AFP Sports Blog – Monday, Feb. 9, 2009

– News: VCU gets TV time for BracketBusters, Monday, 7:25 p.m.
– News: JMU softball picked second in preseason CAA poll, Monday, 7:25 p.m.
– Video: AP Sports Monday-Lakers beat Cavs, more, Monday, 9:45 a.m.
– Video: UVa. men’s lacrosse 2009 season preview, Monday, 9:45 a.m.

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News: VCU gets TV time for BracketBusters, Monday, 7:25 p.m.

Virginia Commonwealth University will take on Nevada at 9 p.m., Eastern Standard Time on Friday, Feb. 20 in Reno, Nev. in an ESPNU BracketBusters contest. ESPNU will broadcast the game nationally.

It will be the Rams’ sixth appearance on an ESPN network this season. VCU is participating in BracketBusters for the fifth consecutive year. Last season the Rams defeated Akron, 57-52, in a game broadcast by ESPN2.

The VCU-Nevada match-up is one of 13 BracketBusters contests, selected from a pool of 51 games, that will be carried on an ESPN network. The Rams are one of five Colonial Athletic Association teams to receive a televised BracketBusters tilt, the most of any participating conference.

VCU is currently 17-7 and sits alone in second place in the CAA with a 10-3 mark.

 

News: JMU softball picked second in preseason CAA poll, Monday, 7:25 p.m.

After reaching their first Colonial Athletic Association championship game in 2008, the James Madison softball has been picked to finish second in 2009 according to a preseason vote of the conference’s eight head coaches.

JMU received one first-place vote and 42 total points to finish behind conference favorite Hofstra. The Pride claimed seven first-place votes and finished with 49 points.

2008 CAA regular season runner-up Georgia State was picked third with 37 points, while Towson and Drexel followed with 29 and 28 points, respectively. Delaware and UNC Wilmington tied for sixth ahead of George Mason.

The Dukes finished 2008 with a 32-22 overall record, including 14-6 in the CAA. They entered the CAA Championship as their third seed, winning their first two games over the top-two seeds to advance to the championship game. The Dukes fell in the championship game an 11-inning thriller to seven-time CAA champion Hofstra.

Madison returns eight positional starters from last year’s squad as well as two all-conference pitchers. Senior third baseman Amber Kirk (Hamilton, Va./Loudoun County) returns to pilot the offense after leading the Dukes in batting average (.324), hits (55), home runs (7), RBIs (33) and slugging percentage (.506). She is supported by senior catcher Julia Dominguez (Sterling, Va./Park View) who is the school’s all-time home run leader with 25. Junior outfielder Courtney Simons (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) lead the team with 28 runs scored and added three home runs, 18 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

In the circle JMU returns first-team All-CAA selection Meredith Felts (Greenville, N.C./J.H. Rose) who went 17-9 with a 1.25 ERA in 2008. She led the team with 152 strikeouts and a .189 opponent batting average against. Senior right-hander Jenny Clohan (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) also returns for the Dukes. She is JMU’s all-time leader in innings pitched, appearances and saves. In 2008 the former first-team All-CAA selection went 10-8 with a 2.04 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 161 innings pitched.

The Pride returns seven starters from their 2008 line-up, including two-time CAA Pitcher of the Year, senior Kayleigh Lotti, who led the league in opponent batting average (.153), strikeouts (241), wins (23) and saves (5). Marking Hofstra’s record book, the squad finished the season 45-13, collecting the most wins in school history. The Pride

also welcomes back junior first baseman Michele DePasquale and senior second base Casey Fee, who both collected All-Region and All-Conference honors last season.

Georgia State returns 13 letterwinners from last year’s squad that posted a 37-18 season and finished second in the league at 15-5. Sophomore catcher Catherine Lee, 2008 CAA Player and Rookie of the Year, returns to lead the Panthers after posting an impressive freshman season, posting a .411 batting average with a single-season school record 17 homeruns, and added 63 RBIs and 51 runs scored. Joining her will be senior outfielder Holly Willis and junior shortstop Rachel Cunningham, who each earned first team all-conference honors last spring.

The 2009 CAA softball championship will be held on May 6-8 at the sight of the regular season champion.

  

Video: AP Sports Monday-Lakers beat Cavs, more, Monday, 9:45 a.m.

Video: UVa. men’s lacrosse 2009 season preview, Monday, 9:45 a.m.


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