FOLLOWING the end of group play among the 12 teams contesting the 4th edition of the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) Under-11 League sponsored by USA-based Guyanese, Ralph Green, the four teams to contest the semi-finals have been decided.Saturday was the final day of group play and saw Vurlon Mills Academy closing off with a 2-0 win over Eagles Football Club of Stewartville to end with the most points as they also posted the most wins; four out of five matches and was also the lone team not to concede a goal.Scoring for Mills Academy was Romario La Rose in the 25th minute and Shaquille Dalrymple three minutes later.Kuru Kururu Warriors waltzed into the semis without breaking a sweat, gather three points and two goals which took them past Agricola Red Triangle as Swan Football Club, their Linden-Soesdyke Highway neigbours, failed to show up.Also winning via a similar route was Friendship All Stars (their first win) over Grove Hi Tech, which also failed to turn up. These two walk-overs were the first for the tournament which had kicked off on September 14.The biggest win of the day was recorded by Diamond United which defeated Fruta Conquerors 6-0. Rick Ramatar converted the second helmet-trick of the tournament in leading Diamond United to the biggest win of the tournament,which bettered Fruta Conquerors and Agricola Red Triangle’s 4-0 triumphs over Eagles and Friendship All Stars, respectively.Ramatar’s performance has also seen him taking over the lead for the most goals in the competition; he ended on seven; Timehri panthers’ Jaden Tasher has five. Ramatar scored in the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 17th minutes with the other goals coming off the boots of Louson Da Silva (10) and Danile Morgan in the 28th minute.The semi-finals will be contested this Saturday from 09:30hrs when winner of Group ‘A’, Vurlon Mills Academy, takes on the runner-up of Group ‘B’– Kuru Kururu Warriors. The second match from 10:00hrs will see the winner of Group ‘B’, Riddim Squad, taking on the runner-up of Group ‘A’ which happens to be the defending champions, Timehri Panthers.The respective winners will advance to the final to be played on Saturday, November 2nd at the same venue, while the losers will play the third and fourth place match. The players from the top two teams will each receive replica trophies whilst the third and fourth place sides will receive medals.
(CMC) – CAPTAIN Kieron Pollard has underscored the importance of opener Shai Hope’s role in the one-day side, labelling the elegant stroke-maker as the ‘anchor’ upon which West Indies built their innings.Even though Hope boasts an excellent one-day average of nearly 53 from 71 games, his modest strike rate of only 74 has often drawn criticism from pundits.However, Pollard endorsed the right-hander’s approach, pointing out it was key to the Caribbean side’s tactics especially with several big-hitters already in the lineup.“Sometimes we can get carried away by so much stats and so much data, we forget the importance of how we build a team at times,” Pollard said.“You can’t only build a team with guys who play shots. You’ve got to have an anchor. You’ve got to have somebody holding one end. If you look at the way we have played cricket over the past few years, we have been losing a lot of wickets early on so you have to build a foundation first.“You can’t build the top part of your house first and then look to build the bottom, so we have identified Shai as the person to build that foundation for us. When you look at his stats opening the batting they’re phenomenal and again, everyone has roles and responsibilities. If you look at all the guys around him, their strike rates are pretty pretty high.”Hope played a key role in Windies’ stunning victory in the opening match of the ongoing one-day series, when he struck an unbeaten 102 to help the visitors overhaul a target of 288 in Chennai.His hundred came from 151 balls at a slow strike-rate of 67 but it proved the ideal counter for Shimron Hetmyer’s breathtaking 139 from 106 deliveries with a strike rate of 131.Importantly, Hope was there at the end to see West Indies over the line and to a crucial 1-0 lead in the series.“It’s about building blocks, it’s about identifying areas where as a team you have fallen down before and you need to fix and then you fix other areas,” Pollard stressed.“As I said, it’s a work in progress for us and we don’t want to get too detailed in the data and strike rate.”West Indies failed to build on that success in Chennai, however, going down by 107 runs in face of a record run chase after India left them with a target of 388.The Caribbean side will now take aim at tomorrow’s decisive third ODI which could see them win their first series against India in 13 years and the first on the subcontinent in nearly two decades.“We’re going to prepare well. We’re going to go back, go over the mistakes we would’ve made, try to correct them in terms of practising them and try to perfect and come out fighting as we have done throughout this entire series,” Pollard said.“So nothing is going to change for us, in terms of how we prepare; and the guys have been really, really good when it comes to that.”
CMC – FORMER interim West Indies head coach, Floyd Reifer, says he is thrilled to be back in the Caribbean side’s coaching set-up, and is hoping he can contribute to a historic series win over England next month.Reifer has replaced batting coach, Monty Desai, who was unable to travel to the United Kingdom due to lockdown restrictions in his native India.“It’s always good to be back on the international circuit and working with the best cricketers we have in the Caribbean,” Reifer said prior to his departure earlier this week.“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to getting back into doing some work.“I’m thankful for the opportunity coach [Phil] Simmons has given me and he had the confidence in me as well, so it’s just for me to go out there and do the job I know I can do.”West Indies will defend the coveted Wisden Trophy when they face England in a three-Test series starting July 8 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.And the Caribbean side’s batting, which has struggled in recent time, is expected to come under the microscope especially in English seam-friendly conditions.Reifer said his role in the coaching unit would be critical in getting the best out of the side’s batting group.“Phil is a very good coach, very experienced and has been doing well with the team over the last few months,” he noted.“I’m looking forward to working with Phil and adding my value and my knowledge to make sure the team does the best they can in England.“Obviously, my job is to prepare the batters to make sure they’re mentally and skillfully as ready as possible [for] those Test matches.”Reifer was appointed interim West Indies head coach last year April, taking over from Englishman Richard Pybus.However, he presided over a disastrous World Cup in England where the regional side managed just two wins in nine matches to finish ninth of 10 teams – their worst ever result at the global 50-over showpiece.Having also served as head coach of West Indies A and led the successful Emerging Players side which won the Super50 Cup last November, Reifer said he was already acquainted with many of the players in the large 25-member contingent.“I worked with the guys at the World Cup, worked with guys in the A-team as well, and one or two of the guys [in the Test contingent] are from the Emerging Players, so I’ve worked with most or all of the guys in the team, so it’s just to continue and build those relationships,” he stressed.Reifer said while his long term ambition was to work within the West Indies coaching step up, his immediate focus was the England series.“Everything in time. I’ve had a taste of it already and I’m positive that I’m going to be there again, so I’m taking everything in stride,” said Reifer, who once enjoyed a stint as West Indies captain.“Right now it’s just this series coming up, so I’m going to put my best foot forward and make sure that the guys are prepared well and do my best.”
Employees of Aramark Services, a USC subcontractor that provides custodial and janitorial employees on campus, demonstrated in front of Tommy Trojan Wednesday afternoon, ahead of a Friday deadline on contract negotiations.Approximately 100 demonstrators, including students, faculty and other staff, joined together, insisting on affordable health care and a better contract for the employees.Negotiations · Members of USC’s maintenance staff, along with faculty and student supporters, march down Trousdale Parkway Wednesday. As they marched, the demonstrators held signs and chanted their demands for better contract terms from their employer, Aramark. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily TrojanThe demonstrators marched down Trousdale Parkway wearing shirts that said “Justice for Janitors,” holding signs and chanting slogans to protest against what they see as unfair health care terms on Aramark’s proposed contract package.They gathered in front of Tommy Trojan where Raphael Lieb, an internal organizer for the union, led the crowd in a number of chants and songs.The demonstration was held in advance of a final round of negotiations between the Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West — the union that represents the employees — and representatives from Aramark. The union has two days to complete negotiations with Aramark before it must present the contract offer to its members, as per the bargaining schedule agreed to by Aramark, according to Lieb.David James, a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has followed and participated in the workers’ efforts for the past 12 years. He addressed the crowd gathered at Tommy Trojan.“We all know the university treats students very well,” James said. “But there are other parts of our community the university hasn’t treated well, especially those who clean our bathrooms, classrooms and offices.”James also spoke to the crowd about a successful janitors strike that took place at USC in 1997, when the workers were attempting to join the union.After the march, the demonstrating employees took buses downtown to the SEIU-USWW headquarters, where negotiations were underway to resolve the situation.Negotiations between Aramark and the union must conclude within two days. At that point, a contract will be presented to the members of the union. If it is voted down, the employees will have no contract and, according to Jose Jovel, a union member who chairs the negotiating committee, the employees will have to strike.“We want to win health insurance benefits, good salaries for our fellow workers and families … We are asking to be treated fairly by Aramark management,” said Gloria Canada, one of the demonstrators. “If they say no we are going to strike.”Many of the demonstrators said they had been working at the university for decades, and had enjoyed their time at USC, but were dismayed by the present situation.Jovel, who has worked at USC for 33 years, said it was the good benefits available that initially brought him to the university.“I was working for my family in hopes that if my kids came [to USC] they would benefit from me working here,” Jovel said. “[But now] we are fighting for health care we can pay for, and not have to choose between having health insurance and bringing food to the dinner table.”Jovel added that he wants the two sides to find a resolution by Friday, ending in good terms.“That is my hope. I don’t want this to end in a strike,” he said.The previous contract ended in June and the parties have since been through eight rounds of negotiation, said Salvador Hernandez, an employee who also sits on the negotiating committee. The main point of contention for the employees is a change Aramark made to the health care clauses.Aramark had initially increased the amount workers would be paying for their health insurance’s monthly copay from 7.25 percent in the previous contract to 25 percent, according to Hernandez. Subsequent negotiation brought the offer down to 12 percent, but many workers are still unhappy with the number.“They want to increase our health insurance payment dramatically and we can’t pay that,” said Jose Ramirez, a night-shift worker who works on the floor crew. “We want to maintain it to what it is now, which is already high. We are not trying to make money and get rich, we want what’s fair.”Many of the workers who participated in the demonstration said the health care changes will have an impact on their families.“I’ve been working on the campus for 19 years and, like you can see, we love USC — this is part of my life,” Hernandez said. “We work everyday to clean and improve this campus, but at this time we are trying to get a full package. We know the general situation and in the country is bad, but our industry is very important, and we’re trying to get a fair [contract] package.”Although USC is not directly involved with the negotiations, a number of the demonstrators said they believe the university could influence Aramark’s decisions.“These are all workers here at USC, and USC does support the subcontracting policy,” said Elias Kohn, a student who joined the demonstration. “So even though it’s not USC directly who’s harming these workers, they’re taking part in the harm.”Bert Riddick, who works on USC’s Information Technology Services staff, said the solution seemed simple to him.“If the university stepped in and demanded that Aramark offer insurance, that would solve the problem very quickly,” he said.James Grant, executive director for media relations at USC, wrote in an email that the university has not been involved with negotiations between Aramark and the union.“The collective bargaining agreement being negotiated is between Aramark and the Union,” Grant wrote. “We appreciate that there may be differing views of the related issues, and look forward to a fair and balanced resolution.”Aramark declined to comment for the story.Nathan Gonzalez contributed to this report.
View Gallery (2 Photos)With both basketball teams falling to lower-seeded competition in the NCAA Tournament and the men’s hockey team falling in its semifinal game in the WCHA Final Five, it would not appear to have been a very good weekend for the Wisconsin Badgers.Fortunately for UW, it has a pretty good wrestling program.Competing in Omaha, Neb., at the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships, Wisconsin finished fourth in the team competition, tying the best finish in school history and taking home its first-ever team trophy.Individually, four Badgers — redshirt freshman Tyler Graff, sophomore Andrew Howe, junior Trevor Brandvold and senior Kyle Ruschell — earned All-America honors. Four marks the most honors for Wisconsin since 1980 and the second-most in program history.“I’m excited. The program made a big jump forward and obviously with Andrew winning the national championship, that’s a great thing,” UW head coach Barry Davis said. “To have another national champion in the room and him coming back for another two years is exciting as well.”Sitting in his office Tuesday, just days after being named NWCA National Coach of the Year, Davis, who in 16 years at the helm has coached eight Big Ten champions, 22 All-Americans and three individual NCAA Champions, was already hard at work.Davis wanted to make sure all those involved in the program were recognized for their efforts in 2010 after the Badgers finished fourth at the NCAA Championships. That same attitude is reflected in his view of the award he earned.Although Davis certainly had an impressive season as Wisconsin took home one of four team trophies and Howe won an individual national championship, the UW head coach sees it more as a team award.“It’s a great thing, and I was very surprised by it,” Davis said. “But I want everybody to know, it’s not one coach; it’s not me winning the award. It’s my whole staff; it’s a total team effort. Just one guy can’t do it all; it takes everybody combined.“To me, Coach of the Year is basically staff of the year.”That team-oriented mentality possessed by Davis seems to have rubbed off on his wrestlers. Nowhere is it more evident than in the Badgers’ national champion.Despite all the attention Howe has received for his title-winning efforts, the native of Cedar Lake, Ind., seemed most excited Tuesday about his team’s accomplishments.In fact, when talking about the NCAAs, Howe did not even mention his own championship.“It was a great weekend both for me and for Wisconsin wrestling getting four all-Americans, the team trophy and Barry Davis being named Coach of the Year. It’s real special,” Howe said. “It definitely meant more to have the team get honored as well. It’s nice to accomplish things with others even though it’s an individual sport.”Total student-athleteOne year ago, when Howe finished as the national runner-up as a true freshman, he was devastated. Although he was proud to have earned a second-place finish in his first trip to the NCAAs, it simply wasn’t good enough.According to Howe, that match was one he would not soon forget. More importantly, though, it motivated him to a championship this season at 165 lbs.“It was a terrible feeling losing in the finals and not finishing the tournament up strong last year. It’s just something I didn’t want to experience again,” Howe said. “I thought about that loss every day for the entire year. I didn’t want to have to think about something like that for another year. I knew I had to get it done.”After that loss, Howe showed a similar mentality as the one employed by Davis this week. Despite a better-than-expected finish, he was not satisfied.For that reason, among others, Davis did not need to do much in terms of coaching after Howe lost his final match of 2009.“I didn’t have to say a whole lot to him last year after he lost,” Davis said. “I think Andrew Howe’s set some really high goals for himself, and he’s very motivated.”So, now that Howe has won that elusive championship, he’s still not satisfied.With two years remaining at the University of Wisconsin, he hopes to add at least one more national championship to his r?sum?.As a team leader in addition to the Badgers’ top wrestler, Howe is also looking to lead Wisconsin to a team title.“I definitely think the team could do even better next year. We’re still up and coming, and this is just us breaking through a little bit right now. But we can still make more gains,” Howe said. “I think it would be awesome to get even more than four all-Americans next year. I definitely think we could finish first and win the team title.”
Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanSTAND member Jennifer Binley, a junior majoring in international relations, takes a picture of Xiaojie Wang, a sophomore majoring in international relations, as he holds up a sign as part of STAND’s social media campaign to promote a gender-inclusive peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 2016 season brought domination for Wisconsin cross country, with both the men’s and women’s team commanding most of the invitationals they competed in.This season, the Badgers aim to replicate the same success they had back in 2016. With both men’s and women’s cross country having already competed in two invitationals this season, let’s take a look at how they’ve done thus far, along with how the rest of their season will shape up.Men’s Cross CountryMen’s cross country had an amazing 2016 season, taking home the Big Ten title for the 43rd time in program history. The Badgers managed to out-run Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan to gain their most recent title.The men’s team earned a victory during four tournaments last year, two of which were post-season tournaments — the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Tournament. Unfortunately, the Badgers did not manage to bring home a national title, and placed 11th overall in the NCAA Championship Tournament.This year, the men’s cross country team struggles to find the same level of success they managed to find last year. By this time last year, the Badgers had already managed to place first during their second tournament of the season, but the highest place UW has earned in 2017 is fourth.Wisconsin cross country running hoping for turnaround in 2017 seasonThe 2016 season brought domination for Wisconsin cross country, with both the men’s and women’s team commanding most of the invitationals they competed Read…This team is significantly younger than last years team — just over half of the team is composed of underclassmen. Two of the main leaders on this team are sophomore Eric Brown and freshman Tannor Wagner.Even still, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association ranked Wisconsin No.7 in this year’s preseason poll. The Badgers currently claim the same spot they entered the season in.The first tournament of the year for the Badgers was the Indiana Open, during which the Badgers placed fifth overall. The fastest Wisconsin runner earned 32nd place, and the final Wisconsin runner earned 36th place.Their second tournament, the Badger Classic, showed improvement for the Badgers, who placed fourth overall. But while these results demonstrate some gains from the weekend before, UW managed to come in first at the same tournament in 2016, showing there is still much progress to be made.There are only two more invitationals remaining in this tournament before the Badgers begin their final leg of the season. The next tournament in the men’s schedule is the Louisville Classic, and their season will end here in Wisconsin with the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 13th.While this season might not have started out the way they wanted it to, the Wisconsin men’s cross country team still has time to improve their standings in the Big Ten. They might be down right now, but a lot could happen before they reach the finish line.Women’s Cross CountryMuch like their male counterparts, Wisconsin women’s cross country had a fantastic season in 2016. They are looking at getting back to the same place that they found themselves in last season.Wisconsin is currently ranked No.15 in the nation, but they have fallen from their previous No.14 ranking this season. One reason for this may be that the Badgers have been struggling to get to the front of the pack in their races, causing them to fall to fourth or fifth place in their races.Granted, they have only been through two races this season, so there is ample time to recover. Much like the men, it is just going to be about finding the right momentum this year to propel themselves to the front of the pack.This time last year, the women’s team had already come in second during the Oz Memorial Invitational and won the Badger Classic Invitational. Now, the Badgers came in fouth during their first race of the season, and fifth during their second.The Badgers have some time to begin building a better strategy as they begin preparing for the Louisville classic at the end of September. After that, the women only get one more invitational before they head to the Big Ten Championship invitational.Wisconsin cross-country rebuilding for another long run All good things must come to an end, and for the Wisconsin men’s cross-country team, the end came last fall Read…One of the benefits of cross country is that performance during the regular season as a team does not affect team standing during post-season meets. Everyone begins with a blank slate, and it can be a good chance for teams to learn from mistakes, start anew and forget how the regular season unfolded.Both teams have the potential to have a great season in 2017, despite slow starts. Now, both the men and women’s teams will have a full week to recover and begin preparing for their next tournaments and reflect on how their season has progressed thus far.
Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “I started this in, I would say, ’16,” Jansen said. “It was a lot of things. I’ve been studying Kersh for a long time now. It started feeling good in the offseason of 2015. I started doing that sometimes just to give the hitters a little different look. You’re not going to get the same buildup of me coming in on them. From there, I started hesitating, quick pitch sometimes, pause sometimes.“If you give them a different buildup, it can throw them off just a little.” How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire In his second season, however, there are no plans to put any restrictions on Buehler’s workload.“With what he’s shown and how he’s rebounded, responded, the winter he’s had, the plan is just for him to kind of be a regular starting pitcher,” Roberts said.PLACE-HOLDERWith Corey Seager recovering from elbow and hip surgeries last season, the Dodgers made a big midseason move to acquire Manny Machado to play shortstop. There are no indications the Dodgers have made any attempt to re-sign the free agent shortstop, and Roberts said he never had to reassure Seager about his status as the Dodgers’ shortstop when he was ready to play again.“I didn’t have that conversation one time,” Roberts said. “Manny was here to fill a hole. We made a decision as an organization at the deadline or near it. But Corey was always going to be our short-term and long-term plan. So I didn’t feel that we needed to have that conversation.” Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Told that Edwards was doing it to give his delivery better balance and control, Jansen said he could see how that would work.“It helps control-wise, too,” Jansen said. “I think you let everything break in place and all you have to do is move forward. Your arm is already back. You’re already on top (of the ball).”Jansen said he has never talked to Kershaw about stealing that distinctive pause from his delivery. But he said he still will “take a quick peek at Kersh” from time to time and marvel at the consistency of his mechanics.“He might have the best delivery I’ve seen in the big leagues so far,” Jansen said. “So repeatable, so consistent.”For Kershaw, the pause at the top of his delivery is something he first began doing in high school.“It wasn’t as pronounced as it is now. Over time, working with Honey (Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt), it’s become more of a hesitation,” Kershaw said, crediting a former coach for the original suggestion, a way to remind himself to think of his hands and legs as being “on a string” moving in unison.“Some people say it interrupts your momentum and you lose power,” Kershaw said. “But for me, it helps gather myself over the rubber. And you don’t really get violent and aggressive until your foot lands (on the downslope of the mound).”SLOW PLAYDodgers right-hander Walker Buehler is the only member of the team’s likely season-opening rotation not to throw a bullpen session this week. Kershaw, for example, threw his second one during Friday’s workout.Buehler said he had already started throwing off a mound before reporting to camp this week and feels strong physically. A year ago, he had a back issue that limited him early in camp. This year, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the team just wants to “slow play” the 24-year-old right-hander after he threw 177 innings in 2018 (minors, majors and postseason included).“Walker had a tremendous year, a big-time workload,” Roberts said. “So for us to slow-play him a little bit is a good thing.”Related Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco GLENDALE, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw’s coaching tree has begun to …. (pause) … sprout.Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. went into the offseason motivated to improve his control after walking 32 batters in 52 innings last season, pushing his walk rate (5.5 per nine innings) and WHIP (1.31) to career-highs. When he reported for spring training this week, he had changed his pitching motion, adopting a mid-delivery pause with his left leg extended.Edwards said he got the idea from watching Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. During the offseason, he studied video of Jansen, whose walk rate (2.3 per nine innings over his career, 2.1 last season) is among the lowest in baseball and decided to add the hesitation to his delivery.Jansen said his agent told him about Edwards’ changes and called it “awesome” that Edwards saw a role model in him. But the Dodgers closer did not adopt the hesitation in order to improve his control. For him, it was about deception. And it wasn’t an original idea. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies
“He pretty much just explained what I already had told everyone (on social media),” Brown said. “He just confirmed it. He confirmed everything I said.”Colbert later explained that his team doesn’t have a “bunch of juveniles” but Roethlisberger is “the unquestioned leader” of the team.”Of course he tried to clarify because, you know, he stated the truth and he’s going to backpedal on his words,” Brown said. “But what grown man is calling another grown man a kid? ‘Fifty-two kids.’ Like, you don’t have no respect for these guys? Like, these are the guys that go to work for you. And that’s what I’m telling you guys … that’s my issue. You know what I’m saying? It’s all about respect.”… Things (are) not getting better. They’re not changing. You know what I mean? He just stated it. There’s 52 kids and it’s this guy [Roethlisberger]. Bro, it’s one team. … So that’s what it is, man. Just understanding truths.” Brown also discussed Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and his recent remarks about Ben Roethlisberger at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Brown missed the team’s final week of practice and sat out the regular-season finale against the Bengals amid an alleged feud with the quarterback.Colbert said Roethlisberger “has 52 kids under him, quite honestly,” and expressed his desire for players to turn to the veteran as a mentor. Related News NFL trade rumors: 3 teams have inquired about Steelers WR Antonio Brown Antonio Brown isn’t mad, he’s just disappointed.During an exclusive interview with ESPN, the Steelers wide receiver clarified that he isn’t “angry” with the organization that drafted him in the sixth round in 2010, but he still wants to be traded from Pittsburgh. Colbert said last week three teams reached out regarding a possible trade for the Brown, though he confirmed more have emerged since then.”Interest has grown,” Colbert said. “Ideally you want to trade him to somebody you’ll never play but you can’t do that, because if you’re good enough to get to the Super Bowl, you have to play him any way. The less you would play him, the better, but if a team comes through with the best compensation, we have to balance that out.”Okay, we’re going to play him, twice a year, but we’re going to get the best compensation, so it’s our job to do the better job with the compensation and you have to weigh that all into the discussion.” Steelers GM talks Antonio Brown trade rumors: ‘Interest has grown’
A few hours later on Tuesday, the FPN (Fastpitch News) released their poll which has the Cowgirls ranked 23rd. Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week, redshirt freshman Caroline Settle leads the pitching staff with a 3-0 record along with a 0.57 ERA in 12.1 innings. Settle is coming off an opening weekend that saw her pick up a win over Virginia and two wins over then ranked no. 20 Tulsa. Settle has given up six hits, four runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts. Sophomores Alexandria Saldivar and Brenique Wright will lead the Cowgirls at the plate against the Lady Techsters. Saldivar has a .750 batting average with three hits in four at bats while Wright has a .571 average with four hits in seven at bats, one home run, one triple and a team high four stolen bases. Junior Justyce McClain has seven hits in 10 at bats for a .500 average. McNeese (4-0) will return home Wednesday to host Louisiana Tech in a single game beginning at 5 p.m. The contest will be the last home game until March 13 when the Cowgirls host Houston. Louisiana Tech enters the game with a 1-4 record at the Puerta Vallarta College Challenge over the weekend with its lone win coming in a 3-2 victory over James Madison in the last game of the tournament. La. Tech will face Southeastern La. Tuesday night before heading to Cowgirl Diamond. “It’s always humbling to be recognized by your peers,” said head coach James Landreneau. “I’m excited for our players and the respect they’ve been shown. Our main focus is to play one game at a time and become the team we believe we’re capable of becoming.” Following Wednesday’s game, McNeese will hit the road for their second of four regular season tournaments at the Southern Miss Black and Gold Tournament this weekend. LAKE CHARLES, La.—After opening the season with a 4-0 start with wins over Virginia and preseason 20th ranked Tulsa last weekend at the Cowgirl Classic, McNeese softball cracked the first USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll of the season, coming in at No. 24. This marks the first time in program history the Cowgirls are ranked in a major poll. The Cowgirls picked up 80 votes in the poll. The poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches with one vote representing each of the NCAA’s 32 Division I conferences. McNeese did rank as high as No. 6 on March 20, 2012 in the softball Mid-Major poll under former head coach Mike Smith who is the current head coach at Ole Miss. Karlee Jensen leads La. Tech with a .500 average with six hits. Bailey Allen has a 2.00 ERA without a record in seven innings pitched while Preslee Gallaway has the only victory with a 3.34 ERA in 14.2 innings.