Women’s golf begins ASC tournament play

By Leif Johnston The women’s golf team has been on a mission this season, and the upcoming tournament April 15-16 will give the ladies a chance to prolong their season and take a trip back to the white sand beaches of Destin, Fla. They will compete in the American Southwest Conference tournament in Lufkin, Texas  at the Crown Colony Country Club. Recently, the women played in the Southwestern Invitational and placed fourth. “We had been playing well up until this past tournament, but I think our problem was we got out of our usual practice routine,” head coach Darla Kriby said. “The girls are driven and this week we will get back into that routine and I think we will be ready on Monday and Tuesday.” With a course that many of the girls have only played on once, the Cru will be focusing  on some of the details of their game to make sure they are at their best going into the championship tournament. “We are going to work on our chipping and our putting. Crown Colony is a very tight course so it will be hard to hit a lot of greens there. So we have to make sure our short game is on,” Kirby said. A big aspect of golf is making sure you have the right mindset and put everything else aside. The Crusaders have perfected that mindset all year long, but now that they are moving on to the big tournaments that mindset can never waver. “When our mentalities are completely focused and centered on what we’re doing instead of what we’re not doing and what everyone else is doing, we will be able to play our best,” Sophomore exercise and sport science major Emily Santos said. The competition in the conference has been good all year, but  the emergence of UT-Tyler here late in the season has proved to be an obstacle for the Cru. At the Southwestern Invitational UT-Tyler finished first overall, but this won’t intimidate the women one bit. “At conference it will be UT-Tyler and Schreiner that will be our competitors for the championship. UT-Tyler is playing well and Schreiner can play well at any time…but granted I think when we are playing our best I don’t think they can beat us,” Kirby said. The team has expressed all season  they would love to shoot a team low of around 302. Although in golf you are out there by yourself the Cru makes it evident of just how tight-knit their team actually is. “Our motto all year has been, ‘playing for each other’ which really shows how much we value...

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Cru Score Second
Apr17

Cru Score Second

As the final seconds on the clock witnessed the formalities of a decided game, the dominant story of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship was not Amherst’s second national title. It was the story of an unranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor team and its crusade to Atlanta. After two losses in the three opening games of what would be their national championship campaign, the Cru would regroup to forge a regular season record of 17-2 and place themselves in the American Southwest Conference fi nal. The loss to conference rival, Concordia University, in the ASC championship robbed the team of an ASC title, but perhaps in exchange unknowingly gave UMHB the drive to orchestrate a championship run. With the best record in the conference, the Crusaders earned a fi rst round bye in the NCAA tournament. Almost two weeks after their ASC title defeat, the Cru came after Concordia with a vengeance by unleashing 117 points on the Tornados to win by 25 at home at its Crusader Arena. With the momentum of a huge and high-scoring second round win, the UMHB basketball program punched its ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 and tied the best run by men’s basketball in school history. By then defeating Whitworth University, ranked sixth in the nation, UMHB began its Cinderella story. In an interview after the game that elevated the team and school to its highest accomplishment in the sport, Head Coach Ken De-Weese talked about the feeling of the victory as indescribable. He would go on to commend his team on the poise they exemplified when the Pirates took the lead after a successful shooting spree by Whitworth. “There was one timeout there where I was talking to them saying, ‘we need to do some things out there,’ and they said, ‘Coach, we’re going to be fine,’ and they were,” DeWeese said. And that is the way the team handled the next two matchups again, with poise. A trip to Salem, Va., produced two more victories for the Cru with one against St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the Elite 8 stage. With just more than a minute left to play, only one point separated the two teams in a game that would end 69-66. There was the more impressive win that resonated around Division III; a Final Four victory that catapulted the small school into the national spotlight and the tournament final. The unranked UMHB program surprisingly knocked the number-one-ranked St. Thomas out of the tournament. The Crusaders overcame many obstacles to line up against Amherst College April 7. They are the first team in the conference and...

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Oscar Pistorius: Olympic hero to nightmare

By Leif Johnston The Summer Olympics in London witnessed what seemed like a miracle and inspired millions. Oscar Pistorius ran the 400-meter for South Africa. Even though he was a double amputee, he made it to the Olympics with his prosthetic legs. The media set out to make him look like this amazing man with astonishing ambition. This all may have been true, but just months removed from the summer games. Pistorius has found himself in the headlines for a different reason. In late February, Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Reports say that the couple had been in an argument earlier the night of her death, although Pistorius is sticking to his story, saying that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder, and he shot her. Prosecutors believe Pistorius picked up his gun and walked to the bathroom where his girlfriend was and shot her. Although only charges had been filed so far, Pistorius is out on bond and will appear in court again in June. The news of this shocked not only people close to these two, but also the whole world. He was deemed a hero and an inspirational figure for people with disabilities. But what wasn’t reported on the South African runner was that Pistorius was tagged by some of his teammates as a guy with a short fuse. In a recent CNN article written by Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick, they caught up with one of Pistorius’ peers. “It’s like we were waiting for something like this to happen,” said Marc Batchelor, a South African soccer player who socialized with Pistorius. He also described Pistorius as a guy who was quick to get angry and want to fight. There were many more incidents that led his teammates and other South African athletes to believe he wasn’t exactly the role model you wanted your kids looking up to. Many of the people who knew the real Oscar Pistorius didn’t like the way that none of his past issues kept him from being shown as the face of South African Olympians. His peers knew he lacked in morals. Things of this nature tend to raise suspicion of what and whom we should really believe in the world of sports. “I remember him running in the Olympics, and all the announcers making a big deal about how big of an accomplishment it was that he got there. But I would have never thought he would end up being the type of guy that would murder someone,” exercise sport science major Eric Nelson said. One thing that has to be brought to the attention...

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Cru baseball prepares for West Division play
Mar14

Cru baseball prepares for West Division play

By Cody Weems Crusader baseball seems to have turned the corner after a slow start to the season. The team shut out DeSales University last week before sweeping a double header against Robert Morris on Wednesday. Sophomore pitcher and pre-physical therapy major Ian Ekery got his first start of the season against DeSales and picked up the win while giving up just five hits over six innings in the 3-0 win. “It was actually my first start in probably a year and a half. I’m not going to lie. I had a few butterflies,” Ekery said. “We figured with the wind blowing out that they were going to maybe try and do some things that worked to my advantage.” Head coach Ben Shipp said that Ekery took full advantage of his starting opportunity. “Ian did a really great job,” Shipp said. “We just wanted to get him a start. We wanted to give him a chance to prepare himself and really see what he could do. He did all the things that winning pitchers have to do.” The Cru got behind early in both games against Robert Morris, but the bats came alive as they managed to pull off two come-from-behind victories to win 9-3 and 5-3 respectively. “Our bullpen really were the stars of our doubleheader,” Shipp said.  “We had people come in and really stabilize the situation and gave our offense enough time go get on their feet.” Even though the team boasts one of the better rotations in the conference, Shipp finds comfort in the fact that he can rely on his pitching staff if need be. “We’ve had some really nice performances from our bullpen,” Shipp said. “It’s really reassuring to know when your starters don’t have their best stuff, there’s not going to be a drop off when we go to the bullpen.” The Cru pulled to 7-7 before entering conference play last weekend against Texas Lutheran. Senior pitcher and exercise sport science major Sam VanHoozer said the wins have been valuable for the mentality of the young team. “We finally found where we need to be confidence wise, playing wise,” VanHoozer said.  “Coming into conference with a four-game win streak is very good for our confidence.” While the team has been hitting well lately, VanHoozer stressed the importance of not getting discouraged if the runs aren’t coming. “If we get down, we don’t need to put up the bats. We need to keep them hot, and I think that’s the biggest deal for us,” Vanhoozer said. “Don’t do anything special.” While the offensive production so far has been a nice surprise, the heart...

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Softball season on steady stroll

The softball team has officially started the 2013 season and will be working to get back to the playoffs again. The Lady Cru will be looking to add another regular season American Southwest Conference west division title for a third year in a row. Last season, the Lady Cru were defeated by Louisiana College 4-3 in the semifinals of the American Southwest Conference tournament. Assistant Softball Coach Julie Norris thinks the team has a great shot this season to win the west division  and more. “Our number one team goal this season is to win the conference tournament. We were very close last year and feel like we match up well with the teams in our conference this year,” Norris said. They opened west division conference play this past weekend. The team traveled to Austin, Texas, and played two doubleheaders against Concordia University. The Lady Cru went 3-1 in the series against the Tornados. The team was victorious on the first day with 1-0 5-2 victories. On the second day, the Lady Cru won the first day  5-0, but fell in the final game 1-0. The loss came in extra innings that put the Crusaders’ overall record at 8-6 and 3-1 in conference play. Sophomore exercise and sport science major Leanne Hinojosa said west division play is key to success. “Every conference game is extremely important because in order to get into the conference tournament you have to be in the top 4 of our division. So with that, we must win as many conference games as possible to get into the conference tournament at the end of the season.” Senior exercise and sport science major Caitlin Bollier agrees. “Each conference game is important. We can’t take any team or any game lightly. The ASC West is going to be very strong, and we need to win every game because it will be a tight race,” she said. This season, the Lady Cru will consist of three seniors: Caitlin Bollier, Brittany Moreno, and Ariel Kemmerer.  The team will also have 10 returnees and will add nine new players to the roster. Hinojosa said the depth the new players bring this year provides a wide variety of skills. “The newcomers definitely give us a whole different team. From our pitching staff to our batting lineup, the possibilities have increased. This gives us many opportunities to become a quicker and simultaneously, a stronger team.” Sophomore biology major Dayton Kunz appreciates the addition of freshmen and transfer teammates. “The new players offer lots of opportunity for our team. They are very hard working, and our team has incredible team chemistry. We all...

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Men enter March Madness with a mission
Mar14

Men enter March Madness with a mission

By Kelsey Vann The men’s basketball team has been hard at work since the Feb. 24 loss to Concordia in the ASC Conference Championship Tournament. The Cru earned a first round bye in the NCAA Division III Tournament, which gave the team two weeks to prepare a game plan. Head Coach Ken DeWeese said, “I think that’s what this game is going to come down to, who has the most attempts at scoring, and that will come from team defense and rebounding.” The men took advantage of this time off from playing games and started focusing on the basics. The philosophy of UMHB basketball is to prepare for the next game. Senior sport management and business major Thomas Orr said, “Mentally, we watched a lot of film, and our coaches prepared a pretty good scouting report. Physically, we had a couple days off to rest, but we also practiced to stay in shape at the same time.” Looking back on the loss to Concordia, Orr said, “We didn’t play how we usually played throughout the season ,and we struggled from the free throw line.” Agreeing and adding to this statement, junior sport management major Antonie Chaney said, “We broke down on defense, too.” The Cru put the loss behind them and pulled everything together in order to push past Concordia last Staurday, for the third time this season. With the fast up-and-down style of play of the Tornados, the Cru found success in their transition game. Not only was the offense clicking, the defense was what carried the team to victory. “Our defense overall was outstanding, and if we can hold teams under their averages and get stops, we know we can go to the other end and convert on offense,” freshman pre-physical therapy major Russell Green said. Playing the same team four times in one season comes with the headaches of having to prepare for the same things over and over. It isn’t always ideal to play a team from your conference in national tournament, but the team took a positive approach to it. “The hardest thing was probably going over everything we already knew. It seemed repetitive, but we knew we still had to do those things in order to achieve success,” Green said. With the victory, the men will travel to Washington to face Witworth University in a rematch. The Cru took a road trip to Washington to play Witworth over Thanksgiving break, but ended up falling to them by 9 points. Although the stakes are high at this point in the season, the team is still sticking to what has been working. “You absolutely have...

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