6-10-10 June 10 Update

JUNE 10 2010 UPDATE  

COMMITMENT
Courtney Vanlandingham, Tulsa Eagles, has committed to Mississippi State 

PREMIER TEAMS vs JAPAN’S NATIONAL TEAM 

PREMIER TEAMS vs JAPAN’S NATIONAL TEAM

Wed 16 So Cal A’s vs Japan 6pm 
 Thu  17 OC Batbusters vs Japan 6pm 
Fri    18 Worth Firecrackers vs Japan 6pm 
These three games at Huntington Beach in the evening.  

 Sat June 19 Women’s ML All-Stars vs Japan 
 Opening ceremony 11am 
First game 11:30 am 
Second game 2:00 pm 
In between games there will Japanese entertainment 
After the games the Japanese Team will host a clinic 
The Saturday games and events are all at Col Bill Barber Stadium in Irvine   

 The following teams earned berths to the ESPN National Softball Championship 
at the Premier Girls Fastpitch Qualifying Tournaments June 4-6  

In Southern California HS Division 
The Next Level 
Arizona Killer Bees 
Corona Angels Magee 
Courage  

16U Division 
Washington Ladyhawks 
Lakewood Ladies 
So Cal Choppers 
Mizuno Pride 
The Next Level 
Cal Cruisers Lyn  

In Houston, Texas  HS Division 
Sudden Impact 
Houston Power Krysiak 
New Mexico Sundancers  
New Orleans Voodoo  

16U Division 
American Freedom McClasky 
Platinum Softball 
Texas Lite 
Texas Elite Floyd  

UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS  

On SPY’s home page, log on to links for Team New Jersey’s classic, and Rising Stars.  

 CONFERENCE UPHEAVALS 

The following story has significant implications for college softb all.  Eg, if the Pac 10 forms a South division which would meld Arizona, Arizona State and six Big 12 schools – including softball powers Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma – the question arises about the NCAA allocation of automatic berths, currently 30.  If there is no Big 12, would that berth be packaged into the new Pac 10 grouping, with Pac 10 South and Pac 10 North each having an automatic berth?  What will NCAA do if the Big Ten (already at 11) expands to 12 with Nebraska?  Would that super-region get two berths?  The football implications are of course tremendous, with annual contests between Southern Cal and the three Big 12 powers, as well as Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, who have also upgraded their softball programs.  From a football perspective, hard to imagine no Oklahoma-Nebraska showdown.  But, fond memories of historic rivalries will not withstand the momentum for merger created by the demand for TV money.  

BY Terrance Harris, Fanhouse senior college sports writer  

It appears the Big 12 is all but finished.  

The Pac-10 confirmed Thursday that Colorado has accepted an invitation to join the conference. Now all eyes turn to Nebraska and the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers’ move to the Big Ten, which awaits an approval vote from the school’s Board of Regents on Friday, would trigger a move by Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to the Pac-10 to form the first 16-school conference and effectively dissolve the Big 12.  

“The Big 12 Conference has been informed that the University of Colorado has accepted an invitation to join the Pacific-10 Conference,” Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said in a released statement Thursday afternoon. “I continue to work through the process that was agreed upon last week by our Board of Directors to address membership issues, and am working tirelessly towards the long-term viability of the Big 12.”  

There had been some speculation the past two days that Baylor might replace Colorado in the Pac-10 mix, but the Pac-10 chose Colorado. That means Baylor is about to join Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Iowa State as Big 12 members with no place to go at this point. The sudden move to grab Colorado was apparently to send a message that the Pac-10 is not interested in Baylor.  

The five members of the Big 12 South are still awaiting an official invite from the Pac-10, but it is expected to come by Friday, according to sources. The six ex-Big 12 schools will combine with Arizona and Arizona State to form an eight-school division in the Pac-10.  

One potential problem is speculated interest by the SEC in Texas A&M.  

According to sources at Texas and Texas A&M, UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds and A&M athletic director Bill Byrne are expected to meet Thursday to discuss their respective positions. It has been understood that Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech will stick together in any conference realignment scenario.  

Dodds, along with UT president Bill Powers and associate athletic director Chris Plonsky, met with the Longhorns coaches Wednesday to update them on the status of the Big 12 and to let them know that the school did all it could to hold the conference together. But the Big 12 has likely met its demise.  

Missouri appears to be the biggest loser because it was expected for weeks that Missouri and Nebraska would receive Big Ten invites. But so far the Big Ten has only invited Nebraska and, at this point, is no longer showing interest in Missouri.  

Officials at the Big 12 offices, meanwhile, are floating the possibility of holding the conference together with 10 or 11 members. The league would no longer be able to play a conference championship without a 12th member, but Big 12 insiders are hinting that may not be a bad thing. The absence of a championship game could clear a hurdle for Big 12 teams to make it to the BCS national title game because it lets them play one fewer game against a high-caliber opponent and avoid the risk of a loss that would derail championship hopes.  

SOCCER  

What a difference!  If Team USA had won Gold at Beijing, they could have received bonuses of up to $25,000 per player.  If the USA soccer team wins the World Cup  (you can get better odds on polar bears migrating to Texas), each of the already wealthy players will receive $1 million.  

But, there is an area where USA Soccer and USA Softball suffer equally – international sports politics.  Even though more World Cup tickets have been sold in the US than any other nation than host South Africa, and the US has paid the highest media rights fee, their influence in FIFA is as limited as US influence in the IOC.  As Michel Platini, a top FIFA official said today, “When it comes to decision making  in international football, the US, like Germany or China, has as much power as San Marino, Vanuatu or Belize.”  Thus, despite the flood of US money in soccer, there is no guarantee that the USA, a finalist, will be given the opportunity to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.  The projection is that FIFA World Cup revenue this year will reach $3.5 billion.  Much less than the $8 billion taken in every year by the NFL, but it allows FiFA to award the Cup to countries like South Africa and Brazil (2014) which otherwise could not afford to host the games.  Unlike the IOC, FIFA does not depend financially on the tournament, and many of the soccer players earn fantastic incomes.  IOC supports numerous non-revenue sports.  

Platini contends that soccer in the US is second-rate by international standards; while poorer countries support national teams without difficulty, American soccer is largely unprofitable, but US officials declare the sport is growing in popularity.  Franchises are selling for $45 million, compared to $5 million in 1995.  

As of today, there were still thousands of unsold tickets.  A worry for the organizers is that many of the poor in South Africa and neighboring countries cannot afford to attend the Cup, where remaining tickets run $90 to $600.  (Wonder how many ordinary citizens will attend the ISF Junior World competition this coming December?  SPY encourages people to go – I have enjoyed their great hospitality, world class wine, Cape of Good Hope, and the awesome Kruger national game park.)  

NPF NEWS  

Pride Roughs Up Bandits  

Bandits pitchers struggled tonight against the Florida Pride bats. The Bandits cycled through three pitchers for the night with 6 runs were scored in the second and fourth innings. Eileen Canney started the night and was relieved by Jessica Sallinger in the middle of the second inning after loading the bases with two walks and a hit.    

Rookie Nikki Nemitz debuted with the Bandits when she was called in to relieve Sallinger in the third inning.  Sallinger loaded the bases with a hit by Megan Willis, a throwing error by Sallinger on a routine grounder, and a walk for Caitlin Lowe. Sallinger then struggled with Melissa Roth, issuing a walk, which brought in Caitlin Lowe. Nemitz took control of the inning with back to back strikeouts and an infield fly, leaving three runners stranded for the Pride.  

The Pride’s offense dominated the fourth inning yet again, repeating 2nd inning with 6 runs being scored on the Bandits.
It was not until the 6th inning that the Bandits’ offense really got going. With two out in the top of the 6th, Jennie Finch stepped up to the plate and laced one over Caitlin Lowe’s head in center field. Left fielder Rachel Mitchell followed with a walk and rookie Angela Findlay recorded her first home run in the NPF with a three run shot over the left center field wall. Nemitz followed her team mates with a line drive over the head of short stop Kristin Schnake, and Emily Friedman moved Nemitz to second with a hard grounder up the middle. Amberly Waits grounded out to Schnake to end the inning.  

Unfortunately Nemitz could not hold off the Pride in the bottom half of the 6th when Kelly Kretschman recorded her first home run of the season, putting the Pride up 16-3.  

The Bandits were unable to battle back from such a deep deficit in the seventh and the final score was 16-3.  

Akron Racers  

AKRON, Ohio (June 7, 2010) – First baseman Micaela Minner led the hit parade, blasting a three-run homer to highlight a 10-run fifth inning as the Racers cruised past the Northeast Ohio All-Stars, 16-0 at Firestone Stadium this evening.
In addition to her round-tripper, Minner capped a perfect 3-for-3 performance with a team-high three RBI and four runs scored. In all, the Racers pounded out 22 hits enroute to driving in 16 runs as 10 players each finished with at least one. Newcomers Minner, Sharonda McDonald, Clare Burnum, Jessica Valis and veteran Jamee Juarez each finished the day with three each while Burnum and Juarez also added two RBI a piece.  FAST PITCH WEEKEND FESTIVAL  June 11-12 at the University of Maryland’s Robert E. Taylor Softball Stadium.  The All-Pro Dynasty Fastpitch Festival weekend consists of a Friday night game featuring the U.S. Professional All-Stars against a team of collegiate all-stars. That contest will get underway at 7 p.m. Those two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., followed by a Dynasty 6 charity game against the Prince George’s County Fire Department at 5 p.m. Players will be available throughout the event to sign autographs and answer questions from youth players, parents and coaches, and there will be several mini-clinics with the pros beginning Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Ticket and clinic information also can be found at www.USAll-StarTeam.com or by calling 410-472-3500.  The U.S. Professional All-Stars is a team comprised of current and former U.S. National Team players, U.S. Futures Team players, former college All-Americans and national champions. That team will compete during the festival weekends against top women’s teams from around the country, international teams, teams of college all-stars and possibly in fall tournaments against college teams. Some players who have committed to play for the All-Stars include 2008 College Player of the Year Angela Tincher, U.S. National Team members Katie Cochran and Ashley Charters and U.S. Futures Team member Jenae’ Leles.  Dynasty 6 is a six-person team of select women from the U.S. Professional All-Stars, including those named above, that will compete against any full team of male challengers in charity events during festival weekends and throughout the year. A portion of the proceeds from the Dynasty 6 vs. the Prince George’s County Fire Department Game on June 12 will go to benefit the Burn Center at the Washington Hospital Center and breast cancer research.   

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