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Big Ten Media Days Notebook

first_imgMembers of the media filled the ballroom at the Hilton Chicago for Big Ten Media Days to pick the brains of the conference’s premiere players, coaches and commissioner. Each head coach addressed the burning topics for their respective team while some topics transcended the individual teams and concerned the entire conference.Here are the highlights in this Big Ten Media Days notebook:Coaches still leery of new targeting ruleThe NCAA affected defenses everywhere when it passed a rule that leads to automatic ejection and a 15-yard penalty if a defensive player leads a tackle with his helmet or makes contact with the offensive players head or neck area.A majority of the coaches addressed the new rule in Wednesday’s press conference session. All were in agreement that the safety of the players is the most important thing, but some were still a little speculative as to how the foul will be determined and called.“I like the fact that that’s a play that’s coming into our game to make sure we have the number one most important thing handled, and that’s the health, safety, well-being of the student-athletes as they play the game of football,” Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “But there will be some hits that I’m looking forward to learning from and seeing exactly how that’s going to be officiated. But there’s no question the health, safety, well-being of the student-athletes is the number one priority.”It was determined if this new “targeting” rule had been in place last season Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on Michigan’s Vincent Smith in the Outback bowl that rocked the college football world would have been illegal and led to an ejection.Nebraska’s Bo Pelini was the most skeptical about the subjectivity involved in the referee’s decision to call the new foul.“The scary thing to me is just what you said: It’s the application part of it. And it’s going to be pretty subjective. And I don’t think it’s an easy thing to call. And in my opinion it’s going a little bit overboard right now. And some things I’ve seen on TV and different examples that they’ve shown, you know, like even as a coach watching it on TV, I haven’t quite agreed with some of the things they’ve talked about,” Pelini said. “But I understand where it’s coming from. It’s about the safety of the players, and we’re all for that. We just have to make sure that we’re not messing with the integrity of the game or the sport and how it’s supposed to be played.”Meyer proud of AndersenEver since Gary Andersen was selected to succeed Brett Beilema as Wisconsin’s next head coach, connections were being made with former employer and fellow Big Ten coach Urban Meyer.In 2004, Meyer – then the head coach of the University of Utah – hired Andersen as a defensive assistant on the Utes’ staff. Meyer would leave at the conclusion of the ’04 season while Andersen would stay in Salt Lake City until 2008.When asked about hiring and working with the current Wisconsin coach, Meyer gave rave reviews.“Gary I would put in one of the top two, three hires I’ve ever made…He made a direct impact on our program, and I couldn’t be more proud of who he is as a person,” Meyer said. “And I think he’s at the right place, a great school with a great athletic director, and really proud of Gary Andersen.”Andersen looking for third rusherFor the past few seasons, Wisconsin has had the luxury of having three viable options at the running back position – whether it be the trio of John Clay, James White and Montee Ball or Ball, White and Melvin Gordon. This season the Badger backfield is lacking a third option at tailback.Redshirt junior Jeff Lewis had been receiving the most touches at tail back – other than White and Gordon – during spring practice but has since moved to safety.“We need a third one,” head coach Gary Andersen said. “Right now if we did it, if we turned around: ‘who would it be? How would we go about it?’ That’s a good question but we need to have a No. 3. I don’t want it to be (Derek) Watt. I want the fullbacks and tight ends to be at their spot and play their spot, focused and not worried about being a third tailback.”Redshirt freshman running back Vonte Jackson had been pegged to get his opportunities running the ball in practice but after another knee related injury, it is uncertain whether he will make his way back to the field.Andersen now has his eye on incoming freshman Corey Clement to pick up the slack and fill the third spot on the depth chart.“Corey’s going to get a shot when he comes in,” Andersen said. “Corey had a very good high school career – highly recruited – and has been there all summer so we’ll see where he is.”High hopes for Lewis as ball hawkReggie Mitchell’s departure from Wisconsin to join former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Paul Chryst at Pitt has left a gaping hole in the Badgers’ secondary. Mitchell was projected to be UW’s starting safety this fall and has now left Gary Andersen with very few options.Andersen is rolling the dice on Jeff Lewis, hoping his athletic ability will translate to the safety position. All though Lewis didn’t make the move to defense until the summer, the switch was not a new idea for the former running back and coaches. Andersen says he approached Lewis about moving to safety before spring practice but Lewis wanted to get another shot in the offensive backfield.Now Lewis will be charged with making a quick transition with just over a month until Wisconsin’s first game. Andersen has realistic expectations or Lewis but believes his athleticism will shrink the learning curve.“I absolutely would not have done it if I didn’t believe he could. He has the athletic ability, I know that,” Andersen said. “I believe his mindset it good, his want to is good. So, he will get that opportunity day one to show us where he is. He’s not going to come out there and be an all-league safety day one, that’s not what I’m saying, but as we get into the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth practice I would love it if he could move himself to the forefront. Because if he did, then we will be a better defense.”Kill excited for end of year Border BattleStarting in 2014, Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s regular seasons will be ending with the battle for Paul Bunyan’s ax for the following three years.In a rivalry that already bears great importance for both universities involved, Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill is excited for the possibility of the added importance of the game with post-season hopes hanging in the balance.“I think the great thing about our rivalry with Wisconsin is its history. And that’s what football’s all about,” Kill said. “And certainly at the end of the year, it’s a tremendous game for both schools and it’s an exciting time.”last_img read more

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Courtside: MLB’s bizarre plan to save its season might just save America’s pastime

first_imgBaseball fans, rejoice: The finish line — or, more appropriately, the starting line — is in sight. MLB has made concerted efforts in recent years to grow the game to a broader demographic, and frankly, those efforts haven’t gone far enough — a baseball aficionado like myself can acknowledge that much. Knocking a few seconds off the average game by automatically issuing intentional walks instead of requiring four half-assed lobs wide of home plate can only go so far in attracting a younger audience that seems increasingly drawn to the flash and flair of the NBA and NFL.  Bad news: It’s probably not happening. As of last week or so, the NBA has been preparing scenarios to fully shut down the remainder of the 2019-20 season.  If baseball returns in May — far earlier than anyone originally expected — those who have been turned off from baseball because of its perception as slow and boring will come crawling back to their television sets for America’s national pastime even if simply because it’s the only option.  Despite all the league’s shortcomings when it comes to spreading the game, it might get bailed out by the unlikeliest of catalysts: the coronavirus pandemic.  The problem for MLB isn’t that the games are too long, it’s that the league thinks that’s the problem. Meanwhile, it has failed to take the essential step that its American major-sport counterparts have long since figured out by now: marketing its own players. It’s why, according to YouGov, 91% of Americans have heard of LeBron James, 88% have heard of Tom Brady and only 43% have heard of Mike Trout. The league seems more preoccupied with the Sharpie colors on players’ cleats than the fact that maybe, just maybe, fans are drawn to personality more than tradition.  On Monday, ESPN Major League Baseball insider Jeff Passan reported that MLB is considering a plan to locate all 30 teams at Arizona hotels and use various Spring Training facilities and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field in Phoenix to hold games possibly as early as May. I realize this is an ideal situation for absolutely no one. I just want baseball back, and in my eyes, everything else is gravy — but I realize I’m far outnumbered by my equivalents in the basketball sphere. For the basketball diehards, especially those in Los Angeles, it’ll be a tough pill to swallow. But come May, if there’s anything, anything happening in the sports world, even those who (incorrectly) claim baseball is boring will come to their collective senses and compromise. MLB will likely do everything it can to make baseball happen this year not just because it wants Bryce Harper’s 2020 MVP campaign to materialize, but also because it wants the pastime to become the present-time and future-time as well.  It’s exactly what MLB needs. If the league can find a way to grasp the moment and run with it, the impact will last well beyond the scope of the current crisis. Based on Passan’s report, the early signs indicate that MLB is realizing this opportunity. The league is considering regularly equipping players with microphones during games to provide an enhanced broadcast experience for viewers similar to the in-game interviews broadcast crews often held with players during Spring Training. Exposing an expected high number of fans to the concept that baseball players are actually living, breathing human beings with personalities rather than robots who stand around trying not to fall asleep all game should do wonders for the game’s appeal. For every MLB fan who can’t wait to see Houston Astros take 95 to the ribs once baseball returns, there are 10 NBA fans dying for a chance to see LeBron take on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the NBA Finals or Zion Williamson cap off his rookie season with a New Orleans Pelicans playoff chase. In general, it’s becoming increasingly evident that fans would push everything else aside just for a chance to see the 2019-20 NBA season played out until one team reigns supreme. Nathan Ackerman is a sophomore writing about sports and sociopolitics. He is also an associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Courtside,” typically runs every Friday. The concept that MLB can actually capitalize on the fact that U.S. society has shut down due to a virus that has taken thousands of lives in the last few weeks is incredibly bittersweet — and far more bitter than sweet. Though the road has been depressingly unfortunate and tragic, the destination is one that MLB can use as an opportunity to provide desperate fans with the entertainment we’ve so sorely been lacking ever since college sports were called off March 12. To say it would be a stray from the norm would be quite the understatement. The league could use electronic strike zones and seven-inning doubleheaders, ban fans from attending and mandate that players sit in the stands six feet apart rather than in the dugout during games.  It’s a golden opportunity, and Major League Baseball should be chomping at the bit. Nevermind how indisputably bizarre the plan is — should it go into action, which is still far from a certainty as it currently stands, the league’s status as the sole operating sports league in the United States would put it in a prime position to largely alleviate one of its most pressing concerns of the past decade.last_img read more

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Premier unchanged for All-Ireland football semi-final

first_imgManager Liam Kearns has decided to go with the same XV that defeated Galway in the quarter-final last month.This is team that will line out at GAA HQ on Sunday:1. Evan Comerford – Kilsheelan-Kilcash2. Colm O’Shaughnessy – Ardfinnan3. Alan Campbell – Moyle Rovers4. Ciarán Mc Donald – Aherlow5. Bill Maher – Kilsheelan-Kilcash6. Robbie Kiely – Carbery Rangers7. Jimmy Feehan – Killenaule8. Peter Acheson (Capt.) – Moyle Rovers9. George Hannigan – Shannon Rovers10. Josh Keane – Golden-Kilfeacle11. Michael Quinlivan – Clonmel Commercials12. Brian Fox – Éire Óg Annacarty13. Kevin O’Halloran – Portroe14. Conor Sweeney – Ballyporeen15. Philip Austin – Borrisokane Tipp FM will have live commentary on the match, which gets underway at 3.30 on Sunday afternoon.  Our coverage will be brought to you in association with John Kennedy Motors, Cashel Road, Clonmel.last_img read more

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Another oil discovery offshore Guyana

first_imgThe US based oil giant, ExxonMobil has announced the discovery of approximately 197 feet (60 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir at the Hammerhead-1  – the ninth discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block and the fifth within the last year.President of ExxonMobil, Steve Greenlee says the Hammerhead-1 discovery reinforces the potential of the Guyana basin, where ExxonMobil is already maximizing value for all stakeholders through rapid phased developments and accelerated exploration plans. Four billion oil-equivalent barrelsDiscoveries of approximately four billion oil-equivalent barrels were made prior on the Stabroek Block at Liza, Liza Deep, Payara, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora and Longtail with the potential for up to five floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels producing more than 750,000 barrels per day by 2025. To accelerate explorationA second exploration vessel, the Noble Tom Madden, is due to arrive in Guyana in October to accelerate exploration of high potential opportunities and will commence drilling at the Pluma prospect, approximately 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Turbot.The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres.ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is the operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.First oil is expected to be produced in the first quarter of 2020.last_img read more

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30-man Ballon d’or shortlist released

first_imgThe 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or award given to the best player in world football has been released by France Football magazineThe FIFA Best Player Top 3 of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi all made the list, which also had seven English Premier League (EPL) players.Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane was a notable name on the list after an impressive year that has seen him score 6 hattricks alone.Other Premier League players on the list include Kevin de Bruyne, Philippe Coutinho, N’Golo Kante, David de Gea, Eden Hazard and Sadie Mane.One notable absentee on the list was Welsh star Gareth Bale. The former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur man has struggled for form and fitness this year culminating in just five goals for his Real Madrid side.Ballon d’Or shortlist:Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund and Gabon), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan and Italy), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain and Uruguay) Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool and Brazil), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium), David de Gea (Manchester United and Spain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus and Argentina), Edin Dzeko (Roma and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Radamel Falcao (Monaco and Colombia), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France), Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich and Germany), Isco (Real Madrid and Spain), Harry Kane (Tottenham and England), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea and France), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid and Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland), Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Senegal), Marcelo (Real Madrid and Brazil), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France), Dries Mertens (Napoli and Belgium), Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia), Neymar (Paris St-Germain and Brazil), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid and Slovenia), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), Luis Suarez (Barcelona and Uruguay).Relatedlast_img read more

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At Last! Messi Pens New Barcelona Contract

first_imgBarcelona superstar Lionel Messi has finally put pen to paper on a new four-year contract at the club to end doubts about his future with the Nou Camp outfit.The club had earlier revealed that the 30-year old has agreed a new contract in principle but that didn’t halt reports about his long-term future at Barcelona.He signed the new contract on Saturday morning and that will keep him at the club till the 2020/21 season with a buyout clause of €700m.Since breaking into the first team in 2004, Argentina captain have has scored a whooping 523 goals in 602 appearances. He has won 30 trophies with the 5-time European champions.RelatedSpanish Playmaker Pens Lifetime Contract With ClubOctober 6, 2017In “Europe”Roberto OlabeJune 30, 2017Similar postLionel Messi Asks To Leave Barcelona – ReportsAugust 25, 2020In “Featured”last_img read more

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Jurgen Klopp ‘interested’ in Premier League job, but no Liverpool contact

first_imgJurgen Klopp is apparently interested in managing a Premier League club, but has not yet been contacted by Liverpool.According to reports, the former Borussia Dormund coach is willing to end his self-enforced sabbatical from the game to take over an English club, but has apparently told Sky Sports he has not yet heard from Liverpool.Klopp ended a gilded seven-year spell running Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season, and was adamant that he was keen to enjoy a year-long break from the game.That position could change especially if Liverpool lose patience in manager Brendan Rodgers, who has not won a Premier League match in his last four outings while needing penalties to scrape past Carlisle in the third round of the League Cup on Wednesday night.Klopp boasts an impressive CV having led Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and a first league and cup double in 2012.They reached the Champions League final in 2013, but lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich with Arjen Robben scoring in the last minute to deny the club a second European Cup success to go with their 1997 win over Juventus. Klopp’s side recovered from some poor form to finish seventh last season while they also reached the German Cup final losing 3-1 to Wolfsburg.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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Rocket Mortgage Classic: Nate Lashley remains in control heading into final round

first_imgWhile there’s no comfortable lead in golf, Lashley has a big cushion over the rest of the field. He became the first player to post 23 under through 54 holes of a Tour event since Jason Dufner in 2016 at the Desert Classic.Lashley matched his best round of the week (9-under 63) to get to the record-tying mark. Related News Rocket Mortgage Classic: Dustin Johnson helps couple with gender reveal J.T. Poston moved into second place (17 under), Cameron Tringale holds third (16 under) and Patrick Reed used his putter to jump into fourth (15 under).Reed matched Lashley’s nine birdies but Reed’s scorecard was stained with two bogeys on the front nine. He matched Tringale’s third-round score of 7-under 65.There’s a four-way tie for fifth place (14 under) while Hideki Matsuyama and Charles Howell III are included in the sizable tie for ninth place (13 under). Nate Lashley continues to hold the top spot on the leaderboard after the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.The longtime pro is now just one day away from his first PGA Tour win as he holds a six-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round. Rocket Mortgage Classic: Nate Lashley holds one-shot lead after first round Rocket Mortgage Classic: Dustin Johnson misses first cut since 2018 Open Championship Jumpman.@NateLashley is up to something.23-under-par through 54 holes.He leads by six.#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/Ut0GDRK7Ey— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 29, 2019The rest of the golfers are sitting a lot closer as they will now seemingly play for a runner-up finish.last_img read more

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Quarantine question: Which MLB player would teach your dream hitting/pitching lesson?

first_imgIt’s Day Whatever of our global coronavirus self-quarantine stretch — I stopped counting after like Day Two because it wasn’t helping — and we’re all going a bit stir-crazy, looking for productive (well, semi-productive … OK, not completely wasteful) ways to spend our hours at home.Because it seemed like the thing to do in the moment, Tuesday afternoon I threw one tweet with two questions out to the Twitterverse: If you could pick one hitter to give you a batting lesson, who would you pick (past or present)? And if you could pick one pitcher to give you a pitching lesson, who would you pick (past or present)? ok, quarantined baseball fans …if you could pick one hitter to give you a batting lesson, who would you pick (past or present)?and …if you could pick one pitcher to give you a pitching lesson, who would you pick (past or present)?— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) March 17, 2020FOSTER: MLB should open treasure-filled video archive while season’s on pauseThe replies still have not stopped rolling in. By Wednesday morning, more than 1,000 responses, either direct replies or quote tweets, had stuffed my mentions. Some took it seriously, and some of you had fun with it. For example, Bartolo Colon got five votes for the pitching lesson AND five votes for the hitting lesson. And, if I’m being honest, that’s kind of what I was hoping for, just to keep people entertained. I did my best to count the votes, as of noon ET on Wednesday. I tallied up as many votes as I could (Twitter stops showing all the replies at a certain point) using very scientific methods, as you can see. pic.twitter.com/cBl05G9iLn— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) March 18, 2020As mentioned in the tweet, I did not count every vote because at a certain point, Twitter limits the number of replies it will show. I’m pretty sure this little exercise wasn’t strictly adhering to scientific method guidelines anyway. I feel loosely confident that the votes I did count are at least loosely representative of the unknown votes, too. Loosely. Let’s look at the breakdowns. For the hitter you’d like a batting lesson from, I counted up 355 total votes, for 76 different hitters. Here’s the top 10. 1. Ted Williams, 722. Tony Gwynn, 713. Ken Griffey, 214. Barry Bonds, 185. Pete Rose, 116. Chipper Jones, 107. Rod Carew, 98 (tie). George Brett, 88 (tie). Wade Boggs, 88 (tie). Albert Pujols, 8We’re just going to call this a tie between Williams and Gwynn. The first reply I looked at after closing the counting was for Gwynn, and both have gotten several votes since then. Both of these guys were not only incredible hitters, but obsessed with the science of hitting, and teaching what they knew. Williams wrote a book called, surprise, “The Science of Hitting” and you can buy it now. Here’s a lesson from Williams, recorded in 1966 (skip ahead to the 6-minute mark). And here’s Tony Gwynn on hitting.Gwynn and Williams had a great mutual admiration for each other, as has been well documented. Here’s the two of them sitting with Bob Costas, talking hitting. Great, great stuff. Now, on to the hurlers. For the pitcher you’d like a pitching lesson from, I counted up 303 total votes, for 70 different pitchers. Here’s the top 10.1. Greg Maddux, 1052 (tie). Nolan Ryan, 192 (tie). Satchel Paige, 194. Bob Gibson, 175. Sandy Koufax, 156. Pedro Martinez, 147 (tie). Max Scherzer, 67. (tie). Trevor Bauer, 69. (tie). Randy Johnson, 59. (tie). Tom Seaver, 5Maddux was, as you can see, the runaway winner. That’s not surprising. Love the two pitchers tied in the second spot. There were a lot of mentions about Nolan Ryan’s work with Randy Johnson, helping the flame-throwing lefty learn the control that took him from wildly inconsistent to Hall of Famer. And Satchel Paige, well, listening to him talk about pitching (or anything) would be amazing. Here’s Maddux on how he gripped the baseball.And here’s Ryan on the same thing.  One more thing: I took the top four vote-getters and went back to Twitter to post a couple of polls. Here’s the hitter poll and here’s the pitcher poll. Anyway, this has been fun, baseball fans. If you have any other questions you’d like to see me throw out there, you know how to find me.last_img read more

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Kristen Zaleski Named Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Softball Coach

first_imgStory Courtesy of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi AthleticsCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Director of Athletics Jon Palumbo announced the hiring of Kristen Zaleski as the new head softball coach for the Islanders. Zaleski led Temple College in Temple, Texas, for nine seasons and compiled a 413-127 overall record. She led Temple to the NJCAA Division I national title in 2018.”We are thrilled to welcome Kristen Zaleski as our next head softball coach,” Palumbo said. “She is a proven winner as a head coach and has demonstrated the ability to connect with and develop her student-athletes on and off the field. I look forward to working with her to elevate our softball program.”While at Temple College, Zaleski’s teams won five conference titles, going 237-47, and advanced to the national championship tournament four times. She was named the Co-Coach of the Year for Region V North in 2018 and 2019. Her 2018 coaching staff at Temple was named the NFCA NJCAA Coaching Staff of the Year.”I am humbled to be chosen as the next head coach for the Islanders,” Zaleski said. “I am excited at the opportunity to rebuild this program and change the culture at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. My experience at Temple College has been amazing and I am very grateful to have been a part of such a wonderful place and softball program for nine years, but I am also looking forward to this next chapter in my life.”Zaleski played five professional seasons after college in the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF) with the Texas Thunder and the Rockford Thunder. She earned NPF Most Valuable Player accolades in 2005. She was named to the United States National Training Team in 2006 and was nearly selected for the final 2008 Olympic Team.In 2016, Zaleski was an assistant coach for the Dallas Charge of the NPF and has gained coaching experience with the Austin Storm organization. She has worked camps in Texas, Illinois, California, Michigan, Wisconsin and New York. She spent one season as the Texas State graduate assistant in 2005-06.Zaleski graduated Cum Laude from Texas State University in 2004 with a degree in Criminal Justice with a focus in Law Enforcement. While playing for the Bobcats, she earned NFCA All-America, CoSIDA Academic All-America and All-Southland honors. Zaleski won back-to-back Southland Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year honors during the 2003 and 04 seasons. She still holds a pair of Southland career records with 291 total hits and 128 stolen bases. Her seven stolen bases in 2002 and 10 hits in 2001 still stand as Southland Tournament records. Zaleski is one of only two players in Southland history to earn two NFCA All-America Selections.last_img read more

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