ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Thursday, May 31, 2012

California knocks off LSU, Fico in World Series opener

Frani Echavarria got her third RBI of the game during a three-run sixth inning for California, helping the top-seeded Golden Bears rally past LSU 5-3 on Thursday in the opening round of the Women’s College World Series.

Rachele Fico fires a pitch against
Cal in the World Series opener

Oxford’s Rachele Fico took the loss for LSU (39-24). The junior All-American worked 5 1/3 innings allowing four runs, only two of which were earned. She fanned six and walked walked four. Brittany Mack came in relief in the sixth inning and allowed a run on two hits.
 LSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Allison Falcon and Ashley Applegate each singled before both scored on Morgan Russell’s double to right.
Cal (57-5) cut the deficit in half in the third. Britt Vonk reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a walk to Valerie Arioto. With two outs, Echavarria singled to right field to score Vonk.
Echavarria then tied it 2-2 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
In the sixth, Jamia Reid drove in the go-ahead run, Vonk had an RBI single and stole a base, and Echavarria added a run-scoring groundout.
Ashley Langoni hit an RBI double for the Lady Tigers in the seventh to complete the scoring.
Cal will take on Oklahoma on Friday night after the fourth-seeded Sooners beat South Florida 5-1 earlier Thursday. LSU will play USF in an elimination game on Saturday.

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LSU, Fico begin College World Series play today

Believe it or not the SEC has never won the Softball College World Series.

Three teams are in teh field for the tourney which strats today including LSU and Oxford pitcher Rachele Fico.
Fico and the Tigers begin their play in the CWS against top-seeded California on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m.

LSU photo

LSU (39-23) picked up 6-1 and 3-1 triumphs over No. 9 national seed Missouri in between a 5-1 defeat in 12 innings to punch its ticket to the WCWS. The Tigers became only the third team since 2005 in the current regional/super regional to reach the WCWS after knocking off two seeded teams on the road.
"We're thrilled and honored to be a part of this final eight," head coach Beth Torina said. "We're excited to be in Oklahoma City. The minute we set foot on the field for practice was something special. Our team is very excited to represent LSU on the biggest of stages."
California (56-5) is paced by Valerie Arioto, a USA Softball Player of the Year finalist. She has racked up a team-leading .385 batting average to go along with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs. In the circle, Arioto has posted a 20-3 record and a 1.32 ERA. She has tallied 155 strikeouts in her 127.0 innings of action.

The Golden Bears offense also consists of Cheyenne Cordes, Frani Echavarria, Danielle Henderson, Breana Kostreba and Jace Williams who have all produced more than 40 RBI apiece. Jamia Reid has garnered a .385 hitting clip on 84 hits and 47 stolen bases from the top of the lineup.
Jolene Henderson has secured wins in 36 of her 38 decisions and a blistering 1.10 ERA from the circle. The junior right-hander has mowed down 304 batters, the 13th highest total nationally. She has fired 17 shutouts and held her opponents to a .189 batting average.
"Cal is definitely one of the best teams in the country, if not the best on paper," Torina said. "They have two first team all-Americans in Arioto and Henderson. We'll definitely have our work cut for us to try and slow down their strong offense and talented pitching staff."
Allison Falcon and Simone Heyward were the offensive heroes for LSU during the NCAA Columbia Super Regional. Falcon garnered a 2-for-3 effort with a career-best three RBIs the Tigers 6-1 game one victory, while Heyward delivered a bases-clearing double to collect her first extra-base hit in the winner-take-all rubber contest.
"Our players have done a great job of focusing on being selfless," Torina said. "They've been about doing things for one another. Simone has been huge for us in both the regional and the super regional round. We're glad to have her back healthy and in the lineup."
The Rachele Fico-Brittany Mack tandem has garnered 35 of LSU's 39 wins and has put together an impressive NCAA postseason. The duo has racked up 45 strikeouts and held the opposition to a paltry .145 hitting ratio during 47 frames of NCAA Tournament action.
Fico has notched 20-11 mark with a blistering 0.92 ERA, which is tops in the nation. Her 13 shutouts also are tied for fifth in the NCAA rankings. The Oxford, Conn., native followed up her NCAA College Station Regional performance and claimed both victories for the Tigers in the NCAA Columbia Super Regional sparked by a one run, two hit performance in game three of the series.
Mack racked up a career-high 17 strikeouts in a tough-luck, 12-inning loss to Missouri. LSU's defense committed four errors which led to five unearned runs. For the season, the senior right-hander is 15-12 with a 2.21 ERA.
Fico was named a first-team All-American.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quinnpiac basketball adds Carey, Ford, Shannon all with a shooting touch

Quinnipiac University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Moore has announced three additional signings that will join the Bobcats’ roster for the 2012-13 campaign. Guards Tariq Carey (Union, N.J.), Shaquille Shannon (Philadelphia, Pa.) and James Ford (Hopewell, Va.) will join the Bobcats’ quest for their first trip to the NCAA Tournament next season.

Tariq Carey, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Union, N.J., comes to Quinnipiac after wrapping up a stellar high school career at Newark Eastside and perennial powerhouse St. Anthony’s. Carey spent his first three seasons with the Red Raiders, where he averaged over 11 points per game through three seasons. He then transferred over to St. Anthony’s and enjoyed an outstanding senior season with the Friars. Carey led the team to a perfect 32-0 record, finishing the season as the #1 ranked team in the country. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds along the way.
"I am thrilled to welcome Tariq Carey to our Quinnipiac Basketball family,” said Coach Moore. “He is a very good offensive player who has good strength and a college-ready body. We plan to use him as both a point guard and a shooting guard. He brings great shooting range, a tight handle, and an ability to get in the lane and create offense off the dribble."
Carey was regarded as one of the Top 10 players for the state of New Jersey, according to the NBE in 2011. His ability to attack the lane, finish and distribute makes him a viable candidate for playing time next year. In the 2012 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, Carey proved his offensive capabilities with an 18-point performance in the championship game. Defensively, he is very aggressive and is adept at racking up steals and initiating fast breaks.
“Myself and every member of East Side High School would like to say how proud we are that Tariq is attending Quinnipiac University,” said ESHS Men’s Basketball Head Coach Troy Long. “Tariq is a personable young man that we watched grow up from the 7th grade. Quinnipiac is getting a combo guard who can score in bunches when you ask him to, play lock down defense, or run your team. He learned so much from a Hall of Fame coach and now I’m excited to see him play at the collegiate level. Quinnipiac just got a lot of fans from Newark!”
Shaquille Shannon, a 6-foot-2 guard from Philadelphia, Pa., will arrive on campus this summer with two years of eligibility for the Bobcats. Shannon was enrolled at Connors State Junior College in Warner, Oklahoma, where he played for two seasons. Most recently, he led the Cowboys to a 22-8 record and a trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region II Tournament Quarterfinals. The Cowboys led the nation in field goal shooting percentage (54 percent) for the season, ranked #4 in three-point shooting (40 percent) and #8 in the nation in free-throw shooting (70 percent). Shannon played a large role in the offensive prowess, leading the team in three-point field goal percentage (56 percent), and ranked second in field goal percentage (52 percent) and free-throw percentage (75 percent). He averaged 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
"Shaquille Shannon is a great addition to our program,” said Coach Moore. “He is another combo guard who brings two years of experience at the highest level of junior college basketball. Shaq is a terrific three-point shooter and a great rebounder from the backcourt position. I expect his toughness and junior college experience to really help our backcourt."
Prior to Connors State Junior College, Shannon attended Communications Technology High School for four years. Shannon led the Blue and Gold to a strong finish in 2010, while picking up several individual achievements as well. He was named to the Daily News All-City Team and the Daily News All-Public Third Team in his senior season.
“Shaq is a great person that works extremely hard in the classroom and on the court,” said Connors State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bill Muse. “He will be successful at everything he does. The fans will love to watch him play because he plays extremely hard.”
James Ford, a 6-foot-3 guard from Hopewell, Va., joins Quinnipiac after completing a prolific career at Quality Education Academy (QEA) in Winston-Salem, N.C. Ford led the Pharoahs to a 23-6 record, including a 9-1 mark in Greater Carolina High School Athletic Association (GCHSAA) competition. As the #1 seed in the GCHSAA Tournament, QEA went on to hoist the trophy after outlasting the Body of Christ Christian in the championship game. Ford averaged a team-best 18.5 points, six rebounds and five assists per game in his senior campaign.
"James Ford has a chance to be one of the best shooters that we've had here at Quinnipiac,” said Coach Moore. “His size, length, and touch from long range should help us right away. He was one of the best deep shooters that we saw in the scholastic ranks this season. He can also handle the ball, pass well, and has the potential to be a very good defender. I am very excited to add him to our perimeter rotation."
Due in large part to Ford’s offensive success, the Quality Education Academy’s men’s basketball team was ranked seventh in the state of North Carolina at the end of the year. Ford is a tremendous shooter, especially from long distance, and adds length on both ends of the court. Combined with athleticism, Ford soars above the rim with ease, evidenced by his six rebounds per game last season.
”James has been from the day he came to QEA a model citizen, excellent student, and a hard working basketball player,” said Quality Education Academy Men’s Basketball Head Coach Isaac F. Pitts Jr. "James is what I call shooters delight; his jump shot is a thing of beauty and picture perfect. He's an extremely loyal kid that will represent your university very well.”
The Bobcats will open the 2012-13 campaign with the Paradise Jam in the United States Virgin Islands. For all the latest news, scores and highlights pertaining to the men’s basketball program, visit

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fico powers LSU back to the CWS for the first time since 2004

In the nearly two decades that I've covered school sports in the New Haven area the two most dominant athletes were both females.
Rachele Fico hurls a pitch in Game One of the Super Regional. Photo from LSU
Kristen Frost of Hand High in Madison was the most electric swimmer I've ever seen. She never lost an individual race in her entire career winning multiple state titles and setting a slew of state records. Frost eventually went to Georgia and then completed her career at SCSU winning a couple of NCAA titles.
LSU's Rachele Fico was the other most dominant player I've seen and she'll take her shot at an NCAA title next week.
Fico threw a 3-hitter to lift the Tigers past Missouri 3-1 in the third and deciding game of the NCAA softball Super Regional at Columbia, Mo. on Sunday.
After Missouri defeated LSU 5-1 in Sunday's opener which lasted 12 innings, Fico, from Oxford won her foruth straight NCAA start to propel the Tigers into the CWS for the first time since 2004.
LSU will face top-ranked California in the opener and you can bet that Fico will get the start.
Check back later for highights, box scores and this week's CWS matchups.

NCAA Division I Softball Super Regionals Glance
Super Regionals
At Rhoads Stadium
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Thursday, May 24
Alabama 4, Michigan 1
Friday, May 25Alabama 4, Michigan 3, Alabama advances
At Alberta B. Farrington Stadium
Tempe, Ariz.
Thursday, May 24
Louisiana-Lafayette 6, Arizona State 0
Friday, May 25
Arizona State 9, Louisiana-Lafayette 2
Arizona State 8, Louisiana-Lafayette 0, Arizona St. advances
At USF Softball Stadium
Tampa, Fla.
Friday, May 25

Hofstra 2, South Florida 1, 11 innings
Saturday, May 26
South Florida 2, Hofstra 1
South Florida 2, Hofstra 1, South Florida advances
At OU Softball Complex
Norman, Okla.
Friday, May 25

Oklahoma 6, Arizona 0
Saturday, May 26
Oklahoma 7, Arizona 1, Oklahoma advances
At Red & Charline McCombs Field
Austin, Texas
Friday, May 25

Texas 4, Oregon 2
Saturday, May 26
Oregon 5, Texas 4, 8 innings
Oregon 10, Texas 6, Oregon advances
At Parker-Lee Softball Stadium
Knoxville, Tenn.
Saturday, May 26

Tennessee 3, Georgia 2
Sunday, May 27
Georgia 1, Tennessee 0
Tennessee 2, Georgia 1, Tennessee advances
At Audrey Walton Stadium
Columbia, Mo.
Saturday, May 26

LSU 6, Missouri 1
Sunday, May 27
Missouri 5, LSU 1, 12 innings
LSU 3, Missouri 1, LSU advances
At Levine-Fricke Field
Berkeley, Calif.
Saturday, May 26

California 5, Washington 0
Sunday, May 27
California 2, Washington 0, California advances
World Series
At ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City

May 31-June 6

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fico sharp again as LSU dumps Missouri in softball Super Regional opener

Oxford's Rachele Fico continued her strong showing in the NCAA as LSU walloped Missouri 6-1 at Columbia, Mo., Saturday night.
The Tigers softball team (38-22) moved within a victory of the Women's College World Series with the win over the No. 9 seed.

The teams will meet for game 2 of the best-of-three series on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT. If game 3 is necessary, it will be played 30 minutes following game 2. Games will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network (104.9 FM in Baton Rouge).
Fico (19-11) earned the win after working around eight hits and two walks by striking out five. The Tigers were error-free in the field and turned a double play to help Fico's cause.
Missouri (46-13) scored its lone run in the botton of the fourth when Nicole Hudson led off the frame with a double to left center, advanced to third on a ground out and scored when Kayla Kingsley beat out a throw from Fico on a slap back to the circle.
Fico got the first two outs in the seventh before loading the bases with a pair of singles and a walk. With a full count to Kelsea Roth, the Missouri first baseman fouled an inside pitch off her helmet and was removed from the game. Pinch hitter Angela Randazzo grounded the next pitch to short for a fielder's choice that ended the game.

Here are Saturday's results:
NCAA Softball Super Regional Pairings/Results
(16) Washington at (1) California
G1 Sat. 9 p.m.
G2/3 Sun. 6 p.m.

LSU leads (9) Missouri, 1-0
G1 LSU won 6-1
G2/3 Sun. 2:30 p.m.

USF def. Hofstra, 2-1
G1 Hofstra won 2-1 (11)
G2 USF won 2-1 (9)
G3 USF won 2-1

(4) Oklahoma def. (13) Arizona, 2-0
G1 Oklahoma won 6-0
G2 Oklahoma won 7-1

(3) Arizona St. def. (14) UL-Lafayette, 2-1
G1 UL-Lafayette won 6-0
G2 Arizona St. won 9-2
G3 Arizona St. won 8-0 (6)

(11) Oregon def (6) Texas, 2-1
G1 Texas won 4-2
G2 Oregon won 5-4 (8)
G3 Oregon won 10-6

(7) Tennessee leads (10) Georgia, 1-0
G1 Tennessee won 3-2
G2/3 Sun. noon

(2) Alabama def. Michigan, 2-0
G1 Alabama won 4-1
G2 Alabama won 4-3

Women's College World Series Pairings
(1) California/(16) Washington vs. LSU/(9) Missouri
(4) Oklahoma vs. USF
(3) Arizona St. vs. (11) Oregon
(2) Alabama vs. (7) Tennessee/(10) Georgia

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Harvard edges Yale by 10 seconds in annual Regatta

The Harvard crew team remained perfect in the dual season with a 10-second win over Yale in the 147th Harvard-Yale Regatta Saturday afternoon on the Thames River.
Tom Dethlefs
It was the Crimson's, outrowing the Elis by 10 seconds to complete a perfect dual season, their second in a row and third in the last four years.
Here is Dave Borges' story from Saturday's main event.
“These guys are very, very good racers,” 50th-year Harvard coach Harry Parker said of his crew. “Every time they go on the line, they do a good job. And they did today. That was a really very solid row, a very strong effort.”
Harvard finished with a time of 19:41.3 to Yale’s 19:51.2.
“Ten seconds over four miles is not a big margin,” Gladstone pointed out. “I think they got the most out of themselves. I’m really pleased. There was no quit whatsoever.”
Added senior captain Tom Dethlefs: “We rowed a tough race. It’s never fun to lose, but we can hold our heads high.”

In the JV race, Harvard won the JV race with a time of 14:55.5 to Yale’s 15:27.2 and notched the freshman race with a time of 10:25.6 to Yale’s 10:34.1. The freshman race was by far the most interesting of the day, as it was stopped and re-started with about a half-mile to go in the two-mile race due to a severe wake caused by a Coast Guard boat that was supposed to be patrolling the course.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Harvard-Yale Regatta set to sail today on the Thames River

Saturday's schedule

Freshman race: 2 miles, Mamacoke Hill to Gold Star Bridge, 3 p.m.

Second varsity race: 3 miles, Coast Guard Academy to Gold Star Bridge, 3:45 p.m.

Varsity race: 4 miles, Bartlett’s Cove to Gold Star Bridge, 4:45 p.m.

Yale crew (file photo)
All races downstream

All races are at the Thames River in New London.

What to look for: The main event begins at 4:45 p.m. as heavily-favored Harvard takes on Yale in the 147th Harvard-Yale Regatta. It is the nation’s oldest ongoing intercollegiate athletic rivalry.

Harvard has dominated the four-mile race in recent years, winning 11 of the last 12 times.

The Crimson are about 10 feet away from a perfect season, winning all their dual meets and only finishing second to Brown at last week’s Eastern Sprints by less than a second. Yale is 4-2, though it did beat Brown in a dual meet back in March. Of course, that was just a standard distance race, not the four-mile behemoth that marks today’s historic race.

“If we beat Harvard on Saturday, it’ll be different,” said Yale's Dethlefs said. “I won’t have won four in a row, or whatever, like they have, but it’ll be different. And maybe cooler, I don’t know.”


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Harvard's Call Me Maybe Cover nearing 10 million views for viral video

OK, I usually do a lot on Yale on this blog but the Harvard baseball video is nearing 10 million views for this van trip arrangement to "Call Me Maybe."

There are several other college teams who are doing their own rendition.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Osiecki, O'Neill among Athletes of the Year for our area colleges

Here are the athletes of the year for our area colleges:


Taylor Cramm, volleyball

Cramm helped lead the Bulldogs to three Ivy League titles during her outstanding career and was the recipient of the 2012 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. As captain this season she paced Yale to 18 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Brian O’Neill, hockey

O’Neill, who led the Blue to 89 wins, including 14 in the postseason, was a 2011-12 second-team CCM All-America pick by the American Hockey Coaches Association after leading the team with 21 goals and 46 points as the team captain. The political science major and speedy forward was named first-team All-ECAC and Ivy League Player of the Year after ranking among the top 10 players in Division I for points and goals per game. He was also named ECAC Player of the Month for January and February last winter.

New Haven
Ryan Osiecki, football
Resurrecting the program, UNH football coach Peter Rossomando could have only dreamed the Chargers would become a factor in the Division II national scene as quickly as they have and Osiecki is one of the biggest reasons. An honorable mention All-American he set the UNH single-season record for passing yards and passing touchdowns. He became New Haven’s all-time leader in career passing yards, passing touchdowns and pass completions and has his best game when it meant the most, throwing for 433 yards and five touchdowns against Kutztown in the second round of NCAA playoffs.

Ashley Ferrandiz, lacrosse
Ferrandiz holds basically every UNH lacrosse record after her remarkable four years at the school. The Chargers became one of the nation’s best squads, a fixture in the national polls. For the past season Ferrandiz was second on the team with 89 total points off 43 goals and a single-season record 46 assists. She graduates as a rare four-time All-Conference honoree.

Heather Schwartzburg, softball
Schwartzburg had lofty goals when she came to Quinnipiac and reached them all. She ranks first all-time in career wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. As a junior she was named the Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year selection. She led Quinnipiac to the NEC championship game this season.

Connor Jones, hockey
Alongside his twin brother Kellen Jones, Connor was tabbed the 2011-12 Co-Most Valuable Player for the men’s hockey team this year. In a stellar sophomore campaign he became Quinnipiac’s first 40-point scorer since Bryan Leitch accomplished the feat (2009). The Bobcats lost to Colgate in the ECAC quarterfinals but Connor had a goal and an assist in the second game of the best-of-three series.

Albertus Magnus
Ray Askew, basketball
Askew was one of the top DIII players in the nation. He became the all-time leader in points scored and rebounds and wrecked the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in the process. Askew helped the No. 20 Falcons to a 28-2 mark, perfect in the conference and to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Jamal Howard, soccer
Howard became the first-ever All-American in the school’s history as he was named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team. The GNAC Offensive Player of the Year helped put AMC on the map leading the team to a 17-4-1 mark with 22 goals and six assists.

Sam Farley, soccer
The Falcons enjoyed the best season in program history finishing with 12 wins. Farley, a junior, finished the year with three points on one goal and one assist as she started in 18 of 19 games played. She was also one of the most dominant defenders in the league this past season.

Yoni Feldman, soccer
SCSU selects Scholar-Athetes of the year and Feldman won the award and also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. He played 15 games for the Owls, starting in 11 and finished the year with one assist. The midfielder is from Ramat Gan, Israel and is a two-time All-Conference and a two-time All-ECAC selection.

Amanda Burden, diving
The Orange senior is a national Academic All-America nominee who is a three-time CoSIDA winner. Burden is a psychology major with a 3.76 GPA and will graduate as arguably the most decorated diver in school history. She finished her career as a four-time All-American, a four-time Northeast-10 Conference Diver of the Year and a three-time winner of the Most Outstanding Performer award at the league championships.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fico, Barwise and others as the NCAA tourneys heat up

On the seventh day, Rachele Fico rested.
And LSU still got the win.
The Tigers' softball team defeated Texas A&M  2-1 on Sunday to roll through the regional undefeated.
The win moves LSU into the Super Regional where they'll take on No. 9 seed Missouri with a berth in the College World Series on the line.
Dan Perez of SHU
You can follow the action on ESPN or ESPN3. Here are highlights from Sunday's game.
Fico, of Oxford, is sure to get a start in the Super Regional which begin on Thursday.

Orange's Allison Barwise is the focus of a nice feature by Jim Fuller in Monday's Register. Check it our here. I wrote about Barwise a couple of times while she was just tearing up the high school scene at Amity.
It's great to see her continued success at Boston University.

Chris Hunn will write about the Sacred Heart University baseball this week in the Register. I'll be sure to link to it when Chris is done with the story of the team that was 1-9 to start the season and will be headed to the NCAA Tournament.
SHU won the Northeast Conference tournament on Saturday and will find out their NCAA foe on May 28. The Pioneers have several local stars on the team like Seymour's John Murphy and Dan Perez.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fico lifts LSU to back-to-back shutouts in the NCAA, Tigers in regional final

There is no doubt that the LSU softball team has two outstanding pitchers but it looks like the Tigers are going to run with Oxford's Rachele Fico in the NCAA.

And with good reason.

Fico threw her second shutout of the NCAA tournament on Saturday when she blanked Texas A&M 2-0/

The Aggies are the No. 8 seed in the tournament and the region's host but LSU played spoiler on Saturday to reach the regional final.

Rachele Fico
They'll play for the right to head to the Super Regional on Sunday at 1 p.m. against a team to be decided, perhaps the Aggies again.

While the LSU offense continues to stuggle the Tigers know that they don't have to score many runs in the tourney.

Fico (her postgame comments) has thrown identical lines in her first two games of the tourney.

She has allowed four hits and fanned 12 in 14 scoreless innings.

The forner All-Stater from Masuk led the nation in ERA and has split time on the mound with Brittany Mack. The two are the top 1-2 punch in the circle in the country.

"[It was [definitely a disappointing loss for us," Texas A&M coach Jo Evans said. "We didn't take care of business in the first inning. LSU did a good job to jump out early and put some pressure on us. We just didn't handle that well. We had the opportunity to get out of the inning and didn't make a play. I felt from that point we let the game speed up in our heads. We didn't do a good job of taking a step back, gathering ourselves and relaxing to play the game. [Rachele] Fico did a nice job out there."

Fico (18-11) hurled 13th shutout this season.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

SCSU bounced from DII Softball College World Series

The SCSU softball dropped a 6-3 decision to Valdosta State in an elimination game at Louisville, Ky., on Friday morning.
The loss knocks the Owls out of the tourney ending their season with a school-record 43 wins.
It was a remarkable season for SCSU, reaching the CWS a year after the school's baseball team reached it.
Jayme Larson took the loss but leaves the program as one of the guttiest and best pitchers in the program's history.
It was a pleasure to watch her perform.
SCSU coach Paul Raccio talks to Kate Hoffman
And although Larson is gone and so, too, is Seymour slugger Alyssa Downs, the cupboard is not bare at SCSU.
Kelsey Cockrill will get the first shot on the mound for SCSU next year and All-American centerfielder Brittany Bucko is also back.
Shortstop Nicole Buch progressed as the season went on and Kate Hoffman, of Orange, and gritty catcher Stacy Pouliot will also be back.
The Owls will a power again next year.
The coaching dilemma is something that needs to be adressed.
According to sources, Raccio's contract was not renewed by the school. He received that notice before the NCAA tournament began.
Raccio could have basically told the school to ....... But he decided to stick it out with his team and they went all the way to the CWS.
He's to be commended for that. His team also supports him and chanted for him to take a bow after they won the East Regional.
Raccio said he'd be more than happy to talk about the situation after the union which represents him takes on his case.
But if SCSU wants to drop him there seems to be little he can do if they just wanted to change. He's seemed to have done everything he can do to help the product on the field, however. The school can't win many more games and the players are the most respectful I've dealt with.
It's a shame that had to put a damper on a memorable season.

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SCSU falls to Central Oklahoma, plays elimination game Friday

The SCSU softball team has its backs against the wall as it continues play in the Division II College World Series.
On Thursday, three errors proved costly for the Owls in a 6-4 loss to Central Oklahoma on Thursday.
Alyssa Downs and Brittany Bucko

“We missed routine plays,” said SCSU coach Lisa Barbaro. “Typically, we’ve been a very strong defensive team.”

SCSU (43-12) will face top-ranked Valdosta State in an elimination game today at 10 a.m.

SCSU rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. That prompted coach Lisa Barbaro to go back to starting pitcher Jayme Larson, who sat out the fifth inning so backup Kelsey Cockrill could get some work.
But with the game tied Barbaro went back to her ace but the SCSU gloves fell apart.
SCSU can't lose another game or the season will be over.
Check out for live video and stats from today's game.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

SCSU wins opener of College World Series

The SCSU softball team knocked off St. Joseph (Ind.) 3-2 in the first game of the DII College World Series on Wednesday afternoon in Louisville, Ky.

Kate Hoffman

Southern took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a leadoff homer from Brittany Bucko and an RBI single by Kate Hoffman.
St. Joe's tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth inning on a walk and a couple of SCSU errors. The tying run seemed to be a bit controversial when a Puma runner appeared to tagged out at the plate but the umpire ruled that Stacy Pouliot missed the tag. Nevertheless, Shawna Mallory singled to score Julie Muscarella with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Owls the win.
SCSU will play the winner of Central Florida and Flagler Thursday at 12:30 p.m
You can check out all the action at They have an interactive bracket and will show live video and live stats.
Here is the box score

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Former Amity star, Barwise qualifies for Olympic Trials

Junior Allison Barwise of the Boston University women’s track & field team qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the high jump on Sunday at the ECAC Championships held at Princeton University.

Allison Barwise
Barwise, who was a standout at Amity High, obtained the “A” standard for the U.S. Olympic Trials and set the second-best mark in the nation with a leap of 1.87m, which was also good for first place at this weekend’s meet. Her mark was well clear of the second-place competitor (1.75m) and was just short of the school record. Barwise also helped guide BU to a 14th-place finish as a team (23 points).

This weekend’s fantastic performance came just a week after Barwise, of Orange, was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer at the America East Championships. She broke her own heptathlon record and also won the high jump en route to earning more points than any other female competitor.


Notre Dame knocks Yale out of NCAA men's lacrosse tournament

Yale had its long winning streak come to an end in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
Yale's Ryan McCarthy

Jim Marlatt scored three goals and added two assists as No. 4-seed Notre Dame defeated Yale, 13-7, in the first round of the NCAA lacrosse championship at South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame (12-2), which had nine different players score, advances to play defending champion Virginia on Sunday in Philadelphia. Yale, which had won nine straight games, ended its season at 11-5.

The Irish scored the first four goals from four different players in the first 8:04 before Yale responded, scoring four of the next five goals. Notre Dame’s Sean Rogers snaked home a key shot with seven seconds to go to set the halftime score at 6-4. Yale led in shots at intermission, 15-12.

The Irish took total control in the third period. After Ryan Foley scored, Marlatt scored twice in 1:37, and Will Corrigan added another as Notre Dame established a 10-5 edge heading into the last quarter.

In addition to Marlatt’s hat trick, the Irish had two goals apiece from Rogers and Conor Doyle. Daron Dempster led Yale with four, all assisted by Matt Gibson.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Southern softball falls, Quinnipiac reaches NEC title game

It was a wild day of softball action in the area.
SCSU lost to Molloy 7-3 in 15 innings in the Super Regional at Yale on Friday.
With the loss, Southern needs to win twice on Saturday to advance to the Division II College World Series.
While Southern was defeated, Quinnipiac won twice on Friday to move to the Northeast Conference title game.
Quinnipiac beat Monmouth 4-1in the first game of the day and then beat host Robert Morris 4-3 in 12 innings.
Senior Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th inning on Friday afternoon to send the #2 seeded Quinnipiac University softball team past #1 Robert Morris, 4-3, in a thrilling Northeast Conference Semifinal match-up in Moon Township, Pa.
With the win, the Bobcats advance to the tournament finals tomorrow afternoon, taking on #3 LIU Brooklyn at 12:30 p.m. QU needs to defeat the Blackbirds twice in order to hoist the trophy at the end of the day and earn the NCAA berth.
With the game knotted a three apiece after regulation, Quinnipiac (32-17) and Robert Morris (35-22) played several scoreless innings until the top of the 12th frame. Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) led off the inning with a base-hit and moved on over to second on a sacrifice bunt from Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.). Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) prolonged the rally with a base-hit and then stole second base, leaving second and third with one out. Heiberger laced a 2-2 pitch into center field, allowing Alba to come across for the go-ahead run. Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) kept the Colonials off of the scoreboard in the last half, propelling the Bobcats into the Championship game.
Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) and Schwartzburg combined to go all 12 innings in the circle for the Bobcats. Alfiere, who started the game, allowed one run on three hits over 2.1 innings of work. Schwartzburg relieved Alfiere and pitched the rest of the way. She went 9.2 innings, allowed seven hits, two runs (0 earned) and struck out 11 for her 20th win of the season.
The elimination contest featured a pair of scoreless innings to begin the seven-inning affair. However, in the top of the third inning, Quinnipiac got the bats going to generate the game’s first runs. Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.), Christy Cabrera (West Sacramento, Calif.) and Jacquie Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) each reached base with consecutive singles to load the bases. Alba stepped into the batters’ box and lined a base-hit up the middle for a 1-0 lead, followed by a one-out, base-knock from Barba for a 2-0 lead. The Bobcats tacked on one more when Courtney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) was hit by a pitch, leaving a 3-0 advantage after the top half of the inning.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ivy League dismisses plans for postseason basketball tournament

On Thursday, the Ivy League announced today that its directors of athletics have decided not to move forward with proposals for postseason tournaments in men's and women's basketball.
"After careful consideration of these proposals, the athletics directors decided that our current method of determining the Ivy League Champion and our automatic bid recipient to the NCAA Championship is the best model moving forward," said Robin Harris, Ivy League Executive Director.
In men's and women's basketball, the Ivy League plays a 14-game, double round-robin schedule where each team plays each other home and away. The team with the best conference record in each sport is awarded the Ivy title and the League's NCAA Tournament automatic bid.
The Ivy League athletics directors discussed the proposals at their annual meetings, which concluded Thursday afternoon in Red Bank, N.J.
The Ivy League Office will not comment further on this matter.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Drama for the Southern Connecticut softball team in the NCAA

This is from Wednesday's NH Register:

It has been the most successful season in Southern Connecticut State softball history.

But the Owls have been thrown a curve ball, as they gear up for the program’s first trip to a Super Regional.

A source said Wednesday that Southern assistant coach Paul Raccio received a letter from school officials on Monday that the university would not renew his contract after this season. The source said the letter had to be sent out on Monday, but Raccio’s contract runs through June 15.

The source and players said Raccio will coach for the remainder of this season.

It’s a case of bad timing for No. 1 Southern (40-10), who needs two wins on the weekend to earn its first College World Series berth. The Owls will face No. 2 Molloy in the Super Regional on Friday at Yale’s DeWitt Family Field.

Raccio, who is his eighth season under head coach Lisa Barbaro, had no comment on the issue other than to say that it was in the hands of the union. Raccio is also an assistant to Barbaro on the volleyball team.

Barbaro also would not comment. She said she still has a year left on her contract.

The players are backing Raccio.

“It’s devastating to the team,” senior Alyssa Downs said. “He puts so much into this and he’s such a big part of this. He helped build the program to where it is today. It makes us want to do well for him.”

“All I can say is that Paul and Lisa are two of the most impactful people in my life,” Owls senior Jessica Rosa said. “He doesn’t deserve to lose his job. We’d never be where we are without him.”

The Southern team went to meet with school president Mary Papazian on Wednesday, but was told she was out of the office for the remainder of the day. The team then went to meet with athletic director Pat Nicol, but was refused a meeting.

Nicol could not be reached for comment.

Mike Kobylanski, Southern Connecticut State’s Assistant Athletic Director, said the school wouldn’t comment because it does not comment on “personnel” issues. Kobylanski did say that coaches at Southern are treated as if they are faculty.

“They belong to a union and there is a process that the school has to follow,” he said.

There was no word on a timetable for the union’s involvement in the matter.

Both Rosa and Downs said Raccio’s coaching style could have led to the situation. Rosa described his coaching style as aggressive.

“He could rub people the wrong way,” Rosa said. “But I wouldn’t be the player I am today he didn’t get in my face one time or another.”

Downs added that the administration doesn’t like his coaching style and that “they’ve made comments about it” in the past.

Raccio has worked in the educational system for nearly two decades. He is the former athletic director and head baseball coach of the Hyde High School and serves as an instructor and coach at the Batters Box. He coached the Hamden American Legion team and was an assistant football coach at Hyde.

The Owls vow this won’t be a distraction, as they look to make a run to the College World Series.

“This adds more fuel to the fire,” Rosa said. “We’ve worked well under pressure before and this will just make us stronger.”

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yale men's lacrosse to face Princeton in Ivy League final


No. 3 Yale vs. No. 1 Princeton
When: Sunday at noon
Where: Princeton, N.J.
Records: Yale (10-4); Princeton (11-3)
At stake: NCAA Tournament berth
What to look for: Yale avenged an early-season loss to Cornell to earn a berth in the final. The Bulldogs, ranked 14th in the nation, have won eight straight. They got eight goals from Deron Dempster and eight assists from Matt Gibson in Friday’s 14-10 win over the Big Red. Top-seed Princeton (ranked 9th) edged Brown 9-6 on Friday. The last time these two teams met it was the longest game in the history of both schools. Princeton won the game in the fifth overtime 10-9.

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SCSU softball reaches East Regional semifinal

Southern Connecticut State’s Stacy Pouliot was the hero on Saturday driving in the game-winning run with a two-out single in the top of the seventh and then tagged out the potential tying runner at the plate to end the game, lifting the Owls to a 5-4 win over UMass-Lowell on Saturday.

With the win Southern enters Sunday’s final round (noon vs. TBA) needing just one win to advance to the East Regional finals.

“The sky’s the limit for this team,” SCSU coach Lisa Barbaro said. “So far we’re battling and doing really well. It’s going to be really tough for anyone to come out and beat us two games, but I’m hoping we win the first one.”

Pouliot finished with two hits and two RBIs for No. 1 seed Southern (39-10). Brittany Bucko led off the game with a homer, and Jessica Rosa added two hits and an RBI. Jayme Larson (22-3) picked up the win in relief of effective starter Kelsey Cockrill.

No. 5 UMass-Lowell (34-17) got a three-run double by Caelyn Ford and two hits and an RBI from Krista MacKenzie. Elyssa Boris (20-9) took the loss allowing 11 hits in the complete game.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

SCSU hosts Assumtion in the NCAA women's softball tournament

Here is a quick look at Friday's NCAA softball tourney at Yale's DeWitt Family Field:

Southern Connecticut vs. Assumption
Where: DeWitt Family Field, New Haven
When: Today, noon
Today’s schedule
Game 1: No. 1 Southern Conn. (37-10) vs. No. 8 Assumption (33-16), noon
Game 2: No. 4 Caldwell (37-14) vs. No. 5 UMass-Lowell (33-16), 2:30 p.m.
What to look for: Top-seeded Southern has lost four of five heading into the tourney but the Owls swept all three teams in the region in the regular season. SCSU is led by Northeast-10 Player of the Year Brittany Bucko (17 HRs,.428 average) and pitcher Jayme Larson (20-3, 1.68 ERA). Assumption earned the automatic berth in the NCAA by winning the NE-10 tournament and is paced by Jennifer Lowrey (18-8, 1.79 ERA) who was named the conference’s pitcher of the year.
SCSU coach Lisa Barbaro is pictured above.

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