7-18-10 July 18 Update

JULY 18 2010 UPDATE

SPY has to catch up again; a pictorial from a reader contained a virus which knocked out SPY’s primary computer; just retrieved it this afternoon, and have re-installed SPY’s software.

 

CHAMPIONS CUP

Tournament is winding down with Corona Angels Marty and Cal Lite alive in the bracket.  SPY read through all the pools and traced the bracket tonight.  Good matchups.  The bracket is too large to reproduce on SPY but you can view it online.

www.championscup.org

NATIONAL PRO FASTPITCH

 

Akron Racers and USSSA Pride Washed Out In Series Finale
Game Suspended in Fifth Inning Due to Weather
AKRON, Ohio (July 18, 2010) – The Akron Racers and USSSA Pride were washed out this evening at Firestone Stadium in the final game of a five-game series.

The game is officially suspended and will be resumed when Akron travels to Florida, August 19-22.

With one out in the top of the fifth inning and Jessica Mendoza at bat on a 1-0 count, lightening forced both teams into the dugouts before a constant and heavy downpour ensued. After a 45-minute delay, the game was called on account of the expected forecast.

The Pride are currently leading the game 2-0 after a RBI single from Natasha Watley in the second and a Racers’ throwing error in the fifth which enabled Watley–who dropped down a bunt single, to score.

The Racers next travel to Omaha, Neb. to face the Chicago Bandits in a three-game series (July 20-22) at the Cat Osterman Experience. The state-of-the-art complex offers world-class softball fields with covered spectator seating, mist-cooled dugouts, individual team bullpens, and bricked batter boxes. Also located at the venue is an All-Star dining pavilion, Pro-Shop, and Player’s Grill.
 
Kickoff for the first game will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20 followed by a start time of 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 22 (CENTRAL TIME).

 

Bandits lose 8 run lead in last two innings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 17, 2010) – Megan Gibson’s two-run walk-off home run to center field gave the Tennessee Diamonds a 9-8 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bandits.
The home run capped a nine-run rally by the Diamonds in the last two innings.
“The story on this team all year has always been that no matter what happened they have just never quit,” Diamonds coach Ernie Reynolds said. “They just love to play the game. This is a great reward for their perseverance. Those last two innings capsulate the entire group’s attitude.”
A season record crowd of 731 fans packed the stands at Draper Diamond on the campus of Lipscomb University.
The runs ended a string of 20 scoreless innings for the Diamonds.
Stacy May set the pace for the Bandits in the first inning with a lead-off single through the left side. Vicky Galindo grounded out to third and Rachel Folden flew out to left. Samantha Findley dropped a fly ball into shallow left field for a single that scored May.
In the second with two outs May slammed a solo home run to right field that bounced off the outstretched glove of right fielder Jenna Rhodes.
May struck again in the fourth inning. Emily Friedman singled through the left side and Caitlin Lever walked. They both scored when May hit a line drive double to center with two outs. May scored for the third time in the game when Rachel Folden hit a single into center.
Jennie Finch opened the fifth inning with a solo home run over the left field fence.
The Bandits also added another run in the sixth to take an 8-0 lead.
In the Diamonds portion of the sixth inning Jenna Rhodes and Shanel Scott both reached base on infield hits. Chelsea Spencer crushed a ball down the left field line for a three-run homer.  The Diamonds cut the lead in half when Chelsie Mesa slammed a double to deep center that scored Carly Wynn who was pinch-running for Loryn Johnson.
Gibson, who had walked , scored on sacrifice fly to center by DeDe Justice. Mesa crossed the plate on a ground ball single up the middle by Shanna Diller.
In the seventh Shanel Scott and Spencer each singled.  Scott scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Johnson, setting the stage for Gibson’s home run.
Gibson, who hit her fourth home run of the season, agreed with Reynolds that she wasn’t sure the ball was going to go over the fence.
“I thought it was going to hit the top of the fence and come back in,” Gibson said. “I didn’t think it was going to go out at all. But it kept going up and up. Our coach in college did a really good job of putting us in pressure situations in practice and in games. I feed off of it.”
Becca Heteniak started on the mound for the Diamonds and  lasted 3.2 innings. She allowed five hits and five runs, two earned. She walked two and struck out three. Samantha Sheeley threw two-thirds of an inning and gave up three hits and two runs. She struck out one and walked one. Gibson, 2-7, closed out the game for the Diamonds pitching 2.2 innings. She gave up four hits and one run while striking out two.
Eileen Canney threw 5.1 innings for the Bandits. She scattered seven hits and gave up six runs. She walked three and struck out six. Nikki Nemitz took the loss, her first in four decisions. She gave up three hits and three runs in one inning.
The series, which is tied at 2-2, concludes Sunday afternoon at 2. Finch is expected to pitch for the Bandits. Monica Abbott is scheduled to pitch for the Diamonds.

DIAMOND GEMS: The Diamonds sent 10 batters to the plate as they scored six runs in the sixth.  …There were four home runs in the game with each team hitting two home runs. …It was the first home run of the season for Finch. …May led the game with four runs batted in and also had three hits. …Spencer led the Diamonds with three RBI.  …Scott, Spencer and Diller each had two hits. …The Diamonds have a chance to win their second consecutive home series.

 

Akron Racers Roll Past Pride 9-4
Racers Erase 3-0 Deficit to Collect Second-Straight Win

AKRON, Ohio (July 16, 2010) – The USSSA Pride staked an early 3-0 lead but the Akron bats lit up for seven runs in the third as the Racers rolled past the Pride, 9-4 in game three at Firestone Stadium.

In handing the USSSA Pride (14-11) its second-straight loss this series, the Racers (14-10) move into second place behind the Chicago Bandits.

Jamee Juarez (4-6) worked seven complete, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out six batters to record her fourth win of the season. The Racers tagged Pride starter Desiree Serrano (2-4) early, as she gave up six runs (one earned) on four hits in just two innings and a third pitched to take the loss. Game two winner Sarah Pauly completed the game, throwing three innings and two thirds she gave up three runs on six hits.

Akron managed 10 hits in the game as four Racers, including Lisa Modglin, Jackie Pasquerella, Sharonda McDonald and Juarez each finished with two base knocks apiece while Samantha Ricketts and Juarez each tallied two RBI.

The Pride took control of the driver’s seat early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second and third frames. Charlotte Morgan drove in Kelly Kretschman who led off with a single in the second before Jessica Mendoza’s two-run homer to right gave the Pride a 3-0 cushion after two and a half innings.

The complexion of the game drastically changed in the home half of the third as Akron pounded out seven hits and took advantage of three costly Pride errors to move ahead, 7-3. Pasquerella and McDonald got the Racers started with back-to-back singles before a Serrano throwing error enabled both to move into scoring position. Modglin then drove a RBI single to center before a fielding error on Andrea Duran allowed Jess Valis to reach first while McDonald crossed home plate, making it a 3-2 affair. The third error of the inning—a misplayed ball by Lauren Lappin saw Micaela Minner reach first while Modglin scored, tying the game at 3-all and chased Serrano from the game as Pauly entered in relief. Playing it safe, the Pride intentionally walked Crystl Bustos to little effect, setting the table for Kelley Montalvo who drew the RBI walk. Juarez then helped her own cause with a two-RBI single to center which Pasquerella followed up with a RBI single to center, putting Akron in front 7-3.

A scoreless fourth inning gave way to a two-run fifth as Ricketts put Akron back on the scoreboard on her fourth homer of the year with a deep shot to right field. The blast also scored pinch runner Trena Peel, running in place of Bustos who led off with a single to center to put Akron in front, 9-4.

Atop the sixth, Kretschman lofted a solo shot to left to make it a 9-4 game but Juarez shut the door soon thereafter, holding the Pride scoreless over the final inning and two thirds.

Game four at Firestone Stadium will take place tomorrow (Saturday, July 17) at 7:05 pm as the Racers celebrate a noble cause in pediatric cancer research with Kick-It For Kids Night (and appreciate sponsor Chick-Fil-A Night). For more information or tickets, please visit www.akronracers.org. To follow the series from home, you can catch the action live on MLB.com with a $19.95 season-long subscription or view live stats via www.pointstreak.com.

Thorson, Bandits drop Abbott, Diamonds 2-0

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 16, 2010) – Too many mistakes and two runs made the difference for the Tennessee Diamonds in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Bandits in National Pro Fastpitch action.
The start of the game Friday night at Draper Diamond on the campus of Lipscomb University was delayed for one hour and 51 minutes due to lightning and rain in the area. The weather hampered the crowd with 128 fans in attendance.
In the first inning the Bandits capitalized on three errors on the first three batters. Stacy May led off with a fly to center that was dropped by. Vicky Galindo reached base on an error by shortstop Chelsea Spencer. May scored when Rachel Folden doubled to deep left field. Galindo also scored on the play when Diamonds’ left fielder Carly Wynn threw the ball away.
The Diamonds threatened in the sixth. Angeline Quiocho led off with a single through the left side. Megan Rhodes was safe on an infield hit to third base. Quiocho advanced to third and Rhodes moved to second on a wild pitch with one out, but the Diamonds could not get them home.
Monica Abbott, 5-3, threw a complete game for the Diamonds. She gave up five hits and struck out nine. She walked one.  Kristina Thorson, 6-2, gave up one hit in five innings. She struck out three and did not walk a batter.  Nikki Nemitz opened the sixth inning for the Bandits in relief. In two innings she gave up two hits and struck out three. She earned her third save of the season.
The Bandits have a 2-1 lead in the series which continues Saturday at 7. The finale is Sunday at 2.

DELAWARE NAMES WOHLBACH HEAD COACH

NEWARK, Del. — Jaime Wohlbach has been selected as the new head coach of the University of Delaware softball program.

Wohlbach (pronounced “wall-bock”), who served as head coach at Iona College for the past three seasons after a successful career as a player and assistant coach, becomes only the fourth head coach in the 36-year history of Blue Hen softball. She quickly turned the Gaels program around and led Iona to its first NCAA Tournament appearance this past spring.

“We are excited to welcome Jaime to the University of Delaware family and we look forward to future success under her leadership,” said University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Bernard Muir. “She brings great enthusiasm for the game of softball and has shown outstanding success in leading student-athletes as a coach and instructor and in her career as a player.”

Wohlbach (at right), who earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Elementary Education and Special Education in 2000 and a Master’s degree in student affairs of higher education in 2002 from Kutztown (Pa.) University, replaces B.J. Ferguson, who posted a record of 622-583-8 over 30 seasons before stepping down in May to assume a full-time faculty position in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Bernard Muir and the University of Delaware for the tremendous opportunity to build on the tradition of athletic excellence fostered by the previous coaches,” said Wohlbach. “I’m thrilled to be part of a university with such rich traditions. I’m looking forward to getting to know returning players and incoming recruits, and working with them to build and grow the Blue Hen softball program.”

In just three seasons at the helm of the Gaels, Wohlbach turned around a program that had not posted a winning season in five years to one that captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title this past May and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s 25-year history with a final mark of 28-26. Iona battled host Texas and East Carolina at the NCAA regionals before being eliminated.

She was named the MAAC Coach of the Year in 2010 when she coached the league Pitcher and Rookie of the Year. Over the last two seasons she coached nine all-conference selections, two league Rookie of the Year winners, an All-Region selection, and an ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Prior to joining the Gaels, Wohlbach served as an assistant coach at Lehigh University in 2006-07, working as the team’s hitting and catcher’s coach while also assisting in practice sessions and strength and conditioning workout programs. She began her college coaching career as a student assistant at NCAA Division II Kutztown in 2000-01, volunteer assistant at NCAA Division III Muhlenberg College in 1999-2001 and at Lehigh in 2001-02, and as an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002-03.

Since 2002, Wohlbach has run a national and international softball clinic called Fastpitch Performance. The camps and clinics have provided instruction for all levels of the game and have taken her all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Belgium and Australia. Her international reputation has garnered her contacts and recognition from both amateur and professional organizations and sponsors.

Wohlbach’s coaching and instructing experience came during the off season of her extensive international playing career. Her professional resume in the United States began after graduating from Kutztown University in 2000. She signed with the Tampa Bay FireStix in the former Women’s Professional Softball League for the 2001 season. Wohlbach moved on to the National Pro Fastpitch League where she was selected in the fourth round of the December 2003 draft by the California Sunbirds, a team located in Sacramento, Calif. She played for the independent league Nebraska Comets before returning to the NPF’s Philadelphia Force for the 2006 season.

While playing professionally in the U.S., Wohlbach also played for and coached several professional teams in Europe. She has excelled at the international level throughout the world, including tours in the Czech Republic and a stop in Great Britain. In 2004 and 2005 she played professionally in New Zealand and on a world all-star select team, which included players from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

Earlier in 2004, Wohlbach played for the Great Britain National Team in Athens as a test run to the 2004 Athens Olympics; winning a gold medal by defeating Russia, the Czech Republic and Greece. From 2001-2004, Wohlbach coached an 18-under USA All-Star team in Australia as a follow-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also played professionally in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Greece, and coached a youth all-star team in Italy.

Wohlbach was a four-year standout at Kutztown, serving as a three-time team captain and becoming the first graduate of her school to play a professional sport. She earned All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors as a catcher during her junior and senior campaigns as well as being named to the All-Region Team in 2000. She was the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1999 as well as a nominee for the school’s Female Athlete of the Year.

TREENA PEEL NEW HAMPTON COACH

HAMPTON, Va. – Hampton University has announced the hiring of former college star and current professional player Trena Peel as the fourth head coach in the history of the Lady Pirates’ softball program,” according to athletics director Lonza Hardy Jr.. She replaces Regina Gibbons, who served as the head coach for the past three seasons.

“Coach Peel brings a wealth of experience, as a player and coach, to our softball program here at Hampton University,” said Hardy.  “She’s been a winner on all levels of the game and I’m confident that her knowledge of the game and her commitment to the welfare of student-athletes will make our softball program one of the best in the nation.”

Peel, a native of Aurora, Colo. and a graduate of Louisiana State University, comes to Hampton after serving the past two seasons as the assistant coach at Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) softball powerhouse Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss. During her time at MVSU, the Devilettes compiled a 65-39 overall record and a 30-3 mark in conference play while also making it to the NCAA tournament her first season, when the team went 17-0 in league play. Peel’s primary responsibility was coaching the pitchers and infielders.

Prior to her time at MVSU, Peel served as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland from 2006-08. There, she worked with the pitchers and assisted with the outfield. She also coordinated team travel and game-day preparation for the team. During the 2004 season, she coached at George Washington University, where she instructed outfielders, pitchers and first basemen while concentrating on hitting instruction. She also served as the recruiting coordinator, academic contact and conditioning coach at GWU.

A 2003 graduate of LSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, Peel has enjoyed a professional career that has included stints with the Akron Racers (2004), New York Juggernauts (2005), Chicago Bandits (2006) and Philadelphia Force (2007).  She currently plays for the Akron Racers.

Peel played at LSU from 1999-2002, where she earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) second-team All-America accolades and was a semi-finalist for USA softball collegiate player-of-the-year as a senior. She was named SEC athlete-of-the-year in 2002 and was also a three-time All-SEC honoree and was selected twice to the All-South regional team. Peel was a 2001 NCAA Region 3 all-tournament team member and a 2002 SEC all-tournament team selection.

As a LSU Tiger, Peel tallied a .323 batting average with 269 hits, 45 doubles and 27 triples, which ranks first in LSU history. As a junior, she led the nation in triples per game and broke the LSU and SEC single-season triples record while ranking fourth in NCAA history with 14.

While at LSU, Peel was a 1999 USA Junior Olympic softball team member and played on the 2001 USA National Red Team. She was also selected to the USA Elite Team in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 SEC player-of-the-year was also a semi-finalist for the USA softball collegiate player-of-the-year award. In 2002, Peel also led the nation in triples per game.

Peel will assume her responsibilities immediately on a part-time basis and permanently when she concludes her professional playing career in August.  She said she looks forward to returning the luster to the Lady Pirates’ program.

“I feel very blessed and thankful for this opportunity to be head coach here at Hampton University,” says Peel.  “I look forward to working hard with our young ladies to make this a championship program.”

Hardy said he is grateful to Gibbons for her three years of service as HU’s head softball coach.

“As I welcome a new coach into our program, I also want to thank Coach Gibbons for assuming the reigns of the program at a difficult time following the passing of Coach Tiny Laster,” said Hardy.  “Coach Gibbons worked hard to build upon the successes of Coach Laster and for that I thank her for her loyalty to her alma mater.”

For more information on the Lady Pirates’ softball program, contact the HU Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5811 or go the www.hamptonpirates.com for the latest on Hampton athletics.

COVERT ACTION: new TV series

Very interesting plot lines.  Yes, the CIA does manipulate its own people, and it does put them in harm’s way, sometimes without giving them a full readout on the situation.  Piper Perabo looks like an 18-year old; she is actually 34 but seems to be playing a CIA trainee just two years or so out of college – which would be a risk the CIA would not usually take, even with her language fluency.  Still, she is bait.  (I remember walking the streets of East Berlin in the old days while someone photographed people behind  me to see who might be tailing, an activity of which I was not informed until later.)  There are enough outside shots of the CIA building, Hotel Washington, Smithsonian etc to lend credibility.  Dialogue very credible and up to date. Had some difficulty with a key scene where the Russian defector is shot by a rifle fired from the building across the street; the building across from the front of the Washington  is the US Treasury.  More difficulty with the cleavage.  While the #2 at CIA might someday be married to the DCI, not likely, and she would not wear blouses cut almost to her navel.  Perabo hasn’t got much cleavage but wears open blouses that tease.  The fact is that there is a dress code at CIA, just like State, and these gals would be called down for their dressing.  (I once had a very well-endowed secretary; guys would hang around outside the door to my office just to watch  her breathe.  Moved  the water cooler and coffee pot away.  If she had opened a couple of buttons like these women on TV we would have needed a respirator.)

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