Mentally stronger from a season ago, Minnesota takes on UNI

first_imgMentally stronger from a season ago, Minnesota takes on UNIMarch 3, 2009Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintLast season, the Minnesota baseball team had 24 games decided by two runs or less. It lost 17 of them . The Gophers probably want to be reminded of that statistic as much as they want to keep hearing about how their 2008 campaign was the teamâÄôs worst in more than 60 years. That is, not at all. But both are being brought up because MinnesotaâÄôs start to the 2009 season is already much different than 2008. Through seven games this season, the Gophers are 5-2 . The Gophers went 3-4 in their first seven games last season. Also in contrast to 2008, Minnesota has been successful in tight games. Already the Gophers have played in three games decided by a single run; theyâÄôve won all three. Commanding wins of 7-2 against Michigan State and 13-3 against UC-Santa Barbara round out their resume for the young season . So whatâÄôs changed? A year of experience and the galvanizing effect of a frustrating season certainly helps, but with three redshirt freshman starting in the infield, that canâÄôt be the only answer. So head coach John Anderson has another. âÄúIâÄôve always said the most important part of your body in baseball is from the neck up and if you think [the mental aspect] is 75 or 80 percent of the game then you better spend a similar amount of time on that part of it,âÄù he said. âÄúWe do a lot of that, we focus a lot on the emotional side of the game and teaching them the skill sets to be a consistent and optimal performer as a team and individually.âÄù The attention to the mental and emotional part of the game has paid off so far. ItâÄôs allowed sophomore reliever Scott Matyas to pitch out of a ninth inning, bases loaded jam with the game tied. ItâÄôs sparked a two-out, bottom of the ninth rally that erased a two-run deficit against Hawaii and propelled the Gophers to a 5-4 win. âÄúYou donâÄôt focus on the score, the scoreboard or the importance of a given situation and just focus on executing the pitch or seeing the ball and hitting the ball and making plays on defense,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúI think youâÄôve got a better chance than if you get in a place where you think âÄòwe have toâÄô or âÄòwe need to.âÄô âÄù Of course, talent helps in the tough situations too. âÄúI think one through nine we have a great lineup and anybody can deliver that game-winning hit,âÄù junior center fielder Eric Decker said, referring to senior left fielder Jon HummelâÄôs two-run walk-off single on Sunday against Hawaii . âÄú[He] was in the eight spot and heâÄôs the one that won the game for us. Just seeing that I think gives all the players confidence in each other.âÄù Wednesday, Minnesota will try to build off the momentum it has built up when Northern Iowa visits the Metrodome at 6:35 p.m . Junior Allen Bechstein will start for the Gophers but will be on a strict pitch count, Anderson said. He expects four or five pitchers to appear, possibly including righty reliever Cullen Sexton, this weekâÄôs Big Ten pitcher of the week . Sexton totaled 4.1 scoreless innings between Friday and Sunday, and has yet to allow a run in 6.2 innings this season. His role last weekend was a combination of reliever and closer âÄî he entered FridayâÄôs game with one out in the seventh inning and pitched the remainder of the game, picking up his first save of the season, and on Sunday he pitched 1.2 innings and tallied his second win of the year thanks to HummelâÄôs walk-off. He too is noticing the difference in the 2009 Gophers. âÄú[Senior Matt] Nohelty was saying, âÄòthe sign of a good team is a team that can win close games,âÄôâÄù Sexton said. âÄúAlready being involved in three of them this year âĦ itâÄôs exciting when you can be on the upper end of those. Last year, that could have made a big difference, we lost quite a few close games and if we can win those this year thatâÄôs a big difference in the season.âÄùlast_img read more

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Chelsea Ladies win to clinch Champions League place

first_imgEniola Aluko scored twice as Chelsea Ladies beat Reading 3-2 to clinch a place in next season’s Women’s Champions League.Ana Borges also scored in the game at Staines Town, where Fran Kirby returned from injury. Eluko put the hosts ahead with a close-range finish after Millie Bright’s header from a corner.AdChoices广告Reading responded strongly, with Lauren Bruton firing just over before Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl produced a fine save,But Chelsea regained the initiative and were well on top by the time Borges rounded the keeper to score after being set up by Karen Carney in the second half.Kirby then came on as a substitute against her former club, who pulled a goal back when Bruton scored with a penalty after being fouled in the area.Aluko restored Chelsea’s two-goal advantage with another close-range finish, this time after Carney’s corner had been met by Ji So Yun. Melissa Fletcher scored Reading’s second goal in the final seconds.  Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Amazon Shares: with Only £250 You Can Get a Monthly Fixed Income x This Bizarre Photo Caused Mayhem, Try Not to Gasp when You See Why x Easy Way to Generate Extra Income x Last Nights Episode Left Viewers Speechless! x These Twins Were Named ‘Most Beautiful in the World,’ Wait Till You See Them Now x This 70s Star Was Every Guy’s Dream Girl. Try Not to Gasp when You See Her Now! x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Kenya 15s RWC dream buried

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, July 6- Kenya 15s dream of qualifying for a maiden Rugby World Cup was buried by a heartbreaking loss to Zimbabwe as Namibia inherited their continental crown to qualify for their fifth showing at the global showpiece on Sunday in Madagascar.Having been on pole ahead of the final matches of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Division 1A Championships, Jerome Paarwater’s charges imploded to a crushing 27-10 loss to Zimbabwe as Namibia ran roughshod over the hosts in a monster 89-10 shellacking over Madagascar to steal the Rugby World Cup berth with the bonus win they needed if Kenya fell. Zimbabwe were forced down to second and will face Russia on the weekend of August 2 and 3 in the next phase of the qualifiers.The winner will meet the victor of the second qualifier between Uruguay and Hong Kong in a two-leg knockout on September 27 and 28 with the return leg set for a fortnight later.The Sables grounded three tries and two penalties while Kenya touched down once through veteran Humphrey Kayange with fly half Lavin Asego’s penalty earning their other points in a match the defending champions imploded.Head coach Jerome Paarwater made 10 changes from the squad that beat Madagascar 34-0, with the Kang’ethe brothers, Joseph and James, captain Wilson Kopondo, Patrice Agunda and Brian Nyikuli starting as back rows Andrew Amonde andJoshua Chisanga who scored two tries were rested as well as Ronnie Mwenesi who scored a hat-trick of tries.Zimbabwe proved once again to be too strong to Kenya after outclassing them in the line outs, scrums and break down to dominate the clash that saw the Sables record their 11th win after 16 encounters since 1981.The Sables who have been to the World Cup twice in 1987 and 91 drew the first blood after pilling pressure to the Kenyan try line that saw Paarwater charges concede a penalty that fly half Guy Cronje converted for a 3-0 lead.Kayange then had an awesome run from the center but an unfortunately his younger brother Collins Injera was cited for a knock on.Few minutes later, the Simbas won a penalty that Asego did well to convert to put the matters level, but it did not take long before Cronje extended the lead through a penalty for a 6-3 lead.In the 31st minute, former skipper Kayange touched down his third try of the tournament after making a brilliant run from Asego’s pass to beat Riaan O’neill hands down for Asego to convert for a 10-6 lead.O’neil put the Sables back at the top after powering through the push over to ground the ball down as Guy made no mistake to convert to turn the score board to 13-10.Kenya conceded a second try from the scrum as Hilton Mudaraki touched the white wash but Guy missed the conversion for a 18-10 lead.Guy hammered the final nail on the coffin scoring a third try for Zimbabwe from the scrum down and went ahead to converts his own kick for 27-10.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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