Monday, April 29, 2013

Cal's Henderson Injured; Return Unknown

The Cal Golden Bears softball team finds itself 9-9 in Pac 12 play after being swept in three games last weekend at Arizona State.

Cal’s All-American pitcher Jolene Henderson did not play at all in those games. She was injured in a 1-0 loss Apr. 21 at Oregon.

The Cal website doesn’t mention the extent of the injury to the former Sheldon High School star, but the school newspaper, the Daily Californian, wrote that moments after throwing the ball to first base on a come-backer, Henderson grimaced and collapsed to the ground holding her left leg. 
Cal's Jolene

As Henderson sat down, clutching her leg, the Cal infielders surrounded their star pitcher, along with the Cal training staff. After a few minutes, Henderson was carried off the field by two trainers.

It’s been diagnosed as a knee injury and Henderson is being listed as day-to-day.

“I don’t think this injury is season ending,” said Henderson told the Daily Californian. “I expect to be out on the field before the post-season.”

Her father, Joe, told the Citizen Jolene’s rehab is progressing well, but he isn’t sure when his daughter will play again.

“If she does pitch again, it may be Sunday,” he said.

The Bears take on Stanford this weekend. With six games remaining, Cal is in fourth place in the Pac-12, five games behind first-place Oregon.

Without Henderson on the mound, the Bears are going with a pair of freshman hurlers.

Last season, Cal made it to the Women's College World Series behind Henderson's pitching. She was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and earned first-team All-American honors.

Last month Henderson was the first round selection of the Chicago franchise in the women's professional softball league. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bradshaw Christian Shocks Elk Grove, 5-1

Bradshaw Christian may have won a couple Sac-Joaquin Section baseball championship in Division VII, but their 5-1 win Saturday night over Division I power Elk Grove may have been its biggest win ever.

Afterwards I talked with the Pride's winning pitcher Austin Ragsdale who had his fastball around 90 mph most all night in throwing a complete-game four-hitter. The San Jose State signee says this may have been the best game he's ever pitched in high school.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thirteen Athletes To Be Honored

Elk Grove Unified will recognize 13 talented student-athlete college scholarship recipients at the 2nd Annual Spring Letter of Intent Signing Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1.  The ceremony will take place at the Board Room at the Robert L. Trigg Education Center (9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove 95624). 
The following student-athletes will be recognized:
High School
Student Name
Cosumnes Oaks
Arriana Rieland
Jackson State University
Dylan Wakefield
Chico State University
Elk Grove
Scott Votino
Brianna Avila
University of California, Riverside
Mike Wright
San Jose State University
Alex Gulseth
California State University, Sacramento
Kaylah Valdry
Texas Southern University
Tatyana Garrett
University of California, Irvine
Mark Langston
Seattle University
Pleasant Grove
Cole Nordquist
Hawaii Pacific University
Avonna Lee
Northern Arizona University
Madison McCann
Louisiana Tech University
Ryan Manning
Air Force Academy

Batson Emerges As Top SEC Sprinter

The world’s fastest human, at least in sanctioned races in 2013, hails from Elk Grove, Cal.

Now wearing the crimson colors of the University of Alabama, former Laguna Creek High School sprinter Diondre Batson has blazed down the lanes of the Southeastern Conference tracks this spring in times that not only have coaches and fans blinking in amazement, but those stopwatches are recording times that are the best the world has seen thus far in 2013.

His 10.06 seconds sprint in the 100 meters at a collegiate meet in Georgia on April 12 not only was the fastest he’s ever covered that distance, but the third best ever in the storied history of track and field at Alabama.
Alabama's Diondre

“He has tremendous potential and showed that today,” Tide’s sprints and hurdles coach Matt Kane said after Batson’s race that day. 

Because of that performance, Batson was named the SEC’s Athlete of the Week.

It was the spring of 2010 when as a senior at Laguna Creek that Batson started to show he can really run. That year his 10.44 seconds time in the 100 meters was the best in the state of California. Plus, Batson’s 200-meter time of 21.28 seconds at an April 10, 2010 event was the best that year nationwide amongst all high school sprinters.

But, then Batson’s hopes for a gold medal (or two) in the CIF State Track and Field Meet were dashed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Elk Grove Bombs Monterey Trail, 19-3

In DVC action Monday, Elk Grove scored eight times in the second inning and ten times in the fourth to roll over Monterey Trail this afternoon, 19-3. Max Hull, a reserve outfielder, had a single and a 3-RBI triple in the 10-run fourth inning. He now has six RBI's in the past two games for the Herd.

Ty Madrigal stroked a solo homer, twin brother Nick had a bases-clearing triple in the second inning and Carlos Moseley tacked on an RBI triple.

The Herd (7-1 DVC) will take on Franklin Thursday and Friday.

In Delta River League action, Ponderosa upset Jesuit, 9-7, while Oak Ridge defeated Sheldon, 7-4 today.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cheathon's Training Up Young Golfers

Cliff Cheathon loves the game of golf, but what makes him more exuberant is seeing young people play the game.

One can see Cheathon often manning the pro shop at Wildhawk Golf Club, but he seems to light up with a teen walks in asking for a tee time or to buy a bucket of balls for the driving range.

He knows the game needs more young Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus types, so when he spots a young person hitting a drive or practicing their putting he’s quick to ask what school they attend. Once he has that information he usually follows with this query: “Are you playing golf for your high school?”

Cheathon has spend hours with young people, the last few springs at Monterey Trail High School, coaching some of golf’s future players. 
Cliff Cheathon, EGHS  Golf Coach

He’s proud of the work he’s done at Wildhawk with recent local high school golfers such as James Reede from Monterey Trail and Chris McKnight from Cosumnes Oaks. They are now playing golf collegiately.

“As a teaching pro here at Wildhawk I can help them get access, give them some lessons through the year and that will help them get ahead because they get to play more and more,” Cheathon said.

His advice for the average high schooler is pretty simple: “After you’re done with your homework, get out here hit about a hundred balls on the range, get in a couple holes, but at least get in your putting and your ball striking.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wright Inks Letter With San Jose State

Saying he's looking forward to rebuilding a struggling college baseball program, Elk Grove pitcher Michael "Mikey" Wright signed a national letter of intent to play for San Jose State next season.  
Elk Grove pitcher Mikey Wright signs a letter
of intent to play next season for San Jose State.

At a dinner at Pizza Bell in Elk Grove Thursday, literally a couple hours after he pitched the Herd to a 12-4 win over Grant, Wright signed his letter in front of family, teammates and coaches. 

Wright is now 4-0 on the season with a 0.84 ERA in 29 1/3 innings pitched and looked impressive allowing Grant only a pair of hits over five innings Thursday.

Wright is the third senior on the Herd squad to ink a commitment with a Division I college. First baseman Rowdy Tellez is signed with USC. Infielder/catcher Dom Nunez has already committed and inked to play his college ball at UCLA.

Other baseball notes:

Former Elk Grove catcher Dwight Childs was released by the Cleveland Indians this week. However, he quickly signed with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association. 

Childs was drafted by the Indians following his junior season at Arizona University, but could never get his bat untracked. His arm and defense behind the plate, however, has never been questioned. He played mainly in Single-A ball for the Indians the past three years.

Another former Herd baseball star, Brandon Pinckney will also play in the American Association this summer. He'll play infield for the Grand Prairie Air Hogs. Pinckney played in Massachusetts last summer in an east coast independent baseball league. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Batson's 100M Time Fastest In 2013

ATHENS, Ga. - University of Alabama sprinter Diondre Batson ran the fastest 100-meter dash time in the world thus far this season with a time of 10.06 seconds to lead the Alabama track and field team on Saturday afternoon at the Spec Towns National Team Invitational on the campus of the University of Georgia.

Batson's 10.06 was with a legal wind of 1.9 meters per second and eclipsed his previous personal best of 10.10. The performance ranks third in UA history in the outdoor 100, just behind the school record of 9.93 set by Calvin Smith in 1983 and a 10.04 clocked by Emmit King in 1983.

"I'm really proud of Diondre's development," said UA assistant coach Matt Kane, the Tide's sprints and hurdles coach. "He did a nice job today of staying patient in the race and just focusing on executing his race. He has tremendous potential and he showed it today." 

Batson ran track for Laguna Creek High School and American River College.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Larson Wins Truck Series Race

Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson captured Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway. In a news release NASCAR pumped up the fact that Larson, a Japanese-American, was the, “first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative to win at the sanctioning body’s national level.” 
Kyle Larson waves the checkered flag Sunday
after winning the Camping World Truck Series race
at Rockingham

“Kyle Larson’s victory is a truly historic moment in this sport,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “We applaud his tremendous talent, and this landmark milestone for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. Kyle is among a strong crop of young, rising stars who signal a promising and competitive future for NASCAR.”

Created in 2004, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative is an attempt to attract drivers of other ethnicities to the sport.

Larson competes fulltime in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Turner Scott Motorsports and is currently 11th in the series championship standings.

 In March Larson, 20, finished just inches short of beating Kyle Busch in a Nationwide race at Bristol Motor Speedway. His next Nationwide race will be April 26 at Richmond International Speedway.