Anne Delaney

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux should enter Hall together

I hope John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux all retire at the end of this year and go into the National Baseball Hall of Fame together.

Smoltz and Glavine passed each other on trips to and from the disabled list this week. Smoltz went on the DL with a right shoulder injury Tuesday as Glavine was coming off after injuring his hamstring. The Braves pitchers have served the game well, and I hope if balky injuries mar their 2008 season the 40-somethings step aside. Maddux will probably still be working his magic and going strong.

Hamilton, Oriskany out in the cold

Almost every way the Hamilton and Oriskany softball teams could commit an error on Wednesday, the Emerald Knights and Redskins found a way. The teams combined for 12 errors and eight unearned runs in a Center State Conference Division III game.

"It's too many for two good teams," Hamilton coach Bill Dowsland said.

Oriskany is the defending Section III Class D champions and Hamilton has had some very good years in the recent past, including an appearance in the state finals in 2004. The teams met in the Class D-1 final last year, won by Oriskany 4-3.

I expected a compelling game, but Mother Nature had other plans. On a cold and windy afternoon - though it was nice when the sun was out - the teams were nowhere near post-season form. Three of those involved said the poor play was due to the weather, which was an interesting admission from someone in sports.

"I think that is the biggest thing," Oriskany coach Eric Enos said.

Oriskany was sweating in the fifth inning. Hamilton, which trailed 8-2 at the end of the fourth, rallied for five runs to make it 8-6 before Redskins pitcher Kayla Dunning got Jenna Whyatt to fly out to center.

"Thank you, Lord," said the left-handed Dunning. "I was relieved to be out of that inning."

There was one good defensive play in the game. In the top of the sixth, Oriskany first baseman Liz Horan made a nice shoestring catch on a pop-up by Nicole Beers for the first out.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hamm, Foudy inductions among best of 2007

The 2007 National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction featuring Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy ranked ninth among the top 10 moments in women's sports last year as selected by the Women's Sports Foundation. A clip of the August induction ceremony was shown on April 15 when the top 10 list was announced at The Billie Awards, named for WSF founder Billie Jean King.

The number one moment of 2007 was Wimbledon announcing equal prize money for men and women. The 35th anniversary of Title IX, the federal education amendment of 1972 responsible for equality in college and high school sports, was No. 3.

I covered the Hamm and Foudy inductions on Aug. 26, though I had no idea the event would make a top 10 list. I cover high school soccer for the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, NY, which is about an hour from the National Soccer Hall of Fame and I was thrilled to go to Oneonta.

Soccer was my first sport. I was about nine when AYSO came to my hometown. I'll never forget my first jersey. I don't remember the number - probably No. 10 for Pele because this was in the 1970s. It was a mesh maroon v-neck and it looked snazzy with the white shorts. Maybe that's the pride many of the young girls at the Soccer Hall of Fame last summer felt as they walked in Hamm and Foudy jerseys. Most wore Hamm's No. 9 but there were a few in Foudy's No. 11.

The crowd was enormous, the bigger than those I'd seen at the Oneonta grounds for the boys state tournament games I covered there. That alone should've been a sign of the significance of the day. The women were inspirational in their speeches, given in front of a record. Neither Hamm nor Foudy talked about their records, World Cup wins or Olympic medals. They spoke of the people they met during their careers, the teammates and family who helped become two of the most accomplished athletes in American history, among men or women.

One of the last things I did before I left Oneonta to return to the newspaper was talk with a young family: a husband, wife and toddler-aged daughter. The child's name was Mia and the pregnant woman pointed to her stomach and said the unborn child would be named Julie. I asked the couple if they were serious and they said yes. I didn't get them into the story that ran in the paper the next day and I don't remember their explanation for the girls names. I could understand parents naming their children Peyton or Eli, Brett or Brady. But Mia or Julie? Come on. You can't put a number on that.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Moran plays good defense in loss

Whitesboro catcher Colleen Moran had a good day on Tuesday, despite the Warriors' 4-1 loss to Oneida.
In the top of the second inning, Moran made a diving catch on a foul ball for one out and threw out a runner at second base for the second out. Moran had a passed ball in the seventh innning that led to Oneida's fourth run, but the Indians' win was in the bag.

Moran's day was sealed with her second-inning defense. Oneida's Clare Henry led off the inning with a base hit. The next batter, Jenn Rougeux fouled off a ball toward the Indians' bench on the third base line. Moran raced over and caught the ball with an outstretched arm near the screen. Moran threw out Henry at second base during the next at-bat to Erika Williams. Whitesboro pitcher Jaymie Rosati finished off the inning with a strikeout of Williams.

Moran was also active in leading Whitesboro chants while the Warriors were at-bat. Long a part of softball, there are a variety of chants that seem to be standbys for girls softball teams. Moran led a new one, dedicated to teammate Lauren Hoffman when the senior shortstop was at the plate. H-O-Double F Hoffy!!