2-19-2014 Spy Softball Update




NFCA will host its annual tournament February 21-23 in Clearwater.


Participating teams include:  College of Charleston, Connecticut, DePaul, Hofstra, Illinois State, James Madison, Louisiana Lafayette, Massachusetts, Rutgers and South Florida.


(The schedule for the Mary Nutter Classic at Cathedral City will be published separately.)



Gametracker is in sleep mode. ESPN College Sports is good in real time for Top 25 teams. Softball Scores Now lists games in every conference but they are inconsistent on scores and often show games that are no longer in play because of schedule changes. I try to be current and accurate on Top 25 and each night I read a number of individual college web sites. Spy is not as comprehensive in reporting on the smaller conferences, even though I am often checking scores at 2am, and wish I could afford an assistant to check more scores.  I really miss Ultimate College Scoreboard.  THE NFCA website is good – when the SIDs report the scores.  Point Streak is not yet pnline.



Humboldt State Leaps to No. 1 in First NFCA Division II Regular-Season Poll



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Humboldt State (12-1) continued its national resurgence by ascending into the No. 1 spot in the first NFCA Division II softball poll of the 2014 regular season.

The Jacks received seven of 16 possible first-place votes to rise from fourth into the No. 1 spot. HSU sits on top by eight total points despite No. 2 West Texas A&M (13-0) actually earning more first-place nods (eight) this week from the NFCA Division II Top 25 committee. The Lady Buffs advanced all the way from eighth in the preseason poll into the second spot.

Following a 53-win campaign in 2013, Humboldt State has christened the 2014 campaign at 12-1 after sweeping through the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., at 5-0 and, most recently, taking three-of-four match-ups from California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) foe Cal State San Bernardino.

Lone Star Conference power West Texas A&M has followed up last year’s 44-win season with a perfect 13-0 start to 2014. The Lady Buffs wasted little time making an early-season impression nationwide by securing a big 5-4 win over then-No. 1 and defending national champion Central Oklahoma at the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

At 8-2 thus far in 2014, Alabama-Huntsville rose from ninth to third, taking over the position vacated by new No. 4 Grand Valley State (0-0). Armstrong Atlantic held steady at No. 5, while also picking up a first-place vote in the latest poll.

Slots six through 10 look completely different from those in the preseason as Texas Woman’s (12-3) leapt from 14th to sixth, Tampa (5-0) advanced from No. 13 to No. 6, Augustana (4-1) skyrocketed 14 positions into eighth, California Baptist (11-2) rose from among the unranked all the way to No. 9 and LIU Post slid up one position into the 10th slot.

In all six teams dropped out of the first regular season poll of 2014, including preseason No. 1 and defending national champ Central Oklahoma (6-5), No. 7 Indianapolis (4-4), No. 10 Southeastern Oklahoma State (5-4), No. 12 St. Martin’s (2-5), No. 17 Angelo State (9-5) and No. 25 Columbus State (9-4).

Additional teams new to this week’s NFCA Division II poll included No. 14 (tie) Fort Hays State (5-1), No. 14 (tie) St. Mary’s (TX – 10-3), No. 17 Wayne State (MI – 5-1), No. 24 Wingate (8-0) and No. 25 Emporia State (7-2).

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions.








1 Humboldt State (7) 12-1 390 4
2 West Texas A&M (8) 11-0 382 8
3 Alabama-Huntsville 8-2 352 9
4 Grand Valley State 0-0 351 3
5 Armstrong (1) 7-3 344 5
6 Texas Woman’s University 12-3 292 14
7 Tampa 5-0 272 13
8 Augustana (South Dakota) 4-1 263 22
9 California Baptist 11-2 243
10 LIU Post 0-0 232 11
11 Missouri-St. Louis 5-1 214 18
12 North Georgia 7-5 193 15
13 UC San Diego 8-2 163 21
14 Fort Hays State 5-1 162
St. Mary’s (Texas) 10-3 162
16 Barry 7-2 151 24
17 Wayne State (Michigan) 5-1 119
18 Caldwell 0-0 112 19
19 Valdosta State 9-5 107 6
20 California (Pennsylvania) 0-0 91 16
21 Anderson (South Carolina) 8-0 87 20
22 Dixie State 9-2 84 23
23 Kutztown 1-3 80 2
24 Wingate 8-0 75
25 Emporia State 7-2 69

Others receiving votes:

Angelo State (53), Indianapolis (32), Central Oklahoma (23), Missouri Western State (23), Southeastern Oklahoma State (14), Columbus State (11), Central Washington (9), Florida Tech (9), St. Edward’s (8), New Haven (7), Winona State (7), Molloy (5), Bloomsburg (3), Cal State Monterey Bay (3), Metro State (2), St. Martin’s (1).

Dropped out:

No. 1 Central Oklahoma (6-5), No. 7 Indianapolis (4-4), No. 10 Southeastern Oklahoma State (5-4), No. 12 St. Martin’s (2-5), No. 17 Angelo State (9-5), No. 25 Columbus State (9-4).


Maxim magazine has a photo of Winter Olympics announcer Tara Lipinski, who won Gold at 15, and is now 27, in her black undies.



Until Tuesday, there was more real snow in my backyard than on Sochi’s slopes.


Waited in vain for one of the announcers gushing over the young Russian ice queen to note that she was born in Ekaterinburg – and why that city in the Urals is famous.  Until Yeltsin had it torn down, the House of Special Purpose was ignominiously where Czar Nicholas and his family were murdered.


The world’s most honored ice sculpture festival is in Harbin China.  Superb photos.  Once considered the most Western-influenced city in China, Harbin had fallen on hard times, and the Central government was seeking investors.  Japan offered discounted construction and farm equipment, all made in Japan.  The USA offered economic aid – with restrictions linked to labor relations.  Britain offered aid tied to Hong Kong considerations.   Their governments forgot that the seven major financial centers in Asia were all controlled by men of ethnic Chinese descent.  Lee Kao Yuan, the ruler of Singapore, stepped into the situation, and deployed top monetary aid Gloria Foo, the notorious Madame Foo, very tall, very pretty, to Harbin with a blank checkbook.  Gloria, who was a close friend, later told me of her ventures.  We celebrated over champagne at an elegant private dinner in Singapore.


Washington Post published list of songs chosen for Michelle Obama’s birthday.  Never heard of any of them, or the originating artists.  Give me the big bands, and the country and folk singers.  Peter Yarrow is a good friend; we lived down the road from each other in the Catskills.  Did not care for Bruno Mars; switched to the Animal Planet.

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