Sports Column: Competitive to Intramural Sports
Mar29

Sports Column: Competitive to Intramural Sports

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells Playing competitive sports in high school is not uncommon in the state of Texas. Most students played or watched competitive sports in high school. I myself was an all-around athlete and my main sport was football. Throughout my last three years of high school I put all my efforts into getting a scholarship to play football in college. God had different plans in mind and I ended up losing and turning down offers to play in college. Before coming to Mary Hardin-Baylor, I knew about the intramural leagues but had no idea how organized it was. I now play and watch as many intramural sports as I can. There are several differences and similarities between high school competitive sports and intramural sports in college. First, the main difference is the range in skill level. You have players who have never played sports and those who have played their whole lives. But this isn’t an issue because intramural sports are more about playing for fun and getting together with your friends rather than winning every game. Another difference is the competitive level. In my opinion, high school competitive sports are more high-energy but also more stressful. Intramural sports might be less-competitive, but they are less stressful and foster friendly competition. The two types of sports are similar in the way they are organized and the way games are held. Fans can still come out and support their favorite teams and there is a season, playoffs and a championship. All in all, I believe intramural sports are great for those who want to play sports, but don’t want to play competitively Intramural sports can be as time consuming as your team wants it to be. Unlike college sports you can practice or just show up to the games without any preparation. I personally play for the Men’s Volleyball team here at UMHB and I can tell you how stressful each game is and how important it is to practice. As much as I love the court and the stress it comes with, it feels good to play intramurals and know that I can have fun in the sand or on the court and not have to worry about whether my choices will affect the entire team. If you’re looking for some friendly competition, miss the feel of playing sports, or even just want to try something new, intramural sports are a great place to...

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Cru Softball sweeps UO with a 4-2 victory
Mar29

Cru Softball sweeps UO with a 4-2 victory

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team squared off against the University of the Ozarks Lady Eagles on Saturday with a chance for a three-game sweep. It was a beautiful day for softball at Dee Dillon Field in Belton, Texas. In an exciting game, the Crusaders came out on top with a 4-2 victory. The Cru got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first inning, when junior first baseman Karley Free ripped a double down the line to score the first run of the game. They added another run in the bottom of the second. Freshman pinch-runner Connor O’Neal came around and scored on a wild pitch by the Lady Eagles pitcher. The game looked to be pretty well in control until the top of the third inning. After a hit-by-pitch, Laken Gray stepped in for UO and hit a blast to left field for a game-tying two-run homerun. The Lady Eagles saw the ball very well in this inning. But freshman pitcher Cece Darilek was able to squirm out of the inning with a couple of lineouts after the big homerun. The game remained tied until the bottom of the fourth when the Cru struck again. With one out, freshman right fielder Linsey Tomlinson reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a groundout. Senior catcher Cori Drake then hit a 3-2 pitch down the third base line and off the glove of the third baseman. As the ball trickled into foul territory, Tomlinson rounded third and scored to give the Crusaders the 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, after a walk by sophomore DH Kourtney Cummings, senior left fielder Myranda Hinojosa laced a ball to the wall in left-center field for a double, and Cummings advanced to third. Tomlinson then came up and grounded out to short. But when the shortstop threw the ball to first, Cummings broke for home. There was a very close play at home, but Cummings was able to squeak in just under the tag and score to make it 4-2 in favor of the Cru. “I felt pretty good,” Free said about her strong offensive showing. “It was a good day at the plate for me. It’s been kind of a struggle for me this season, so this weekend it kind of came together.” Senior pitcher Haley Parker finished her strong weekend with a one-two-three top of the seventh inning to end the game. In the three-game series, Parker pitched in two games and in six innings gave no runs and just one hit....

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Cru Baseball on the path to success this season
Mar29

Cru Baseball on the path to success this season

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells With a little over half of the 2017 season behind them, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team is working hard to bounce back from all of the challenges they have faced. The Cru has an overall record of 10-11 and a 4-5 conference record, but the team is constantly striving to improve and is confident heading in to the second half of the season. “We are pretty happy with how our season has gone up to this point,” assistant coach Nate Shipp said. “We had a lot of turnovers in our lineup since we’ve had injury issues. We lost four of the nine guys in our starting lineup, so that was a tough start to our season.” But the team is really fighting through it and playing hard, Coach Shipp said. They have many young players in the lineup, but they’ve come a long way. “We had a really difficult schedule to start this season with some of the nation’s top competition, but we got through it and played some good ball, and we’re really starting to roll now,” he said. “They’ve done such a good job and they are playing so hard. That’s what makes this group so special.” Struck with the injury bug early in the season, the young players have had to step up and work together to be successful this season. “Our biggest challenges this season have been our injuries,” Shipp said. “On the first day of the season, the team lost two of our junior starters. Just after that, they lost another hitter in their lineup and then this last weekend, we lost a senior pitcher and another starter from the offense. “So we are really trying to recover from all those losses,” Shipp said. “We are also trying to move the guys around and find where they all fit and what their role is on the team.” Looking forward to rest of the season, the team is hoping to continuously improve in all areas of the game. “Since this is a young team, there are some things that these guys just have to learn through playing,” Shipp said. We swing the bat pretty well, but we will get more consistent as we go. “The team’s infield defense is also a lot of young guys in pressure situations, so they are trying to clean that up as well.” “But overall, our pitching is starting to throw better and our guys are starting to figure it out, so we are on the right pace,” he said. After suffering a pair of losses against Concordia...

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Men’s volleyball dominates in tournament
Mar08

Men’s volleyball dominates in tournament

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells “Mine,” “Got it” and “Let’s go” are just some simple things you might hear all over the courts of the Men’s Volleyball Club SIVA Crossover match. After traveling three hours to Spring, TX, the UMHB team took their first steps onto The Edge Sports Complex. Their performance at their last tournament seeded them well into the Feb. 25 face-off not against LSU. This crossover tournament now consisted of the SIVA’s north and south conferences combined, leaving UMHB to possibly face big D1 schools such as UT, Baylor, Rice and UNT. These are just a few of the major teams the men’s volleyball team had to prepare for. Struggling to find their ground, they fell short to LSU in the first match, leaving the team at a disadvantage early on. “The team had some rough spots but it didn’t leave us hopeless,” said team manager and the founder of UMHB men’s volleyball, Aaron Jackson. He was right. After coming together and rallying up, the team was on their way, flying into the tournament. Halfway through the competition, the team struggled to find a replacement for one of their team members who had to leave suddenly. Not able to find an extra player, the team was forced to play with five members. Down a player, UMHB began to encourage each other like never before. They were then faced with the task of not only playing without one of their teammates, but also competing against a top-seeded D1 team. They lost the first set by only four points. It was then that they huddled together and planned a new strategy for their remaining five members. Things would have to be played out a little differently. Block after block and pass after pass, UMHB pulled away from UT in the second set. The final set came to determine who would win the match. Other schools gathered around to watch the D3 team face the seemingly impossible challenge. Serves flew, kill shots blocked and passes on point, UMHB was not giving up. The score got to 11-14, with UMHB holding tightly to their lead. They knew only one more point would win the match. As the ball was up in the air, UT went for one last chance to kill before it was all over. The kill was made and it was called out of bounds, leaving UMHB the victor over UT with only five members. After that match, UMHB seemed unstoppable. At the end of the day, UMHB came out with their heads held high with a final score of 2-2. Now, they...

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Cru baseball defeats reigning national champions
Mar08

Cru baseball defeats reigning national champions

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team faced off against the No. 7 Trinity University Tigers on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Red Murff Field in Belton. The Tigers are the reigning NCAA Division III National Champions and came into the game 6-5 on the season. The Crusaders started the game 1-5 on the year, but were able to overcome a shaky start to win 9-7. Trinity was able to put up five runs in the top of the first inning on the strength of five hits and a Cru error. But senior starting pitcher/designated hitter Ty Johnson was able to work through the inning and continue pitching for two more innings, allowing just one more unearned run in the top of the third. “I think they refocused really well,” said head coach Ben Shipp. “We’re a very young team, so I was really proud of the way they refocused tonight after getting down 5-0.” The Cru answered with a run in the bottom of the first inning. In the fourth, with runners on first and second, sophomore shortstop Robbie Gillen stepped up and lined a ball down the right field line for a two-run triple. Gillen was then able to score on a balk by Trinity pitcher Holden Nix, shrinking the Tigers’ lead to 6-4. “I’m trying to just drive the ball the opposite way, shorten up and get the ball in play. I got a fastball off the plate and just drove it down the line,” Gillen said. After one run in the top of the sixth for the Tigers, the Cru were able to return fire in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore second baseman Jackson Godoy led off the inning with a single and then stole second. Gillen then came back to the plate with one out and laid down a bunt. The Tigers’ pitcher picked up the bunt and fired a high throw over the head of the first baseman and into right field. Godoy scored on the error and Gillen moved up to second with a single and an E1. Gillen then scored three batters later on a single by freshman first baseman Landon Dieterich, cutting the deficit to 7-6. Then in the bottom of the seventh, an error on the Trinity second baseman allowed sophomore third baseman Mitch Patterson to reach and Johnson drew a walk. Godoy came to the plate with two on and laced a double over the center fielder’s head. Patterson scored easily from second to tie the game. But a perfect relay from the second baseman cut Johnson...

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Sport Spotlight: Heien begins final season
Mar08

Sport Spotlight: Heien begins final season

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Senior men’s golfer Mats Heien has played golf for as long as he can remember, and his passion and dedication to the sport has not only contributed to the success of the team, but has also inspired his teammates to strive for excellence both in golf and in life. “I think I have been playing golf for about 10 years now,” Heien said. “My father played golf and that’s how I got into it. I loved it ever since I hit my first golf ball.” Heien said his inspiration comes not only from his father, but also from professional golfer Rory McIlroy. “I like how hard he works at his game, and this makes me want to work even harder so that one day I will beat him,” he said. Heien traveled 5000 miles from Royken, Norway to Belton to continue his golf career at the collegiate level. “I chose to come play at UMHB because of the weather,” Heien said. “I also got a good feeling about Coach Rodeffer, so I took a chance that this place would help me be the best golfer I could be.” While Heien is thousands of miles from where he grew up, UMHB has become his home away from home over the last four years, with a little help from his teammates. “My favorite part about playing here at UMHB is the golf team. They are definitely the best part,” Heien said. “It is a lot of fun going to tournaments with this team, and we help each other get better every day.” While there are many aspects of golf that helped Heien fall in love with the game, there are a few in particular that have stood out to him over the years. “I love the competition side of golf the most,” Heien said. “I prepare for hours and hours so when I go out to play tournaments, I know that I can beat everybody out there. Golf is basically turned into my entire life. And this is the only thing I want to do in life.” Heien’s dedication to perfecting his skills has paid off. In the last two years, Heien has had the best individual seasons in UMHB men’s golf history and was named a Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Semifinalist. This season is Heien’s last season here at UMHB and he hopes that he can lead the team to achieve their goals one last time. “I feel that I work hard on my game and my scores reflect this so that I can help my team each...

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