Jackson softball tournament has formidable field

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Some of the top softball teams from St. Louis along with area teams Jackson, Notre Dame and Central will compete in the 16-team Jackson Tournament today.

The field includes three teams ranked in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's top 10, a defending state champion and a state runner-up from last year.

The Indians (6-11) didn't do themselves any favors with their draw. Jackson will open the tournament against Incarnate Word (15-0), the top-ranked team in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch poll.

Incarnate pitcher Jess Coffey has thrown two no-hitters and has not allowed an earned run in 50 innings.

Notre Dame (10-2) will open up against Seckman, last year's state runner-up in Class 4.

Central (12-6) will open the tournament with Goreville, Ill., on the top half of the bracket. Goreville will likely throw star pitcher Kacey Coonce at the Tigers. Coonce, verbally committed to Illinois, struck out 29 in a 16-inning 1-0 win over Notre Dame Tuesday.

Also on the lower bracket with Notre Dame and Jackson is Lutheran South, the defending Class 3 state champion.

B.A. Sports event today

The B.A. Sports company out of Dexter, Mo., will sponsor the third B.A. Sports Show Me Showcase at the Student Recreation Center on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University today.

The event, previously held in the spring in Portageville, is a combine for area basketball players to show off their talent to college coaches. Approximately 130 boys and girls have signed up to participate in the event, which will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Players will compete in four-on-four games, and there will be a slam dunk contest and 3-point contest at noon. Admission for the event is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

There will be players from Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri participating. Several area players are signed up, including Perryville standout April Lorenz and Central players Ryan Delph and Jake Knepp.

"We look at it as there's a lot of talent in this area that gets overlooked," B.A. Sports manager Vicky Breece said.

Craft eyes Big 12 schools

The signing period is still a ways off, but Central quarterback Mitch Craft is already generating plenty of interest nationally.

Craft, who put up big numbers last season as a junior, has continued to excel through the first four games this season. Despite an injury in the second week that forced him to miss the second half against New Madrid County Central, Craft has thrown for 730 yards.

Craft said his top five colleges currently consist of Kansas State, Illinois, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Missouri, who have all shown interest in him.

"It's pretty humbling cause you've seen them on TV," he said.

ND, Advance travel south

Two of the area's top volleyball teams will travel to Jonesboro, Ark., for the Arkansas State Tournament this weekend.

Notre Dame, which has finished second and third, respectively, the past two years at the tournament, will be joined by Advance. The Bulldogs lost to Jonesboro last year in the finals while the Hornets placed fifth.

Notre Dame (15-2-1) is seeded No. 1 in its pool. Advance has a tough draw with a No. 2 seed in a pool which includes Jonesboro.

Notre Dame coach Tara Stroup said her team could meet the Hornets in the semifinals if the bracket works out.

"I'm looking forward to possibly playing them down there," she said.

College notes

  • Jackson graduate Travis Dambach made his first collegiate start at right guard for the University of Kansas football team in a 41-6 win over Jacksonville State last Saturday. Kansas is off to a 3-1 start.

    St. Vincent graduate Danielle Sutterer had eight kills and Leopold alum Holly Jansen added four kills for Murray State in the Middle Tennessee State Volleyball Tournament. Murray State (6-4) won the tournament, defeating Middle Tennessee in the championship game.

    Notre Dame graduate Tyler Cuba, playing soccer at the Univerity of Illinois-Chicago, scored his first collegiate goal in a 5-4 overtime loss to Cleveland State last weekend.

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