MAY 10 2010 UPDATE
D1 COLLEGE GAMES
Georgia Southern 3 Furman 2
WP-Brianna Streetmon (19-10) LP-Lana Mackey (17-10)
Furman fell short of its goal of winning a berth in the Southern tournament this weekend, but Furman completed its first winning season since 2000. Georgia Southern took a 2-0 lead, top 1st, on Smith’s 2-run homer. Fields scored a run for Furman on Mackey’s double in the bottom half. Fogle scored for Southern in the 5th when Douberley drew a bases-loaded walk. Homesley scored for Furman on Hughey’s single in the 6th, but Mackey was out at home on the next sequence and Furman left the bases loaded. Southern 29-24, 14-10. Furman 24-23, 12-11.
Georgia 11 Texas 5
WP-Allison Owen (13-1) LP-Blaire Luna (28-7)
For one at-bat, the Longhorns were on the threshold of one of the great comebacks in college history. The Horns came to bat bottom 5th, trailing the Bulldogs 11-1, thanks to home runs by Razey, Goler and Hubbard. Texas racked four runs, two on a home run by Hooks. But, the last two at-bats yielded nothing.
The weekend series (thankfully televised by ESPN) was primarily a display of Georgia’s power. Having corralled the Horns 9-0 last night, the Dawgs came out swinging against UT’s freshman ace Blaire Luna, scoring four runs top 1st. Schlopy singled, Wiggins doubled. Goler singled, rbi. Wiggins scored as Hasson reached on an error at short (one of three by the Horns). Sandberg singled, loading the bases. Razey walked, rbi. The Dawgs stranded two.
Another Georgia run scored in the 2nd. Schlopy doubled, Wiggins doubled rbi. Razey led off a 6-run 3rd inning with a homer. Trout was hbp, Hubbard homered. Luna gave way to Bruins. But, three more runs scored, and Georgia left the bases loaded, leading 11-0.
Texas scored a run in the bottom when Chalk led off with a homer. Going into the bottom 5th, leading 11-1, Georgia was poised for a run-rule victory. Feight struck out, but Chalk singled, Craig walked. Hoagland singled through the left side, filling the bags with Texans. Chalk scored, the others advanced on a wild pitch. Craig scored on Bennett’s sac fly. Hooks jacked a 2-run home run, 11-5. No longer looking at a mercy –rule, Georgia brought Erin Arevalo in to relieve Owen. Arevalo got the last out.
However, the mercy rule became a possibility again in the 6th when Georgia loaded the bases. With one out, Trout singled. Hubbard reached on an error at short. Pauly moved the runners with a sac bunt. Schlopy walked to load the bases again. But, Wiggins fouled out, stranding three.
Texas went down in order in the 6th. Chalk singled to open the Texas 7th but was stranded.
Texas heads to Oklahoma City where it will begin the Big 12 Tournament as #1 seed, with a bye until Saturday. Georgia goes to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and is the #4 seed in the SEC tournament, and will play #5 Tennessee on Friday.
LONG BEACH 6, CS FULLERTON 2
Three Long Beach State hitters finished with two hits on the afternoon and junior hurler Brooke Turner allowed just three hits on the afternoon as the visiting 49ers spoiled “Senior Day” for Cal State Fullerton with a 6-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Anderson Family Field. (The ESPN telecast was a bit distracting; the announcers emphasized the problems which Turner had earlier in the season with the illegal pitch rule, and her efforts over time to change her pitching style to ensure she was “legal.” Consequently, we saw many camera angles, focused on Turner’s footwork.)
The Titans fell to 13-37 overall and 8-10 in Big West Conference play with the loss, finishing the year with just an 8-16 mark at home – only the third losing season at their home field since 1985. Long Beach State improved to 23-26 overall and 7-11 in league play heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
Freshman Aly Fascetti (0-5) suffered the loss, charged with two runs on three hits in just two innings of work. Junior Ari Cervantes pitched the final five innings in relief, allowing three earned on nine hits in that span.
Turner (11-10) did not allow a hit until freshman Ashley Carter’s infield single in the third. She retired 12 of the final 13 hitters she faced, walking four and striking out two in the complete-game win.
Single runs in the first two innings got the 49ers out to the quick lead as Catrin DeBaun had an RBI ground out in the first and Casey Burba drove home a run with a single in the second.
Long Beach State then tacked on two more in the third against Cervantes with some help from the Fullerton defense as Ashley Weber led-off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice before Brandy Reyes’ pop-up on the infield fell between two fielders on a miscommunication, allowing Weber to score and make it 3-0. Liz Javier then laced a double down the right field line to drive home Reyes and give the 49ers a 4-0 advantage.
Fullerton finally broke through in its half of the third as Torrie Anderson led-off with a walk and moved to second on Carter’s infield hit. After a sacrifice moved both into scoring position, sophomore Nicole Johnson followed with an bloop single to left center, scoring one run, and Carter would score a few pitches later on a wild pitch to cut the deficit in half.
(SPY enjoyed watching the game, as it gave a chance to watch freshman Nalani St Germain playing 1st. Nalani started the season off with a flurry of hits,including homers but had cooled off before this series. Watched her play many games for Julie Smith.)
THE SPY BAILOUT
We’re very grateful to the readers who responded to SPY’s “bailout” message last week. The generosity of five readers was stunning. All used the “donation” link at the top of each day’s SPY posting. However, we are still way short of our goal, and, at this time, are still committed to attending just the two tournaments, World Series and Premiere. The original message is on SPY’s archives for May.
WHITHER THE BIG 10?
While ESPNU was broadcasting the Georgia-Texas Game, the bottom-of-the-screen trailer was quoting a Midwest radio station, which broadcast a claim that the Big 10 conference had made offers to Notre Dame, Missouri, Nebraska and Rutgers – which would expand the conference to 15 teams. The newscast claimed that the Big 10, if successful with these four, would add a 16th team.
Both the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated have published feature stories this past week, outlining several schemes for conference reorganization. Several observers believe that, if the Big 10 makes a major move, the SEC and Pac 10 will feel compelled to do the same. Many of the scenarios in both magazines forecast the virtual dissolution of the Big East conference, but stalwarts like Syracuse were maintaining that would never happen.
The linchpin is not competitiveness, according to the writers – it’s money. More specifically, the driving force is television proceeds linked of course to football. Notre Dame is considered the prize, given its national recognition and ambitious gridiron schedule, but, the prediction is that the Irish would come with a price. While the Big Ten payout to member schools is the richest in the nation, Notre Dame has its own TV contract and the writers predict the Irish would insist on keeping it.
Who knows? The speculation aroused a chorus of denials.