McNeese and 2017 Southland Coach of the Year James Landreneau, who were unanimously tabbed to win the Southland for the second consecutive season, welcome former head coach Joanna Hardin and her Virginia Caviler squad to begin the 2018 Cowgirl Classic on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Houston Baptist will also compete in the tournament.Sam Houston State competes against Texas State at 6 p.m. in San Marcos, Texas, while Lamar will try its luck in getting games in at the Sand Dollar Classic, beginning its tournament play at 7 p.m. against Virginia Tech. Southeastern Louisiana’s host tournament, the Lion Classic I, has been cancelled, so the Lions and Nicholls will start their season next week. The remaining five league teams – Abilene Christian, HBU, UIW, Northwestern State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – will get their season started Friday.For the first time in 30 years, eight teams will compete at the Southland Conference Softball Tournament. McNeese will host the 2018 tournament May 8-11 at Cowgirl Diamond.McNeese Cowgirls – Preseason Ranking: 1 – 2017 Record/Place: 43-18 (24-3 SLC), 1stMcNeese heads into the 2018 campaign with high expectations of becoming the first Southland program to capture seven regular season titles. The Cowgirls are tied with former Southland member Texas State for the most championships. They will look to three-time Southland Player of the Year Erika Piancastelli and junior outfielder Justyce McClain along with the other four McNeese preseason all-conference selections to help lead the team to the NCAA Regionals for a third consecutive season. The well-rounded club led the Southland a season ago in batting average (.296), slugging percentage (.460), on base percentage (.399), runs scored (368), hits (471), runs batted in (325), doubles (85), home runs (52), total bases (732), walks (229) and in league action led all teams with a 1.41 ERA and allowed just 55 runs.First game – Thursday vs. Virginia at 5:30 p.m. CT – Lake Charles, La. (Cowgirl Classic hosted by McNeese)Abilene Christian Wildcats – Preseason Ranking: T2 – 2017 Record/Place: 33-22 (20-7), 2ndIt’s a big season for head coach Bobby Reeves and his team as Abilene Christian enters its first season eligible for Southland and NCAA postseason play since completing its transition Division I. The Wildcats return 12 players from last year’s roster, including three-time all-conference shortstop Peyton Hedrick and preseason all-conference first team selections second baseman Holly Neese and pitcher Hannah Null. ACU boasted the best ERA in overall games at 2.36 in 2017 and limited opposing teams to a league-best .210 batting average. In Southland games, the Wildcats led the league in hits (232) and were second in batting average (.309), slugging percentage (.451), on base percentage (.382), runs scored (147), runs batted in (132) and home runs (132).First game – Friday vs. Seton Hall at 11:30 a.m. – San Antonio, Texas (UTSA Softball Classic hosted by UTSA)Nicholls Colonels: Preseason Ranking: T2 – 2017 Record/Place: 37-20 (19-8), 3rdFollowing a trip to the Southland Conference Tournament championship, Nicholls comes into 2018 with five preseason all-conference selections, including first team members junior first baseman Kasey Frederick and pitcher Megan Landry and sophomore outfielder Samantha Mracich. In conference action last season, the Colonels had the second best batting average (.286) and were third in slugging percentage (.375). Nicholls also ranked second in the conference for ERA (2.53) and opposing batting average (.226).First game – Feb. 16 vs. Appalachian State at 12 p.m. – Montgomery, Ala. (Black and Gold Tournament)Lamar Cardinals – Preseason Ranking: 4 – 2017 Record/Place: 33-31 (17-10 SLC), 4thLamar reached the National Invitational Softball Championship in 2017 and look to be another force in the Southland in 2018, returning 13 letter winners, including three preseason all-conference second team selections: senior pitcher Laura Napoli, senior outfielder Corina Thornton and junior second baseman Kelly Meeuwsen. The Cardinals had the second-best overall on base percentage (.372) and were even better in league action (.379). Head coach Holly Bruder saw her bullpen strikeout the most batters looking in conference games (39 along with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) and had a third-best ERA of 2.41. LU will face four “Power Five” members in its opening tournament: Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, No. 11 Alabama and Ole Miss.First game – Thursday vs. Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. – Gulf Shores, Ala. (Sand Dollar Classic)Central Arkansas Bears – Preseason Ranking: 5 – 2017 Record/Place: 26-34 (14-13 SLC), T5thCentral Arkansas was going to open its 2018 campaign at the Sand Dollar Classic with Lamar, facing No. 11 Alabama, Virginia Tech, Florida A&M and Penn State, but weather forced the team to enter the ULM Mardi Gras Classic this weekend. The Bears return one all-conference member from a season ago in freshman designated player Cylla Hill. The now-sophomore was one of just four freshmen honored with all-Southland recognition in 2017 after hitting .250 and slugging .355, reaching base at a .317 clip. Head coach David Kuhn’s biggest gap to fill will be in the circle after the graduation of Kayla Gomness, who started all four games for UCA in the 2017 Southland Tournament that saw the Bears fall just short of making the championship.First game – Thursday vs. UT Martin at 2 p.m. – Monroe, La. (ULM Mardi Gras Classic hosted by UL<)Northwestern State Lady Demons – Preseason Ranking: 6 – 2017 Record/Place: 23-33 (12-15 SLC), T7thNorthwestern State could likely field seven underclassmen in the eight field positions in its opening weekend series at Baylor. Head coach Donald Pickett, who enters his 10th season at the helm, has a young squad in 2018 but pairs that with a veteran pitching staff in senior pitcher Michaela Bouvier and junior Mikayla Brown. He also returns senior outfielder Sidney Salmans who was voted onto the preseason all-conference team.First game – Friday vs. Baylor at 6 p.m. (DH) - Waco, TexasSam Houston State Bearkats – Preseason Ranking: 7 – 2017 Record/Place: 24-27 (14-13 SLC), T-5thHead coach Bob Brock enters his 17th and final season in charge of Sam Houston State. The all-time winningest coach in program history announced his retirement earlier this week. He brings back 12 players from 2017, including preseason second team all-conference selection Lindsey McLeod. The junior pitcher from Austin ranked second in the Southland last year for opponents’ batting average (.206), striking out 110 batters along the way. First game – Thursday vs. Texas State at 6 p.m. – San Marcos, Texas (Bobcat Classic hosted by Texas State)Southeastern Louisiana Lions – Preseason Ranking: T8 – 2017 Record/Place: 26-29 (12-15 SLC), T7thSoutheastern Louisiana senior outfielders Kinsey Nichols and Mahaila Gibson each earned preseason honors heading into 2018. Nichols was second in the league for batting average (.393) and on-base percentage (.489) in 2017. Gibson won Newcomer of the Year last season after posting a .317 batting average in her first season as a Lion. Southeastern ranked first for stolen bases in 2017 with 162. The Lions also return all but one pitcher from last year, including seniors Lacey Hill and Rachel Hayes.First game – Feb. 13 vs. Louisiana Tech at 5 p.m. - Hammond, La.Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks – Preseason Ranking: T8 – 2017 Record/Place: 17-33 (9-15 SLC), 9thSecond-year head coach Nicole Dickson is the first Southland team to take the diamond in 2018. Dickson returns nine letter winners from a season ago and welcomes 11 newcomers, including six transfers. Senior catcher Amber Landry, a preseason all-conference first team automatic selection, looks to build off a 2017 year that saw her own a .290 batting average in 145 at bats, registering 42 hits with 14 doing for extra bases along with five home runs.First game – Thursday vs. Grambling at 10 a.m. – Monroe, La. (ULM Mardi Gras Classic hosted by ULM)Houston Baptist Huskies – Preseason Ranking: 10 – 2017 Record/Place: 17-26 (8-19 SLC), 10thEight starters return to a Houston Baptist squad searching to make its first appearance in the Southland Conference Tournament since 2014. The Huskies lost just two letter winners from last season. They will open their season at the Cowgirl Classic, taking on Virginia, Southern and Tulsa and will not hit conference foe McNeese. First game – Friday vs. Virginia at 1 p.m. – Lake Charles, La. (Cowgirl Classic hosted by McNeese)UIW Cardinals – Preseason Ranking: 11 – 2017 Record/Place: 13-40 (6-21 SLC), 11thThe Joe DiPietro era of UIW softball begins this weekend when the Cardinals head to Austin this weekend for the Texas Classic. They will open the tournament with a contest against Colorado State on Friday at 1:30 p.m. before facing the Longhorns at 4:30 p.m. on the Longhorn Network. UIW will face both teams again in the weekend and also take on Wisconsin on Saturday at 6 p.m.First game – Friday vs. Colorado State at 1:30 p.m. – Austin, Texas (Texas Classic hosted by Texas)Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders – Preseason Ranking: 12 – 2017 Record/Place: 12-36 (4-20 SLC), 12thSecond-year head coach Blake Miller opens the season at the UTSA Invitational, where his Islander squad will see Seton Hall, Southern Illinois, UTSA and even get a taste of Southland competition when the team faces Abilene Christian on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. With the graduation of ace pitcher Liz Carter, Miller will be in search early on to establish a presence in the circle. Carter led all Southland pitchers in batters struck out with 179.First game – Friday vs. Seton Hall at 2 p.m. – San Antonio, Texas (UTSA Invitational hosted by UTSA)Each game is listed in Central Time Week One NotesFRISCO, Texas – The 36th edition of Southland Conference softball begins with five Southland teams in action Thursday. Stephen F. Austin and Central Arkansas get the day started with a pair of games each at the ULM Mardi Gras Classic. The Ladyjacks take on Grambling at 10 a.m. CT in Monroe, La., and play UT Martin immediately after at noon. The Bears, who had to cancel their trip to the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala., this weekend due to weather, were able to enter the ULM tournament and play UT Martin at 2 p.m. followed by an 8 p.m. contest with North Texas.
Arkansas State – IdleNext Competition: SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic, Houston, Texas – Feb. 16-18Louisiana Tech – IdleNext Competition: SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic, Houston, Texas – Feb. 16-18Monmouth – Crusader Classic, Richton Park, Ill. – Team Finish: 5th/13 – Recap | ResultsNext Competition: James Brown Invitational, Towson, Md. – Feb. 16-18Sam Houston State – IdleNext Competition: SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic, Houston, Texas – Feb. 16-18Stephen F. Austin – IdleNext Competition: SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic, Houston, Texas – Feb. 16-18Tulane – IdleNext Competition: SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic, Houston, Texas – Feb. 16-18Valparaiso – Crusader Classic, Richton Park, Ill. – Team Finish: 6th/13 – Recap | ResultsNext Competition: Vanderbilt – IdleNext Competition: SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic, Houston, Texas – Feb. 16-18
Honorable Mention: Haylee Hulse, Central Arkansas; Caitlyn McDonald, Sam Houston State; Juana Plata, Lamar; Shayla Spearman, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Honorable Mention: Brooke Hanson, UIW; Emma Hawkins, Central Arkansas. Offensive Player of the Week: Lucy Ashworth, Lamar – Jr. – Forward – Manchester, EnglandThe league leader in points (41), Ashworth found the back of the net twice in a shootout win over ACU that saw seven goals scored in the final third of the match and three in the final nine minutes. She tied the match in the 70th minute with her first goal and scored the game-winner in the 89th minute before assisting on the final score 41 seconds later. Ashworth carried that momentum into Sunday’s win, netting the opening goal in the 17th minute against UIW. Honorable Mention: Clara Bornet, Central Arkansas; Kyleigh Hall, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Allyson Halliday, Stephen F. Austin. FRISCO, Texas – Lamar’s Lucy Ashworth, Northwestern State’s Kalee Williams and Sam Houston State’s Tatum Krueger are the Southland Conference Soccer Players of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. Williams, a sophomore defender, earns her first Defensive Player of the Week award after clocking 111 minutes on the back line in a 1-1 week for the Demons (8-7-1, 5-2-1 SLC), who clinched a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament with a 3-1 win over Houston Baptist on Sunday. NSU hits the road for the final time to take on Nicholls at 4 p.m. Friday before a 1 p.m. showdown with Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday. Ashworth picks up her third Offensive Player of the Week honor of the season after tallying three goals and an assist to lead the first-place Cardinals (10-6, 7-1 SLC) to a pair of thrilling victories over in-state foes Abilene Christian and UIW last weekend that clinched a conference tournament berth. LU looks to maintain its six-match winning streak in the final roadtrip of the season at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. Friday and versus Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. Sunday. Goalkeeper of the Week: Tatum Krueger, Sam Houston State – Fr. – Goalkeeper – Mansfield, TexasKrueger logged all 180 minutes in goal, stopping Nicholls’ only attempt on goal and stopping all four of Southeastern Louisiana’s shots on frame as the Bearkats outscored their opponents 8-0 on the weekend. She has not allowed a goal in 219 minutes going back to the first of their three-straight wins on Oct. 13 against McNeese. Defensive Player of the Week: Kalee Williams, Northwestern State – So. – Defender – Frisco, TexasWilliams and the Demons’ defense did all they could in a tight loss to A&M-Corpus Christi, limiting the Islanders to just three shots and one on goal – the lone goal of the match. NSU capped off the weekend with a 3-1 win, holding the Huskies to just nine shots and three on frame, and Williams scored the Demons’ first goal in the 14th minute. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots. Needing a pair of wins and some help to secure a return to the Southland Conference Tournament, the Bearkats (7-7-1, 5-2-1 SLC) did just that thanks to Krueger’s excellent net-minding. The freshman from Mansfield, Texas, claims her first Goalkeeper of the Week honor after recording a pair of clean sheets against Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls. SHSU faces a tough roadtrip that includes a 5 p.m. match at UIW on Friday and a 1 p.m. start at Abilene Christian on Sunday.
GLENDORA GIRL SCOUT TROOP TO PRESENT CHECK FOR $3,300 TO BENEFIT RETIRED RACEHORSES ON SATURDAY AT SANTA ANITA; CHECK TO BE GIVEN TO CARMA IN WINNER’S CIRCLE CEREMONY ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 11, 2019)–With horse safety and welfare of paramount concern, Glendora Girl Scout Troop 1834 has announced it will present the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) with a check totaling $3,300 in a Winner’s Circle ceremony on Saturday at Santa Anita.“Our girls have been out in the community and they have raised three hundred dollars for this incredible cause,” said Becky Hazelton, on behalf of Troop 1834. “Our girls are extremely proud to be able to help CARMA find homes for the many retired Thoroughbreds that they adopt out and we also want to thank all of those individual contributors, as well as Santa Anita, for contributing an additional $3,000 in order to make this happen.”CARMA, which is based at Santa Anita Park, assists in retraining and placing retired Thoroughbreds with other after-care organizations as well as families and individuals, who are seeking to adopt these horses for pleasure riding and in some cases, competitive hunter-jumper competition.Santa Anita, which proudly serves as CARMA’s leading funding mechanism, provides office space on-track and encourages fans and horsemen to assist in their efforts to rehabilitate and re-home hundreds of horses annually.For additional information on CARMA, please visit santaanita.com or CARMA4horses.org.
WHEN Spurs boss Jose Mourinho confessed he is useless at cooking, cleaning and ironing, he joined a long line of celebrities with an inability to do everyday things – from the straightforward to the strange.So we put together a quiz to see if you can guess who can’t do what. Match the tasks from one to nine to the celeb. Check the answers at the end. . .19 Jose Mourinho has confessed he is useless at cooking, cleaning and ironingCredit: Getty – ContributorWhich celeb can’t…1. …say the word penguin?19Credit: AFP or licensors2. …make a cup of tea?19Credit: Getty – Contributor3. …smell food?19Credit: Alamy4. …swim a stroke?19Credit: Alamy5. …vote in UK elections?19Credit: Alamy6. …wink an eye?19Credit: Alamy7. …whistle for attention?19Credit: Alamy8. …taste any food?19Credit: Alamy9. …drive a car?19Credit: AlamyCelebsA. Rihanna19Credit: Getty – ContributorB. Perrie Edwards19Credit: Getty – ContributorC. Noel Gallagher19Credit: Getty – ContributorD. Jade Thirlwall19Credit: Getty Images – GettyE. Phil Neville19Credit: Getty – ContributorF. Benedict Cumberbatch19Credit: Getty Images – GettyG. James Cracknell19Credit: Getty – ContributorH. Liam Gallagher19Credit: Getty Images – GettyI. The Queen19Credit: Getty – Contributormost read in tv and showbiz’really hard’Kathryn Thomas opens up about ’emotional turmoil’ of suffering miscarriagesSINEAD STUDIESSinead O’Connor accepted to study healthcare as she wants to join frontlinelockdown lowsGeorge McMahon says this week’s been ‘awful’ as he speaks about lockdownSTAR’S AIR-BOURNEMatt Damon jets back to US with family as he’s pictured at Dublin AirportExclusiveDAN GETS SHABBY TO GABBYJacqueline Jossa walks out on Dan after flirty text to Gabby Allenbirthday surpriseRyan Tubridy reveals daughters got him shelf to store vinyls for birthdayAnswers1F – Benedict Cumberbatch can’t say the word penguin2E – England women’s footie boss Phil Neville can’t make a cup of tea3B – Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards can’t smell food4H – former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher can’t swim a stroke5I – The Queen can’t vote in UK elections6A – Rihanna can’t wink an eye7D -Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall struggles to whistle for attention8G – Former rower and Strictly contestant James Cracknell can’t taste any food9C – High Flying Birds singer Noel Gallagher can’t drive a carJose Mourinho explains why it’s easier for Man Utd to play against the better teams in the Premier League after Spurs lose 2-1 at Old TraffordGOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
Who are the game’s elite second-rowers going into the 2017 season? The NRL.com team got together and settled on the following five players.5. Matt Gillett2016 stats: 81.2 metres per game, 38 tackles per game, 38 tackle breaksDespite missing a portion of the season with a shoulder injury, the Broncos back-rower still managed 21 NRL appearances, played in all three Origin games for Queensland and starred in Australia’s Four Nations triumph. Now established at representative level, will be a key man for Brisbane as they usher in the next generation of forwards in 2017.4. Josh Papalii2016 stats: 121.8 metres per game, 23 tackles per game, 59 tackle breaksMuch was made of Canberra’s right-edge colossus Elliott Whitehead in his first NRL season, but our writers opted to include the man on the other side of the Raiders pack instead. Papalii played in the mid-year Test for Australia, the first two Origin games and was ruled out of the Four Nations due to an ankle injury. One of the hardest-hitters in the game and still just 24, the Raiders wrecking ball still has his best years ahead of him.3. Tyson Frizell2016 stats: 92.9 metres per game, 33 tackles per game, 43 tackle breaksFrizell’s 2016 campaign was a breakout season if there ever was one, going from being on the cusp of representative selection to bona fide NSW and Australia star. Equally adept at playing in the middle or on an edge, Frizell showed his never-say-die quality in an ultimately unsuccessful chase down attempt on a runaway Dane Gagai in Origin II. Now the Dragons’ main man up front, looks to be a mainstay of the Blues and Kangaroos teams for many years to come.2. Tohu Harris2016 stats: 133.4 metres per game, 31 tackles per game, 62 tackle breaksMelbourne’s back-row workhorse enjoyed another stellar campaign as his side came up just short in the 2016 decider. He spent time in the centres and at five-eighth when required, but his best work was undoubtedly while in the forwards. He scored eight tries for the Storm and played every Test for the Kiwis. With fellow New Zealand rep Kevin Proctor now on the Gold Coast, will lead the Storm pack alongside Kiwis skipper Jesse Bromwich.1. Boyd Cordner2016 stats: 150.4 metres per game, 28 tackles per game, 34 tackle breaksAs the Counting Crows told us in their 2002 cover of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi, “Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”. The Roosters weren’t blaming the absence of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Mitchell Pearce and Cordner for their slow start to 2016, but missing those three men was never going to help Trent Robinson’s remodelled side. Cordner returned in Round 8 and played four NRL games and Origin I before injury again sidelined the forward until Round 18. But Cordner’s form towards the back end of the season was remarkable, as he scored four tries and averaged 153 metres across the last eight games of the season. He returned to the Kangaroos squad for the season-ending Four Nations and – along with Gillett and Merrin – formed one of the most dynamic back row combinations of recent years.
Photo by: Gregg Porteous: NRL Photos (Peter Mata’utia in action against the Bulldogs on Sunday). Mata’utia faces a fine of $1100 if he enters an early guilty plea but risks a $1500 fine if he unsuccessfully fights the charge at the NRL judiciary.There were no other charges from the weekend’s Round 18 matches.
Fox Sports commentators were among those baffled to see Dugan drop to one knee and then simulate wrapping something around his wrist after scoring his first Sharks try.We can reveal the celebration is a nod to hit online video game ‘Fortnite’, which is all the rage with gamers at the moment.The movement Dugan simulated is the act a character in the game will make when they are using a health pack to heal themselves.We’re guessing Dugan’s version is a cheeky in-joke pointing to his unfortunate ability to find an injury.Did you pick it?
Gordons Kokofas were on fire, beating Central Bombers 7.4.46-2.4.16 in the A-reserve grade of the Port Moresby AFL round two competition at Amini Park.In the first quarter, Bombers were in front scoring one behind while Kokofas struggled to score following plenty of missed passes.Kokofas were back in the game in the second quarter after a beautiful goal from Yatom Wemer just three minutes into the second quarter.Bombers fought back, scoring two more behinds but another goal from Walter Yogomin and one behind had Kokofas well ahead in the game, taking the score to 2:1:13-0:2:2.Kokofas again dominated in the third quarter with another two goals from Junior Tule and Cohlen Tauliebo as they beefed up their defence, preventing Bombers from kicking goals.The fourth quarter was entertaining to watch as the Bombers came firing back with two goals through Kila Keimelo and Albert Leka but the effort was not enough to bridge the gap. Their players lacked speed in the final quarter as they attempted to defend their goal.Kokofas gained confidence and scored three more goals through Thomas Rover and two more from Walter Yogomin and Cohlen Tauliebo.Kokofas finished with a comfortable win 7.4.46-2.4.16 as they aimed to dominate the competition following their first victory last weekend.In other matches, Bomana Cats defeated Moniplus Taurama Suns 12.7.79-1.1.7while in the Open Women division, CPL Gerehu Magpies forfeited Gordons Kokofa and Moniplus Taurama Suns forfeited Lamana Dockers.
The night extravaganza of traditional and modern performance closed at 21:45pm, as PNG Commonwealth gold medalist DIka Toua climbed 50 steps to deliver the relay baton which has travelled throughout the country in the last 100 days.Later, fireworks light the sky, with the Games declared open. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was a happy man, declaring that all “sporting facilities built (for the Pacific Games) are world class.”He also wished good luck to the 4000 athletes who will be competing in the next two weeks, and encouraged them to take the PNG experience back with them to their own countries.Meanwhile, the Pacific Games Council President Vidyah Lakan proclaimed that the 2015 Port Moresby Games could be the greatest ever.Prince Andrew passed on greetings to the athletes from the head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth.Security before, during and after the closing ceremony was well organised, with many spectators freely walking into the BSP (Sir John Guise) Stadium and leaving at the end of the opening ceremony.Port Moresby has shown its Pacific neighbours that PNG means business in trying to top the medal tally for only the second time in the Games’ history. PNG only came first in medal ranking during the 1991 Pacific Games which was hosted on home soil.