Gene's Blog: Both Baseball, Softball heading for home
April 09, 2012
John Tschida has guided Tommie softball to 50 consecutive wins in MIAC games. (Greg Smith photo)
The seasons are over for Gopher hockey and the Minnesota Wild… and from the sound of talk radio, the Minnesota Twins, too.
The first weekend of the MLB season left the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins with a combined 0-9 record.
The Colorado Rockies’ starting pitcher on Saturday was 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, who has been on earth to see 10 different U.S. presidents, starting with JFK.
But he wasn’t the oldest pitcher to work at a pro baseball game last week. In my hometown of Davenport, Iowa, the Class A River Bandits took a page out of the Satchel Paige book. They had Shelby Harris of Rock Island throw out the first pitch. Shelby is the oldest living male in America… at age 111. (For those scoring at home, that’s 19 U.S. presidents in his lifetime.)
In golf, a guy named Bubba who hails from Bagdad, Fla. (No, it’s not John Daly) beat a player nicknamed “Shrek” to claim the Masters championship.
But you didn’t have to travel to Camden Yards, Davenport or Butler Cabin to expand your sports knowledge base. Here’s an April dose of Tommie tidbits:
--Fans of on-campus Tommie softball and baseball have had few chances to watch their favorite teams thus far in 2012. Only two of the 24 softball games have been played on the South Campus Field, and none of theToms’ 20 baseball games have been at Koch Diamond.
That will change starting today with six doubleheaders at UST in an 11-day stretch. Baseball is home Monday for a 1 p.m. makeup twinbill vs. St. Mary’s, then plays a pair against St. John’s Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. They also are home April 18 to face Macalester.
Softball plays St. Mary’s Wednesday at 3:30 p.m on the south campus field, and next week has doubleheaders against Carleton and St. Catherine on April 17 and 19.
Over the last decade, Tommie baseball is 86-14 at Koch Diamond. Since April 2005, Tommie softball is 63-1 on campus.
Home has been kind to other St. Thomas teams thus far in 2011-12. UST went 40-2 on-campus last fall and winter in football (8-0), volleyball (7-0), women's basketball (15-0) and men's basketball (10-2)
Did You Know?
--Of the first 26 conference games thus far in MIAC baseball, 12 have been decided by one run, seven others by two runs.
--The Tommies are 5-0 in one-run games after going 4-8 in such games in 2011.
--Bethel is off to a 5-1 start early in the MIAC baseball race. The Royals are looking to become the 10th different conference institution since 2008 to make the four-team MIAC baseball playoffs. St. Thomas is the lone program to qualify in each of the last four seasons.
--St. Thomas softball has won 10 consecutive games. That marks the 16th year in a row that Coach John Tschida’s St. Mary’s or St. Thomas teams have had at least one double-digit win streak.
--Tschida is on pace to coach his 800th career game later this month and on target to win his 700th game next season. He’s guided the Tommies to 50 consecutive wins over MIAC opponents.
--During Tommie softball’s current 10-game win streak, freshman RHP Kendra Bowe is 6-0 with an 0.70 ERA with 41 strikeouts and only seven walks .
--More softball: Junior 2B Kimmy Hassel, who had a 14-game hitting streak halted on Thursday, has a hit, run or RBI in all 26 games this season. Sophomore Emily Gregory has an eight-game hitting streak. Sophomore Jenna Hoffman reached base in 11 consecutive plate appearances last week over three games by seven hits, three walks and an error.
--Four different St. Thomas teams lost in the NCAA playoffs this school year to the eventual national champions –- three on the road, and one on a neutral site.
Football lost 20-0 at UW-Whitewater in the national semifinals; men’s hockey fell 3-1 at St. Norbert in the first round; men’s basketball lost at UW-Whitewater in round two, 91-62; and women’s basketball lost to Illinois Wesleyan 67-53 in the national semifinals.
--St. Norbert outscored opponents 15-4 and only trailed once during its 4-0 run to the Division III men’s hockey championship. The Green Knights trailed the Tommies 1-0 into the second period and didn’t take a lead until the game’s 37th minute.
--It’s almost unheard of for a No. 1-ranked college team to lose a game by a 20-point margin. But that’s what happened to the Amherst women last month at the hands of UST in the third-place game at the Final Four. Coach Ruth Sinn’s Tommies capped a 31-2 season as they cruised to an 87-60 victory over the Lady Jeffs.
--The Tommie women set a school record for season proficiency by making 75.8 percent of free throws last winter. They averaged 16 points a game at the line.
--St. Thomas teams went 16-6 in NCAA playoff games during the 2010-11 school year in football (2-1), volleyball (3-1), men’s hoops (6-0), baseball (1-2) and softball (4-2).
Tommie teams thus far in 2011-12 are 12-5 in football (3-1), volleyball (3-1), women’s basketball (5-1), men’s basketball (1-1) and men’s hockey (0-1).
Track and Field Talk
--St. Thomas will host a men’s outdoor track meet next Friday the 13th at O’Shaughnessy Stadium. Field events start at 4 p.m., and running events at 4:30.
--Tommie men’s and women’s CC and track and field athletes have won 12 NCAA championships over the last nine years –- three relays and nine individual events.
For the first time since 1993, St. Thomas has had two individuals win national crowns in the same school year with Ben Sathre (cross country) and Mike Hutton (indoor T&F 800).
--All 20 men’s basketball players named to the 2011-12 All-MIAC Team and All-Defensive Team are native Minnesotans.
--The latest federal jobs report is in. The good news: the economy produced 120,000 new jobs last month. The bad news: half of them were filled by Ryan Seacrest and Mike Rowe.
--One job that even Seacrest couldn’t pull off: A local signmaker will be at the Anderson Pool today to revise the Tommie school record books for swimming and diving. He’ll climb the ladder and change 16 records broken last winter by Coach Tom Hodgson’s teams.
UST’s oldest pool record on the books -– a 1984 mark in the butterfly by Michael Hawkins –- was broken at the February MIAC Championships by Matt Rippentrop.