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UW senior hurler Katie Layne rellishing role in youthful rotation


first_imgWhat’s in a number, anyway?That very well could be the question that best defines senior pitcher Katie Layne’s career. During the course of her four-year career at Wisconsin, Layne has been a staple of the UW pitching staff as the “No. 2” starter, a role she has never truly embraced or acknowledged but has nevertheless excelled in.“The whole number one-number two thing isn’t really important to me, but I try to work hard so I can get as much pitching time as I can,” said Layne, who has pitched somewhat in the shadows, behind two of the program’s all-time best, Andrea Kirchberg and Eden Brock.When Layne first came to Madison as a recruit from Vallejo, Calif., she found herself entering a pitching staff that included the Badgers’ most prolific arm to date, Andrea Kirchberg, who graduated in 2003. Kirchberg owns every major UW pitching record and was a two-time All-conference performer.That didn’t appear to faze Layne, however, as she enjoyed a breakout freshman campaign — going 11-6 with a sparkling 1.56 ERA, the fifth-best single-season ERA in Badger history. Layne jumped out to an 8-1 start, which included winning Wisconsin’s Big Ten opener 6-4 over Purdue, the first game played under the lights at Goodman Diamond. The future was brighter than ever for Layne.Unfortunately, Layne became a victim of the infamous sophomore slump, getting rocked in a 10-1 loss in the team’s first game and never really recovering. She won only three games the entire season.The difficulty of living up to the school’s all-time best pitcher was not the toughest part of Layne’s early years with Wisconsin, despite the huge shoes Layne was expected to fill after her outstanding freshman year; rather, a sudden loss of confidence was to blame.“It definitely was tough to play behind Andrea, but I think it was more the college competition in general,” Layne said. “I knew the competition would be harder, but I didn’t realize how much. When I saw the difference, I think I got very intimidated. I didn’t have much confidence in my game. At times I didn’t feel like I deserved to be here.”Layne’s tumultuous sophomore campaign was the low point for the hurler, and as her confidence fell, so did her statistics and playing time. Layne went from being the heir apparent to Kirchberg to the biggest question mark on the team in 2004. Which Katie Layne would show up? The dominant ace of 2002 or the unconfident pushover of 2003?It didn’t look good after Layne was knocked around in her second-straight season opener, opening the door for upstart freshman Brock to make a name for herself. However, Layne’s career made a U-turn Feb. 20 against the No. 17 Iowa Hawkeyes. Layne dominated the conference rival and UW won 6-3 on the strength of a two-run complete game. It was Wisconsin’s first victory over Iowa since 1999 and only the second ever against the Hawkeyes.Since then, Layne and Brock have split time almost evenly, though Brock is generally considered the Badgers’ No. 1, something Layne doesn’t mind too much.“I don’t feel like Eden and I are in competition at all,” Layne said. “I know that I have to keep up on my game, because I know that if I don’t, she will [take my place more often], and I think that is a great thing to have. Especially this season, we have been really supportive of each other.”In the pitcher’s circle, Layne is intense and fearless, with a Randy Johnson-esque stare that is just as much part of her repertoire as her wide array of pitches.“You can always tell Katie is on her game. She is light on the mound, with hop to her step and is entirely focused on her next pitch,” Wisconsin head coach Karen Gallagher said. “She has so much natural talent, all she needed was to be focused and she is there now. She has her moments when she is unhittable.”“My high school coach told me never to show emotion, never to let the batter know what you are thinking, and I do my best to keep them out of my head and keep my game face on,” Layne said.Layne’s game face was on the mound too much for her opponents this past weekend, when Layne came up huge when Wisconsin needed her most. The Badgers continue to fight for a spot in the Big Ten tournament and needed conference victories desperately last weekend after losing seven-straight.Layne picked up three wins, as Wisconsin went 3-1, including both games of a doubleheader on Sunday against Indiana. The wins gave Wisconsin breathing room in the conference standings and more importantly gave the team the momentum it has been starving for.“It felt great and I felt great for my team,” Layne said. “They were huge wins for us.”The big weekend for Layne only further enforces the fact that she, despite being unheralded, has not been pitching in the shadows of two of the Wisconsin’s all-time greats, but is one of them herself.last_img read more


Kennedy warns of hurling players drifting away


first_imgKennedy says the GAA must act to ensure that the grassroots are kept healthy. A prominent Tipperary GAA figure is warning that the club game is ‘going down the very same line’ as rugby.Drom-Inch hurling manager Ted Kennedy fears that ‘ordinary’ players will drift away from the association’s sports if more isn’t done to meet their needs.IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has admitted that many rugby clubs are struggling to survive since the advent of professionalism two decades ago.last_img


Paidha dares KCCA in Super Cup


first_imgThe former Kira Young forward joined from newly promoted Maroons, where he top-scored with 16 goals in the second tier Big League.Kaddu and Sadiq Abubaker will be tasked by coach Mike Mutebi to step up to the level created by Geoffrey Sserunkuma and Robert Sentongo, who departed after scoring 21 and seven goals respectively.READ FULL STORY HERE (click)Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: KCCA last yearSATURDAY: KCCA vs Paidha, 4.00pmKampala, Uganda | UPL.CO.UG | League champions KCCA and Paidha Black Angels, runners-up in last season’s Uganda Cup, face off on Saturday in the Super Cup at Wankulukuku.Both teams teams are expected to turn out with some new faces following transfer activity.KCCA are expected to line up a number of new recruits, with striker Patrick Kaddu the standout.last_img


July is Smart Irrigation Month


first_imgSubmitted by The City of OlympiaJuly is Smart Irrigation Month in Olympia. Because lawns and landscapes are typically overwatered by up to 30%, the City of Olympia’s Water Conservation Program is encouraging water customers to cut their irrigation water waste through a variety of incentives. By watering wisely, maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, consumers can save money and help protect our drinking water resources for future generations.The City’s Water Conservation Program offers residential water customers a $200 rebate on the installation of a “smart” irrigation controller and/or a free rain sensor – both for in-ground irrigation systems. Smart controllers automatically adjust watering times based on weather conditions to provide optimal moisture for healthy plants and landscapes, and conserves water. Rain sensors simply shut off irrigation systems when it is raining, so you don’t water when nature is doing it for you. Customers who water with a hose-end sprinkler can benefit from a free hose watering timer.City of Olympia commercial water customers may be eligible for a rebate of up to $2500 on efficient irrigation system upgrades, including spray nozzle retrofits, smart controller upgrades and drip irrigation conversions.The City’s efficient irrigation consultant says, “Olympia has made it easy for commercial customers and irrigation contractors to get rebates for installing efficient sprinkler nozzles, controllers with conservation features, and other water saving equipment. The rebate process is simple for most items, and the rebate amounts are generous enough that customers can start saving money right away.”Visit our website www.olympiawa.gov/waterwise for Smart Irrigation Month incentives, rebate applications, resources and tips on how you can join your fellow neighbors and get smart about irrigation!Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation.For more information, contact the City of Olympia Water Conservation Program at 360.753.8271 or waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us. Facebook100Tweet0Pin0last_img read more