Archive | April 2013

Bearkats Returns To “Roots” With Spring Scrimmage

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Sam Houston’s 2013 spring football practice comes to a close Thursday with the annual Orange-White scrimmage held this year at Joseph Pritchett Field.

The two-time Southland Conference champion and NCAA national finalists have been working the past month to prepare for a run at a third consecutive league title next fall.

“Overall, it’s been a good spring for us,” Sam Houston head coach Willie Fritz said “We’ve had some bumps and bruises that have sidelined some of the veteran players but we’ve had a good opportunity to see what some of the young guys can do. A bunch of the freshman are going to play for us next year and we’ve had a good opportunity to get them ready.”

The Bearkats return 41 lettermen including 12 starters from last year’s 11-4 team. Two areas of major emphasis in the spring have been the offensive line and the defensive secondary. Sam Houston returns only one start in each of the two areas.

Returning first and second team All-Southland performers include quarterback Brian Bell, running back Timothy Flanders, wide receiver/wildkat back Richard Sincere, defensive tackle Gary Lorance and cornerback Bookie Sneed. Honorable mention All-Southland honorees returning include running back Keshawn Hill, defensive end Jarrett Brown and offensive guard Donald Jackson III.

The head coach looks forward to football returning to Pritchett Field if only one spring scrimmage.

Since 1986, the annual Orange-White clash has been held at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium. This year the game will be held at Joseph Pritchett Field, the original home of Bearkat football.

Sam Houston and Rice played each university’s first football game at Pritchett on October 6, 1912.

“Everyone connected with Bearkat football is excited about playing back at Pritchett Field,” Sam Houston head coach Willie Fritz said. “Pritchett is where our traditions started and has been the scene of some great games. The setting will provide an amazing atmosphere for our annual spring game.”

Sam Houston has won back-to-back Southland Conference championships, roaring through the playoffs both years to reach the NCAA Division I Football National Championship game in Frisco.

The 25-5 record during the 2011 and 2012 seasons represents the highest two-year victory total in the Bearkats’ 97 seasons of football. Sam Houston has been nationally ranked in NCAA Division I FCS football for 24 consecutive weeks, finishing No. 2 in the nation each of the last two seasons.

Thursday’s scrimmage will match the offense and the defense in a variety of game-type situations.

“We’re anxious to see what some of the young guys can do in a game environment like this,” Fritz said.

Prior to the start of the 7 p.m. scrimmage, the Huntsville presentation of the Liberty Mutual “Coach of the Year” award to Sam Houston’s Willie Fritz and a $20,000 scholarship award to the university will take place.

Liberty Mutual Insurance will present Fritz with his trophy and four charities selected by Fritz and the Sam Houston Alumni Association with a combined $70,000 to support their programs in honor of the coach’s 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

The Huntsville Police Department and SHSU University Police advice that there will be parking available in the area surrounding Joseph Pritchett Field for the annual Orange-White spring football scrimmage.

The police departments ask that patrons please respect area businesses parking areas, avoid blocking residence driveways, fire hydrants and parking in handicapped parking spaces without proper authorization.

The streets around Pritchett will be a “ticket free zone” from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday night excluding the above exceptions.

Hardy Takes Southland Conference Individual Crown

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Shelby Hardy shot the best 54-hole total in Sam Houston women’s golf history to take home the Southland individual championship at Frisco Lakes Golf Club in Frisco, Texas.

The senior from San Saba capped off her record-setting career with a Southland and school record three-round score of 212.

Hardy was the only golfer in the field to break par both of the first two days.

Hardy’s first round 68 tied the Bearkat record for low round at the conference tournament.

This is her third tournament win this season which ties a school record and upped her career total to six tournament titles, also a Bearkat record.

“I’m just really proud to say I finished my career with this win. These four years have gone by so fast and it feels great to go out with the win,” said Bearkat senior Shelby Hardy. “I was just trying to stick with every shot like it was my last and focus on the task ahead of me. I was pumped after my first round 68 but tried to remain focused throughout. It was tough but I got it done and I’m so happy and exhausted.”

Hardy is the Kats third individual medalist in the program’s history after Raman Saran took home the title in 2004 and Stefani Page won it in 2007.

Sam Houston finished tied with Oral Roberts for second place in the overall standings with a three round total of 898.

Lamar won the event by seven strokes (891). Central Arkansas had a four stroke lead heading into the final round and finished fourth.

“I’m so proud of our four seniors that gave it their all for their final tournament of their careers,” said Bearkat head coach Brandt Kieschnick. “I told Shelby that this is one of one of my proudest days as a Bearkat. She played like a professional and every shot was like her last. She had her head down for 54 holes and played one of the best tournaments I’ve ever seen from a college player.”

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was fifth (905), McNeese State was sixth (909) and Stephen F. Austin finished seventh (941).

Senior Meghan Musk rallied from a first round 82 to finish 12th (82-74-70-226).

Musk shot the low round on the final day of the tournament and was the only golfer to break par. Freshman Nicole Budnik was tied for 20th (76-76-68-230), Jessica Borth was tied for 25th (79-80-77-236), and Jenna Stene was 34th (76-83-81-240).

Hardy won by six strokes over A&M-Corpus Christi’s Vanessa Johnson and and McNeese State’s Lina Lagergren.

Lamar’s Katelyn McDougal was fourth (221).

Bearkats Takes Series From Islanders

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

The Sam Houston softball team jumped out to a 5-0 lead then had to fight off a determined A&M-Corpus Christi rally to earn an 8-5 victory in extra innings Sunday afternoon.

The win gave the Bearkats a Southland series victory over the Islanders after a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon. Sam Houston now stands 25-19 for the year and 11-7 in Southland play.

A&M-Corpus Christi dropped to 8-31 for the year and 3-15 in league action.

A three-run double by Hillary Adams and RBI singles by Shelbi Tucker and Alyssa Coggins gave Sam Houston a five-run cushion in the top of the first inning.

The Islanders bounced back to score one run in the bottom of the first inning and four in the third to tie the contest 5-5.

In the top of the first extra inning, Jessica Slater provided the winning run with an RBI ground ball and Tori Benavidez put across two insurance runs with a single.

Haley Baros (8-7) was the winning pitcher for the Bearkats, spreading seven hits over eight innings and striking out seven of the 34 batters she faced.

Sam Houston will play host to Nicholls State in a three game Southland series this weekend. The pair will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday April 20 and a 1 p.m. single game on Sunday April 21.