Archive for Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Chieftain softball team, spring off to good starts

April 3, 2002

The evening had a slight chill last Thursday and a vibrant full moon occupied the sky after Tonganoxie concluded its season-opening doubleheader.

Two things were certain Thursday evening: Spring is approaching and the Chieftains started the season strong.

Opening the year 2-0 had to be encouraging for Tonganoxie, especially when they won the doubleheader by a combined score of 19-2 against Jeff West.

The Tigers also were the last team the Chieftains defeated in 2001. Tonganoxie advanced in a 4A regional quarterfinal against Jeff West, then lost to Holton 4-0 in the semifinals after losing then-junior Andrea Korb with a broken wrist against the Tigers. That injury occurred on a play at home plate, but close plays were few against Jeff West Thursday. The Tigers threatened in the second game, scoring first with a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. The Chieftains, though, scored in each of the next three innings on their way to the sweep.

The Chieftains will face tougher competition when the Kaw Valley League schedule is in full swing, but Tonganoxie's start, like the new springtime weather last week, was refreshing for the Chieftains.

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National Public Radio had a piece two weeks ago about the World Cup soccer tournament in June. The popular event on the global scene will be played in Korea and Japan.

An Irish journalist spoke about a national push in Ireland to adjust the daily time schedule for June to accommodate the tournament being played halfway across the globe. There's no indication yet whether this would actually happen or if Irish citizens would have to settle for either staying up late or setting the VCR.

And we thought Americans were intense sports fans.

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The Final Four didn't turn out peachy in Atlanta for Kansas.

Still, it was an impressive year despite the sour ending that almost was erased by a furious rally against Maryland, the eventual national champion.

And so, Kansas coach Roy Williams is still "the greatest coach never to win a national championship."

One radio analyst said coaches are great when they win national championships. Mediocre Williams will have to get by with his nearly 400 wins compared to 93 losses. Sure, a national championship would close the deal for Williams, but it also took Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith a few years to nab their first national championships.

The Jayhawks did make it back to the Final Four, and perhaps they'll be next year's Maryland.

If at first you don't succeed, win it the next year.

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Nothing says watch party like viewing the Final Four on the Megatron at the University of Kansas' Memorial Stadium. There might have been 10,000 fans at the stadium Saturday evening, not a bad crowd for what became a cold night in Lawrence and for the Jayhawks.

Perhaps football games will attract more fans than that in the fall.

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Opening day for the Royals turned out sour Monday in Kansas City.

But it was also a difficult day for a hopeful groom. A man proposed to his fiancin a traditional manner at a baseball game broadcast on the jumbotron.

The fianc though, said no to marriage and allegedly threw her beer in the man's face.

It turns out the sequence was staged by Royals officials on Monday, which was April Fool's Day.

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