Ruben Felix on Ole Miss Winning SEC Tournament

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Ruben Felix been at Ole Miss since 2015

On This edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez & Victor Anderson talk to Ole Miss Asst Coach Ruben Felix about the Rebels winning the SEC Tournament.

Among the topics Felix discussed include

  • The week in Knoxville as the Rebels made run to SEC Tournament
  • Hosting for first time in program history
  • Outlook of Oxford Regional
  • How Staff has turn Ole Miss Softball program to a winner
  • Experience of Ole Miss being in regional last year at Oklahoma
  • Keys to being success in postseason
  • Success of SEC getting 8 host sites and all 13 teams in the field

In The Circle with Ruben Felix Episode 94 

NCAA OXFORD REGIONAL SCHEDULE  Eastern Time Zone
Friday, May 19
Game 1: North Carolina vs. No. 22 Arizona State – 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 2: Southern Illinois vs. No. 13 Ole Miss – 9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Saturday, May 20
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 2:30 p.m. (TBD)
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 5 p.m. (TBD)
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 – 7:30 p.m. (TBD)

Sunday, May 21
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 2:30 p.m. (TBD)
Game 7 (if necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 – 5 p.m. (TBD)

Junior RHP Kaitlin Lee threw every pitch in the SEC Tournament earning MVP honors, and is only three wins off tying the single-season record. She’s thrown nine-straight CGs, and allowed no more than two earned runs each in her last nine starts (64.2 IP).

Oxford Regional Teams
Southern Illinois
Led by 18-year head coach Kerri Blaylock, the Salukis of Southern Illinois head into the postseason at 33-22 overall. They earned the automatic bid from the Missouri Valley Conference after topping No. 1 seed Northern Iowa in the MVC Tournament Championship game last Saturday. The Salukis have played well down the stretch going 9-1 in the last 10 games, and finished the MVC regular season with a 17-8 record. SIU did face both Mississippi State and Kentucky earlier this season, dropping all three contests.

Arizona State
Led by first year head coach Trisha Ford, the Sun Devils of Arizona State earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament from the Pac-12 conference. ASU, ranked No. 22 in both polls and the updated RPI, is 30-20 on the year with a 9-15 mark in conference action.

North Carolina
Led by 32-year head coach Donna Papa, the Tar Heels head into the postseason with a 38-19 overall record after going 14-9 in the ACC, earning an at-large big. No. 34 in the latest RPI, UNC finished 3-7 in its final 10 outings, falling to No. 1 Florida State in the ACC Championship game last Saturday.

Brittany Pickett is the ace for the Tar Heels with a 21-8 record and 2.63 ERA, with 207.2 innings pitched and 47 appearances. Behind her, Lynch is 11-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 24 appearances, while three other pitchers have combined for the remaining six wins, led by three from Sydney Matzko, and three from Hannah Nommensen.

Patrick Wright Talks Growth of LSU Softball

Beth Torina

On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson talks to the radio voice of LSU Softball Patrick Wright. Wright has been calling LSU Softball since 1997 talks about the upcoming Baton Rouge Regional where LSU as a National 13 seed will host Louisiana Lafayette, McNeese State, and Fairfield.

Wright discusses the regional but also discusses the growth of LSU Softball as well as SEC Softball since he started calling games in 1997.  Wright also discussed.

  • How Patrick Wright got into calling LSU Softball
  • The Louisiana Lafayette-LSU Rivalry
  •  Patrick Wright favorite moments during his time at LSU Softball
  • How has SEC grown over the years
  • Evolution of calling Softball from 90s to present
  • Working with both Beth Torina and Yvette Girouard.

In The Circle with Patrick Wright Episode 93

Patrick Wright also is the voice of LSU Women Basketball to go along with Softball.  You can listen to Wright call the Tigers games on Talk 107.3 FM locally in Baton Rouge, with free audio of the game at  LSUSports.Net .

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball.

You can listen to Interview with Beth Torina that took place before the season started as Torina previewed the Tigers season.

 

Gators Host Old Friend In Regional

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Kenny Gajewski was an asst for Tim Walton from 2013-2015 and won two national championships together.  (Photo Courtesy of V-Flex )

On this edition of In The Circle,  Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson talks to long time voice of Florida Gators Softball Adam Schick. Schick previews the Gators upcoming 2017 Gainesville Regional  which will see Florida see a familiar face in Oklahoma State Head Coach Kenny Gajewski who was an asst at Florida from 2013-2015 being part of the back to back National Titles in 2014 and 2015.  Should  Florida be concern in facing someone that knows them as well as Gajewski does?  Adam Schick breaks down the regional and also reviews the Gators 2017 season and key to success in Postseason for the Gators.

In The Circle with Adam Schick Episode 92

Also on this edition Schick reflects on his run as the voice of Florida Softball since being part of the broadcast in 2008.  Schick discusses.

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Adam Schick been part of Gators Broadcast since 2008
  • How the SEC and Softball have grown since he started in 2008
  • How Adam got into Softball
  •  Favorite moments of his career
  •  Impact of SEC Network.

Schick recently was hired as the new voice of Atlanta United in Major League Soccer which marks return home for Adam who is from Atlanta.

Schick also was voice of Gators Women Soccer and Women Basketball as well host podcast host of GatorTales.

Adam Schick Bio

Atlanta United FC (2017-present)
-Radio play-by-play broadcaster for Atlanta United FC on Sports Radio 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.

Gator IMG Sports Network (2007-present)
– Radio play-by-play voice of Florida Women’s Basketball, Softball, and Soccer.
-Host and producer of player features on football pregame show and fill-in play-by-play broadcaster for baseball.

SEC Network (2009-present)
-Play-by-play broadcaster for SEC Network+ Baseball, Soccer, Softball, Gymnastics & Basketball broadcasts.
-Provided play-by-play coverage of the 2013, 2014 & 2016 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Sirius/XM.
-Selected as play-by-play voice for the SEC Digital Network’s streaming coverage of the 2009 SEC Soccer Tournament.

Gator Tales Podcast (2015-present)
-Created and developed the official podcast for the Florida Gators.
-Writes, edits, hosts, produces, conducts interviews, and manages social media account for the podcast on a weekly basis.

Gridiron Now (2016-present)
-Writes feature stories and opinion pieces on the Florida Gators for the SEC-focused GridironNow.com.

GatorVision (2009-present)
-Serves as a reporter for GatorVision web content and GatorZone TV show.
-Conducts interviews and writes feature broadcast stories for “Gator Men’s Basketball” TV show.
-Hosted “Florida Women’s Basketball” and “GatorZone” TV shows that aired on the Fox Sports family of networks.

Orlando City SC (2015-2016)
-Radio play-by-play broadcaster for Orlando City SC on Real Radio 104.1 in Orlando.
-Hosted radio pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.
-Fill-in host for TV pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.

ESPN Gainesville (2006-2010, 2011-2016)

-Co-hosted & managed social media accounts for “The Tailgate,” a daily sports talk show on ESPN Radio in Gainesville.
-Delivered daily sports updates and covered various Gator teams for the station as a student.

 

Sydney Gerbracht Talks Going From Playing to Broadcasting

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On this edition of In The Circle, Former Houston Cougars Softball player Sydney Gerbracht talks about going from playing softball at Houston to now broadcasting games at Houston as well as her broadcasting aspirations and more including

  • How Sydney ended up at HoustonSydney_2
  • Favorite moments from her playing career
  • How Sydney got into broadcasting
  • What does Sydney hope to end up in Broadcasting

In The Circle with Sydney Gerbracht Episode 85 

Gerbracht free lances as a broadcaster including for the American Digital Network which Gerbracht will be on once again on May 5th for UCF at Tulsa. Below is her most recent broadcast on the American Digital Network between Houston and UConn.

Gerbracht played at Houston redshirting in 2011 being with the Cougars 2011 teamSydney_3 that won the Conference USA Regular season championship  and made it to the Super Regionals within one game of the Women’s College World Series  losing in three games at Oklahoma State. Gerbracht played for the Cougars from 2012-2015 making the NCAA Tournament from 2012-2014.

Gerbracht playing career ended at the American Conference Tournament Semi-Finals in 2015 in Orlando losing to Tulsa. Gerbracht joined the Cougars softball broadcast in 2016 and is currently in her second season as the Cougars color analyst and also done some play by play on occasion.

Scott Hall Talks Unique Career at Marshall

 

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Scott Hall is in his 14th season with Marshall Softball (Photo Courtesy of Scott Hall)

On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson talk to Scott Hall who recently celebrated his 750th game at Marshall. Hall who is currently the Marshall SID discusses his many hats that he has warn in his 14 seasons with Marshall including play by play broadcaster, student manager, graduate manager, volunteer coach, and director of ops with the softball program.

Among the topics Hall discusses in the podcast includes

  • How Scott Hall got involved with Marshall Softball?
  • What drew Hall to the sport of Softball?
  •  Memorable broadcasts of his career
  • Memorable Marshall games
  • Best Non Marshall Softball player Hall has ever seen in person?
  • How Marshall program changed from when Hall started to present?
  • Covering some of greatest Marshall players ever
  • Influence Marshall Head Coach Shonda Stanton had on his career.
  • Being part of Marshall first ever Conference Tournament Championship in 2013 in Tulsa and first NCAA Tournament Appearance.
  • Covering Amanda Williams as a player and coach

 Scott Hall Interview Episode 84

Rachele Fico talks Balancing Coaching and Playing Career

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Rachele Fico in her 2nd season as Asst Coach at Georgia. Photo Courtesy of Georgia Athletics.

On this edtion of In The Circle,  Eric Lopez talks to Rachele Fico about coaching in college softball as Fico in her 2nd season as Asst Coach at Georgia. Fico compares coaching to playing softball.  Fico also discusses the following.

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Fico was honored in 2015 with Banner at Tiger Park. (Photo by Nick Torina)
  • Who inspired Fico during her softball career?
  • Balancing Coaching with playing in the NPF
  • Advice Fico would give softball players who wants to coach and play
  • What it was like to return to LSU as an opponent in 2015 as Asst coach at South Alabama and get honored before the game?
  • What is it like to coach at Georgia and in the SEC?
  • What is Fico’s Coaching philosophy in coaching pitchers?
  • Reflecting on LSU Career
  • What it was like to return to LSU as an opponent?
  • Playing for Akron Racers
  • Comparing making WCWS as a Player at LSU to making WCWS as an Asst coach at Georgia

   Interview with Rachele Fico Episode 83

Fico was a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American at LSU as well as a three-time NFCA All-South Region First-Team member and three-time all-Southeastern Conference honoree. 
During her freshman season with the Tigers in 2010, Fico was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year. Fico led LSU to the Women’s College World Series in 2012. Fico ended her Tigers career among LSU’s top five in appearances (149), starts (104), complete games (82), innings pitched (774.0), wins (78), saves (8), opposing batting average (0.195), shutouts (32), strikeouts (797) and strikeouts per seven innings (7.21).

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Rachele Fico plays for Akron Racers in the NPF. Photo Courtesy of NPF.

Fico was the the No. 1 draft pick in the  2013 National Pro Fastpitch Draft by the Akron Racers where she has played her entire career highlighted by being An All-NPF Team selection in 2014.

While Fico has been playing in the NPF, Fico began her college coaching career  serving as an assistant coach at South Alabama during the 2015 season. Fico helped the Jaguars take the Sun Belt Conference crown and advanced to its fourth-straight NCAA Regional Tournament. Under Fico’s guidance, the USA pitching staff held a 2.51 ERA that was top 30 in the NCAA.

Fico went from South Alabama to Georgia for the 2016 season where in her first year with the Bulldogs, Fico helped the pitching staff to a 2.27 ERA, as the team collected 46 wins. Fico got to work with  Chelsea Wilkinson, who led the SEC with 28 victories and a NFCA All-Region selection. The Bulldogs would advance to the program’s third Women’s College World Series appearance which included knocking off defending National Champions Florida in the Super Regionals in Gainesville.

Here is my Interview with Rachele Fico during her rookie year in the NPF in 2013 as she played with former LSU Teammate Brittany Mack at Akron.

 

 

Laura Watten Talks BCU Softball 2017

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Laura Watten is in Bethune-Cookman Hall of Fame (Photo Courtesy of Bethune Cookman Athletics)

On this edition of In The Circle, Contributor to In The Circle Andreas Butler talks to Bethune-Cookman Softball Head Coach Laura Watten about the Wildcats 2017 season.

Watten begins her 10th season overall at Bethune- Cookman in her two stints in Daytona Beach.  Watten first stint at Bethune -Cookman was from 1998-2005 leading the Wildcats into the Super Regional in 2005 after winning the Gainesville regional.

Watten went to Maryland after 2005 season and coached there from 2006-2014. Watten now back at Bethune- Cookman in her third season looking to bring the Wildcats program back to the high level she led them to 5 NCAA Tournament appearances winning five straight MEAC Conference championships (2000-2005).

Laura Watten Interview  Episode 80

2017 MEAC Softball Preseason Predicted Order of Finish

As voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.

(First-place votes in parenthesis)

NORTHERN DIVISION                                                                                                   

School Points
Delaware State (18) 163
Norfolk State (3) 134
Hampton (2) 133
Morgan State (1) 86
Howard (1) 74
Maryland Eastern Shore 57
Coppin State 53

SOUTHERN DIVISION

School Points
Florida A&M (15) 136
Bethune-Cookman (2) 120
Savannah State (8) 115
North Carolina A&T State 72
North Carolina Central 50
South Carolina State 32

 2017 Softball Preseason All-MEAC Teams

As voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Preseason Player of the Year: Cortni Jones, Savannah State

Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Kenya Pereira, Florida A&M

First Team

Pos.

Name

School

Cl.

Hometown

P

Kenya Pereira

Florida A&M

Sr.

Kissimmee, Fla.

P

Tara Tursellino

Delaware State

Sr.

Moreno Valley, Calif.

C

Tia Bolden

Savannah State

Sr.

Decatur, Ga.

*1B

Iesha Waters

Bethune-Cookman

Jr.

Riverside, Calif.

*1B

Kayla McNair

Norfolk State

Sr.

Virginia Beach, Va.

2B

Danielle Velez

Delaware State

Sr.

Chino Hills, Calif.

3B

Cortni Jones

Savannah State

So.

Snellville, Ga.

SS

Brianna Harris

Savannah State

Jr.

Jacksonville, Fla.

OF

Annie Bakenhus

Bethune-Cookman

So.

Yucaipa, Calif.

OF

Whitney Farris

Florida A&M

Sr.

Coral Springs, Fla.

OF

Raven Gray

North Carolina A&T State

Jr.

Forest City, N.C.

UTL

Vanessa Washington

Delaware State

Jr.

Elk Grove, Calif.

*Indicates tie

Second Team

Pos.

Name

School

Cl.

Hometown

P

Sabrina Anguiano

Bethune-Cookman

Sr.

Hacienda Heights, Calif.

P

Mohagony Headen

North Carolina A&T State

So.

Greensboro, N.C.

C

Korynna Lara

Morgan State

Sr.

Las Cruces, N.M.

1B

Toni Anderson

Florida A&M

Jr.

Dothan, Ala.

2B

Seana Moriarty

Norfolk State

Jr.

Chesapeake, Va.

3B

Amber Fullwood

Florida A&M

Sr.

Land O’Lakes, Fla.

SS

Briana Sanders

Bethune-Cookman

So.

San Marcos, Calif.

OF

Alexis Singleton

Savannah State

Sr.

Sarasota, Fla.

OF

Tashayla Irvis

Florida A&M

Sr.

Lake Wales, Fla.

OF

Chasney Jenkins

Savannah State

Sr.

East Moline, Ill.

UTL

Megan Przeslawski

Norfolk State

Jr.

Tampa, Fla.

 

Shonda Stanton Talks Marshall 2017 Season

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On this edition, Eric Lopez talks to Marshall Thundering Herd Head Coach Shonda Stanton who entering her 18th season as Head Coach at Marshall. Stanton talk about the upcoming 2017 season. Among the topics Stanton talks about includes.

Interview with Shonda Stanton Episode 79

Marshall was picked third in CUSA Preseason Poll will be led by Zerkle who was also

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Morgan Zerkle made US National Team leads Herd Offense. (Photo Courtesy of Marshall)

selected as CUSA Preseason Player of the Year. Zerkle finished second on the Herd in 2016 batting .482, 54 hits including two home runs, 28 runs scored and 28 stolen bases.Zerkle became the fastest player in Marshall history to record 200 career hits in just her 137th game during the 2016 season.

The Herd’s offense gets a boost in 2017 with the return of  Shaelynn Braxton who missed all of 2016. In 2015 Braxton drove in 56 runs becoming just the second player in program history to drive in over 50 runs in two seasons. Four-time All-American Rachel Folden is the other.

Dixon won 23 games in 2016 which was the third straight year of 20 or more wins in a season as well as over 200 strikeouts (268) for the third straight season. Dixon broke Marshall’s career strikeout record passing Andi Williamson (2011-13).

For the latest on Marshall Softball go to HerdZone.com and follow on twitter @HerdSB

 

Gerice Olson Talks Return to NDSU

On latest edition, Eric Lopez talks with  Gerice Olson who begins her  first season as assistant coach at North Dakota State. Among the topics Olson discusses include.

  • What made her decide to come back to coach in D1?
  • What made her decide to come back to North Dakota State
  • How has school changed from when Olson played to present?
  • Working with Head Coach Darren Mueller
  • Outlook for 2017 Bison season
  • Impact of North Dakota State Football success on Softball.

Interview with Gerice Olson Episode 77

Olson returns to school where she played from 1997-2000 and was one of two seniors on NDSU’s 2000 NCAA Division II national championship team. Olson earned a spot on the national championship and regional all-tournament teams in 2000. Olson was  a North Central Conference (NCC) Player of the Week for the Bison, and was a two-time CoSIDA Academic all-district second team selection, a four-time NFCA Scholar-Athlete and earned Academic All-NCC honors.

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Gerice Olson was part of NDSU 2000 National Championship team(Photo Courtesy of NDSU)

Olson ranks  7th all-time in the program in games played (239), and doubles(42), while still ranked 4th all-time in triples (10),11th in stolen bases (52),and tied for 15th in total bases (266).

Olson returns to coaching in Division 1 softball after leaving UCF after 2012 season where Olson spent two years as an asst coach under Renee Luers-Gillispie helping leading the Knights to the NCAA Tournament in 2012.

Prior to UCF, Olson spent five years as the head coach at NCAA Division II University of Mary, where she led the Marauders to two Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference postseason tournaments.

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Olson was Head Coach at University of Mary from 2006-2010

Olson has spent the past the four years at Buffalo (Minn.) High School. She was an assistant coach for the Buffalo softball team that finished runner-up in the state tournament in 2016. The Bison qualified for the state tournament for the first time in program history in 2015.

The Bison 2017 team is young with only one senior in Alyssa Reina and 10 out of 17 players  are either Freshman or sophomores.

North Dakota State will host the Summit League Tournament in Fargo from May 10-13.

For more information on the Bison go to GoBison.com and follow the program on twitter @NDSUSoftball.

 

Frank Griffin Talks 2017 Hatters

On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez chats with Stetson Hatters Head Coach Frank Griffin about the upcoming Stetson Hatters 2017 season. Griffin entering his  21st year as head coach of the Stetson softball program.

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Frank Griffin begins his 21st year at Stetson in 2017

Griffin has 898 career victories during his 27 seasons of coaching softball which currently ranks him 24th among active NCAA Division I coaches and 38th on the all-time Division I coaches list.

During his 20 years at Stetson, Griffin has led the Hatters to 673 wins, 18 appearances in the A-Sun Softball tournament, two regular season championships, two conference tournament titles and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Among the topics Griffin talks about in the interview include:

  • Experience returning in the pitching staff in 2017
  • Overall outlook of the 2017 Hatters season
  • 2017 Schedule
  • A-Sun Conference outlook
  • Having his coaching staff together for a long time with Vanessa Bataille & J.J. Payette.
  • Advice Griffin would give to people going into coaching softball
  • Renovations upgrades to Patricia Wilson Field

Frank Griffin Interview Episode 73

The Hatters are coming off a 30-24 season in 2016 and will be led offensively by Senior second baseman Jessie TenBroeck  and senior leftfielder Kelsey Waters who were each selected to the  A-SUN 2017 preseason all-conference team.  TenBroeck was voted as one of the league’s Preseason Defensive Players of the Year.

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Jessie Ten Broeck leads Hatters on offense and defense.(Photo Courtesy of Stetson )

TenBroeck batted .343 in 2016 with 59 hits, 30 runs scored, and 33 stolen bases in 2016  earning first team all-conference honors. Waters also earned first team all-conference honors in 2016 after batting .308 with seven doubles, two triples, a home run, and 16 RBI.

The Hatters return experience in the circle with pitchers Chelsea Hostetler, Curstin Taylor, Brooke Hutto, and Tori Perkins all return from last season.

Perkins made A-SUN All Freshman team last season and was tied for team lead in wins with 12 with Hutto who also made all-Freshman team last season.

This season, Griffin added former UCF standout hitter Jessica Ujvari as a volunteer coach. Ujvari won the 2015 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year at UCF played 3 seasons at UCF (2014-2016) returns to the A-Sun Conference where Ujvari played her first season in 2013 at USC UpState.

Ujvari joins an experience staff that includes Associate Head Coach Vanessa Bataille who entering her 18th year at Stetson and J.J Payette who begins her 11th season with Hatters on coaching staff after playing for Griffin for previous four years (2003-2006).

For more information on Hatters Softball, go to GoHatters.com and follow on twitter @StetsonSoftball