9-18-10 September 18 Update

SEPTEMBER 18 2010 UPDATE

COLLEGE FALL BALL

MARYLAND WINS TWO IN FALL BALL OPENER

The Terrapins hosted a four-team round robin this weekend at Robert E Taylor Stadium, involving Mt Saint Mary’s (Emmittsburg MD), Howard University (Washington DC), and Louisburg College (Div 1 JC from North Carolina).  While none of the opponents have the credentials of the Terps ACC opponents, the weekend gave a good display of the potential of UM’s 2010-11 team – and some first day problems to address.

The team includes 5 seniors, four of them starters, five juniors, plus 6 sophomores, five starters, and two freshmen.  UM uses a true rotation, junior Kendra Knight and senior Kerry Hickey, both proven winners – plus Hickey wields a powerful bat.  Sophomore Lexi Carroll also pitches, when not playing a capable 3rd base. Freshman Ashley Chesney rounds out the pitching corp.

In keeping with the spirit of pre-season games, Terps coach Laura Watten played the full roster.  Because of injuries, some players were out of their usual positions, which affected fielding.  SPY attended to obtain an early glimpse of the team; SPY anticipates a very competitive ACC season.

Maryland 7, Mount St Mary’s 0.

Kendra Knight pitched the first five innings, in which the Terps built a 7-0 lead; Kerry Hickey pitched the last two innings.  The Terps scored five runs, bottom 1st.  Hard-hitting sophomores Acosta and Mancuso were pivotal, Mancuso driving in three runs with a bases-loaded triple  and scoring on a fielding error.  The final run scored on Hickey’s deep double.  Knight fanned nine.

 Maryland 5, Howard 4 (8)

Game 1 was error-free, but the Terps committed three fielding errors against a very scrappy Howard team, keeping the game close despite Hickey’s 10 Ks.  Maryland led 2-1 after five but Howard scored three top 6th for a brief 4-2  lead.  The Terps tied in the bottom half.  Two runs scored on Branson’s double.  Chesney pitched the 7th and 8th.  In bottom 8th, Galindo tripled with two out, then scored the winning run on Acosta’s rbi.  We were impressed with the alert defense Howard displayed; 1st Carly Martin, a very exuberant person, was joyful afterwards; she thought they played well, having had just one practice – on Friday.  Emily Johnson pitched for Howard.

MSU SOFTBALL OPENS FALL SLATE WITH PAIR OF VICTORIES

STARKVILLE, Miss. –  Mississippi State opened its 2010 fall softball season with a pair of victories over visiting Marion Military Institute Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs swept the doubleheader, winning 17-0 and 16-1 at the MSU Softball Field.  The Bulldogs resume their eight-game fall schedule by hosting Southern Union Community College in another doubleheader Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. There is no admission charge for MSU softball games.

 Game 1: M-State 17, Marion 0

Misty Flesher and Kylie Vry combined to pitch a one-hitter as the Bulldogs cruised to victory in Saturday’s opener. The duo faced two batters above the minimum, as Flesher allowed one hit and Vry walked a batter – each in three inniings.  The Bulldogs broke open a tight game by scoring 10 times in the second inning. In that at-bat, Briana Bell had a two-run triple. Jessica Cooley, Kaili Smith, Samantha Lenahan, Heidi Shape and Chelsea Raines also had run-producing hits in that inning. The Bulldogs sent 16 batters to the plate, totaling 11 hits and also taking advantage of three Marion errors. MSU would later add two scores in the third inning and four more scores in the fifth inning.  For the contest, the Bulldogs totaled 23 hits. Ali Bainbridge, Lenahan and Shape each had four hits to lead the offensive attack. Smith finished with three hits, while Briana Bell and Brittany Gates each added multiple hits. Shape had a team-best three RBIs.

Game 2: M-State 16, Marion 1

 The Bulldogs pounded out 19 hits and pieced together two different five-run innings to complete the doubleheader sweep.  MSU grabbed a 2-0 lead on RBI-singles by Brittany Bell and Courtney Nesbit in the first inning. The lead grew to 7-0 with five scores in the third inning. Brittany Bell slapped a two-run home run in that at-bat. The fifth inning, the Bulldogs’ other five-run inning, also included a two-run blast, with Jessica Cooley this time doing the honors.  Brittany Bell had four hits and four RBIs to pace the M-State attack. Bainbridge added three hits giving her a seven-hit afternoon. Briana Bell, Cooley, Shelby Fisher, Nesbit and Shape each had multiple hits. Starting pitcher Lindsey Dunlap pitched three innings of no-hit softball to garner the victory. Shana Sherrod worked two innings, allowing four hits and one run (earned), while Stephanie Becker completed the contest with two innings of scoreless relief.

 NICOLE AYERS

Steve Feinstein sent the following advisory: 

Nicole played for the East Norriton Heartbreakers in 2007 and the team and coaching staff (including me) is devastated by her loss.  We are coordinating

efforts to collect money for the family to offset the funeral expenses.  

The East Norriton Heartbreakers are coordinating efforts to collect donations for the Ayres Family in their time of need.  For more information or to arrange

a donation, please contact Harry DiBussolo at hjdeagle1@comcast.net.   Or,   link to our website, http://www.eteamz.com/ENHeartbreakers18u with something similar posted

 

THE FUTURE OF THE CHICAGO BANDITS

By John Radtke

(original posting of story at DailyHerald.com)

The plan was a good one, at the time anyway.

Three years ago when the Chicago Bandits moved from Benedictine University in Lisle to Judson University in Elgin, things looked pretty rosy for the fledgling professional fastpitch softball team.

The City of Elgin welcomed Bill Conroy, Bill Sokolis and the Bandits with open arms, and even drew up a plan to have a stadium built on the Spartan Meadows golf course property on the city’s west side. The city spent $750,000 to upgrade Judson’s softball facility, among other things, and it looked like Elgin was going to be the Bandits’ home for years to come.

Now, citing the downturn in the economy as the No. 1 reason, the Bandits have played their last game in Elgin. Many things have transpired as well. The city council’s makeup changed, the Bandits didn’t draw as they had hoped, and the money dried up.

So now Sokolis, who took over sole ownership of the franchise two years ago, will try greener pastures in Rosemont. The proposed location for the stadium is currently a vacant lot on the northwest corner of Bryn Mawr Avenue and Pearl Street.

“The three years in Elgin were fine but I won’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed,” said Sokolis prior to the Bandits’ final home series in Elgin. “We were asked to come there and then we kind of got the rug pulled out from under us.”

One thing Sokolis could never understand was the lack of attendance. While travel softball is strong around Elgin, the Bandits played their games at Judson at the same time as summer travel ball tournaments. The demographics of Elgin didn’t allow much in the way of the casual fan coming out to Judson, where parking was always an issue. After averaging 1,500 per game in Lisle, the Bandits were hard-pressed to average 600 per night in Elgin.

“We were disappointed in the response for ticket sales,” Sokolis said. “We sold out the last three nights but that was because of Jennie Finch’s retirement. Why wouldn’t people respond like that from the beginning? Why did it take Jennie Finch leaving the game? I wish it would have been like that from the beginning – they probably would have built the stadium.”

There were also noise issues in Elgin that Sokolis could never understand.

“The noise thing, for the life of me, I could never figure out,” he said. “The city put in the sound system and tested it and then we had the police department out here telling us it’s too loud.”

While Sokolis and the Bandits leave Elgin disappointed, they don’t leave with anything bad to say about Judson.

“The people at Judson have been just great,” Sokolis said. “They’ve been top notch. But Judson was a temporary situation from the start.”

In Rosemont, the Bandits will be closer to corporate money, closer to O’Hare International Airport and closer to a cross-section of suburbs to attract fans. If the franchise is going to survive, Rosemont might be the last stop. The possibility of Finch being a visible part owner doesn’t hurt either.

“Rosemont, if it would work out, is a great location because it would be the closest the Chicago Bandits would have ever been to Chicago,” Sokolis told the Daily Herald in June when the move was announced. “The mayor of Rosemont has the desire to make Rosemont the mini-Chicago, and sports teams help to do that, so he wants us there as bad as we’d like to be there.”

Judson will continue to reap the benefits of the Bandits’ three years in town. The university keeps a professional quality field, bleachers seating about 1,000 fans, a press box and scoreboard. The university has seen scores of people visit the past three years that may never have done so had the Bandits not come here. Thanks to the updates, Judson has also hosted IHSA supersectional softball games.

But with softball no longer an Olympic sport, and Finch no longer being a marketing avenue as a player, one has to wonder how long the Bandits and the four-team National Pro Fastpitch league can survive, whereever they play.

“The league is fine,” Sokolis maintains. “Attendance is up this year and the league is doing fine.”

What remains to be seen is if the Chicago market will support a pro softball team. Rosemont will now be the next suburb to find out.

THE NPF COLLEGE TOUR

The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) kicked off their “Back to School Tour” this weekend in Memphis and it was a big success. Team NPF is comprised of athletes from all four of the NPF Teams (Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Tennessee Diamonds and USSSA Florida Pride) and includes an accomplished list of competitors.  The first tour stop included the following Team NPF Players from the Akron Players – Jamee Juarez and Kelly Montalvo; Chicago Players – Nicole Pauly, Vicky Galindo, and Rachael Mitchell; Pride Players – Cat Osterman, Sarah Pauly, Megan Willis, Francesca Enea, Charlotte Morgan, Kelly Kretschman, Nicole Trimboli.

“It’s a great feeling to have the Tour off and running in such a positive direction from the opening weekend!  This tour is about exposing new audiences to the excitement of professional softball, promoting goodwill through all levels, and just having some fun with the game.  It was real clear to see at Memphis and Ole Miss, we’re off on the right foot”, stated Commissioner of the NPF- Cheri Kempf.

Team NPF and University of Memphis Softball Team played in conjunction the Gameday Baseball’s first ever softball tournament beginning on Friday September 10th. The two-game match-up with the NPF All-Stars represented an opportunity for the U of M softball program to gain valuable experience against some the best softball players in the world.  The NPF All-Stars also hosted a 200 person clinic on Saturday morning at the Gameday Baseball Complex. Team NPF went onto beat the Memphis Tigers 20-0 and 6-1.

Coach Thees, Head Softball Coach at University of Memphis stated “It was great to see our players turn into gamers today (Saturday). They were really nervous yesterday (Friday). Today, they worked with the NPF All-Stars during the clinic and got to know them a little bit and played more like themselves. Our players came out loose and ready to play softball today. Working with all the kids today, our players wanted to make sure that the kids saw them play the way it is supposed to play.”

In SEC Country, there were many familiar faces to return to play at the Ole Miss Softball Complex as the Team NPF made a tour stop on Sunday afternoon to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in a Fall Exhibition Game.  The NPF All-Stars topped Ole Miss by a final score of 15-0.  In a game featuring some of softball’s best players, Ole Miss dropped an exhibition contest to the National Fast Pitch All-Star team on Sunday by a score of 15-0 in five innings at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

The tour stop made a great impact to the Ole Miss community as the exhibition game broke the Ole Miss attendance record. “This was a great experience for our team,” said Ole Miss head coach Missy Dickerson. “It was great for our team, great for Ole Miss and great for fans of softball. We got to play against some of the best players in the world and the fans really turned out to support this event.”

Former All-American Cat Osterman started in the circle for Team NPF and struck out seven batters in 3.0 innings. She allowed only one hit and did not issue a walk. Senior Brittany Barnhill recorded the only hit off of Osterman for the Rebels in the second on a sharp single back up the middle.

Team NPF jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first with four runs highlighted by a three-run homer to center by outfielder Rachel Mitchell. Team NPF added seven more runs in the third aided by a pair of two-run doubles from left fielder Francesca Enea and shortstop Vicky Galindo. Mitchell paced the All-Stars at the plate with three hits, three runs scored and four RBI, while Galindo added four RBI and Kretschman knocked in three runs.

The NPF “Back To School – College Tour” presented by USSSA will make over 15 stops on college campuses across the United States competing against some of the nation’s best college programs in their fall seasons.  The tour kicked off on Sept. 10 in Memphis, Tenn., and will culminate on Nov. 15 in Daytona Beach, Fla. NPF will make stops at Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri Western, Nebraska, Arizona, New Mexico State, UTEP, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida State, Florida, San Diego State, Texas, and Daytona Beach in the weeks to come

ON DECK SOFTBALL

The Allisters will hold an OnDeck Softball  2010 National Elite Futures Camp October 14 and 15 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA.  “We will have 72 of the top uncommitted players in the 2012, 2013,

2014 classes working out and competing in front of 80+ of the top coaches in the country.”

 NEWS FROM ASA

USOC HONORS

The USA Softball program continued

an impressive streak of recognition from

the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC)

with the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior

Women’s National Team placing second

in the August 2010 Team of the Month

contest, the USOC announced today. The

team’s third baseman Lauren Chamberlain

(Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) also placed

third in the Female Athlete of the Month

category.

The August 2010 honors are in addition

to USA Softball outfielder Alissa Haber

(Newark, Calif.) winning the June 2010

Female Athlete of the Month award, the

Women’s National Team winning the June

2010 Team of the Month award, shortstop

Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif.) winning the

July 2010 Female Athlete of the Month

award and the Women’s National Team

placing third in the July 2010 Team of the

Month voting.

“The future of USA Softball has never

been brighter than it is today. We are

incredibly proud of everything that

our program has done throughout the

summer and congratulate our athletes

for their accomplishments,” said Amateur

Softball Association Executive Director

Ron Radigonda. “In June, our Women’s

National Team won an unprecedented

ninth World Championship and took their

fourth World Cup of Softball title in July.

The 17 members of our Junior Women’s

National Team, each wearing the uniform

for the first time, continued that display

of excellence by going undefeated in the

Junior Women’s World Championship

Qualifier last month. Their victories along

with the recognition from the fans and

the U.S. Olympic Committee proves that

even without the Olympic Games, softball

continues to be the marquee summer

sport. We’re already looking forward to

2011.”

The nominees from USA Softball were

the only junior level athletes to place in

the top three for the month. The USA

Water Polo’s Women’s National Team

took the top team honor by winning the

2010 FINA World Cup gold medal for the

first time in 31 years with a 6-3 defeat

of Australia. Chamberlain was topped

by Paralympian Allison Jones (Colorado

Springs, Colo.), who won the Para-Cycling

World Championship, and USA Water

Polo’s goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong (Ann

Arbor, Mich.), who had 58 saves at the

World Cup.

 

ASA HOSTING FALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Panama City Beach is the place

to be in October as Florida ASA

will be hosting the first ever

Amateur Softball Association

(ASA) Fall National Championship

October 16-17, 2010, at the Frank

Brown Complex. Teams in six

divisions will be competing on six

fields for over $36,000 in prizes.

To register for the tournament,

go to the Florida ASA website

(www.playasa.org) and fill out

the online form. The deadline to

register is October 8. Entrie fees

range from $275-$500.

The classifications contested:

Men’s Class A/B Division (six home

runs then one up); Men’s Class

C (four home runs then an out);

Men’s Class D (two home runs

then an out); Men’s Class E/Rec

(zero home runs then a half inning

ending out); Women’s and Co-Ed

Class D.

 

 

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