Southeastern Louisiana also received votes in both polls. Sam Houston State is ranked at No. 3 in the Coaches Poll and No. 4 in the STATS top 25 while Central Arkansas is ranked and No. 8 and 10, respectively. The Bearkats advanced to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs, falling on the road at eventual national champion North Dakota State. Central Arkansas capped an undefeated Southland championship season in the first round against New Hampshire. FCS Coaches Poll | STATS FCS PollFRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference earned four spots in the final FCS polls of the 2017 season. Sam Houston State, Central Arkansas, McNeese and Nicholls all garnered national postseason rankings from both the FCS Coaches Poll and STATS FCS Poll. McNeese earned the No. 18 (FCS Coaches) and No. 22 (STATS) spots, finishing the 2017 season with a 9-2 record (7-2 Southland). Nicholls rounded out the conference rankings at No. 23 and 25, respectively. The Colonels finished the season at 8-4 (7-2 Southland), earning the league’s third bid to the FCS playoffs where they dropped a close matchup at home against South Dakota, 38-31.
Tournament Central | Box Score | Highlights | Replay At her next at-bat in the fourth inning, Frederick blast a no-doubter to right-centerfield to double the Colonels lead. The Cowgirls tied it up in the fifth inning as first baseman Morgan Catron hit her third homer of the tournament in as many games, lifting one to left-field to score her and right fielder Justyce McClain.SB: Where’s Gwen Stefani for this “No Doubt” blast to right center? @Nicholls_SB up 2-0 thanks to this one from the bat of Kasey Frederick. #SouthlandStrongWatch via https://t.co/FDWfnDejSt or Southland Conference apps. #GeauxColonels #GeauxPokes #SouthlandStrong pic.twitter.com/NptFpG8Cdr— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 10, 2018 LAKE CHARLES, La. – A walk-off single to right-field from McNeese’s Erika Piancastelli sends the Cowgirls to the 2018 Southland Conference Softball Tournament championship at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La. Piancastelli could not have picked a better time to tally her first hit of the contest than in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs. The four-time Southland Player of the Year drove pinch hitter Taylor Edwards home to give McNeese a chance to clinch a berth in its third-consecutive NCAA Tournament.SB: @McNeeseSoftball is headed to the Southland Conference Softball Tournament championship! The Cowgirls’ Erika Piancastelli delivers the walk-off single to end this one in eight innings. #SouthlandStrong pic.twitter.com/qN3VAQQPb0— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 10, 2018 The back-to-back Southland tournament champion defeated No. 1 Nicholls 3-2 in eight innings Thursday to claim a spot in tomorrow’s championship, a 12 p.m. first pitch on ESPNU. The Colonels play the winner of No. 4 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 8 Sam Houston State at approximately 4 p.m. CT today for a spot in the title game. Nicholls’ leftfielder Kasey Frederick singled past the shortstop to gain the 1-0 lead in the opening frame of the game. The hit scored third baseman Jewel Lara who had doubled to left field on a 0-2 count. The Cowgirls came close to tying it in the bottom of the first when Piancastelli stole second and third after picking up the four-pitch walk. With runners on the corners, Piancastelli attempted to take home on a delayed steal but was caught. The game started off in favor of the top-seeded squad. McNeese had an opportunity to take the lead late in the sixth inning with the bases loaded, one out and returning to the top of the order. The Colonels’ Alexis LaBure, who had entered in for relief after starting pitcher Megan Landry went five innings, recorded the second out at home to get pinch runner Toni Perrin before striking out Piancastelli looking to get out of the jam. Nicholls put the pressure on in the top of the seventh with runners on second and third with two outs, but McNeese’s Alexandria Flores forced Lara to groundout to the shortstop for the third out to keep the score at two apiece. Flores tossed 107 pitches for the eight innings, registering six strikeouts and giving up six hits in the process. The win is her 18th of the year.
McLeod set the tone early for the kind of night she had in store for her side. The junior from Austin, Texas, struck out her first three batters faced swinging. She did not allow a hit until the fourth inning with two outs when the Ladyjacks’ right fielder Autumn Holloway popped one over to shallow right-field. She tallied 11 strikeouts and gave up just three hits for the game.The Bearkats took advantage of an SFA error in the bottom of the third inning when SFA catcher Taylor Fraccastoro threw it at third base searching for teammate Amber Landry to pick off Sam Houston’s third baseman Katie Andrie. The ball went past and Andrie came home easily for the 1-0 lead. The Ladyjacks’ leftfielder Madison Selman hit a ground rule double to centerfield with one out in the fifth, but McLeod caught back-to-back batters swinging to hold the lead for the Bearkats. Sam Houston capitalized on its opportunities in the bottom frame, highlighted by second baseman Brooke Malia’s two-run shot to centerfield to score her and shortstop Tiffany Thompson. The Bearkats had picked up a run right before when Thompson singled to right field to bring Andrie home for her second run of the day. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Taylar Fuselier entered the game to pinch hit for left fielder Samantha Belongia, and she drove in two insurance runs on a triple to right-field. Tournament Central | Box Score | Highlights | ReplayLAKE CHARLES, La. – A lights out night for Sam Houston State’s right-handed pitcher Lindsey McLeod advanced the Bearkats at the 2018 Southland Conference Softball Tournament at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La.In the first Southland Softball Tournament with eight teams in 30 years, the No. 8 seed defeated No. 2 Stephen F. Austin 6-0 to eliminate the Ladyjacks and schedule a 1:30 p.m. CT contest Thursday with No. 4 Southeastern Louisiana. The winner will move on to face the loser of tomorrow morning’s 11 a.m. game.
A native of Houston, Burnett spent 11 years in a number of roles with the Sun Belt Conference in New Orleans, and previously worked at the American South Conference and Louisiana Tech University, where he also graduated from in 1988. He and his wife Tracy have a son, Cole, and daughter, Jesse, both students at the University of Oklahoma. With nearly 30 years in conference administration, Burnett has helped to enhance the Southland’s membership with the additions of multiple universities in recent years that give the Southland 13 members in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, including members in or near major metropolitan areas such as Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans and Little Rock. Burnett also led a successful community-wide effort to bring the NCAA Division I Football Championship Games to the Southland’s home base of Frisco, Texas, as the league has served as the host conference for the national title contests at Toyota Stadium since 2011. The NCAA has subsequently renewed the agreement twice to keep the national championship game in Frisco through the 2020 event. He also initiated the Southland’s football officiating consortium with the Big 12 Conference in 2007, a first of its kind dual program that combined singular training, observation, video review and development, a model followed by many other Division I conferences today. In 2014, the Southland became the first FCS conference to implement full-time instant replay for all football games, regardless of television coverage. “It’s been a tremendous privilege to serve the Southland Conference’s membership over this period of time,” said Burnett, the Southland’s seventh commissioner since its founding in 1963. “I am honored by the Board’s continued confidence in the terrific work of our staff that strives to assist and better our institutional athletic programs, and enhance the academic and athletic opportunities of our 4,200 student-athletes on a daily basis.” FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference’s presidential Board of Directors has extended its employment agreement with Commissioner Tom Burnett through June 30, 2022, the league office announced Tuesday. Burnett, who was named to the post in late 2002, recently became the longest-tenured commissioner in the Southland’s 55-year history, surpassing the term of former league leader Dick Oliver, who served in the position from 1971-1987. “The Southland Board of Directors is very pleased to provide a contract extension for Tom Burnett, now the longest-serving commissioner in league history,” said Dr. Dana G. Hoyt, President of Sam Houston State University and Chair of the Southland Board of Directors. “The presidents continue to recognize the Southland’s steady growth under his watch, including an unprecedented expansion of television coverage, the recent development of a conference-wide strategic plan, the increased quality of championship events, and improvement in the collective academic standing and well-being of Southland student-athletes.” He is also a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee that manages the administrative and selection processes for the national championship event, including oversight of the Men’s Final Four. Burnett has served on 10 various NCAA committees and councils during his Southland tenure, including the Division I Committee on Academic Performance and Football Academic Working Group. He is a member of the Board of Managers for College Football Officiating (CFO), LLC, an entity created by the NCAA and the Collegiate Commissioners Association to enhance and address college football’s officiating matters. Burnett is also a member of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame’s Awards Committee, the NFF’s Divisional Honors Court, and the organization’s Football Matters Board of Directors. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for NCAA Football, and was the FCS Vice President for the Collegiate Commissioners Association in 2007-08.
FRISCO, Texas – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Dalesia Booth is the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced Sunday.Booth closed out the regular season in impressive fashion, laying down 15.5 points per game on 41.4-percent shooting. The guard’s balanced play pushed the Islanders (23-7, 17-3 SLC) to their first Southland regular-season title in program history. Booth added seven steals and 12 rebounds over A&M-Corpus Christi’s final two games in order to lock up her second weekly honor of the season.The Islanders look to capture a tournament title at the 2020 Hercules Tires Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament.Basketball Player of the Week – Dalesia Booth, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – Sr. – Guard – San Antonio, TexasBooth averaged 15.5 points and six rebounds in the Islanders’ final two regular-season wins. She collected a season-high four steals against the Bearkats on Thursday to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks. She also moved up to No. 3 on the Islanders’ all-time scoring list with 12 points against SHSU, bringing her career total to 1,278 points. In A&M-Corpus Christi’s finale, Booth scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting along with a trio of steals. Booth has reached double scoring figures in each of the Islanders’ last seven games and 23 times throughout the season.Honorable Mention: Dominique Golightly, Abilene Christian; Kacie Fountain, Nicholls.Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bettors have a new handicapping tool in their programs at all Stronach Group tracks – the weight of horses.The Stronach Group is the first Thoroughbred racetrack operator to include the weights of horses in the past performance lines of its handicapping programs. This includes Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields.“We’re always looking for innovative handicapping tools to help our bettors, and this is something bettors domestically and internationally began asking for last year,” said The Stronach Group’s COO Tim Ritvo.The Stronach Group tracks began collecting the information last spring. The information has been shared with bettors on the track simulcasts since last summer.“This is data-driven world, and we’re excited about adding this data to our programs as we continue our growth internationally,” Ritvo added. “Bettors and horsemen have used this information in the past to find out a horse’s optimum racing weight. We believe you can never provide enough information.”Horses at all Stronach Group tracks have been weighed on a scale located in the paddock areas. That information has been shared on each track’s daily simulcast since last summer.The Stronach Group is North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, home of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact [email protected]
Over $5 million facility upgrades including new Trackside Dining area, Clubhouse Loge Box Seats, and Stretch Run Suites.Unveiling of the new state-of-the-art LED Infield Video Board. 10:45 am-12 pm: Tour finishes in the Stretch Run Suites with Food and Beverage Dr. Benson, Craig Fravel, and Aaron Gryder will be on-site and available for comment. 1 pm: First PostWhere: Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 9100710 am Tour to begin at Clocker’s CornerPlease enter via Gate 8 off of Baldwin Ave., proceed east, stay to the left until reaching our Association Gate, where you will be directedWho: Aidan Butler, Acting Executive Director for Santa Anita Park and Chief Strategy Officer for The Stronach Group (TSG) Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinarian for The Stronach Group Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and Chief Executive Officer Aaron Gryder, Jockey MEDIA ADVISORYSanta Anita’s 23-Day Autumn Meet Set To Open Friday September 27thARCADIA, CA (Sept. 25, 2019) – Santa Anita Park will open for its 23-day Autumn Meet this Friday, September 27. The meet, which will be highlighted by a record 10th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1 & 2, will conclude on Nov. 3.When: Friday, September 27thWhat: 10 am-10:45 am: Media Tour and Conversation led by Aidan ButlerActing Executive Director for Santa Anita Park and Chief Strategy Officer of The Stronach Group will lead a tour including a visit to the Santa Anita backstretch with an up-close view of a race horse and chance to talk to a Santa Anita trainer and their stable workers. The tour will continue with a walkthrough of the new facility upgrades recently completed in preparation for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
9 Lionel Messi currently leads the way in terms of best-paid playersWho could move where before the window shuts?Neymar | PSG to BarcelonaPogba | Man Utd to Real MadridEriksen | Spurs to Real MadridJames Rodriguez | Real Madrid to AtleticoIcardi | Inter to JuventusDembele | Barcelona to PSGVertonghen | Spurs to LeverkusenAlderweireld | Spurs to RomaFernandes | Sporting to Real MadridReal Madrid will end chase for Man Utd star Paul Pogba – if they land £700k-a-week Neymar TRANSFER deadline day has been and gone in the Premier League but silly season on the continent is preparing for a manic climax of its own.Many mega deals are still in the offing with Neymar, James Rodriguez and Ousmane Dembele all thought to be up for grabs as the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain shape their squads.9 Neymar would be a far from popular man even if he stayed at PSGCredit: EPAMonday, September 2 sees the market shut in Leagues One and Two, Scotland, and countries such as France, Italy and Spain.One factor that might come into play, however, is the fact that the Bundesliga shuts its window at 5pm UK time, earlier than Ligue 1 (7pm) and the 11pm deadline for La Liga and Ligue 1 clubs.Here, we run down the top transfers that could happen between now and then.NEYMARStand aside Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba. Anymore drama in Neymar’s future this weekend will make it the official Saga Of The Summer.A rollercoaster two years in Paris has led to the Brazilian desperately wanting out and former club Barcelona appear in pole position to sign him.Both the Catalans and Real Madrid are bargaining for players-plus-cash deals and a sponsor even posted a photoshopped image of Neymar in a Barca shirt on Friday. Wink wink, nudge nudge.9PAUL POGBAReal Madrid have made little effort to hide their admiration of the Manchester United midfielder this summer, who has stated his readiness for a new challenge as a result.Zinedine Zidane may have pressed ahead with £300million worth of spending before the new campaign but Pogba is seen as the ultimate prize.Reports most recently noted how agent Mino Raiola was pleading with United to let him leave – but their inability to sign a replacement makes that highly unlikely.9 Like his team-mates, Pogba’s start to the season has been mixedCredit: Getty – ContributorCHRISTIAN ERIKSENSeen as something of the Pogba Plan B, Real are again the team after Tottenham star Eriksen.Like his United rival, the Dane has gone public with his intent to move on and, unlike Pogba, he may be able to tempt his club into a sale because his contract runs out in June.PSG have emerged as another contender for Eriksen, in a move worth around £90m according to French media, and Mauricio Pochettino admits he doesn’t even know if he will ever play for Spurs again.Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen tells Danish journalists he’s ready to leave the clubMAURO ICARDIOne of Italian football’s most controversial footballers, Inter Milan striker Icardi is still highly sought after as a first-class clinical finisher.It was thought the Argentine had to leave for the Nerazzurri to afford Romelu Lukaku, but the United forward and Alexis Sanchez’s arrivals suggest they are instead happy to sit Icardi in the reserves until a buyer comes along.Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Napoli have all been linked. This is a deadline day deal primed to move forward very quickly once enacted.9 Icardi has lost the club captaincy and No9 shirtCredit: ReutersACCA WITH LADBROKES Pick up a whole load of acca features to help you land the big oneJAMES RODRIGUEZThe status of Colombian midfielder Rodriguez could best be described as a domino.Real are reluctant to sell him to neighbours Atletico Madrid with Napoli lurking in the background.Should Madrid land Eriksen or Pogba, the pieces may begin to fall and Rodriguez may get the move he is thought to desire.9 Rodriguez actually started Madrid’s draw with Valladolid – but is now injuredCredit: Getty – ContributorOUSMANE DEMBELEOnce Barcelona’s record signing, French winger Dembele has been redesignated as a mere bargaining chip for much of the summer.Time and time again, the 22-year-old finds himself offered to PSG in exchange for Neymar.Dembele’s agent is adamant he will stay at the Camp Nou but it seems very difficult for the club to keep him and return their Brazilian favourite to La Liga.9 Like Philippe Coutinho, Dembele has never really settled in SpainCredit: ReutersJAN VERTONGHENAll eyes were elsewhere during Spurs’ summer but defender Vertonghen’s future is suddenly on very shaky ground.Apparently no longer needed by Pochettino, the Belgian’s fitness levels and refusal to sign a new deal have been blamed on his axing from the first-team picture.That has alerted Bayer Leverkusen to a potential deal with his boss stating there was “no news” on Vertonghen’s future ahead of the game with Arsenal.9 The 32-year-old cut a glum figure during the opening day win over Aston VillaCredit: ReutersTOBY ALDERWEIRELDSpeaking of Spurs centre-backs out of contract at the end of the season, speculation over Alderweireld’s next move refuses to go away.Admirers Manchester United and City are out of the picture for now and Serie A side Roma are no longer in need of a new defender having signed Chris Smalling.Thus there is renewed optimism that a renewal can be thrashed out to keep Aldweireld in North London past next summer.9 Alderweireld may stick around in North London after allCredit: Getty Images – GettyBRUNO FERNANDESAttacking midfielder sensation Fernandes, 24, continues to impress at Sporting Lisbon having missed out on moves to United and Spurs.Like Eriksen, the Portuguese ace is very much on Real Madrid’s agenda as an alternative to Pogba – but should come cheaper than the Dane.A rapid start to the new campaign could tempt Los Blancos into finalising their mega business with a £64m push for Fernandes.Latest La Liga NewsGossipGOING DUTCHChelsea ‘to grab Mbuyamba on free deal’ with defender set to leave BarcelonaPicturedKING OF SWINGBale pulls golf pose at training in jibe at critical Real Madrid fansWALKING A FINE LINERonaldo vs Messi ‘not close’ says Lineker as he gushes over Barca iconSET IN HIS WAYSSetien moans that five subs will ruin Barcelona plan of wearing teams downGossip’DEAD’ PAULPogba’s proposed £15m-a-year Real transfer risks wage row after virus pay cutNEY-MBER TWONeymar is second best player in world ahead of Ronaldo, claims ex-Barca chiefTHAT OLD TRICKMessi could leave Barcelona on free via exit clause to allow Old Boys returnGossipNO BALE OUTGareth Bale’s Real Madrid future in limbo with NO firm transfer offers yet
Kaufusi has signed for next season with the option of an additional year while Welch has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal to remain in Melbourne.The re-signing of the young props is yet another significant boost for Storm’s forward pack.Kaufusi and Welch join teammates Dale Finucane, Joe Stimson and Jesse and Kenny Bromwich as the latest big men to re-sign with Storm.Welch, 22, has played 33 games in the purple jersey including last year’s NRL Grand Final.Over the last two years his aggressive style of play has proved a real asset for Melbourne. This season has seen Kaufusi break into Craig Bellamy’s starting side.The 24-year-old Tongan international has played every minute, of every game this season, taking his opportunity in the second row with both hands.Read more at melbournestorm.com.au
“All my mates seem to come along to those games too and still all love sitting on the hill.”Their back five are playing really well and everyone seems to be working hard for one and other so we’ll have to work hard to beat them hopefully in front of a big crowd.”The last time they played there was against Melbourne on a Sunday and it was an outstanding crowd.”We won four in a row coming into last week so it’s not all that bad but we have to get back into the winners circle.”Cronulla have been dominant on the road in the opening two months of the Telstra Premiership, winning all four of their away games, but have lost four of their last six clashes at Southern Cross Group Stadium.”[The Titans game] was a disappointing loss but we’ve had a hard week at training so hopefully we can put in a good performance on Saturday night,” Heighington said.”It was our home game and we never delivered in the clutch plays and the games before that we were good in those areas.”Everything he (Sharks coach Shane Flanagan) said the Titans would do they did, they hung in there for 80 minutes and we weren’t at our best so hats off to them.”We’re coming last in some areas in stats that are very important in rugby league with penalties and completion rates. That’s a good indication that we’ve still got a good team here but we’re not at our best.”Sharks teammate Ricky Leutele didn’t believe a poor attitude was the problem for the premiers last week but rather a couple of lapses in key moments.”I think our attitude is there but our efforts off the ball have let us down,” Leutele said.”It was disappointing from our standards, we had the game there but we threw it away in the last few minutes.”We need to pick up our attitude at home, we’ve been good on the road this year but we need to transfer that to create a fortress again.”Along with Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco, Leutele identified in-form winger and Samoan teammate David Nofoaluma as a key man to stop on Saturday night.”Their back five is probably one of the best in the NRL so we’re aware of that and ready for them,” Leutele said.”[Tedesco] loves staggered lines and broken play so it’s important for me to keep a straight defensive line and Nofoaluma has been making plenty of tackle breaks bringing the ball back from kicks.” As the Wests Tigers use three grounds – Leichhardt Oval, Campbelltown Stadium and ANZ Stadium – throughout the season, they have only met the Sharks on seven occasions at the venue since 2000.With the 35-year-old’s future up in the air beyond the 2017 Telstra Premiership season, the chance to return to a ground where he made 27 appearances in the black and gold is something that may not come around again even if he does play on next year.”It has been a while,” Heighington said with a smile of his last visit to Leichhardt Oval.”It’s always awesome playing there and seeing the Wests Tigers fans who have been so supportive throughout my career.”After the game I’ll still speak to a lot of them so hopefully they can all turn out.