OCTOBER 11 UPDATE
LATEST ON OLYMPICS
Baseball, Softball Meet with Major League Baseball
10/10/2012 press release
(ATR) President Riccardo Fraccari tells Around the Rings the International Baseball Federation is highly confident its bid for Olympic reinstatement will promise “strong representation of the best players” following key meetings with Major League Baseball.
“We have an excellent working relationship with MLB, based on trust and mutual respect,” says the Italian.“Both of us want to find realistic and feasible solutions that are good for us and the Olympic Movement.”
Fraccari, interviewed Wednesday by ATR, is fresh off a visit to MLB headquarters in New York City for talks with Robert Manfred, Executive Vice President, Economics & League Affairs; Paul Archey, Senior VP of International Business Operations; and other senior officials.
IBAF is seeking assurances from MLB – as provided in 2009 for baseball’s failed 2016 bid – that some players would be released for 2020, a guarantee thought essential to the bid’s success.
Asked how many players he believes is enough to satisfy IOC Executive Board members, Fraccari says there’s no magic number.
“I feel we have a common objective to ensure that the national teams have an opportunity to select some of their best players,” he tells ATR. “With the support of MLB, as well as the other well-developed professional leagues in Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Australia, we believe that can be achieved.”
Fraccari announced last month the IBAF is proposing a six-day competition for the Olympics – down from the 10-day tournaments staged from 1992 to 2008 – to better the chances MLB will break for the Games.
Baseball – together in a joint bid with softball – is competing against karate, roller sports, wakeboard, wushu, sport climbing and squash for what will likely be just one open spot on the 2020 program.
After presentations to the IOC’s Program Commission in late December, the EB will add another to the fray in February when an existing Olympic sport gets cut.
EB members meet again in May on the sidelines of SportAccord in St. Petersburg, Russia to decide which of the eight then gets recommended to the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013 for confirmation.
Merger Moves Ahead
In the meantime, baseball has plenty of work to do if its merger with softball is to materialize.
Also included in last week’s talks with MLB was Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation. In the same conference room, only minutes after MLB officials left, he and Fraccari signed a Memorandum of Understanding to manage the ongoing merger of their IFs.
Now the IBAF is soliciting opinions from its member federations regarding a possible postal vote to approve the joint bid, and the ISF is organizing an extraordinary congress Oct. 30 in Houston to decide whether to move forward with baseball.
“The response from our national federations indicates there will be sufficient numbers for a quorum at our Special Congress,” Porter tells ATR.
“And to this point, the meetings in New York have allowed us again to build on the trust and confidence between our IFs and reconfirm to us and all of our members that we are moving forward together for the sake of our athletes and to be in a position to consolidate and offer more to the Olympic Movement.”
Asked whether the IBAF retains a realistic shot at Olympic reinstatement should softball sever the joint bid and baseball be forced to pitch its women’s discipline, Fraccari demurs.“We are focused solely on working together and don’t see any reason, as this stage, to consider any alternatives.”
Pressed to what degree it’s now or never for baseball at the Games, he focuses solely on the current bid cycle.“Being off the Olympic Program has given the international baseball community the chance to recognize the importance and value of participating in the Games, but it has also forced us to adapt and continue to develop,” he tells ATR.
“As seen from the elite-youth level events starting with the 12U to our professional level events, our sport has continued to grow and prosper outside the program, but being back in the Games would significantly enhance and accelerate that path. At the same time we bring a universal and passionate worldwide community, which we think will help grow and strengthen the Olympic Movement long-term. That’s our sole focus for the time being.”
Both the IBAF and ISF must receive the decisions of their member federations by the time of their presentation to the IOC on Dec. 19 or 20
Baseball and softball shared a booth at SportAccord 2012 in Quebec City. (ATR)
That’s because a joint candidacy from baseball and softball faces an additional deadline above and beyond those for the other six sports.
A new, merged international federation would need to hold a congress – complete with elections – in sufficient time prior to SportAccord for reports to be supplied to the EB.
In addition to nominating a sport to recommend to the IOC Session, the EB would also be deciding whether to recommend that the new IF be recognized.
To win Olympic reinstatement, then, baseball and softball would need both votes in St. Petersburg and both votes in Buenos Aires. Written by Matthew Grayson
Gamecocks Battle But Fall vs. NPF All-Stars, 8-2
Junior second baseman Dana Hathorn hits an inside-the-park home run for the
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the third-consecutive year, the South Carolina
Gamecocks faced off against the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) All-Stars in an
exhibition, but it was a tighter game, with the NPF squad taking an 8-2 win on
Thursday night in front of 560 fans at the Pine Grove Complex.
The Gamecocks got an inside-the-park home run from junior second baseman Dana
Hathorn in the sixth, while sophomore first baseman Olivia Lawrence added a
triple. Redshirt senior Kelley Dillon and junior Ashlyn Masters also had hits
for South Carolina. Kelly Kretschman led the NPF team with a 3-for-4 night with
a double and five RBI. Charlotte Morgan had a homer as well for the pros.
Kretschman got the all-stars on the board in the third with a two-RBI single,
scoring Ashley Charters and Jenn Salling after the duo led off the frame with
hits. Salling scored again in the fourth after a bunt single, two errors that
let her reach third and GiOnna DeSalvatore’s sacrifice fly.
South Carolina got a run back in the bottom of the fifth when Lawrence placed
one over the leftfielder’s head and raced to third for a one-out triple. Dillon
stepped up and put down a bunt, beating it out while Lawrence scored on the
But the NPF All-Stars posted four in the sixth, with DiSalvator driving in
another run on a fielder’s choice. A walk to Morgan loaded the bags for
Kretschman, who found the gap in left center to clear the loaded bases.
In the bottom of the sixth, Hathorn sent one over the leftfielder’s glove that
rolled all the way to the temporary wall, allowing her to complete the
Freshman Katie Marks struck out four in four innings of work, giving up two
earned runs on five hits and a walk in the start. Redshirt senior Audrey Broyles
shut down the pros in her 1.2 innings of work, fanning two while not allowing a
baserunner. Kristina Thorson scored the win for the all-stars, giving up two
earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out seven.
Gamecock freshman left fielder Alaynie Page impressed the onlookers in the
field, making a nice over-the-shoulder catch at one point while also throwing a
strike to the plate to hold Salling at third on what could have been a sacrifice
Postgame, both teams signed autographs for the dozens of youth players in
attendance. Many of those players will return on Saturday for a clinic with the
The Gamecocks close their fall campaign this weekend at Appalachian State.
Softball Shuts Out McNeese State
BATON ROUGE – Rachele Fico and Ashley Czechner fired a pair of three-hit shutouts as the LSU softball team secured 7-0 and 3-0 victories over McNeese State Tuesday at Tiger Park.
Fico was dominant and totaled 10 strikeouts. The senior right-hander fired in 16-of-26 first pitch strikes and allowed only five balls to leave the infield.
Czechner collected four Ks. She worked her way out of jams with multiple base runners during the first and five innings, respectively.
“I thought the pitchers were solid,” head coach Beth Torina said. “It’s a good day on the mound anytime you can get back-to-back shutouts. Offensively, I was pleased with the number of quality at-bats that we had especially in the first game. We know there are things that we still need to work on, but I thought they were areas where the players made adjustments from the weekend to the doubleheader. That’s the type of learning and development that we want to see during the fall season.”
During game one, LSU loaded the bases in the third inning. Kellsi Kloss, Sandra Simmons and Simone Heyward set the table with a trio of singles. With two outs, Rikki Alcaraz belted a grand slam over the right centerfield fence on a 2-2 offering to give the Tigers a 4-0 advantage.
Simmons and Heyward connected singles again during the fifth inning. This time it was Bianka Bell who cleared the bases with a three-run dinger that went halfway up the left field berm for the final margin of 7-0.
LSU jumped on the Cowgirls with a two-run first inning to open the second game. Jacee Blades knocked a one-out single to right field, while Kailey McCasland drew a walk and Bell was hit-by-a-pitch to fill the bases. Tammy Wray added another walk and Dylan Supak platted a run on a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers a 2-0 edge.
LSU tacked on an insurance run during the fourth inning. Wray delivered a leadoff line drive single to centerfield and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Supak reached on a throwing error to place runners on the corners. Kloss connected for a RBI-single to left field on the first pitch of the at-bat to extend LSU’s lead to the final margin of 3-0.
LSU continues its fall season Friday with a single-game against Nicholls State. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., and admission is free to all fall contests at Tiger Park.
TENNESEE SOFTBALL GOES 4-FOR-4 TO OPEN FALL PLAY
Tennessee Fall Classic Is Oct. 13-14 at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium
Oct. 9, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – JuniorMelissa Davin enjoyed a monster weekend at the plate, going 10-for-16 with seven RBI, and the Tennessee softball team opened 2012 fall play with four victories in four road games. UT played one game at Tennessee Tech on Friday and three games in the Topper Fall Classic at Western Kentucky on Saturday and Sunday.
“Karen and I were pleased with our first weekend of play, especially since all four games were on the road,” Tennessee co-head coachRalph Weekly said. “We hit .391 as a team with five home runs and drove in 35 runs, which is of most importance to us. We were able to use everybody in our lineup and played pretty much error-free. We threw all four pitchers and each looked very strong at times. But they had their struggles, which reflect their first appearance out and the fact that they were sharing innings. We did not pitch any one pitcher a full game. Overall it was a very good experience for our team.”
On Friday, UT took a 4-2 win over Tennessee Tech. JuniorMadison Shipman was a perfect 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and Davin went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Junior pitcherEllen Renfroe started the game and earned the win after three innings of work.
The Lady Vols then headed to Bowling Green, Ky., to compete in Western Kentucky’s Topper Fall Classic on Saturday and Sunday. UT defeated Evansville, 6-2, in Saturday’s first game after freshman Lexi Overstreet went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI. Shipman was 2-for-4 at the plate. Sophomore pitcherCheyanne Tarango earned the win after tossing four relief frames.
In its second game on Saturday, Tennessee’s bats remained hot as the Lady Vols crushed host Western Kentucky, 14-4. Davin was 3-for-4 with one homer and three RBI and Tarango tallied three hits in three at-bats. Senior pitcher Ivy Renfroe started and tossed four innings to earn the win.
Tennessee’s offense was in full swing once again as the Lady Vols took a 14-6 decision over Eastern Kentucky in their final fall road game on Sunday. Senior Kat Dotson enjoyed a big day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with one home run and three RBI. Davin continued her hot streak with a 3-for-4 showing and a pair of runs batted in. Tarango picked up her second win of the fall after starting and throwing the first three innings.
UT will host the Tennessee Fall Classic this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14, at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. Admission is free for both days. A total of nine games will be played over the course of the weekend. On Saturday, Tennessee will play Chattanooga State at 11:45 a.m. and Lee at 2 p.m. The Lady Vols wrap up fall play on Sunday with a 12:15 p.m. game against Chipola and a 4:45 p.m. game against Milligan.
Below is the daily schedule of games for the Tennessee Fall Classic.
TENNESSEE FALL CLASSIC
(Oct. 13-14, Knoxville, Tenn.)
Saturday, Oct. 13
Chattanooga St. vs. Virginia Intermont, 9:30 a.m.
Tennessee vs. Chattanooga State, 11:45 a.m.
Tennessee vs. Lee, 2 p.m.
Virginia Intermont vs. Chipola, 4:15 p.m.
Lee vs. Chipola, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 14
Chipola vs. Mars Hill, 10 a.m.
Tennessee vs. Chipola, 12:15 p.m.
Milligan vs. Mars Hill, 2:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Milligan, 4:45 p.m.
All Games of Tennessee Fall Classic are at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium
Home team is listed first
Dec. 7-8, 2012 – Chicago
NATIONAL SOFTBALL COACHES CLINIC
Jan. 11-12, 2013 – Chicago
NATIONAL SOFTBALL COACHES CLINIC
Jan. 18-19, 2013 – Minneapolis
NATIONAL SOFTBALL COACHES CLINIC
Jan. 18-19, 2013 – Portland
NATIONAL SOFTBALL COACHES CLINIC
Jan. 25-26, 2013 – Nashville
ADVANCED NATIONAL SOFTBALL COACHES CLINIC
Jan. 25-26, 2013 – Charlotte
NATIONAL SOFTBALL COACHES CLINIC
Feb. 1-2, 2013 – Kansas City