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May 11th, 2013

Techsters’ season ends

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Sluggish offense leads to tourney exit
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Of all times for the bats to go silent.
But they did for Louisiana Tech University in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference softball tournament.
During the regular season, the Lady Techsters (27-26) were the No. 1 ranked team for batting average (.296) against league teams only.
Individually, Tech had four of the WAC’s Top 10 hitters in conference games.
But in the double-elimination tourney that concluded on Saturday after a four-day stay at the Techsters’ complex?
Tech managed only two runs and 10 hits in three games, with its final appearance resulting in only four hits (three singles) during a 6-1 elimination loss against Texas State University.
“It’s frustrating,” said Tech first-year Head Coach Mark Montgomery. “No one wants to end the season with a loss. But as far as I know only one team gets to end it with a win. My honest hope is that they will step away from this moment and be proud of what they accomplished.
“You have to be reflective on these moments and know that what you were doing when you were wearing that uniform today represents more than just today’s game. If they can do that, I think they will be very proud of wearing that uniform.”
Some things to be proud of for a squad that will lose six seniors include:
• The program’s first winning season since 2010.
• The fourth winning record (11-10) against WAC foes only since joining the league in 2001.
• A No. 3 seed that was the club’s best ever in the postseason tournament.
“Before the season started we knew this year could go two different ways,” Montgomery said. “Led by our six seniors, everyone could buy in and we could build a foundation for this program or we could fight change and it would be a wasted year. This group bought in and we took some great steps forward. I’m proud of what these seniors have done and am excited about the future of this program.”

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SJSU is champ

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A one-hit, complete game performance by Amanda Pridmore was all top-seeded San Jose State needed to win its first Western Athletic Conference softball title on Saturday, as the Spartans stopped No. 2 seeded New Mexico State 4-0 at the Louisiana Tech University Softball Complex.
Pridmore, a senior righthander from Modesto, Calif., gave up only a single to centerfielder Staci Rodriguez to help give the Spartans (42-15) a postseason league crown to go with their regular season title.

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Cox sets Bulldogs’ mark

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Ex-Creek star wins gold in javelin at WAC meet
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So much for finishing as the runner-up in the javelin at the 2012 Western Athletic Conference track and field championship meet.
That’s all in the past now for Josh Cox, who claimed the gold medal for the event on Friday at the 2013 league meet hosted by the University of Texas-Arlington.
The former Cedar Creek High standout not only won the event, but — appropriately — held off the competitor (Idaho’s Mike Marshall) who beat him out for the title in 2012.

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Running catch by Birdwell

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University of Texas-San Antonio freshman Victoria Birdwell sprinted to make this catch from her outfield position during play at the 2013 Western Athletic Conference softball tournament held at the Louisiana Tech University Lady Techsters’ Complex this week.

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Winter makes grab behind plate

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Louisiana Tech University sophomore infielder/catcher Hailey Winter (right) reaches to make a catch on a pitch to home plate during action in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference softball tournament that was hosted by the Lady Techsters. At the plate for the Aggies of New Mexico State University is senior utility player Tehani Kaaihue (8) of New Mexico State University.

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Perfect in discus

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Daniel Yates, an eighth-grader at Ruston Junior High School, had an undefeated season in the discus throw for the Bearkittens’ track and field program this spring. He finished No. 1 in every meet that RJHS entered and had a personal best mark of 119-11. Coached at the school by Glen Kyle and tutored by 2012 Summer Olympic Games’ discus thrower and former Louisiana Tech University star Jason Morgan, Yates plans to continue competing with a regionally-based squad.

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Exciting grid season in works for C-USA

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There's excitement ahead for the 2013 Conference USA football season.
At least that’s an early prediction being made by Britton Banowsky, commissioner of the league.

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Tryouts set May 18-19 for District 5 squad

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Tryouts for the Louisiana District 5 baseball team will be held on May 18 and May 19, announced Head Coach Eddie Parkman today.
The summer squad will consist of players 16 years and under and 18 years and under.
On May 18, tryouts will be for players 16-under at the Ruston High diamond and the May 19 tryouts will be for the 18-under division at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. Both tryouts will start at 9 a.m
More information is available by calling Parkman at 243-2294.

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Are quail making a comeback?

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Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to hunt quail. That word — “hunt” may be a bit misleading. I’ve shot pen-raised quail, which is a far cry from earlier hunts two or three decades ago when our part of the world actually had a good population of wild quail. If you grew up in the country as I did, your dad, your granddad and all your neighbors had a truck patch where peas, corn, tomatoes et al were grown. Chances are there was a fence row around the patch left uncut where native weeds and grasses flourished. Many times I’ve gone out to the family garden and flushed a covey of quail from their fence-row living quarters.
Today, the fence rows around those old truck patches and gardens have largely disappeared. We no longer wake up to the clear crisp “bob white” of quail calling from the fence row. For sure, it’s not just the loss of habitat that has caused quail numbers to plummet throughout the south; other factors such as fire ants, pesticides, overall land use changes, etc. are also prime suspects causing the decline.

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Leonard, Perry win Fishers of Men title

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Anglers competing in the North Central Louisiana Fishers of Men division recently gathered at Forsythe Park on the banks of the Ouachita River in the early morning hours for a chilly start to their fourth tournament of the season.
A cold front pushed through the area in the days preceding the event, dropping temperatures from highs in the 80s to a record low 39 degrees the morning of the tournament.

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