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No. 14 Florida State shuts out Syracuse, 1-0

first_imgSyracuse (15-9, 4-3  Atlantic Coast) fell 1-0 to the reigning ACC softball champion, No. 14 Florida State (24-6, 4-0), in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday evening.SU ace Alexa Romero took the circle against FSU ace Kylee Hanson. The two shared ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors in late February. Romero struck out eight batters, seven of which came in the first three innings.Romero also walked four, including FSU outfielder Korina Rosario to start the bottom of the sixth. A few batters later, outfielder Zoe Casas flew out to center field and Rosario, who was on third, scored the lone run of the game.Offensively, Syracuse struggled to generate hits. The Orange entered the game with four batters averaging over .300 at the plate, including Bryce Holmgren, who entered tops in the ACC with a batting average over .500. In the first game of the series against FSU, only one batter recorded any hits at all.Sammy Fernandez had two hits. One came in the top of the third when she singled to right field. Sophomore Toni Martin, who was on base after an error, moved to third. Fernandez stole second to put runners on second and third, but Alicia Hansen flew out to center field to retire the top of the inning.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThree innings later, Fernandez recorded the only other hit the Orange had against the Seminoles. Like in the third inning, Fernandez got to second and Holmgren walked to put two runners on before the inning ended.Syracuse will face the Seminoles again Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Comments Published on March 23, 2018 at 8:38 pm Contact Kaci: klwasile@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

LA Clippers roar back to beat Thunder 103-98

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul concurred.“No question,” he said. “That energy and intensity they brought into the game, I think they got the crowd back into it. We picked it up from there. We started going downhill, as Doc would say. And just finding guys.“Wes (Wesley Johnson) made some big shots. And then our defense. We got some runout layups and that’s what got us back in the game.”Paul led the Clippers with 21 points and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, Redick scored 16, Jamal Crawford 12 and Johnson 11.Johnson started 1 of 11. But he hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The first came with 4:59 to play and brought the Clippers within 95-84. At the 4:27 mark, Johnson sank a 28-foot bomb to cut the deficit to eight (95-87).Johnson said he was encouraged by his teammates.“I mean, every time I came to the bench, they kept saying, ‘Keep shooting,’ ” Johnson said. “So I couldn’t be bashful.”Paul loved the mettle his team displayed.“We showed a lot of fight,” he said.Paul mentioned the defense. The Thunder scored only five points over the last 7:26. The Clippers outscored OKC 35-13 in the fourth quarter, during which the Thunder were forced into six of their 17 turnovers.Austin Rivers scored six points off the bench in his first game back after missing a month with a fractured left hand. His father praised the defense his 6-foot-4 son played on Durant when he was on him.Durant finished with 30 points, but shot just 12 of 27. Russell Westbrook scored 24 and Serge Ibaka scored 11 points and tied Durant for team-high rebounding honors with 11.“I just tried to get under (Durant),” Austin Rivers said. “You cannot stop a player like Kevin. You just try to make it as difficult as possible, and I feel like we were kind of getting punked a little bit in the first half. The whole team, honestly.”The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 63-45.OKC coach Billy Donovan seemed peeved at his team, rather than complimentary of the Clippers.“I don’t think L.A. did anything drastically different,” he said. “It was turnovers, it was maybe not great shot selection, it was not getting back in transition, it was giving up 3s — everything that we were doing at such a high level in the first half.”Clippers starting forward Luc Mbah a Moute missed the game because of a left eyelid laceration. Jeff Green started in his place.The Clippers play at OKC two more times this month and they also play at Golden State and San Antonio. There are games at Dallas and Memphis and Houston and home games against Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston and the surprising Portland Trail Blazers. Tough, indeed.Doc Rivers shrugged it off.“I don’t have a lot of thoughts,” he said before tipoff. “(Clippers voice) Ralph (Lawler) keeps reminding me of it during our interviews. But, obviously, I don’t think much about schedules.“I look at rest and stuff like that. I don’t look at the opponent much. We have to be ready to play every night and I don’t mind that it’s a tough schedule. I think in some ways that could be good for us.”Then there is Griffin. He has not played since Dec. 25 because of a partially torn quad tendon and, more recently, a fractured right hand.Austin Rivers told reporters that the way Griffin looked at the morning shootaround, he appears ready.“He looked like he was normal out there,” the younger Rivers said. “He was shooting it like Blake shoots it, from that mid-range. He was rolling to the basket, jumping high. He looks pretty good.”Knowing his son had, in his words, “spilled the beans,” Doc Rivers said that Griffin is indeed just about there.“Blake’s close and he’s looking good,” the elder Rivers said. “I mean, honestly, watching him today I was like, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, we can use some of that tonight.’ ”Once Griffin has been given the green light by doctors, he must serve his four-game suspension for fracturing his hand on team equipment staffer Matias Testi. March could be the most important month of the regular season for the L.A. Clippers. They play 16 games — six against elite teams with better records than the Clippers — and several more against playoff-bound teams.The Clippers will get Blake Griffin back, which will be a big deal moving toward the postseason.The first test came Wednesday, and the Clippers passed with flying colors. Down by 17 points after three quarters, they roared back to take a 103-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder before a delirious sellout crowd of 19,304 at Staples Center.The Clippers went ahead for good on a three-point play by DeAndre Jordan for a 99-97 lead with 1:12 to play. Jamal Crawford then made a short bank shot with 38.6 seconds left for a 101-97 advantage.center_img After OKC’s Kevin Durant made one of two free throws, J.J. Redick made two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to seal the Thunder’s fate.The victory moved the fourth-place Clippers (40-20) to within 1 1/2 games of third-place Oklahoma City (42-19) in the Western Conference standings. The Clippers were down 85-68 entering the fourth quarter.The comeback, which was the Clippers’ biggest of the season, began with the second unit on the floor to start the fourth quarter.“The bench,” coach Doc Rivers said. “That was the key. … I just thought Oklahoma played harder, more aggressive, downhill, for 2 1/2 quarters; really, three quarters. And then the bench came in and then they started doing it back at them.”last_img read more

2019 Dodgers season preview: Piling up NL West titles has yet to yield a World Series crown

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire “We hit a lot of home runs in 2017. We hit a lot of home runs in 2018. We’re still going to hit a lot of home runs. But for us, it’s about having as even a distribution of runs scored over the course of a season on a nightly basis as we can. There are different ways to achieve that. But we can’t put ourselves in a position where we score 0 or 1 if we don’t hit the ball out of the ballpark.”When Kasten looks back on the Braves’ record division title streak that led to just one World Series title, it produces a mixture of feelings that might be familiar to current Dodgers fans.“It’s terribly frustrating. But also a great source of pride that we were that successful,” said Kasten, who was with the Braves for 12 of those 14 years (and all six of the Dodgers’ current run). “And I think both can exist together. That’s as straight as I can be. There is nothing more painful than losing in the playoffs, much less in the World Series, much less losing in Game 7, much less losing in extra innings of Game 7 – which I’ve had the horrible experience of doing.“Yeah, it’s painful as hell. It’s why we work so hard all year round to be as good as we can be. But that doesn’t keep us from being proud of what we’ve accomplished and it shouldn’t take away from anyone in the organization’s pride in being a part of it.” Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco So that’s the plan, right – keep winning division titles and wait for the mysterious forces of October to align in your favor?“I don’t see how (you can plan that way),” Kasten said. “It’s just too hard to win your division. It’s just too hard.“I don’t know that you can. I just think history has shown that unexpected things happen in the postseason. It was always that way. It certainly has been for the last half-century.”While acknowledging that it is better to win your division than not – duh – Friedman says the further challenge is to increase your odds in the postseason by taking as good a team as possible into that crucible.“What separates the best teams from the worst teams in the regular season – the best teams win 60 percent of the time, or thereabouts, and the worst teams win 40 percent of the time or thereabouts,” he said. “So there’s a 20 percent difference between the best and the worst. Then you get to the best of the best (in the postseason) and that gap shrinks even more. And over a five-game or seven-game series, different things can play out that are either good fortune or bad fortune and have a significant effect on the outcome of that series.“That being said, we still want to be the most talented team in every series we play to give ourselves the best odds.”This year, the Dodgers chose to do that not by tying a $300 million free-agent rock to their payroll for the next decade or by skimming the top layer off their farm system to make a big trade.“For us, our biggest focus coming into this year was consistency and trying to have our talent play out on a nightly basis as frequently as we can,” Friedman said. “The more we’re able to do that, the more likely it is that we’ll do that in October which will put us in a better position to win the 11 games we need to – if we’re fortunate enough to get there.”That meant shedding productive but flawed players such as Yasiel Puig, Yasmani Grandal and Matt Kemp in favor of a lineup fortified by Corey Seager’s return and the signing of A.J. Pollock that will feature fewer platoons – and fewer empty at-bats.“When you talk about being more consistent, you’re talking about when you run into good pitching … and that’s what happens in October,” Roberts said. “That’s why, yeah, I absolutely think this is a deeper lineup. Are we going to homer as much as we did last year? Probably not. But I will argue that we will be just as productive and score just as many runs if not more.”Last year’s Dodgers hit a franchise-record 235 home runs and scored 804 runs, both tops in the National League. But it was very much a roller-coaster ride. The Dodgers scored eight or more runs in a game 33 times last season – and two or fewer 43 times (losing 39 of those games).“It’s pretty high,” Friedman said of the latter total. “I want to be in the low 30s.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies In the winter of 1993, Stan Kasten was president of both the Atlanta Braves and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. And he wasn’t in a great mood.“I was having dinner with (Duke basketball coach) Mike Krzyzewski and I was really down,” recalled Kasten, now the team president and CEO of the Dodgers. “We had just lost two World Series (in 1991 and 1992). I was, ‘Woe is me.’ Mike Krzyzewski, who we all think of as a winner, says to me, ‘You know, I didn’t win it all until my fifth Final Four.’ I didn’t remember that. I had to look it up. You can look it up. It’s the truth.“That actually made me feel better. It turns out the next World Series we did win. I’m always reminded of just how hard it is. It just is.”That World Series title (in 1995) was the only one the Braves would win during a stretch of 14 consecutive division titles (interrupted only by the strike year of 1994), the longest run of division dominance in the 50 years since baseball split its two leagues into pieces.center_img They reached the World Series five times, losing to the New York Yankees in 1999 in their last trip. Those Yankees were in the early stages of the second-longest run of division titles. They led the American League East for nine consecutive seasons, 1998 through 2006. That produced three of the franchise’s 27 World Series titles.And then there are these Dodgers. Heading into the 2019 season, which begins on Thursday, the Dodgers have the third-longest run of neighborhood dominance in baseball’s division era, having won the NL West each of the past six years. With three of their four division rivals (the Giants, Padres and Diamondbacks) in various stages of rebuilding, the Dodgers are overwhelming favorites to make it seven consecutive division titles this season.But this run has yet to produce a World Series title, something that has eluded the franchise since 1988 – and something that is such an omnipresent part of the narrative surrounding the Dodgers that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman launches into a defensive posture when asked to compare the Dodgers of this era to those Braves and Yankees.“It’s not lost on anybody that we haven’t won a World Series,” Friedman said. “It’s obviously everything that we set out to do and in our minds, it’s much harder to win a World Series if you don’t win your division. So we want to continue that streak as long as possible and keep putting ourselves in position to win multiple championships. That’s our mindset.”These Dodgers do share some characteristics with those teams. Like those Braves, the Dodgers have featured “premium talent” (Friedman’s phrase for those Braves teams) and an ability to make wise choices in supplementing it to keep themselves at the top – “They never rebuilt. They reloaded,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts summarized. And the Dodgers share the financial advantages of the Yankees, resources that both deployed to build around a core of homegrown talent first and foremost. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season last_img read more