to wonder who among the adults (and teens) were doing all those things.  My friends and I decided we would confess to coveting our neighbor’s wife and to adultery.  Unfortunately, I was the first to enter the confessional, and had begun reciting my lustful tendencies when the door opened and this large German priest yanked me out of the booth, muttering in German.  I knew some deutsch but the rest of the boys did not need a translation to perceive his meaning.  My parents were equally tough.  My Mother was very narrow minded on such things, and wanted to know how I knew the meaning of those terms – and who had told me.  My Father was focused on behavior in church; his guidance on such matters when I turned 16 was to remind me that he was a judge in McClain County, and if I did any of those things, to do them in Cleveland County.

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