7-28-10 July 28 Update

JULY 28 2010 UPDATE

DANIELLE LAWRIE JOINS PRIDE

Kissimmee, Fla. – Danielle Lawrie is perhaps one of the most decorated pitchers in the country, or better yet, the world. A recent graduate of the University of Washington, where she was the school’s first Canadian born player, Lawrie led the Huskies to the 2009 Women’s College World Series Title and won back-to-back NCAA Player of the Year awards in 2009 and 2010, being the only Canadian athlete to do so. She has made a name for herself on an international level, playing for the Canadian National Team in various capacities for the past six years. Now, Lawrie hopes to add another title to her belt as she joins the National Professional Fastpitch League to play with the USSSA Florida Pride as a member of their 2010 roster.

Lawrie will be joining the ranks of fellow Olympians Andrea Duran, Kelly Kretschman, Lauren Lappin, Caitlin Lowe, Jessica Mendoza, and Natasha Watley and will come on to a pitching staff that boasts Olympic gold and silver medalist Cat Osterman, NPF all-time win leader Sarah Pauly, and NPF single season win leader Desiree Serrano.

Prior to graduation in 2010, Lawrie racked up a significant number of accolades in her time as a Husky. Beyond those aforementioned, Lawrie was named the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and was recognized as a Honda Award Winner, an ESPY nominee, and the 2009 WCWS Most Outstanding Player. Lawrie currently holds Washington career records in wins, strikeouts, shutouts, appearances, starts, complete games and innings. She is second all-time in Pac-10 career strikeouts and sixth in NCAA history and holds the Pac-10 records for most Player of the Week honors in a career and season.

As a member of the Canadian National Team, Lawrie represented Canada in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China where she made three appearances and pitched twelve innings. In her first Olympic appearance, she led Canada to a 9-2 victory over the Netherlands, striking out four in four innings of work and allowing just one run on two hits.

Lawrie is set to join the USSSA Florida Pride at the end of July when they take on the Chicago Bandits in a five game series at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The series is set to take place from July 29 – Aug. 1, with the opening game slated to begin at 7:05 pm.

(The Pride press release did not mention that Osterman suffered a partial terror in a biceps tendon and could not pitch during the KFC World Cup.  Cat told SPY she may not be able to pitch the remainder of the year, including the NPF championship.)

NATIONAL PRO FASTPITCH

Racers Set To Kick-Off Homestand against Diamonds
Five-Game Set For July 29-August 1

AKRON, Ohio (July 28, 2010) – The Akron Racers will look to make a push in the National Pro Fastpitch standings with the second-to-last homestand of the season, starting tomorrow (Thursday, July 29 at 7:05 p.m.) when the Tennessee Diamonds come to town for a five-game.  In addition to Thursday’s meeting, the squads will face off on Friday at 7:05 pm before a 7:35 p.m. contest Saturday. The five-game slate ends with Sunday’s doubleheader scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m.

The Racers enter the series with a 17-14 record overall and are currently third in the National Pro Fastpitch standings. The Racers took two out of three games against the first place Chicago Bandits. On the verge of being swept, the Bandits strung together a six-run sixth inning to avoid the brooms and take the series finale, 8-6.

Lead off hitter Lisa Modglin (.260, 26 hits, 14 RBI) is swinging a hot stick and currently leads the team with 26 hits while Crystl Bustos (.333, 20 hits, nine RBI) leads the team in on-base percentage (.479) and batting average (.333). Samantha Ricketts (.238, 20 hits, 16 RBI) paces the squad with 16 runs driven in and four home runs. As a team the Racers are batting .239 with 203 hits and 100 RBI.

In the circle, Lisa Norris (10-3) became the first NPF pitcher this season to reach 10 wins, with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Bandits. She ranks second in the league with 82 strikeouts and third with a 1.88 earned run average. Jamee Jaurez (5-7) has thrown some impressive innings for Akron, amassing 68 strikeouts, limiting opposition to a .209 batting average, fifth-best in the league.

The Tennessee Diamonds (8-23) record might suggest they’re a bit rough around the edges but don’t be fooled, this team’s awash with talent. With USA National team standout and Olympic silver medalist Monica Abbott in the circle, the Diamonds have already handed the Racers two losses this season, one of them a 1-0 extra-inning heartbreaker.

Offensively pitcher and power hitter Megan Gibson (.289, 22 hits, nine RBI) leads the team with 22 hits, five homers and is also second on the team with three wins. Jenna Rhodes (.263, 21 hits, two RBI) is tied for the lead with five stolen bases and ranks third with seven walks on the 2010 campaign. NPF veteran Chelsea Spencer (.207, 19 hits, 11 RBI) paces the club with 11 runs batted in and is second with four homers and as many stolen bases this year. The team enters the series with a .211 batting average, including 164 hits and 63 RBI.

Pitching-wise, Abbott (5-4) is the go-to on the staff though Gibson (3-7) and Kristin Erb (0-6) have handled their fair share of duties in the Olympian’s absence. Abbott leads not only the team, but also the league with an impressive 100 strikeouts in nine complete games and 70 innings pitched to go along with her team and league-low 0.50 ERA. The Tennessee staff itself enters the five-game stretch with a 3.06 ERA having given up 147 runs on 224 hits.

BANDITS COME-BACK WIN OVER RACERS
Bandits Evade Sweep with 8-6 Victory in Series Finale
Chicago Mounts Six-Run Comeback To Win

AKRON, Ohio (July 26, 2010) – The Bandits’ ability to hit the long ball helped them evade a series sweep as they overcame five errors in the field and a four-run deficit to defeat the Racers, 8-6 at Firestone Stadium tonight.  The back-and-forth slugfest, which featured a combined five home runs eventually culminated with a six-run Bandit sixth inning which the Racers were unable to recover from.
The win improves the first place Bandits to 20-12, building their league lead back to two games while the Racers fall to 17-14 and slide into third place.

Nikki Nemitz (4-2) registered the win from the bullpen in two innings of work, surrendering just one unearned run on a hit, striking out one Racer while Kristina Thorson earned her second save of the year in two scoreless innings. Jamee Juarez (5-7) was saddled with the tough-luck loss in seven complete, giving up eight runs (five earned) on nine hits, she also struck out three.

For the second time this series, the Bandits’ lead off batter in Stacy May put the visitors in front on a solo home run—her league-leading 10th shot but poor defensive play from her team, squandered the early advantage.  In the bottom of the first, Lisa Modglin reached second on a May throwing error before scoring on a Jess Valis single and Emily Friedman fielding error as the second baseman failed to hang onto May’s quick release. The ensuing play saw Samantha Ricketts single to right but Angela Findlay misplayed the ball and enabled Valis to score from third, giving the Racers a 2-1 lead.

The Bandit home run power was again on display in the fourth when Angela Findlay crushed her fourth homer of the year on a line shot to right to tie the game but it would again be for naught when the Racers came to bat.   Akron managed four runs in the fourth to build a 6-2 lead. Micaela Minner led off with a solo home run to put the Racers back in front before Mackenzie Vandergeest walked and Jackie Pasquerella punched a single into center. Nemitz, on in relief of starter Jessica Sallinger, got the next batter to strikeout before May’s second error of the contest let Valis reach first while pinch runner Clare Burnum scored. A wild pitch scored Pasquerella and Crsytl Bustos’ RBI single to left drove in Akron’s fourth run.

A pair of Racer errors extended the sixth inning for the Bandits, paving the way for a six-run inning to erase Akron’s two-run lead. Nemitz singled and Friedman reached on a fielder’s choice before Chicago slugger Rachel Mitchell clubbed a two-out two-run homer to bring the Bandits within two. Errors on Valis and Montalvo allowed May and Amber Patton to reach base before Bandit powerhouse Rachel Folden cleared the bases on a homer to left field, putting the Bandits ahead, 8-6.

Thorson came in and closed the door across the final frames without allowing a hit. Akron’s only baserunners came in the sixth on a Bandit error and fielder’s choice in the sixth.

Bandits Golf Classic & Harley Prize

The 2010 Harley-Davidson Rocker FXCWC will be the prize if a lucky golfer can sink a hole-in-one on the 11th hole at the Bandits Golf Classic

ELGIN – The Chicago Bandits have announced that a 2010 Harley-Davidson Rocker FXCWC (pictured) will be up for grabs  at the August 17 Chicago Bandits’ Golf Classic.

The motorcycle, priced at a retail value of $19,844, will be offered as a prize for anyone that can sink a hole-in-one on the 11th hole at the Marengo Ridge Golf Club, the site for the Chicago Bandits Golf Classic.

“I’m extremely thrilled that [Harley-Davidson] wants to be a part of our golf outing,” said Hannah Michal, the director of partnerships, marketing & promotions for the Chicago Bandits.  “I know that females are a growing market for them, so it’s great to partner with them and help both avenues.”

The Harley-Davidson is just one of a plethora of prizes, including a Paul Konerko autographed bat, premier tickets to the Chicago Wolves among other teams, and a new set of Warrior Custom Golf wedges, being featured at the Classic.

Chicago Bandits’ general manager, Aaron Moore, hopes that this new addition to an already great stock of prizes will attract more fans to the outing.

2010 Elite NFCA College Showcase

Order of Finish
1 OK Jitterbugs Gold
2 OK Original Ultimate Gold
3 Texas Stix Gold
3 Texas Glory Hart
4 American Freedom Gold Soefje
4 Texas Elite Kuss
4 Dallas Mustangs
4 Kansas Blue Ice
5 Texas Elite Gold Bancroft
5 Texas Fury Wyatt
5 Bad Attitude
5 Corpus Christi Panthers
5 Kansas Wichita Wave
5 Lady Stros Gold
5 Texas Glory Combs
5 American Liberty Kruzers
6 KS Diamond Devils
6 Lindale Heat
6 OK Exclusive Gold
6 Virginia Rowdies Gold
6 Arkansas Lady Titans
6 Mystixx Gold
6 McKinney Fireballs
6 American Freedom McClasky

Winner vs Loser & Score

Am. Freedom Gold vs LV Blast 6-2

TX Elite Easton Gold Bell vs Athletics 3-0

Am. Freedom Gold vs Tx Elite Easton Gold Bell 3-0

Bad Attitude Gold vs Lethal Weapon Gold 3-2

TX Elite Easton Gold Bell vs LV Blast 4-3

Lethal Weapon Gold vs Athletics 3-3

Athletics vs Am. Freedom Gold 3-3

TX Elite Easton Gold Bell vs Lethal Weapon Gold 5-2

Am. Freedom Gold vs Lethal Weapon Gold 1-0

Bad Attitude Gold vs Athletics 5-0

Athletics vs LV Blast 4-0

TX Elite Easton Gold Bell vs Bad Attitude Gold 3-3

LV Blast Gold vs Lethal Weapon Gold 2-2

Am. Freedom Gold vs Bad Attitude Gold 7-1

LV Blast Gold vs Bad Attitude Gold 4-1

LA United Gold vs VA Rodies Gold 2-1

TX Elite Easton Gold Bancroft vs FW Batbusters Gold 2-0

FW Batbusters Gold Card vs VA Rowdies Gold 8-4

TX Stix Gold vs Alvin No Fear Gold 7-5

FW Batbusters Gold vs LA United Gold 7-3

TX Elite Easton Gold Bancroft vs Alvin No Fear Gold 4-3

VA Rowdies Gold vs TX Elite Easton Gold Bancroft 1-1

FW Batbusters Gold vs Alvin No Fear Gold 8-1

Alvin No Fear Gold vs VA Rowdies Gold 6-2

TX Stix Gold vs TX Elite Easton Gold Bancroft 2-1

TX Elite Easton Gold Bancroft vs LA United 3-1

TX Stix Gold vs FW Batbusters Gold 6-2

Alvin No Fear Gold vs LA Unied Gold 7-3

VA Rowdies Gold vs TX Stix Gold 5-4

TX Stix Gold vs LA United Gold 6-2

UNSIGNED SENIORS & COMMITMENTS

OC Hawks 18 Gold unsigned seniors! nrprice@verizon.net

Carissa Price 2011 SS/OF Redlands East Valley HS ACT 22 SAT 1620 GPA 3.16. Major biology

Katie Sutherland 2011 OF Los Alamitos HS 3.2 Honors program. Major Teacher Education

Melinda Robertson 2011 Pitcher/SS San Fernando High School.  SAT 1475 GPA 3.3

Jazzmin Jones 2011 OF/Catcher Mojave HS. GPA 3.0. Major Medical

Sarah Little 2011 of Villa Park High School has committed to play at Elon Phoenix next year. Sarah has played in the OC Hawks organization for the last years. Sarah leads her school and travel ball team in batting average and home runs.

FALL MIDWEST SHOWCASE
The Mid-West Fall Signature Showcase will be held for the 2nd year this October 1-3 in Columbus Ohio.  teams from Ohio, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana entered. www.signatureshowcases.com

FICO LEADS BRAKETTES
By Jim Fuller, Register Staff
jfuller@newhavenregister.com

STRATFORD — During the 33 seasons John Stratton has been affiliated with the Brakettes softball dynasty, he has been entrusted with the development of some of the best pitchers ever to step inside the circle.

Stratton can count former Olympians Lisa Fernandez, Lori Harrigan and Danielle Henderson and Hall of Famers Barbara Reinalda and Kathy Arendsen among his former pupils, but it is the legendary Joan Joyce whom Stratton views as the gold standard.

As a Stratford native, Stratton was on hand for many of Joyce’s most glorious achievements with the Brakettes and more recently had a successful stint as a pitching coach on Joyce’s staff at Florida Atlantic University. Rarely does he ever mention Joyce when discussing his latest prodigies. So when he gave 19-year-old Oxford native Rachele Fico the greatest compliment of her young life, his words carry a hefty wallop.

“She reminds me of Joan Joyce,” Stratton said of his current ace pitcher on a Brakettes team which went into the weekend on a 42-game winning streak. “The fact that the other day she threw a perfect game and I said, ‘Here’s the game ball.’ She said, ‘Ah, I don’t keep those.’ Joan Joyce never kept those things, no-hitters and trophies.

“She takes this game real serious. She is a super student on the mound. She is kind of cool, calm and collected out there. She doesn’t get rattled, and she is very honest with herself. When she blows a pitch, she blows a pitch, and she is going to be the first to admit it.

“She is not a head case, like a lot of pitchers, and everything I show her, she takes it right in. She understands it, and she can teach everybody else the same thing. I’ll guarantee you, in the next (three) years, she is going to win a national title. If they get some hitters down at LSU, they will win a national title, because she is tough.”

Fico burst into prominence at the 2005 Amateur Softball Association Major National Fast Pitch Tournament when as a 14-year-old about a month from enrolling as a freshman at Masuk High, she pitched the Stratford Breakers to a surprising fifth-place finish.

Opposing batters probably wished that Fico was spending the summer at LSU.

Heading into the weekend, Fico was undefeated (24-0) with an 0.38 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 148 innings, even though she spent much of the summer learning to throw a riseball, changeup and slow curveball as she continuously looks to improve.

With the Brakettes having lost talented collegiate pitchers Sara Plourde and Whitney Canion to hip and arm injuries, respectively, Fico has been asked to shoulder the pitching load in her first full season with the Brakettes.

Fico will get some assistance at the Women’s Major Softball National Championship, which starts Thursday at Frank Biondi Field in West Haven, when pitchers Donna Bourgeois and Erin Gallagher rejoin the squad, but Fico figures to see plenty of action in the four-day tournament.

Having a team rely on her gifted right arm is nothing new for Fico. She graduated from Masuk in 2009 as one of the most heralded Connecticut high school female athletes in history. She set national records with 26 perfect games and 10 consecutive no-hitters and ranked in the top three in the national record book with 47 no-hitters, 95 shutouts and 26 consecutive strikeouts. Her final numbers were a staggering 105-3 record, 0.07 ERA and 1,884 strikeouts in 775 innings in leading Masuk to a pair of state titles.

MISCELLANEOUS

At Natasha Watley’s suggestion, each member of Team USA wore one of Jennie Finch’s trademark head bands during the KFC World Cup.  Online Sports sells them. www.ondecksports.com

A new photo album has been posted on the Maddogs Fastpitch Softball website.
To see the new photos, follow the link below and look in the Albums page:
http://www.eteamz.com/OHIOmaddogsoftball/index.cfm?subsite=5037935

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