6-3-2011 Team Storylines

2011 WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

Participating Team Storylines

Alabama

1. The tornadoes that hit Tuscaloosa on 4/27

2. Having four games canceled due to the tornadoes

3. Winning the SEC regular season for the second year in a row

4. The leadership of seniors Whitney Larsen and Kelsi Dunne

5. The duo returns to the WCWS (Dunne over 40 IP and Larsen 23 at-bats)

6. The emergence of freshman Jackie Traina (has not allowed a postseason hit in 10 IP)

7. The top of the lineup (Braud + Fenton) combining for 90 stolen bases, including 20 in the last 10 games

8. Top of the lineup (Braud, Fenton and Larsen) hitting .462, 458 and 480 in the postseason

9. Alabama enters its seventh WCWS more than any other team in the SEC

10. Dunne is three strikeouts away from career punch out 1,200

11. Kayla Braud is two stolen bases away from tying the single season school record of 60 (Brittany Rogers, 2008)

Arizona State

1. Dancing Queens – If there’s one thing A State loves to do, it’s dancing… with their particular fave being the “Go Big Girl” led by senior Mandy Urfer. In fact, when they won game 2 of the Arizona series, Coach told them he’d dance if they won game 3. They did in fact win, but he said he’d only do it when the whole team was there (some left Tucson with parents). So he still owes the team some dance moves…

2. We may be the Sun Devils, but our mascot… Is actually Dalmie the Dalmation for this team… you have to squint REALLY hard to see the tiny lil plastic dog they have but they even have integrated him as a part of the line-up introduction. You’ll see him perched in the batter’s box during intros where everyone touches their foot to him or pets him. He even has a car, a house, a pool, a skateboard… you name it the team has made it for Dalmie. You can even check him out on Facebook at Dalmie Maximus.

3. No matter what the world throws at you just keep smiling – This season is one of the toughest in ASU history… not for their on-field opponents but off-field. With several personal family losses this season, the Sun Devils have only fired back harder every time tragedy has hit, all supporting each other through it all.

4. Be pretty. Be positive. Win – It’s a bit of a weird slogan, but that’s the motto for the 2011 ASU Softball team. They came up with it on a river tubing trip last fall.

5. Ketch her if you can – Sophomore outfielder/pinch runner Kayla Ketchum has a unique story as she hails from Gary, Ind. Coming out to ASU, her mother, Diana Ketchum-Johnson, a major in the U.S. Army, told her if she walked onto the ASU Softball team that she’d buy her a car. Well, it’s pretty apparent what happened as Kayla is now driving a green Camaro…

6. It may be a major city… – But Dallas, Texas is not all that Ms. Dallas Jade (she’s one of 2 freshman with the middle name Jade – Lucy Aubrecht is the other) Escobedo is named after though as she IS a Cowboys fan, but her name is also after one of her father’s best friends.

7. All-American… walk-ons? – Believe it everyone as Clint Myers has now turned THREE walk-on athletes into All-Americans. The first was prior player Jessica Mapes of 2008 NCAA Championship fame. On the 2011 team alone, Kaylyn Castillo (who transferred from Louisville after her first season and had to walk-on) and Annie Lockwood are both walk-on athletes…. And combined they’ve had more clutch hits and RBIs than the rest of the squad

8. It’s a Myers family event – The saying goes, when you hire one Myer, you hire them all… which has held true over the years as Clint brings his family to better the program. His son, Casey who works for the Oakland A’s farm system works in the dugout as a volunteer assistant, and was a former Sun Devil catcher himself (like his father) while being named Pac-10 player of the year twice. His younger son, Corey played in the MLB right out of high school and still helps coach now while bringing the Myer’s grandchildren to every game and event. Clint’s wife Katie is also at every game, running the booster club and always bringing goodies for the fans and team. They’ll be in full force at the WCWS, grandkids and all!

9. Dallas knows the rhythm & the rhyme – Ms. Escobedo has made a huge name for herself in one season already… but did you know that she’s a nasty freestyler? Give that girl a beat and she’ll rhyme circles around you… before striking out the side.

10. Home grown talent – Clint Myers loves recruiting out of his own backyard in Arizona… which for the first time the official roster is now OVER half Arizona girls. Currently 14 on the overall roster are from Arizona with only 8 from California… that’s a serious rarity in the sballing world… but it’s working…

California

1. Friends of Jaclyn Adoptee

-The Bears – coaches and student-athletes alike – have a laminated photo of Bebe Wiggs, a girl the team adopted through Friends of Jaclyn, in their battings helmets or uniform pockets

2. Road Warriors

-The Bears left Berkeley at 3:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, 18 and have not been back since

-Including Oklahoma City, Cal has stayed in four different hotels and spent 1.5 weeks in Kentucky

-One highlight of the trip was going to Churchill Downs and getting a team picture made in the Winner’s Circle

-Amy Bishop, Frani Echavarria and Jace Williams all bet on the number seven horse – Pulpit’s Secret – at Churchill Downs because Cal is the seven seed and that horse won

-Many of the student-athletes enjoyed down-time activities such as four-square and badminton in hotel rooms, orchestrated by freshman catcher Taylor Vincent

-During the nine-day stay in Louisville, many of the staff and student-athletes toured the Louisville Slugger Museum

-Cal has had the same bus driver – Tim – since getting picked up at the airport in Louisville. Tim drove from Lexington to Oklahoma City with some of the gear and bags so that Cal would have him in OKC

3. Britt Vonk

-Played with the Netherlands national team at the 2008 Olympics

-Father, Theo Vonk, played professional soccer in the Netherlands, mother, Tanja Reijerink, played professional water polo in the Netherlands and her brother plays soccer

4. Jolene Henderson

-Named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, the second in program history

-Placed on the NCFA All-Pacific Region First Team and the All-Pac-10 First Team

-Has a 1.32 ERA in the postseason and 0.40 without the loss in game two of the Super Regional

-With the shutout win in the Louisville Regional championship game, Henderson became the all-time single-season wins leader, displacing Cal’s first -Owns just a 0.87 ERA and a 39-8 record

5. Victoria Jones

-Exploded in the postseason, hitting .365 with three sacrifice hits and three RBI

-Has become Cal’s starting second baseman but can also catch

-Upped her batting average to .225 from .196 after Lexington

-Notes her best sports moment was traveling to Italy and Sweden to play soccer in the Gothia Cup

-One of her great grandfathers played professional baseball for the Boston Braves

6. Jamia and Elia Reid

-Twins

7. Valerie Arioto

-Broke her left leg sliding into second base on the second day of practice in January

-Sidelined for the entire year yet is an integral part of the team and traveled on every road trip

8. Lindsey Ziegenhirt

-Has played softball/been the battery mate of Jolene Henderson since they were seven-years-old

-Committed to Cal together

9. Jordan Wallace

-Excelling on the field is something that comes naturally to the Wallace family. Sophomore Jordan Wallace’s father, Melvin, played with the San Diego Chargers. Her mother, Wendy, lettered in softball at Sacramento State.

10. Diane Ninemire

-Cal’s all-time most winningest coach, male or female

-Won the first women’s national championship at Cal in 2002

-Has been part of all Cal’s 11 trips to the WCWS, 10 at the helm.

Florida

1. Oklahoma Connection – Florida Head Coach Tim Walton and Assistant Coach Jennifer Rocha are both alums of the University of Oklahoma (Walton/1996; Rocha/1999). Walton has been a part of two Oklahoma national championship teams . He was the winning pitcher of the Sooners’1994 NCAA championship baseball team. Later, he was a four-year assistant for the OU softball team, serving as the hitting coach and outfielders coach. In his four seasons at OU, the Sooners won three Big 12 titles and made three consecutive WCWS appearances, including winning the 2000 NCAA title.

2. Rocha (maiden name: Jaime) was a pitcher for the Sooners (1996-98), finishing her career with a .721 winning percentage (43-17) and a 1.46 ERA. She joined the Sooner coaching staff as a graduate assistant and also was part of the staff for Oklahoma’s 2000 NCAA championship team

3. Junior center fielder Michelle Moultrie was originally a walk-on at Florida and has turned into one of the best outfielders and hitters in school history – She’s earned a spot to try out for the USA Women’s National Team in Chula Vista and has led UF in batting clip in 2010 and 2011, single-season stolen bases record and has made some extremely impressive defensive plays. Known for her speed!  Head coach Tim Walton on Moultrie: “Michelle means so much. My gut was that she was going to be good and she’s better than anybody could ever expect. The kid could barely catch a cold her freshman year and she’s come so far and she’s got so much talent. I just can’t believe that one individual could be that good in such a short period of time. It’s unbelievable. You can’t even measure how much she means to our program, how much she’s done for where we’re at and hopefully where we’re going.”

4. Senior pitcher Stephanie Brombacher and senior catcher Tiffany DeFelice have played softball together for nearly 10 years. DeFelice almost always catches Brombacher, with the exception of an injury to DeFelice earlier this season. The two played travel ball together, played in high school at American Heritage (FL) together and now at UF. Brombacher is from Pembroke Pines, Fla., and DeFelice from Coral Springs, Fla.

5. Freshman starter and third baseman Kasey Fagan has five siblings. Her sister Sami signed a NLI to play for Florida starting this coming school year and sister, Haley is committed to play softball for South Alabama: Sami (18), Haley (16),  Cole (13), Cameron (9) and Jack (7).

6. Kasey Fagan’s father, Kevin, was a seven-year NFL veteran. Has two Super Bowl rings (1988 and 1989 with San Francisco 49ers … was also a 1983 champion as a Miami Hurricane. Her mother, Nancy, also ran track at Miami

7. Walton’s wife, the former Samantha Rhoten, also has Oklahoma roots, where her family still resides. She also played basketball at Oral Roberts University.

8. Freshman shortstop Cheyenne Coyle’s brother, Bobby Coyle, plays minor league baseball for the Dodgers organization…he went to Arizona, then Fresno State, was drafted in 2010 in the 10th round (322nd overall pick) in the 2010 MLB Draft

9. This year’s senior class is the winningest class in school history, boasting a record of 234-30 (.866) overall and 94-13 (.878) in Southeastern Conference play.

10. Florida is the first SEC school to make four consecutive trips to the Women’s College World Series (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

11. Head coach Tim Walton coaches in the National Pro Fastpitch league for the USSSA Pride (Orlando)…Three Gator seniors were drafted to play in the NPF: Megan Bush (Akron Racers), Aja Paculba (NPF Diamonds) and Kelsey Bruder, who will be joining Walton this summer with the USSSA Pride

Missouri

1. Ashley Fleming – Was recruited by Mizzou, Missouri State and Indiana State to play basketball out of high school

2. Nicole Hudson – One of families Domino’s pizza restaurants was flattened by the devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.  Thankfully, no one in the store was injured.

3. Princess Krebs – The third generation in her family named “Princess.” Her mother and grandmother also share the name.

4. Catherine Lee – Has an identical twin sister, Martha, who attends Clemson

5. Jenna Marston – Played baseball all growing up and through high school. This past summer, played pitcher and shortstop for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, helping them get the bronze medal at the IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup in Venezuela.  Was selected to the All-Tournament and was named USA Baseball’s Sportswoman of the Year

6. Maddison Ruggeberg – Plans to open her own crossfit gym after graduation

7. Chelsea Thomas – Hope to work as a physical therapist specializing in softball injuries after college

8. Shana White – Only player on the team born and raised in Columbia

9. Head Coach Ehren Earleywine – Played men’s fastpitch softball and was on the U.S. National Team

10. Volunteer Assistant Coach Phil Bradley – Former MLB player for Seattle, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago White Sox – All Star in 1985 for Seattle

11. Two Tigers have twin siblings – Catherine Lee has an identical twin sister, Martha, who attends Clemson, while Megan Christopher has a twin brother David

Oklahoma

1. No. 12 on the helmets is in memory of OU football player Austin Box.

2. Brianna Turang is a dual sport athlete at OU (soccer, softball).

3. Keilani Ricketts and Ali Vandever are two sets of sisters with the program (Samantha

Ricketts and Lindsey Vandever are former players, now graduate assistants)

4. Dani Dobbs is training to be a firefighter. Her uncle, Danny Cahill, won season 8 of The Biggest Loser.

5. Haley Nix grew up on a chicken farm.

6. Destinee Martinez is a member of the U.S. Junior National Team.

7. Chana’e Jones recently graduated with her sociology degree.

8. Keilani Ricketts is one of four Division I student-athletes in her family (sister Samantha was a two-time softball All-American at OU, sister Stephanie is the two-time WAC

Pitcher of the Year at Hawaii, brother Richard played football at Air Force).

9. Kirsten Allen has an austic brother she’s really close to.

10. Cierra Hughes is a walk-on from Midwest City (OKC metro) and started both games of the Super Regional at designated player. She has the highest GPA on the team (3.88).

11. Patty Gasso is the longest tenured head coach at OU. She and Diane Ninemire are the only female coaches at the WCWS.

Oklahoma State

1. Why Not Us

Associate Athletic Director (and Senior Women’s Administrator) Amy Weeks gave a speech last year at Regionals in Arizona and she kept repeating “Why not us.” After 18 years of being involved with OSU athletics in some way, she is moving to NY to start a new job and this is her last softball season with the team. She wasn’t able to travel to Regionals in Tennessee this year and told the girls they had to win so she could watch them play again. The girls brought back the theme “Why Not Us” for Amy. This is the link to a story written about this by The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson  http://newsok.com/osu-rallies-behind-mantra-and-the-woman-behind-it/article/3572723?custom_click=lead_story_photo

2. Coaches Vs. Cancer

The team is very involved with this charity and held a day at the ballpark where some kids who are cancer survivors or are currently battling cancer got to go through starting lineups with the team. The team also went to a Ringing the Bell ceremony which is what happens on the patient’s last treatment. Attached is a story we put in the team newsletter that includes pictures.

3. Academic Team

The 2011 Cowgirl team is focused on academics as well as athletics. On road trips Chelsea Garcia can be found at 6 am in the hotel lobby working on her school work. The team had seven athletes named to Academic All-Big 12 teams. Junior Chelsea Garcia was named Academic All-American (and the NCAA Elite 88 Award). Senior Mariah Gearhart was named Oklahoma State Student-Athlete of the Year at the annual Academic Award Banquet.

4. Mariah’s Internship

* Majored in Sports Media. Wants to be a sports broadcaster.

* Interned this past summer with KWTV Channel 9 in Oklahoma City.

* Accepted a job with ESPN in Charlotte, N. C. upon completion of this softball season.

5. Sammy Jo in China

Sammy Jo Diffendaffer has traveled to China the past two summers to play ball and learn from the Chinese as the Chinese learn from the Americans who traveled.

6. International Relations

Two freshmen have competed for their home countries in international competition. Pitcher Simone Freeman has played on the Australian National Team and the Junior Olympic team. One of the reasons she came to Oklahoma State was through the recommendation of OSU softball alum and four-time Olympian Melanie Roche. Tarah Ettinger played on the Canadian Junior National Team and the Canadian Senior National Team.

7. Sarah Odom

Her father, Sidney, passed away the summer before her junior year. That affected her play her junior year because he was her biggest fan and supporter. By the fall of her senior year she was beginning to bounce back but then a foot injury held her back at the beginning of the season. But she has fought through it and has become a successful one-two punch with sophomore Kat Espinosa in the circle. The two call themselves Garfield and Odie.

8. Coach’s relationship with the girls

Coach Wigs and the girls have a very fun-loving relationship. They know when to work and be serious and they know when to have fun. The girl tend to be very successful when he throws in bribes and bets. He told them if they beat Baylor he would let them have steak for team dinner. They swept the Bears. He also told them if they made the World Series he would shave his mustache. His wife has never even seen him without a mustache.

Coach Wigs also will give you paybacks if you pull a prank on him. The girls tried to dump Gatorade on him after the final win in Supers that sent the to the Series. They failed miserably and that stunt made it onto Sportscenter Not Top 10. Coach got his revenge on the girls though and that video is on YouTube. Link is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37_MFzwG87M

9. Four Girls Back Where it Started

Four of the Cowgirls played for Oklahoma softball state championships on ASA Hall of Fame Field. Alysia Hamilton and Chelsea Garcia with Moore High School (6A) and Tamara Brown and Sammy Jo Diffendaffer with Blanche Thomas High School (A).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *