Update: 2/4/10


The long-time director of the Boulder Independence Day tournament, and certainly one of the most dedicated supporters anywhere of fast pitch softball, has passed away.  We received this note today from current director Dan Burns:


After a hard night Jim entered the hospital on January 31st.  He died very peacefully at

5:30am on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.  His family asked me to thank everyone for their

cards, emails, thoughts and prayers.  They are very much appreciated.  A fairly definite

date for a Memorial Service is February 13th, at 11:00am, at the First Congregational

Church in Boulder.  Dan Burns

Much of Jim’s success as a manager relied on a soft touch to settling issues.  Some coaches who lost their temper, broke rules, etc., got the kind of  “guidance” from Jim which was unwavering but never insulting, and always fair.  Jim labored for hours over each year’s team  invitations, wanting to be as inclusive as possible which sometimes meant taking teams who were not Top 50 but gave some geographic balance.  Jim loved the game and the people who played  it.


2010 WA Lake Breeze Gold Commitments:
Samantha Bingham – Catcher – South Dakota State
Julia Covello – Catcher – University of Chicago
Dani Jackman – Pitcher – Grand Canyon University
Brittany Jeans – Pitcher – James Madison University
Britta McOmber – 3rd/OF – Dartmouth
Jen Rosie – Pitcher – North Idaho College
Kylie Sparks – Pitcher/1st – University of Maine

American Pastime Gold “Early Verbal”…

2012   Jasmine Smithson-Willett   Pitcher / 3rd / OF  Verbal University of Louisville

Team Hawaii Gold

Class of 2010

Courtney Senas  –

Florida State University

Jamie Millwood  –

Stanford University

Gerika Pantohan  –

University of Hawaii

Kristi Oshiro  –

East Carolina University

Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin  – East Carolina University

Class of 2011

Kimberlee Souza  –

University of Washington


Alicia Zack (2010, SS/UT, Frisco, Texas), Texarkana College (Div. I NJCAA)

Vivian Tijerina (2011, C/3rd, San Antonio, Texas), University of Texas – San Antonio, (Div. I, Southland Conference)

Wagner’s Gold – 2011 Adrienne Gebele (C, UT) – Ohio University

Wagner’s Gold – 2011 Bekah Kiser (P, 1B) – Florida International University

Transfers.  Cassie Trosclair joins the LSU Tigers from Auburn and will sit out this season due to SEC transfer regulations. She will have two years of eligibility remaining at LSU starting in 2011. During her two seasons at Auburn, Trosclair appeared in 107 games highlighted by 51 starts as a freshman. The New Orleans native paced Auburn with a .667 batting average at the 2008 NCAA Regionals.  Heidi Pizer comes to LSU after spending a season at Louisiana-Lafayette where she saw action in eight games for the Cajuns in 2009. During her high school career in Oregon, Pizer was a four-time All-Pacific Conference at shortstop.

Sports+Plus 18u (Virginia) Class of 2010 Signings

Jordan Clarke – Campbell University

Kayla Brady – Chowan University


Kelsea Schultz – Juco Soph at NOC – Tulsa Elite ’08 Alum – D1 Oklahoma State University

Tory Fitch – 2011 – IF/OF – Tulsa Elite – D1 University of Central Arkansas
Ashley Boswell – 2011 – IF/OF – Tulsa Elite – D1 University of Central Arkansas


ISF  has advised SPY that chief executive Don Porter will soon appoint a four-person team who will conduct the first of two pre-tournament inspections in Caracas.  ISF hastens to note that conducting such inspections is not a response to any particular issue vis the XII International Tournament which will be held in Caracas in July.  Instead, ISF says  the appointment of pre-tournament inspection teams has become standard procedure for international tournaments, as it is for Olympic events.  ISF has not named the team, but ASA officials Ron Radigonda and Ron Isham say they will not be on the team.  The team will consider all phases of Venezuelan and ISF preparation for the XII Games.  SPY presumes but ISF did not confirm that the team will also question Venezuelan officials about matters away from the Games, notably the high crime rate in Caracas, problems in the economy, and deteriorating relations with Colombia.  ISF adds: A Coordination Commission will be planned for future world championships too so that site visits can be paid in advance to avoid any issues.


Feb. 2, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion California Baptist has been tabbed as the No. 1 team in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll, the NAIA announced Tuesday. The Lancers were the unanimous pick, earning all 23 first-place votes and tallying 653 points. Dickinson State (N.D.) is listed second with 629 points. Oklahoma City and Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) are tied for third with 594 points and Lubbock Christian rounds out the top-five teams with 549 points.

No. 1 California Baptist returns 12 starters from its 2009 national championship team, including 2009 NAIA Pitcher of the Year, Tory Ferreira. Ferreira became the first pitcher in NAIA history to go undefeated and have at least 20 wins, as a freshman. The 2009 NAIA National Championship MVP Ashley Boyd returns for her senior season. The senior shortstop set school single-season records for home runs (16), hits (100), runs scored (82) and total bases (178). The Lancers finished last season with a school record 61 wins, on their way to winning the school’s first softball championship.

No. 22 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 23 Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.) and No. 25 McKendree (Ill.) all make an appearance in the poll after finishing the 2009 season unranked.

Four conferences, Golden State Athletic Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference, Southern States Athletic Conference and Association of Independent Institutions, each have three teams listed in the initial poll for the 2010 season.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences. The first regular-season poll will be announced on March 23.

1 1 California Baptist University (23) 61-5 653
2 3 Dickinson State University (N.D.) 42-5 629
3 6 Oklahoma City University 53-9 594
3 4 Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) 48-13 594
5 2 Lubbock Christian University (Texas) 54-7 549
6 5 William Carey University (Miss.) 42-7 540
7 8 Bethel College (Ind.) 52-7 518
8 9 Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) 43-13 483
9 11 Simon Fraser University (B.C.) 20-13 471
10 7 Saint Gregory’s University (Okla.) 45-15 446
11 14 Concordia University (Calif.) 41-21 428
12 18 Shorter College (Ga.) 44-16 421
13 12 University of Houston – Victoria (Texas) 32-15 413
14 13 Madonna University (Mich.) 53-11 388
15 23 College of Idaho 34-16 340
16 16 Lee University (Tenn.) 39-14 309
17 24 Saint Xavier University (Ill.) 32-19 290
18 17 University of Mobile (Ala.) 32-12 268
19 25 Notre Dame College (Ohio) 34-11 263
20 20 California State University-San Marcos 34-23 254
21 21 William Penn University (Iowa) 40-18 245
22 NR Auburn University Montgomery (Ala.) 31-22 152
23 NR Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.) 22-18 133
24 19 Campbellsville University (Ky.) 40-7-1 124
25 NR McKendree University (Ill.) 30-17 123

Others receiving votes: Evangel University (Mo.) 103; Marian University (Ind.) 86; Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) 77; Brenau University (Ga.) 73; Georgetown College (Ky.) 64; Morningside College (Iowa) 59; Bellevue University (Neb.) 59; Southern Oregon University 40; Union University (Tenn.) 32; Warner University (Fla.) 25; Grand View University (Iowa) 19; Robert Morris University (Ill.) 18; Belhaven University (Miss.) 14; Rogers State University (Okla.) 13; Holy Names University (Calif.) 11; Milligan College (Tenn.) 11; Concordia University (Ore.) 11; Bethany College (Kan.) 10; Columbia College (Mo.) 7; Northwood University (Texas) 4; Central Methodist University (Mo.) 4; Midland Lutheran College (Neb.) 3; Bethel University (Tenn.) 1; Ottawa University (Kan.) 1; Indiana University Southeast 1; Lindenwood University (Mo.) 1; Hastings College (Neb.) 1; Bacone College (Okla.) 1; Friends University (Kan.) 1; Asbury College (Ky.) 1.


Admittedly, I am a Peyton Manning fan, reason enough to want the Colts to defeat the Saints.  Yes, I am well aware that the Saints are a sentimental favorite, that their success this season has rallied New Orleans, still struggling to overcome the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, and has fired up not just fans in the Crescent City but in many other venues.

But, the Saints utilize Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, a man of mean disposition who firmly believes in slamming quarterbacks to the ground – on every play, even after the pass has been thrown.  An official who worked the NFC title game says a penalty should have been called on the Saints when Favre threw that last, fatal interception which ultimately put the Saints in the Super Bowl.  If it had been called, the Vikings would have kicked a winning field goal. I’ve watched Saints games on several occasions – a flying tackle to knock a runner out of bounds, jamming helmets into any available  part of the body, starting with the head, piling on after the whistle has blown – there is no illegal hit in Williams’ book as he boasted on media day.  He will take the 15-yard penalties, he has told the press, especially if the hit takes a key player out of the game.  He’s been silenced by the Saints for a few days after chortling about the “remember me” hits the Saints will foist on Manning.  As columnist Michael Wilbon wrote after interviewing Williams this week, he wants the Saints to create confusion, to hit Manning in the mouth.  “We’re aggressive and we’re not going to apologize for being nasty,” Williams said.

ESPN enjoyed the mayhem, panning to shots of Favre’s wife every time he went down.  Perhaps Aikman has forgotten his concussions.  I haven’t; back in my day, we didn’t even have a single bar across the helmet; I took an elbow in the face which broke my nose and gave me a  fierce concussion.  What I remembered as they carted me to the hospital was the opposing lineman standing over me and laughing.

Football is rugged enough, at every level, as noted in the recent outcry about concussions.  Misanthropes like Williams, who brags that he teaches this hitting philosophy to his son, have no place in the sport.    The Saints are an excellent team who could win most games without the tactics employed, taught and encouraged by this headhunter.  RFH

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