5-11-2011 May 11 Update

MAY 11 2011 UPDATE

Story published by USF Sports Bulletin/
St. Petersburg Times sportswriter Greg Auman,

 MAY 10, 2011

USF softball coach suspended 1 game after forfeit

USF head softball coach Ken Eriksen has been suspended from the Bulls’ game Thursday in the Big East tournament for his decision to he take his team off the field Sunday in the second inning of a game at DePaul, resulting in a forfeit loss.

USF issued a statement late Tuesday night, saying that “NCAA rules mandate a suspension of the head coach” as a result of Eriksen’s actions, which had USF said Sunday were done out of concern for the “safety and welfare” of his players. USF’s statement also said the Big East had reviewed the concerns, and that the university’s athletic department would have no further comment. It is unknown what if any action has been taken by the Big East.

USF assistant coach Stacey Heintz will step in for Eriksen for Thursday’s opening-round game against Louisville. In an interview with the Times late Tuesday afternoon, Eriksen had spoken about preparing for Thursday’s game as normal. Should the Bulls win Thursday, Eriksen would presumably return for the semifinals Friday, and potentially the league championship game Saturday.

“Our focus is on preparing for a great Louisville team, and our kids will be ready to go,” Eriksen said in a statement released by USF.

Eriksen could have faced a harsher punishment — the NCAA softball by-law regarding forfeits (see page 82 of this pdf) reads that “the head coach shall be ejected and then suspended from the institution’s next two scheduled and played contests.” The Big East, which has the authority to mitigate such a penalty, reduced the suspension to a single game. There’s a good chance Eriksen was aware of that fine print — he is the chair of the NCAA’s softball rules committee for 2010-11.

Eriksen, who has a 644-352-1 record in 15 seasons as USF’s head coach, called his players off the team during Sunday’s game at DePaul, and USF said his concerns were not related to officiating or field conditions. DePaul and USF would not meet in Louisville until the championship game, should both teams win their first two games.


Softball Travels to Louisville for BIG EAST Challenge

Oklahoma closes out regular season

 NORMAN, Okla. – The 13th-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team closes out the regular season this weekend in Louisville, Ky., in the Oklahoma/BIG EAST Challenge. The Sooners are scheduled to play two games against teams to be announced subject to the results of the 2011 BIG EAST Softball Championship.

 OU’s first game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 14 following the tournament’s championship game at 4 p.m. CT. The Sooners are also scheduled to play Sunday, May 15 at 10 a.m. CT.

Notre Dame is the overall No. 1 seed for the tournament. Other qualifiers are No. 2 seed DePaul, No. 3 seed Syracuse, No. 4 seed USF, No. 5 seed Louisville, No. 6 seed Pittsburgh, No. 7 seed Rutgers and No. 8 seed Providence.

 The 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Championship field of 64 will be announced Sunday evening at 9 p.m. CT on ESPNU.


2011 NEC Softball Standings
including games played through 5/8/2011

  School NEC Pct. Overall Pct Streak Home Away Neutral
1. Robert Morris* 15-5 .750 25-24 .510 W7 11-5 7-8 7-11
2. Sacred Heart* 14-6 .700 27-19 .587 W5 10-3 10-8 7-8
  Bryant 14-6 .700 25-19 .568 L3 8-5 14-7 3-7
4. Quinnipiac* 13-7 .650 30-25 .545 L1 10-6 7-10 13-9
5. Central Conn. St.* 11-9 .550 29-20-1 .590 W6 12-4 13-9 4-7-1
6. Monmouth 10-10 .500 21-21 .500 L1 5-7 11-8 5-6
7. Fairleigh Dickinson 9-11 .450 26-22 .542 W1 5-9 10-6 11-7
8. Long Island 8-12 .400 18-35 .340 W2 5-7 6-6 7-22
9. Wagner 7-11 .389 12-26 .316 L2 9-8 2-6 1-12
10. Mount St. Mary’s 5-15 .250 15-31 .326 L2 7-11 4-17 4-3
11. St. Francis (PA) 2-16 .111 10-38 .208 L7 1-7 4-17 5-14

* Clinched NEC Tournament Berth


PLANT CITY, FLORIDA (USA) — Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA), will host the III World University Softball Championship, it was announced today.  The tournament will take place from August 2-11, 2012, at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

International Softball Federation President Don Porter said, “We are very happy to have the details for this event finalized so that we can begin working toward another significant competition opportunity for our young athletes.  This is also an important step as it relates to the World University Games programme.  Colorado Springs will be a great host and I know the FISU (International University Sports Federation) officials will see the appeal of softball that has made it such a global sport.”

The 1st World University Softball Championship (2004) had taken place in the U.S. at the ISF’s world headquarters complex in Plant City, Florida, while the second (2006) was staged in Taiwan.  As 2008 was an Olympic year for softball, no university event was planned then.

“FISU is pleased that University Softball returns on the WUC program.  So far we had two successful World University Softball Championships.  With the WUC Softball returning to the home of softball, we are confident that the third edition will be a professionally staged event and together with our partner, the International Softball Federation, we are looking forward to seeing our student-athletes shine on the diamond,” WUC Director Laurent Briel stated.

 The games next year will take place at the University’s Four Diamond Sports Complex, which has hosted several NCAA Division II playoffs.

“We are thrilled to be able to host the superb World University Softball Championship next summer,” said Colorado Springs Sports Corp Chairman Dave Palenchar.  “This is a significant honor for Colorado Springs and enhances its respected reputation as a superb host for major international and domestic amateur sports events.”

The event is open to all student-athletes that have not been out of a university or its equivalent for more than a year and that are between 17 and 28 years old.  Any association which belongs to FISU may enter a team (women’s fast pitch).  Entries are accepted from any country which is eligible for the Olympic Games and from any national federation which is affiliated to the ISF.

MEDIA: For more information, please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@ISFsoftball.org, +1-813-864-0100, or +1-813-453-8762.

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