After bleak start of season, the College World Series is becoming a reality for Lady Cru softball

At the beginning of the season, junior outfielder Sarah Roman said she was expecting to dominate the competition this year. With an overall record of 23-13 and a conference record of 19-1, the softball team has done just that. Head Coach Kasey Blomquist said, “We have really started to come together as a team. We are hitting the ball very well, playing defense, and the pitchers are doing a great job of mixing things up.” They started the season strong with a pair of wins against Southwestern University but struggled in the American Southwest Conference First Pitch Tournament. In California they played a few non-conference games against different teams from across the state and returned home without a win. It looked like a pattern was starting to form, but the Cru didn’t get down on those early losses. Sophomore Catcher Jordan Schrutka said, “We had our struggles towards the beginning of season, (but) I believe that facing the teams in California was a huge learning experience for us. We realized what we needed to work on in order to really compete with these teams. It changed our work ethic in practice and gave us the drive to be better.” And better they became. After the California road trip, they came back to Texas and swept Schreiner University, Sul Ross State University, and won three out of four games against Hardin-Simmons University. They’ve been on a mission to make the World Series since the beginning of the season, and with a first place ranking in the ASC West Division, it appears they are on their way. Schrutka believes staying positive under any circumstance has been a key to their success. She said, “If we are down, we have the confidence and mental strength to come back from behind. We don’t let down.” Right fielder Sabrina Garcia thinks the team chemistry and talent is the reason for their triumph, but realizes they still have a lot of work to do. “We are far from a perfect team. Every day of practice is a chance for us as a team to get better, as well as individually,” Garcia said. “As for the week of the tournament, we will be focused on tight defense and big sticks.” This year the ASC tournament will take place at Railroad Park in Lewisville, Texas. The Lady Cru have been given a first-round bye meaning they won’t play till...

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Tennis in conference contention

The semester is coming to a close, as is the regular season for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams. With just one match left to play, the women are 5-1 in conference and 10-5 overall. They’ve had 5 shutouts, and two of those came this past weekend with wins over LeTourneau University and Howard Payne University. Sophomore exercise sport science major Mallory Aarhus said, “I think we’ve been playing well recently because everything seems to have finally clicked. All our work and support of each other is directed toward the same goal.” The men have also been successful with a conference record of 4-2, and an overall record of 8-5. They defeated Howard Payne last Saturday 6-3 at the Yavonne Li Tennis Center in Belton. Junior sport management major Alex Graham said, “We have a good shot of making the conference tournament.” Being prepared and leaving everything on the court has been what the team has been aiming to do all year. Both teams have come out with a new attitude of winning, but the men have already improved from last year’s overall record of 3-7 and a 3-3 conference record. Sophomore sport management major Josh Pownall said, “I think the biggest difference from this year and last is that our team, as a whole, believes we can not only compete in the conference, but that we can win in the conference. We now go into matches believing, rather than hoping, that we will win.” Although the teams have had their share of domination this year, both the men and women have suffered a close 4-5 loss to rival Hardin-Simmons University. Graham said, “It was a very close match. We felt good coming out of doubles being up 2-1, and winning the next two singles matches,” he said. “Unfortunately we ended up not getting it done. I feel like we gave it our best shot, and they ended up being the better team that day.” Since then, the women have bounced back with an important win to secure a spot in the conference tournament. With last weekends conference win, the men should be in the same boat. Pownall said, “I want to win conference this year for my teammates, and for our coaches. If we don’t, we have had a great monumental season, and we’re only getting...

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‘Take the deal’

Even before President Obama took on the monumental job of repairing years of damage, his every move was scrutinized and dissected to pieces. His latest challenge has been developing a universal healthcare plan which has undeniably been more of the same. On Feb. 25, Republicans and Democrats took part in the healthcare summit which lasted a grueling seven hours. Both parties gave compelling arguments, but the main concerns seemed to be the cost, the low quality of insurance and the potential for the government to “take over.” Obama denounced these theories and held his position of supporting the new plan. Number 1: As long as there is a public option, which will be part of the new plan, the cost will go down. Number 2: Even if the quality of insurance is slightly diminished, which it shouldn’t be, some insurance is better than no insurance at all. Number 3: It’s not all government run. The American people will still have the option of sticking with their current insurance provider. These arguments are scare tactics being used by Republicans to make the public believe the new plan is the root of all that is unholy. Yes, 85 percent of Americans currently have health insurance, and 80% percent are pleased, but what about the 15 percent who can’t afford insurance at all? Don’t they deserve to be just as happy? The plan is clearly imperfect and will have to be tweaked a bit, but this is the next best thing. For goodness sake, the man is trying to help the less fortunate people of our nation. Despite the negative opinion, most people agree that providing universal healthcare is a means to bettering our economy. Obama can’t please everyone, everywhere, all at the same time, but with this list of positives, he’ll come pretty close: 1. Your choice of doctors will be protected. 2. Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage if you get sick. 3. Dependents up to 26 years old can be covered on their parents’ policy. 4. You will have access to emergency care, in or out of network, with no additional cost. 5. Affordable insurance will be made available if you have been uninsured or have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. 6. Small businesses will be eligible for tax credits so they can afford to provide insurance for employees. These are just a few of the great things that the plan will do. For years, some Americans have looked at Canada in envy because of their healthcare design and wished that the U.S. would adopt something similar. Here’s our version. It’s not perfect yet, but for...

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Improvements for Cru softball due to new players

“I definitely expect a trip to the World Series this year, and I’m sure I can speak for the whole team on that one,” said junior catcher Lindsey Gordon. The season began this spring with a pair of wins over the Pirates of Southwestern University. With the addition of a few new players, including short stop Brittany Moreno, outfielders Kaysie Creech and Austin McCormick, third baseman Caitlin Bollier, and pitchers Erica White and Hannah White, the team is much deeper and equipped with athletes who can perform in multiple positions. Head softball Coach Kasey Blomquist said, “I am very excited about the chemistry of our team as well as the athletic ability. This year we have a lot more depth, and kids are going to be doing a lot more things. We made some mistakes against Southwestern, but overall I was pleased with outing.” Defensively they were strong, and they fought hard the entire time, which is something they struggled with last season. Unfortunately, the women weren’t as successful in their next doubleheader against Louisiana College. The Wildcats quickly jumped ahead with a two-run homer that would lead to an 8-0 victory. In the second game, the Cru wasn’t able to overcome another early deficit, and lost 10-3. Gordon said, “I think our hitting needed to improve, which we have been working on a lot. There were a few defensive errors made, but I know we will improve in that area, too.” Junior outfielder Sarah Roman said that there are four words they try to live by: dedicated, determined, competitive and respect. “We’re not letting that loss get us down, but build us up,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to learn.” The team still has high hopes for the season, and many of them feel they have what it takes to win a championship. Roman said, “My expectations for the season are to dominate. We are an incredibly talented and versatile team, and we have the capability to make it past conference and continue to the World Series.” Defense and pitching are two things Blomquist wanted to improve on from last season, and with the new talent added to the squad, she believes they have done just that. But how have the freshmen and transfers meshed with the core group? Roman said, “The new players have fi t in incredibly well with the returners, (and) our team chemistry has become so strong. Some of my best friends are on this team, and I know it’s like that for other girls.” The next home game will be on March 26 at 1 p.m. against the Mountaineers of Schreiner University. It...

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Tennis on the upswing
Feb25

Tennis on the upswing

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are back on the court, and they have come out firing. This past weekend the Cru went head-to-head in a dual conference match against Schreiner University, in which the women swept the Mountaineers 9-0, while the men secured a commanding 6-3 victory at UMHB’s Yvonne Li Tennis Center. Sophomore singles and doubles player Megan Aarhus said, “So far the season has been going really great. We’ve had a successful first tournament and first dual match.” The accomplishments of the team can be linked to several different factors, but Aarhus has her own theory. “I believe we have been successful this year because we’ve picked up a strong sense of school spirit (while) bringing in a greater confidence in each of us as players.” Head Coach for both teams, James Cohagan, has been pleased with the way his athletes have performed and believes this year’s squad is one of the greatest assemblies of players the university has seen in a while. “They are doing well this year,” he said. They have worked harder in conditioning than any group we’ve had in the last five years, and there is more team unity and expectations of themselves and each other.” One key element that the men have done well is winning their doubles matches. Cohagan explained that if the guys get ahead in doubles, then some of the stress of performing well in singles is relieved. “It’s like who scores fi rst in a baseball game,” he said. “If you can get up in the doubles, then everyone can kind of relax and do their best.” The women have done particularly well in singles this season, as well as in doubles play. They took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes in singles for the first match of the semester, the Cru Spring Classic, and won the championship over Southwestern University in doubles. Junior men’s team captain Daniel White said, “Of the three years that I have been here, this is the best (team) by far. We have worked harder this year than ever before. We do something productive at least five days a week, whether that is hitting, conditioning or watching film of our previous matches. The team has completely changed its mentality and we have become really intense, treating everything as one step closer to our goal of going to conference.” Both teams will travel to Longview Feb 25 to take on the Yellow Jackets of Letourneau University at 2...

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