Hello, Big Southers far and wide--welcome to another edition of SHOUT.
Surely you're ready for a weekend...I know I am...and if you're a Big South sports fan (which of course you are), then you're also looking forward to another great weekend of Conference games in baseball and softball. Plenty of good match-ups to enjoy out there!
Congrats to Radford for clinching the Regular Season Softball Championship nice and early--but there's still the matter of the upcoming tournament. RU will surely be the favorite, but a lot can happen with so many games in such a short period, so we look forward to the drama that will unfold at Coastal Carolina's field May 13-15.
Meanwhile, we quietly hit a unique milestone on the baseball side this past week, as Coastal Carolina topped the NCAA Baseball RPI list...you read that right: Number One in the nation based on record, road performance, schedule strength, and all the other factors that go into computing RPI. Regrettably (and isn't this always the case for teams at the top), CCU lost the first game after those rankings were published, falling on the road at Virginia. The good news is that loss may not have a catastrophic effect, considering that UVa came in at #4 on the very same list. RPI position is naturally among the consideration factors for regional hosting and seeding, so the Chanticleers have to be happy finding themselves in the uppermost tier.
By the way--big congratulations to Winthrop for the performance at the 2010 Big South Conference Men's & Women's Tennis Championships: WU swept the titles, winning final team matches as the 2-seed on both sides. The Eagles defeated the top-seeded teams in both men's play (Radford, also the host team) and women's play (Charleston Southern).
Before I go on to plug our title topic today, I also want to be sure and add a proper salute and SHOUT-out to our Winter Sportsmanship Awards winners, as voted on by their peers: PC women's basketball, GWU men's basketball, VMI women's indoor track, and Liberty men's indoor track. Those results will be combined with the fall honors already known and the spring list to be announced in determining who the overall Sportsmanship Awards will belong to at year's end.
And now, what's all this "channel" nonsense from today's headline?
We've put together a significant enhancement and upgrade to our Big South Network video portal at BigSouthSports.com. Before this, you always had to view everything from a Big South window and find anything you're looking for from out of the entire selection of events throughout the Conference. Not anymore--particularly not if your loyalty resides with a specific member of the Big South.
When you access video via the Big South Network now, you will find a new drop-down menu on the left side inviting you to "SELECT A TEAM." Clicking that gives you a list of the ten member institutions, and picking one of those essentially "changes the channel," transforming the player to a skin matching your school of choice and altering the available programming accordingly. Want to find only upcoming games for Coastal? championship events for Winthrop? games on demand for High Point? Gotcha covered...all part of the ongoing efforts to improve the fan experience with BigSouthSports.com and the Big South Network. We hope you like it--a lot went into making this happen, and we thank our web and streaming hosts with NeuLion/JumpTV, because these video developments were actually a bit harder than they look, and they were implemented seamlessly (so a SHOUT-out to the project developers today as well).
Speaking of the Big South Network (you knew this was coming), here's the video guide not only for this week, but the next TWO weeks of programming:
That's all I'll throw your way today. Enjoy yourselves out there--and try to catch a game at a Big South school if you have one within reach (and if not, well...that's what the video streaming is for, right?)...and that's SHOUT...out.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Hello, Big Southers far and wide--welcome to another edition of SHOUT.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Many Southerners know that if you ever find yourself in Spartanburg, SC, and you need a major burger-and-fried-stuff fix, the Beacon Drive In is the place to be. Those not traveling much through the region may know the Beacon from its appearance on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." Either way, you need to know how to order right away. Yep, it's one of THOSE places--first-timers better learn quick that you don't hold up the line, because you need to "CALL IT!" A hallmark of ordering at the Beacon is getting your burger A-PLENTAY (that's "plenty" with proper inflection, of course), meaning virtually buried in an avalanche of fries and onion rings. You get what you came for--and then some.
Hence the appropriate title for this post, because we know it's time for spring championships--and boy do we have an overflowing plate of stuff we can sink our teeth into today!
Let's take this chronologically...
It had been a month since the basketball tournaments for the Big South, but the silence ended last week, starting with the Women's Golf Championship. Charleston Southern's women logged the best showing at The Patriot Golf Club in Ninety-Six, SC, bringing back the first Big South Championship for the Bucs in anything this year. The kudos for CSU don't just end with the trophy--after all, the Bucs beat the Championship record score by eight strokes (881) and became the first team in event history to record team scores under 300 each day. AND CSU senior Olivia Jordan-Higgins brought was the individual medalist. Nice finish all around.
Before the men would get their crack at The Patriot, we turned to the CSU campus, site of the 2010 Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships. With a talented roster of competitors from all across the Big South, the OTF Championships nonetheless came down to one team on top, and the Flames burned brightest. Liberty won both the men's and women's titles, and in so doing, completed an unprecedented sweep of all the "running" titles: Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track, all for both Men's and Women's Championships. Call it the "double triple" as they are at LU, or just call it dominance. Coastal's women's team gave Liberty a major challenge, and even held the team lead for a while, but it was not to be this time. As for the men, Liberty led wire-to-wire there. Interestingly, while the Men's Top Performers in Track (Evans Kigen) and Field (Clarence Powell) came from Liberty, the Women's Top Performers in Track (Ikeiylah Brown) and Field (Brittany Connor) came from Coastal Carolina.
This week began with the Men's Golf Championship, and it's a familiar refrain in the Big South to announce Coastal Carolina as the team champion for men's golf, so that result comes as no real surprise to anyone. Take in these impressive numbers: CCU has now won seven titles in a row and 12 of 14. The Chants were pushed by CSU and Liberty, but could not be caught. Given all that, perhaps it's of some interest that the individual medalist was not a Chanticleer: Liberty's Robert Karlsson had the best score for the tournament.
AND NOW another title tilt is happening, even as I write and share these thoughts with you. The Big South Men's & Women's Tennis Championships began this morning from the campus of Radford University, where the hosting men's team enters with the top seed, while Charleston Southern has that honor on the women's side. So by Saturday afternoon, we're scheduled to have two more champions crowned.
That's if the weather holds, of course...we just got through nine days staging four outdoor championship events with nothing more than a fog delay one morning and some breezes, so the luck so far has been quite good (bringing the law of averages into play, quite possibly). It may be a race against rain come Saturday, but we're hoping all is well for tennis to run on schedule.
Once tennis concludes, that just leaves softball and baseball to finish out the "pennant races" of their seasons and stage their May tourneys, which will close out the 2009-10 season.
As far as title-winners this year, looking back on it, we find a very favorable run for LU:
Championships won (14 total)--
7.5 Liberty (M/W XC, M/W ITF, M/W OTF, WBB, FB-tie)
2.0 Winthrop (MSOC, MBB)
2.0 Coastal Carolina (VB, MG)
1.0 High Point (WSOC)
1.0 Charleston Southern (WG)
0.5 (Associate Member Stony Brook: FB-tie)
And with only four left to crown, nobody can catch Liberty on this list...as for Sasser Cup, there are a number of other factors involved, but no one can doubt LU would be a favorite to repeat.
In other news, HPU is streaming their Spring Athletic Banquet tonight (4/22). It's available on the Big South Network, just like these other games I'm going to talk about in the video (although the banquet is the only one of those events that you can watch for free)...here's the guide for this week--with one note--ADD IN the Saturday-Sunday games for Coastal Carolina at VMI baseball:
So that's it for today...until next time-- "CAALLLLLLL IT!" SHOUT--out.
Friday, April 16, 2010
So you've been waiting for your SHOUT...(okay, okay, at least play along).
It's here, it's time, let the embloggination begin...(no, it's not a word, nor is it mine, but I liked it, so I'm throwing it in there).
First off, a happy SHOUT-out to the ranked Big South baseball teams for pulling off a tremendous Daily Double on Tuesday night against another pair of ranked teams: VMI downed Virginia and Coastal Carolina defeated North Carolina.
Now, the actual rankings depend on your poll of preference. This week, I could easily produce different lists that placed Virginia at number 1, 2, 3, or 4. Regardless, we're talking about a top-flight team right now, yes? For the sake of argument, we're calling UVa a #1 team--one that came into Lexington and got a good beating by the Keydets, 12-3. Very impressive...VMI holds the #26 spot in the Collegiate Baseball Poll, but could get some increased consideration with that victory.
Meanwhile, Coastal is in the # 9 - 12 area of the rankings, while UNC holds a spot about ten places down from that, so by rank this was not an upset. Nonetheless, props to the Chants for completing the ACC two-fer by the Big South teams this week--and again, not a close one, with a 12-4 final score.
That was a big night for the Big South--after all, that group would make a heckuva regional lineup, wouldn't it? I know it would not go down that way, but CCU, UNC, VMI, & UVa would make for some great ballgames. Perhaps down the road we'll see Virginia and Coastal each hosting their opponent from this week in a regional of their own...but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
A Big South Championship was decided this week, and it was a good one for the folks of Charleston Southern--winner in women's golf. CSU led the event after day one, after day two, and most importantly, after day three. Bucs golfer Olivia Jordan-Higgins also brought a title back to Charleston as the individual medalist. CSU had not broken through with a championship in any sport last year nor so far this year until taking the crown for women's golf.
But the Buccaneers did not stop there this past week, clinching the Regular Season Championship for women's tennis as well, as they cruised through a spectacular season. We'll see next week if they can add another event win with the Tennis Championships at Radford's campus.
And while we're talking about Charleston Southern, that also happens to be the host site for the 2010 Big South Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships, happening right now at CSU. The leading teams after the first day of competition were Liberty for the men and Coastal Carolina for the women. Not coincidentally, those squads were the winners of those titles a year ago and now seek the repeat. At the same time, there will be added intrigue on the women's side, where LU will be trying to get past the strong CCU team in an effort at a remarkable sweep. Liberty holds the current titles for M/W Cross Country and M/W Indoor Track -- so taking both sides at outdoor would complete a powerful cycle (something I believe they've referred to as a "double-triple crown"). We shall see...
Right on the heels of outdoor track comes the championship tourney for men's golf and then men's and women's tennis next weekend. We'll have more on those events in SHOUT next week, of course...and beyond that, we've got softball and baseball in May
Here's your guide to what's streaming on the Big South Network...
Hey there--not following us on Twitter or a fan on Facebook yet? What are you waiting for? We've got hundreds who've already joined the fun, but we're still missing you!
Have a great weekend, one and all--get out to some games if you can (and if you can't, then catch some at the Big South Network). Thanks....SHOUT--out...
Thursday, April 8, 2010
While I can list four programs that have run off winning records in the Big South and overall, only one is truly the leader here: Charleston Southern. CSU has raced out to a 7-0 / 15-1 start and has mounted a legitimate threat to Winthrop's grip on the sport in the Conference. Winthrop (3-1 / 9-8) is among the schools in that winning group, along with Coastal Carolina (3-1 / 15-4) and Radford (3-2 / 12-4), but there's a lot of catching up to do if the Bucs are to be overtaken by anybody else before the Championship at Radford in just two weeks.
While the next Big South Championship will be awarded in women's golf, the next one you can watch on the Big South Network is the 2010 Big South Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships from Charleston Southern. Given the level of competition seen across the Conference this year, I would expect some remarkable times/heights/distances from the participating student-athletes. Team-wise, keep your eyes on the Liberty contingent. The Flames took home the hardware for men's and women's cross country in the fall and for men's and women's indoor track in the winter...meaning LU seeks a remarkable "double triple crown"--winning for men and women in all three running/track-related sports. It would be an incredible feat, but they'll have to beat the field next week to pull it off, and that won't be easy.
That's all for now, folks. Not expecting a new entry tomorrow, so I'll wish you a good weekend now...SHOUT--out!