Friday, May 30, 2008

Game two of the Women's College World Series was a lot like the first; we pull ahead late in the game by taking advantage of the other team's mistakes. Tonight it was an OVERTHROW TO THE PITCHER that sent Jami Lobpries to third and then home off a Rhiannon Kliesing single. The final score, 2-1 Aggies over ULALA.
Jo warned our team that National Player of the Year Angela Tincher, who sports a 0.62 ERA and is #3 in the all time strike-out list, is "a strikeout pitcher and you’re going to strikeout in this game. How are you going to handle that?... As long as you can keep loose and not get heavy about that we are going to be fine. We’ll just keep plucking along. We’ll keep going until we score a run. It doesn’t matter how long it takes."

It took six innings, and went down like this:

Kliesing singled to right center. Tovar pinch ran for Kliesing. Villarreal out at first 3b to 2b; Tovar advanced to second. Gibson reached on an error by 3b; Tovar scored, unearned.

Ball game, 1-0 good guys.

Next up is the Ragin Cagins. An 8th inning one-run homer broke the 2-2 tie and sent ULALA our way instead of the #1 seed Fl Gators. Thank you Holly Tankersley.
Bill Hodge (not not, yet) is reporting that forward Khris Middleton of Charleston/Porter-Gaud School, SC., has pledged to play for Turge in a couple years. Check out his highlight clip. Middleton looks like a good spot-up shooters, and at 6'7'', he show promise on the defensive end.

Still no players from Texas.... I am just saying.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Team doctors have decided that red shirt-freshman linebacker Derrick Stephens can no longer play because of multiple concussions. Stephens was a 4-star recruit from Cypress Falls High School where he was first-team Class 5A all-state honors. Stephens said that, "It hurt my heart. That was my passion right there. To have somebody tell me that I can't play anymore -- shoot me dead."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Both Megan Gibson and Stanford's Missy Penna threw no-hitters in their previous starts, so this Super Regional was supposed to be a pitcher's duel. However, that headline was out the window in the first inning when Rhiannon Kliesing hit a lead-off homer, and four batters later Holly Ridley hit a three run shot. Unlike Penna (5 earned runs, 3 Ks), Gibson continued her post-season brilliance, allowing only one run and striking out 10. The 6-1 W puts us up 1-0 in the best of 3 series.
The bleeding has stopped. We pulled out of the tail spin at nearly the last possible second with a 6-2 W over Missouri. Coach Childress told the guys that "we just needed to pitch and play good defense and the rest will take care of itself." Done and done; Barret Loux pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball and we had zero errors (we averaged 2.12 errors per game in the last eight games/losses). Jose Duran helped out the defense with a 3-run homer.

If Childress can turn this thing around and get us to Omaha he will have eared his Big 12 coached of the year award, and, in my opinion, be a favorite for coach of the year.

Friday, May 23, 2008

We lost our 8th straight to Texas last night, 15-9. This team is sunk. We will be lucky to host a regional next week. I NEW I jinxed it when I made travel plans to Omaha. This is pretty much all my fault, sorry.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A&M says "my b" to "handful" swimmers whose Olympic dreams may have been crushed when their times at the the Texas Senior Circuit meet held at the REC Natatorium where called into to questions. Apparently "the course was three centimeters too short – measuring 49.97 meters instead of 50" (something about tightening ropes, shifting lanes, bla bla). Course lengths are "confirmed before major meets", but "it's not always standard to measure first". How do you "confirm before" with out "measuring first"?

Some of our own were among the "handful" getting the shaft...

Aggies swimmer Christine Marshall swam an Olympic Trials cut in the 400-meter freestyle. At least she might have recourse.

Alia Akinson, an A&M swimmer and Jamaica native, would have qualified for her country's Olympics team in the 100-meter breaststroke. Alejandro Jacobo, a male A&M swimmer, swam a time in the 200-meter breaststroke that would have given him a good chance to qualify for the Mexican team.

The international swimmers may have no recourse through FINA, the sport's governing body.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The downward spiral on the diamond continues. No. 8 seed Oklahoma upset No. 1 Texas A&M 4-1 in a Big 12 tournament baseball.
We got a bunch of awards recently:

$Bill graciously received our first ever State Farm Lone Star Showdown trophy, saying "There is no doubt our rivalry with Texas has pushed us to get better. They've had success for quite some time and we've had to elevate our program in order to compete." Ignoring what happened in baseball recently, who is keeping up with who now?

Childress was named Big 12 coach of the year, and Jose Duran was named both the Big 12 Player of the Year and the conference’s Newcomer of the Year. Duran spent two years playing JUCO ball at North Central Texas College before we picked him up. I am not familiar with baseball recruiting norms, but it seems in a sport where so many guys go pro out of high school, or after two years, it would be unusual to have a guy coming out of JUCO to have such a big impact. Other conference awards went to:

All-Big 12 First Team: Jose Duran, Dane Carter, Luke Anders, Kyle Colligan, and Travis Starling
All-Big 12 Second Team: Darby Brown and Brian Ruggiano
All-Big 12 honorable mention: Clayton Ehlert, Barret Loux, Brooks Raley, Blake Stouffer, Kyle Thebeau
Josh Carter pulled out of the NBA draft, saying he is "not worried about the NBA right now." After meeting with, and working out for, teams he knows he has "a lot to improve on and will have another shot at the draft next year."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What have you done for me lately?

The "body of work" may include a Big 12 regular season title, and a couple conference player of the year nods, but who cares if you just lost 6 straight? Besides, that was the regular season; we want Omaha. We want to be peaking this time of the year, not losing to 8-16 to the 6th best team in Southland Conference. Are we better off now with that trophy in a glass case than we were last year?

Turns out yes.

We finished last year about the same: 2-4 in our last 6, including 3 Ls to the boys in Austin.

The big difference is that last year we beat the cupcake (McNeese State). So when choosing to end the season slumping with or without the regular season title and a number one seed, I would choose with.

Thanks to Wildmen03 for the pictures.

Megan Gibson has only allowed 1 run in this year's post season. 6 games, 5 shutouts. Her latest shutout was a no-hitter in the regional final against La Tech; she had 11 strike outs and was one walk away from a perfect game. Coach Jo said its "nice to see kids stepping up in key situations." Nice? Better get control of yourself Jo.

Next up is Standford in the College Station Super Regional, who upset UMass to win the Amherst Regional. Standford's ace, Missy Penna, had an almost-as-good-as-Gibson performance in in Amherst Regional, she didn't allow an earned run and pitched a no-hitter.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The H-Chron's headline reads "Nebraska sweeps Texas A&M." Taking the last two games of a series, and a sweep are very different things.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Errors. We lost the first game in the ninth because of errors. Now its the 8th, we are down 13-10 and we committed 6 ERRORS.. We lost.

In better news, our softball team beat Nebraska 5-0, and captured our first ever Big 12 tournament title. Jo is glad to "finally get that monkey off our back." Surprise surprise, Megan Gibson was named Most Outstanding Player. Gibson, Jamie Hinshaw, and
Holly Ridley all received Big 12 All-Tournament Team honors.

Our softball team did just enough to get to the finals of the Big 12 tournament. In game one, Megan Gibson's two-hit shutout (her 17th of the year) and Holly Ridley's 4th inning homer (her 5th of the year) squeezed us past Iowa State 1-0. Similar story in the the semis against Texas. Megan Gibson allowed allowed only 1 run, and Rhiannon Kliesing hit a 2 run shot (her 2nd of the year): 3-1 good guys.

Next up, Nebraska at Noon. We took both games in Lincoln this year: 6-0 and 6-3.

We nearly swept the Big 12 awards. Congrats to: Megan Gibson for being the first player to ever win both Big 12 player of the year and Big 12 pitcher of the year in the same year; Jo Evans for Big 12 coach of the year; Megan Gibson, Jamie Hinshaw, Jami Lobpries, Alex Reynolds, and Holly Ridley for Big 12 first team honors; and Natalie Villarreal for Big 12 second team honors.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

There is a rain delay in Lincoln. New start time is 5PM CST. noon on Sunday, first game of a double header.
Hoooly crap! We just took game one 6-3 in 16 innings! Two top 10 teams playing for a conference championship is exciting. Add 16 innings and you get "holy crap"-exciting. NU tied it at 3s in the 9th after we beaned and walked their first two batters. Seven innings later Dane Carter steped up to the plate for the eighth time sporting 5 strikeouts and 1 hit; bases loaded; two out; Carter doubles to right center; three runs. Nebraska answers by stranding a runner at second. Ball game.

When I see a game one of a series go 16 innings I think, crap, we just burned through all of our pitchers. But not today. Thanks to Travis Starling and his 8 innings of relief pitching (8!), we only used three pitchers, while NU used 5.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

As it turns out, this "football school" does its best work on the diamond.

Our softball team lost only one conference game, and heads into the Big 12 tournament ranked 5th in the nation. Our domination has been thanks in part to Megan Gibson, who was named a finalist for the 2008 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. Megan leads the Big 12 in walks (45), wins (30), shutouts (14), innings pitched (208) and complete games (29).

Our baseball team heads down to Nebraska on Friday with a 15-game conference winning streak, and hopes to bring home our first regular season conference title since 1999. Childress has executed quite the turnaround in three years, but he is not surprised. He knew we had the two things you need to be successful: "No. 1 you’ve got to hold on to a high draft pick and have a senior-(to-be from the previous team) that was drafted pretty good and wants to come back. Then, you need to have a couple guys come out of nowhere, and get other guys to have career years.” Hu?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Billy G across the way in Kentucky just picked up a verbal commitment, from an eight grader. Michael Avery, a 6-foot-4 eighth-grader, knows where he will play in four years, but does not know where he will play next year.

"That’s the funny thing," Howard Avery said with laugh. "We’ve got our college. Now we need our high school."
Naji Hibbert of Hyattsville, MD is Turgeon's first verbal commitment for the class of 2009. At 6'6'' and averaging 17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals, Hibbert is the 54th overall prospect and the 10th shooting guard according to This guy will fit nicely into the slot left open by a graduating Josh Carter. Hibbert is a bit taller than Carter (not counting the 2 inches Carter grew in his 3 years), has similar high school numbers (Carter averaged 21.3, 6.9, and 2.3), but Hibbert is a 4-start guy where as Carter was a 3-star.

Here is a video of Hibbert.

He looks stronger and comfortable around the basket than Josh did his freshman year. Josh eventually learned to get to the rack and pull down boards, but he started as a pure sharpshooter.

I think this is called "reloading".

This commitment is interesting to me for a few reasons:
  1. Living 5 miles from Maryland University, College Park, I hear A LOT about Gary Williams's inadequate recruiting. I hope I hear something on the radio today about how he let another one go.
  2. Living 8 miles from Hibbert's high school, I may make an attempt to see Hibbert play in the fall.
  3. How long will it be until people start bitching that Turgeon is recruiting only out-of-state kids (two guys from FL in 2008, first guy in 2009 is from MD)? These complaints where make about Laurie Corbelli (volleyball), and when she switched to in-state kids we became less competitive.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Baseball is strange. In what other sport can a team ranked 5th in the nation, and with the second best ERA in conference give up 12 runs and 20 hits to Dallas Baptist? 20 hits! We didn't give up that many hits in our last three games combine; two of those games were against #4 Missouri. Childress thought it "wasn’t so much about what we didn’t do, but what Dallas Baptist did offensively... You have to give DBU credit.” Not a lot of insight there.

The puzzling hot/cold baseball phenomena continued in the second game of the series, but this time in the right direction, with a 9-4 win. Coach new it was "important for us to come back and answer the bell after last night’s performance." Seems like the best way to do that is by throwing out your two best pitchers. Brooks Raley got the win (6-0) with eight strike outs in six and 2/3 innings. Kyle Thebeau came on in the 8th and shut things down with five strikeouts in two innings.