6-28-2011 Dobson at LSU; Other Updates

JUNE 28 2011 UPDATE

Dobson Tabbed LSU Softball Assistant Coach

BATON ROUGE – Howard Dobson has accepted an assistant coach position on the Tiger softball staff announced Tuesday by head coach Beth Torina. He will serve as the program’s hitting coach.  Dobson, who currently is one of 24 coaches named to the 2011-12 United States Women’s National Team coaching pool, spent the previous four seasons as the head coach of Southern Miss. During his tenure, he coached seven All-Conference USA performers highlighted by Megan Hill. The four-time All-Conference USA pick set eight offensive program records, including hits (205), RBIs (151), runs scored (148), home runs (48) and total bases (398). She also garnered NFCA All-Midwest First-Team accolades, the program’s first recipient since the 2000 season. 

“I’m extremely thrilled and very excited to have someone of Howard’s caliber join the LSU program,” Torina said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and has a great track record of creating a successful offense everywhere he has been. A great person with a positive approach, Howard also will be able to add a new perspective to a group of very talented hitters. I know he will help us succeed at the highest level.”

Prior to Southern Miss, Dobson served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma for five seasons. He helped the Sooners continue to develop their reputation as not only a Big 12 offensive powerhouse but a national offense juggernaut.  OU topped the Big 12 in scoring and also ranked among the league’s top two in batting average during all five of his seasons in Norman. The Sooners had seven players secure NFCA All-American honors in addition to 15 NFCA All-Midwest Region selections and 20 All-Big 12 honorees. Norrele Dickson, Heather Scaglione and Kristin Vesely racked up multiple NFCA All-America selections under Dobson. Dobson played an instrumental role as OU made a pair of trips to the Women’s College World Series trips in 2003 and 2004. The Sooners also made four NCAA Super Regional runs (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) during their five consecutive trips to the postseason sparked by a 55-win campaign in 2007 which is tied for third in the OU record books.

Before Oklahoma, Dobson contributed to the establishment of Houston’s softball program in 2000. The Orange, Texas, native had players notch 10 All-Conference USA accolades in two seasons fueled by Kristen Glowacz’s 2002 C-USA Freshman of the Year award. The 2002 Cougars paced C-USA in hits (480), runs scored (279), slugging percentage (.448), RBIs (244) and home runs (47).  Dobson began his coaching career in the Pelican State with stops at Southeastern Louisiana, McNeese State and Barbe High School in Lake Charles. He directed his team at Barbe to a 5A state championship and gained valuable experience working at collegiate skills camps along with coaching on the international level. In the summer of 1999, his international team won the German Open. 

 A former all-conference performer at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, Dobson went on to finish his collegiate baseball career at McNeese State where he graduated with a degree in health and human performance and English in 1997. Dobson and his wife Katharine have a five-year old son, Trip.

Vock Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Recently graduated Missouri softball player Abby Vock has been nominated for the 21st annual NCAA Woman of the Year award, as announced Tuesday afternoon. The award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

Vock earned 2011 All-Big 12 first team honors on the Tigers softball squad that captured the Big 12 title and advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the third consecutive year. She led the league with a .786 slugging percentage during conference-only games while also registering the sixth-best batting average (.357), third-most homeruns (5), third-highest on-base percentage (.460) and eighth-most total bases (33).

The second baseman was awarded Missouri’s Unsung Hero Award in 2011 while serving as a team captain for the third season. Vock was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and named to both the Commissioner’s Honor Roll and College of Business Dean’s List eight semesters. The Morrison, Ill., native also received Magna Cum Laude honors.  Vock’s community service projects included volunteering at the Columbia Food Bank, University of Missouri Children’s Hospital and CASA Youth Softball Clinic.

In order to be eligible for the award, female student-athletes must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in their primary sport by the end of the 2011 spring season and graduated no later than the end of the summer 2011 term.

The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will choose the top 10 nominees in each division. From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine its top three in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year. The top 10 honorees from Divisions I, II and III will be honored, and the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year announced in October.

GOLD NATIONALS

Thirty teams have qualified for ASA Gold Nationals.  The list (in Excel) is on www.spysoftball.org

MISSISSIPPI STATE CANCELS CAMPS

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s Individual Skills Softball Camp, scheduled for July 18-21, has been cancelled, Bulldog head coach Vann Stuedeman announced on Tuesday.  “It’s with deep regret that we will not be hosting the Individual Skills Camp in July,” Stuedeman said. “I am extremely excited about hosting future camps and helping develop championship softball players that will one day hopefully wear the Maroon and White!”  Refunds will be given to participants already registered for the camp. To inquire about a refund, contact Office Associate Michelle Scrivener at (662) 325-0560 or by e-mail at mscrivener@athletics.msstate.edu.

SHADES OF 1948 – and Desert Storm

Harry Truman highly prized the front page of a Chicago newspaper which proclaimed in 1948 “Dewey Beats Truman.”  The Miami Herald and Macy’s have drunk from the same bittersweet cup.  The newspaper ran a Macy’s ad congratulating the Miami Heat for winning the NBA Finals – when in reality the Heat were trounced by the Dallas Mavericks.  Ironically, the ad, which offered commemorative Heat T-shirts and caps ran on the same sports page as stories reporting the crushing defeat.

 Reminds me of the first Gulf War. At one point, when US forces were routing the Iraqis, conventional wisdom was that the drive would end with the imprisonment of Saddam Hussein.  We were all gathered around the Ambassador’s pool and were handed T-shirts bearing a likeness of Hussein, behind the bars of an American flag.  Within a day, the powers that be knew Hussein would not be captured and we were ordered to return the T-shirts.  I still have mine.

A canine tug on  the heart strings

We published a separate story about a Lab.  Did so in part because of those heart-breaking photos SPCA shows each night on television; you hope and pray they are adopted and not put to sleep.  Two weeks ago, an unorganized group of Chinese dog lovers stopped a truck with three tiers of dogs headed for the slaughterhouse and Chinese dinner tables – a practice increasingly opposed in an improving Chinese economy.  The 200 protesters out of pocket raised several thousand dollars and bought the dogs.

  After a 15-hour standoff, 520 dogs, many of whom still had collars with bells and name tags, indicating they were stolen from their owners, were purchased from the driver for $17,600 by Leepet Holding Corporation and Shangshan Foundation. The dogs were all delivered to the headquarters of China Small Animal Protection Association for further care and eventual adoption.  Some were too sick to survive but an effort is being made to find shelter for the survivors.  On the third tier, was a medium-sized, intelligent looking dog – his eyes seemed to offer trust and thanks.   Bless ‘em all.

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