Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sports Roundup: Belton, Rice, Northwestern

Time to catch up on some sports stories I've been following. First up, it's high school baseball. Berkner lost to Belton. Then Lake Highlands lost to Belton. By that time, I was a firm believer in the Belton Tigers, winners of 11 straight games and unbeaten in their three rounds of the Texas UIL tournament. So, even though I had never heard of Belton High School before this year's baseball season, I was disappointed to learn that Klein Collins eliminated Belton in their three game playoff last weekend. I guess I should now cheer for Klein Collins, in turn. Never having seen Klein Collins play, it's kind of hard to work up much enthusiasm.

Next up, it's college baseball. We found in ourselves in Houston the day that the Conference USA baseball tournament was hosting its championship game at the University of Houston's Cougar Stadium and, coming as no surprise, Rice University was in it. So, off we went to hopefully watch Rice win the conference crown. For the last fifteen years, Rice has won either the regular season or conference tournament championship. Given that Rice won the regular season this year, maybe I shouldn't have been greedy and expected a tournament win as well. As it turned out, the University of Southern Mississippi took advantage of some critical Rice miscues and largely silenced Rice's big bats that had been so hot in the early games of the tournament. Rice fell behind 4-0 in the top of the first and never did quite catch up, losing 7-4. Now, it's on to the NCAA tournament, where Rice draws a big challenge in the regionals, facing four teams that include the University of Texas, #1 seed in the regional and #2 seed overall.

Finally, it's nice to see women's sports get some attention. The big NCAA tournament story this past weekend was the women's lacrosse championship game, played before a record crowd of over 9,000 fans. It was #1 Maryland facing the five time defending NCAA champions and this year's #2 ranked Northwestern University. Maryland ended Northwestern's streak 13-11. Every loss is a tough loss and every streak has to end sometime. Northwestern, not accustomed to athletic success, has had more than its share the last half decade thanks to the women's lacrosse team alone. Northwestern still has much to be proud of.

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