AUGUST 8 UPDATE
ESPN RISE NATIONAL SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Premier tournament begins Monday with pool play at three sites.
For game statistics and tracking:
ESPN Rise distributed this advisory:
Please note that the HS Division Championship game will be featured on ESPNU this Saturday, August 14th.
The championship game time will be 7:00pm CST and it will air LIVE on ESPNU.
Also, all of the games in the tournament can be followed on iScore. You will be able to see every game online as well as stats on your players throughout the tournament. Below is the link:
ASA GOLD ORDER OF FINISH
The official order of finish has been published on www.spysoftball.org. ASA uses pdf for this type file, which is incompatible with SPY’s software.
NATIONAL PRO FASTPITCH
Bandits Spoil Racers’ Regular Season Finale
Bandits Take Rubber Match, 7-5 to earn Series Win
AKRON, Ohio (August 8, 2010) – Akron and Chicago battled back and forth throughout today’s game however it was the Bandits who prevailed 7-5 to spoil the Racers’ regular season home finale at Firestone Stadium.
With the series victory, Chicago (26-14) builds its lead atop the National Pro Fastpitch standings up to three and a half games while Akron (22-17) remains in second place with today’s defeat.
Nikki Nemitz (7-2), who earned her second consecutive win in relief work this series held the Racers scoreless while allowing just three hits, striking out two batters in four innings. Brittany Weil (0-2) worked two and a third innings in relief and gave up three runs on as many hits to take the loss.
Offensively, Courtney Bures finished the day 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored while Mackenzie Vandergeest was 2-for-3 with three RBI to pace the Racers who finished with nine hits, outhitting the Bandits, who finished with eight, including three homers.
The Bandits staked an early lead when Rachel Folden hit her second homer in as many days for her 10th blast on the season to put the Bandits ahead 1-0 in the first inning. A frame later, Vandergeest drove a two-RBI double to right center, plating Bures who singled and Sharonda McDonald who reached on a fielder’s choice to give Akron the 2-1 lead. Racers’ starter Taryne Mowatt ran into trouble in the third when she issued walks to Amber Patton and Folden before Samantha Findlay singled to load the bases. Angela Findlay then picked up the RBI walk to tie the game and chase Mowatt from the mound as Weil entered in relief. An out later, Emily Friedman put the Bandits ahead on a sac-fly RBI to take a 3-2 lead over the Racers.
With Weil holding the Bandits scoreless in the fourth, Akron got to work in the home half of the frame, plating three runs on five hits to reclaim the lead. Bures led off with a double to left, McDonald singled and Vandergeest drove the lead runner in on a sharp single down the left field line. Jackie Pasquerella battled back from an 0-2 hole to work the count full before depositing a two-RBI double into right to put Akron up, 5-3.
The Bandits—who lead the league in home runs, put on a hitting clinic in the fifth as Angela Findlay crushed a one-out solo shot to center. Vicky Galindo singled prior to Friedman’s two-run blast to left field, giving the Bandits a 6-3 edge as Weil was lifted in favor of team workhorse Lisa Norris. Caitlin Lever drove a single up the middle and stole second base but Norris got the next tow batters to fly out to left and line out to third to retire the side with the Bandits ahead by one, 6-5. Chicago added one run in the seventh on a two-out Stacy May RBI single which scored Friedman who led off with a walk.
The Racers begin a two-week road trip with stints at the Tennessee Diamonds (August 12-15) before facing the USSSA Pride (August 19-22) to close out the regular season. Akron then heads to Sulphur, La. August 24-29 for the NPF Championship Series.
Pride vs. Diamonds Game Called Due to Heavy Thunderstorms
Kissimmee, Fla. – After a two hour rain delay, the USSSA Florida Pride took on the Tennessee Diamonds at UCF Softball Complex for the fourth game in this weekend’s series. However, after only one and a half innings, the game was called on a count of rain
For the first time in this series, it was the Tennessee Diamonds who struck first when Amanda Williams, the second batter in the contest, laced a solo home-run past the center field wall. They continued their lead through the top of second when four consecutive base hits drove in Angeline Quiocho, who had reached on a single, on a single from Loryn Johnson. A strike-out issued to Williams gave the Diamonds two outs on the inning before heavy storms began to hit the area.
The Pride will travel to Round Rock, Tex. next weekend to take on the Chicago Bandits in a five game series.
Bandits Outslug Racers in 5-2 Win
Bandits Even Series with Game Two Victory
AKRON, Ohio (August 7, 2010) – The Chicago Bandits bounced back from a gut-wrenching loss in game one to outslug the Akron Racers in game two, earning the 6-2 win at Firestone Stadium this evening. The victory improves the Bandits to 25-14 on the year, pushing their lead to two and a half games in the National Pro Fastpitch standings while Akron drops to 22-16 to remain in second place.
Bandits’ rookie Nikki Nemitz (6-2) earned the win in seven full innings, limiting the Racers to just five hits and two earned runs with one strikeout recorded. Jamee Juarez (6-9) took the loss, working seven innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits while fanning eight batters.
Akron took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Jackie Pasquerella singled and then scored on Samatha Ricketts’ two-out RBI double to right. The Bandits responded quickly however, tallying a run atop the second after a two-bag Akron error resulted in Vicky Galindo reaching second while Samantha Findlay scored, having reached on a walk to start the inning. Juarez then worked quickly, getting a strikeout and a fielder’s choice to end the threat, stranding a pair in scoring position.
Chicago capitalized early with help from the long ball to establish a significant 4-1 lead, scoring three more runs in the third. With two outs Findlay’s 11th homer of the season—a two run shot to left also scored Stacy May who led off with a single. Caitlin Lever reached base on an error and then stole second before scoring on Nemitz’s single to left center.
Both teams were scoreless in the fourth, giving way to the fifth where Rachel Folden crushed her ninth home run of the season to the 300 FT fence in right center, making it a 5-1 ballgame in the Bandits’ favor. Micaela Minner blasted her fourth homer of the season to dead center in the home half of the fifth to break a three-inning scoring drought for the Racers and cut the Bandit’s lead to 5-2. In the seventh, Chicago got the bats going once more using consecutive singles from Amber Patton and Folden to put a pair on before Lever’s two-out RBI single drove a run in to put the Bandits up 6-2 for good.
The series finale and final regular season home game for Akron is scheduled tomorrow (Sunday, August 8) at 2:05 p.m. For more information or tickets, visit www.akronracers.org or call 330-376-8188.
USSSA Florida Pride Cinch Series against Tennessee Diamonds in a 9-1 Win
Kissimmee, Fla. – As the rain cleared over Central Florida, the USSSA Florida Pride took to the UCF Softball Complex to face off against the Tennessee Diamonds for the third game of a four game series. Sarah Pauly worked well in the circle, allowing only one run on five hits, walking only two and striking out five and secured the win for the Pride in a 9-1 victory.
For the third night in a row, the Pride drew first blood. Kelly Kretschman, who had reached on a single, came across the plate first after two consecutive walks from Diamonds pitcher Becca Heteniak. A dropped third strike on Francesca Enea’s at-bat scored Charlotte Morgan, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. A foul-out from Megan Willis retired the side.
The home team continued their lead in the bottom of the third when Jessica Mendoza, who led-off the inning with a single, scored the third run of the inning on a single from Tonya Callahan. A single from Andrea Duran followed and drove in Charlotte Morgan, who had reached on a walk. Francesca Enea stepped up next and laced a hit to the left field gap, driving in two more runs from Callahan and Duran. A fourth consecutive single from Willis, the fifth of the inning, scored Karli Hubbard, on to pinch run for Enea. After a sacrifice bunt from Lauren Lappin, the Pride was in position to score again with Willis on second, but she was thrown out on a scoring attempt on a Watley single. Kretschman followed, reaching on a single and scoring Watley. The inning closed on a line to first from Mendoza but not before the Pride had secured itself an eight run lead.
The Pride’s ninth run of the contest was scored in the bottom of the fourth on a walk from Willis, scoring Jessica Williams. Two outs followed to retire the side.
The Diamonds scored their lone run off of a triple from Chelsea Spencer, driving across Jenna Rhodes who led off the inning a double, ripping a ball to just inside the center field wall. The side closed on a strike-out from DeDe Justice.
The game ended in a 9-1 victory for the Pride, pushing the home team to a 3-0 lead on the series and putting them only one game behind second place in the NPF standings.
The two teams will go head-to-head for the final time this weekend tomorrow afternoon at 12:05 pm.
NCAA AUGUST 5 LETTER TO UMPIRES
I have heard that several of you have concerns/questions about the recent changes in the Softball Umpire Improvement Program. I apologize this information was not more timely to help ease your concerns but the original agreed upon schedule called for a different timeline which would have allowed me to have a few more of these details finalized.
Nonetheless, here are some of the details which might answer a few of your questions…
First of all, a little about who I am…I am one of four championships directors with oversight responsibility for all NCAA Division I Championships, have been with the NCAA for 20 years and have had the opportunity to oversee the DI softball championship for the past 8 years. I coordinate all aspects of NCAA softball, the most publically visible responsibilities being oversight of the SUIP, the 64 team DI championship and especially the Women’s College World Series. In addition, I am the liaison to the DI Softball Committee and the NCAA contact with the NFCA. One of my most recent responsibilities will be to coordinate and oversee this transition and the search process.
I appreciate everything Kathy (and Emily and Ed) have done for the umpire improvement program and certainly there are several accomplishments we can attribute to their time, effort and dedication to the program.
Along with an experienced transition team, I am now beginning the process of hiring a national coordinator. The Division I Softball Committee and Softball Rules Committee will be overseeing the hiring process and we will be working on an aggressive timeline so as to not miss a beat.
The job description is being updated and the program strategic plan is being refined so that the candidates will have a full understanding of the scope of the job as well as the expectations. The NCAA hired a consultant a number of months ago to review the officiating programs (all sports) and that report is due next week. I will be waiting to finalize both of these documents until after the results of the review.
Please rest assured we will get an excellent person who will not only continue the good work established by others but will lead the SUIP forward in meeting the goals and objectives of the NCAA, championships competition and the expectations of the umpires.
The exact program structure is still to be determined but since this is the program that will identify, observe, train and select umpires for postseason competition, you can anticipate a national coordinator, several advisors and multiple observers at the regional or local levels. There is no doubt that many of the same observers and evaluators will once again be asked to assist with the program; however, those details will not be ironed out until a later date.
To keep on schedule for the 2010-2011 season, the CCA Softball Umpires Manual is currently being updated. The SUIP staff made the initial edits and provided me with a document outlining all the changes to ensure the new manual will be accurately completed on time. In addition, updates and upgrades will continue to be made on the ArbiterSports website in anticipation of the 2011 season. This site will continue to be a primary source of information for conference assigners/coordinators as well as registered umpires such as you.
I appreciate the network that exist within the umpire community and although I have tried to be inclusive, please do not hesitate to pass this on to your fellow umpires. I value your support and with your help, we can look forward to continued expansion and improvement of the SUIP and regaining the momentum of collegiate softball.
While we navigate through the transition and changes are made, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns or issues.
All the best!