2-17-2011 February 17 Update



STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State head coach Jay Miller has been named USA Softball National Coach of the Year for 2010, the United States Olympic Committee announced recently.

Miller earned the accolade after wrapping a successful tenure as head coach of the United States National Team with gold medals at the ISF World Championship, World Cup of Softball and Japan Cup.

The Bulldogs’ ninth-year coach also earned the honor in 2009 after guiding the Red, White and Blue, including former MSU all-Americans Chelsea Bramlett and Courtney Bures, to championships at the Canada Cup, World Cup of Softball and Japan Cup.

“It’s a tribute to the way our team competed the last couple of years in international competition,” Miller said. “We had an opportunity to play in six tournaments, and we came away with six gold medals. That is a great testament to the players we had in the program and the hard work and effort they put into USA Softball.”

He also collected Developmental Coach of the Year honors from the USOC in 2007 after helming the U.S. Junior National Team that won the ISF Junior World Championship in The Netherlands.

Miller’s Bulldogs open the 2011 home slate this weekend, hosting Butler, Louisiana Tech and Southern Illinois in the Bulldog Round-Robin. The Dawgs open play against Louisiana Tech at 3 p.m. on Friday.

State meets Butler and Southern Illinois at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, on Saturday before closing the tournament at 1 p.m. Sunday.


Adams’ Lovato & Sonoma’s Lipperd NFCA Division II National Player & Pitcher of the Week
02/16/11 – NFCA Release
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Adams State senior Jaycee Lovato and Sonoma State sophomore Samantha Lipperd have been named as the NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for games played from Feb. 7-13, 2011  



ULL’s Gabby Bridges was named national player of the week, and Gabby and Ashley Brignac were player and pitcher of the week for the Sun Belt conference.  Spy has known both players since highschool, when they played summer ball for LA Voodoo.  Recall a tournament after Katrina, when so many Voodoo players had lost their homes and only nine came to a tournament.  We were impressed with Gabby’s incredible power and Ashley’s ability to hit her spots.  Our fondest memory is of the voodoo dolls which they sent to me when I had cancer surgery.  The surgeons said I needed all the help I could muster, so the voodoo dolls stayed with me at Johns Hopkins through an 11-hour ordeal.  I still have those voodoo dolls.


The list originally sent to Spy listed only 28 names.  The full list of 30 is posted below.

2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award 
Softball Candidates

Name, Position, School
Paige Affleck, Pitcher, BYU
Julie Brechtel, Second Base, Nebraska
Stephanie Brombacher, Pitcher, Florida
Megan Bush, Utility, Florida
Anna Cahn, Designated Player/Pitcher, Cal Poly
Morgan Childers, Pitcher, South Carolina Upstate
Elizabeth Dalrymple, Pitcher, Cornell
Annie Dubovec, Pitcher, Robert Morris
Danielle Glosson, Pitcher, Southern Illinois
Alisa Goler, Infield, Georgia
Kelly Grieve, Centerfield, Tennessee
Kristina Karpun, Catcher, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne
Chelsea Kelley, Pitcher, Radford
Whitney Larsen, Infield, Alabama
Brittany Lastrapes, Left Field, Arizona
Alex Morocco, Centerfield, DePaul
Jennifer Nayudu, Outfield/Designated Player, Loyola Marymount
Kara Nelson, Second Base, Illinois State
Kristin Nicoletti, Outfield, Saint Louis
Toni Paisley, Pitcher, East Carolina
Kristine Priebe, First Base, Georgia Tech
Lesley Rogers, Outfield, Arizona State
Jenn Salling, Infield, Washington
Taylor Schlopy, Outfield, Georgia
Jenna Schwark, Utility, Missouri State
April Setterlund, Outfield, Boston
Dorian Shaw, Outfield, Michigan
Jessie Snyder, Second Base/Utility, Bucknell
Andrea Waters, Outfield/Pitcher, Delaware State
Danielle Zymkowitz, Second Base, Illinois


The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America invites all media to a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Fieldhouse at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex, 2801 N.E. 50th Street in Oklahoma City, on Monday, Feb. 28, at 11:30 a.m. Tours of the new facility will also be given following the ceremony.  ASA Executive Director Ron Radigonda will be joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by representatives from the City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Oklahoma County. The Fieldhouse is a new addition to the ASA Hall of Fame Complex, providing amenities including four locker rooms and an umpire room. The Fieldhouse will first be used on Saturday, March 5 during “The Preview” college softball tournament that features a Bedlam game.


The National Pro Fastpitch League Office announced today the formation of the NPF Board of Advisors. The Board of Advisors will address issues and concerns that face the League. Additionally, the Board will advise the Commissioner and Team Owners and will  contribute to the League’s primary initiatives of expansion and increased media coverage.

The NPF Board of Advisors is an initial group of 10 individuals with diverse backgrounds. Members of the Board include Cindy Bristow, Mike Candrea, Jane Cowles, Sue Enquist, Jennie Finch, Billie Jean King, John Kruk, Jessica Mendoza (Player Representative), Denise Michaels, and Beth Mowins.

“The assembly of this impressive group of individuals is a remarkable accomplishment for the League”, commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “The combined and collective efforts of this group along with their willingness to contribute, will be a significant step in the furtherance of fastpitch softball at the professional level. I am grateful for the willingness of the ten Board Members to become involved and I am very much looking forward to working with them.”

The Board is expected to begin right away in preparation for the upcoming 2011 NPF season.

Here is a closer look at the bios of the NPF Board of Advisors Members.

Cindy Bristow
As a player, coach and administrator, Cindy Bristow has more than 35 years of softball experience. Bristow’s resume includes coaching at the college and professional levels, as well as teaching within her Softball Excellence platform and speaking nationally and internationally as a clinician.
For seven years, Bristow was the Director of Junior Olympic Softball for the Amateur Softball Association, where she oversaw all youth softball in the United States. Once softball became an Olympic Sport, Bristow became the Director of National Teams and Coaching Development for USA Softball. It was in this role that she helped guide the selection of the United States’ first-ever Olympic Softball team that won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games. From there, Bristow went onto work for the International Softball Federation (ISF) as its Director of Development working with over 126 countries to increase their level of coaching and play.

Mike Candrea
As one of the most accomplished coaches in any sport on any level, Mike Candrea is synonymous with softball excellence.

Candrea’s accomplishments on the college level are astounding, more than 1,100 Division I victories, 22 Women’s College World Series appearances, and a remarkable eight national titles in the last 19 years. On the international stage, he guided the U.S. National Team from 2002-2008. During his six seasons with the national team, the team captured titles in the Pan-Am Games, World Cup, and Japan Cup, as well as World Championship titles in 2002 and 2006. He guided the U.S. Olympic Softball team to a gold medal in 2004 in Athens and a silver medal in the 2008 in Beijing. In 2004, Candrea became the first coach in any sport to be honored with the Olympic Shield award presented by the United Staes Olympic Committee. Candrea currently is the Head Coach at the University of Arizona. In 1996 he was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Jane Sage Cowles
Cowles played a founding role in the development of professional fastpitch softball, when in 1989, along with her family, she was instrumental in beginning the WPSL (Women’s Professional Softball League). She navigated through the process of ownership and management of a professional sports league throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, experienced changes in the league from WSF to WPSL and continued as a board member/owner until the Cowles family passed the torch to NPF in 2004. The NPF Championship Series Cowles Cup is named after the Cowles family and stands as recognition to their significant contribution to the sport of professional fastpitch softball.
Cowles graduated with a MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California and worked in physical therapy and sports medicine until 1999. She is currently a past President of Pat Graney Dance Company and is current President of Unity Avenue Foundation, since 1985.

Sue Enquist
Enquist is arguably the most accomplished coach in NCAA softball, holding more National Championships (11) than anyone in the history of the sport. She is UCLA Softball’s first All-American, National Champion, and Hall of Famer.  She is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I Softball.

Enquist is a 4-time Hall of Famer; former World Champion and USA National Team coach and player; she is the only person to have played on the first Pan American gold medal team (1979) and to coach on the first Olympic Team National Staff (1996). She concluded her UCLA MVP playing career with a career batting average of .401 and as a Bruin coach and player she has a combined 1314 wins. As a player, she was the number one draft choice in the Professional Softball League in 1978. Additionally, Enquist is a former professional surfer.

Beyond her roles as coach and player, Enquist is regarded as a leading innovator of softball instructional materials and equipment. Off the softball field, she has gained the reputation as a dynamic and highly sought after international motivational speaker.  Currently, she runs over 30 seminars for parents, coaches and players across the United States.

Jennie Finch
Heralded as the most recognizable player to ever play the game, Finch made her mark on fastpitch softball both on and off the field. While at the University of Arizona, she was not only a National Champion, but made her mark individually by setting records and garnishing honors. Among those honors, Finch was twice awarded the Honda Award, named MVP of the WCWS in 2001, twice named Pac 10 Player of the Year, three-time first team All American, recipient of Ruby Award for most outstanding senior athlete at U of A, and set a national record for most consecutive victories at 60 – with 32 of those coming in the Championship year of 2001.

Internationally, Finch is a two-time Olympian. She was a gold medalist in Athens in 2004 and a silver medalist in Beijing in 2008. She has been a part of many international championships with Team USA including World Championships, Japan Cups, Pan Am Games, and World Cups.

Professionally, Finch was drafted by the NPF Chicago Bandits in 2005 and garnered NPF Co-Pitcher of the Year her rookie season. Finch played with the Chicago Bandits for six consecutive seasons before retiring following the 2010 campaign. This spring the Chicago Bandits will open a brand new 6 million dollar stadium located on Jennie Finch Drive in Rosemont, IL.

Billie Jean King
Between 1961 and 1979, Billie Jean King won a record 20 Wimbledon titles, including the singles in 1966–8, 1972–3, and 1975. She also won 13 US titles (including four singles), four French titles (one singles), and two Australian titles (one singles).

Off the court, King fought for equal prize money for men and women and in 1971 became the first female athlete to win over $100,000. This campaign for equality is most notably remembered by her 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match against 55-year-old tennis champ Bobby Riggs, who claimed the women’s game to be inferior. The match drew considerable publicity and before a worldwide television audience of some 50 million, King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

In 1974, Billie Jean King became the first president of the Women’s Tennis Association.  She headed up the first professional women’s tour, the Virginia Slims, in the 1970s. She was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and served as captain of the United States Fed Cup team in the 1990s.

King is the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and World Team Tennis.

John Kruk
John Kruk, a three-time All-Star (1991-93) outfielder/first baseman had a decorated 10 year run in Major League Baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, he batted .316 to help bring his Philadelphia Phillies team through the National League Championship and onto the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Although the Philles lost the Series, Kruk’s average throughout baseball’s most coveted contest was a staggering .348. Although he retired from baseball in 1995, he presently ranks 70th on the Major League Career Leaders List in on-base percentage, between Hall of Famers Earle Combs and Richie Ashburn.

Kruk currently serves as an analyst on ESPN’s Emmy Award-winning Baseball Tonight.  He joined ESPN in the 2004. He has also joined the NCAA Women’s College World Series staff in the booth in Oklahoma City where his broadcast partners were fellow NPF Board Members, Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza.

Kruk on softball and on covering the WCWS: “I love softball. I’ve always liked it. I’ve watched it for years. I like their competitive nature and they have fun doing it. I’ve been after ESPN for a few years to let me do this…The Women’s College World Series is even better in person than I thought it would be…When you watch it on TV you don’t get the full feel for the atmosphere and how beautiful a place this is.”

Jessica Mendoza
Mendoza emerged from Stanford University as a decorated NCAA softball athlete that impacted Stanford softball in a substantial way. The PAC 10 Newcomer of the Year went onto rack up All Pac 10 Team honors repeatedly, Pac 10 Player of the Year, 4 First Team All American honors and Stanford Female Athlete of the Year in 2002. Additionally in 2001, she helped lead her Stanford team to its first ever Women’s College World Series appearance.

Following up her decorated college career, Mendoza embarked on a tenure with Team USA that would garner her an Olympic gold medal in Athens in 2004 along with an Olympic silver medal in Beijing in 2008. She was an accomplished and successful athlete for Team USA during her time in the red, white, and blue, capturing titles at the Pan-Am Games, World Championships, Japan Cups, and World Cups. Individually, Mendoza was the USA Softball Player of the Year in 2006 and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year in 2008. 

Mendoza began playing professionally, in 2005, when she was drafted to the NPF’s Arizona Heat in. She also played for the Terrasvogels in Harlem, Netherlands in 2005. Mendoza would leave the NPF for several years following the 2005 season, not to return until the 2010 season, with the USSSA Pride. She helped the Pride capture the coveted Cowles Cup in August of 2010 at the NPF Championship Series in Sulphur, LA.

Mendoza was President of the Women’s Sports Foundation 2009 through 2010 and is currently a Softball Color Analyst as well as a Football sideline Reporter for ESPN. She is currently a member of the USSSA Florida Pride and is the Player Representative to the Board of Advisors.

Denise Michaels
Michaels is Senior Vice President at Sanderson Strategies Group where she works with clients at all levels to design and integrate their internal and external communications plans, develop and improve brand definition and recognition, guide strategy for public actions, and inoculate them against criticism.
Denise joined Sanderson Strategies Group in 1999 after spending six years in the public relations department of Major League Baseball. During her tenure at MLB, the league underwent a change of Commissioner, dealt with congressional, legal and labor issues, and enacted wildly successful changes in the game’s format. With this experience, Denise is able to provide insight into the operations of the firm’s sports clients and designs strategy to help them achieve their short- and long-term goals.

While at Major League Baseball, Denise worked in the public relations office as they managed the day-to-day crises of baseball, and was a part of the team that put together MLB’s premier and one-time events, including The World Series, The All-Star Game, the Jackie Robinson Barrier Breakers Celebration, and the launch of its first league-wide charity with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. These experiences provide her with a strong backstage knowledge of the inner workings of a national sports league, an understanding of fan, decision-maker and media concerns, and the ability to organize and execute plans to meet these concerns.

Beth Mowins
Mowins is a play by play announcer for ESPN calling College Football, College Basketball, College Softball and a variety of events such as the Womens College World Series, NCAA College Cup and NCAA Volleyball Championships.  She is the most recognized voice in softball broadcasting and is a mainstay in the WCWS coverage. Mowins is also co-host of the first national womens podcast, “Shootaround with Beth & Debbie”.  Mowins is a graduate of Lafayette College where she captained the basketball team and is a member of the Maroon Club Hall of Fame.  She also has a Masters degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication.


You would think GE could make a product last a lifetime.  My toaster stopped working.  Used daily since purchased in 1984.  My daughters think I got my money’s worth.  As they note, most of my possessions are of the same vintage.  The day I divorced their mother in 1984, I bought all the furniture for an eight room house w/four bathrooms, and most of it sits where first placed.  The 24” Sony console still works like new.  In fact, the only thing in the house which doesn’t work like new is me.

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