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Blue Ridge graduate Jocelyn Dearborn continues her impressive slugging as a freshman at Fordham University.
Dearborn doubled and homered in her first two at-bats of Friday's 6-5 loss at St. Joseph's, setting a record in the process for freshmen at the Division I school.
The home run was Dearborn's eighth of the season, the most ever by a Fordham freshman.
A year after leading Division 3 of the Lackawanna League in the triple crown batting categories, Dearborn is doing the same for the Fordham team.
Dearborn is first on the team in homers (eight), RBIs (45) and batting average (.366) as well as hits (59) and slugging percentage (.608). She is second on the team in doubles with 11.
Fordham is 28-24 overall, including 7-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Lady Rams are 20-7 since starting out 8-17.
Dearborn has been named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week three times. The latest was April 14 after helping the team to a 6-2 week by batting .407 with two homers and eight RBIs. Dearborn had homers in both games while driving in seven runs in a doubleheader sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson.
Dearborn, the 2007 Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Year, is just the third freshman in school history to produce 40 or more RBIs.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins made sure the Hershey Bears will not be returning to the Calder Cup finals.
The Penguins knocked off the Bears, who won the 2006 American Hockey League title before reaching the finals in 2007.
Tim Brent and Alex Goligoski led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 7-3 win Friday night, finishing off the best-of-five series, four games to one.
Brent, who finished with one goal and three assists, and Goligoski, who finished with two goals and one assist, had the first two goals of a four-goal third period. Nathan Smith and Dennis Bonvie added the last two goals.
The other East Division series produced the longest game in AHL history.
The Philadelphia Phantoms took a 3-2 series lead over the Albany River Rats with a 3-2 win in a game that started Thursday night and finished at 12:39 Friday morning.
Ryan Potulny scored at 2:58 of the fifth overtime, ending a game that lasted 142:58 of hockey time played over five hours and 38 minutes.
Philadelphia had a 101-67 shot advantage. AHL Goaltender of the Year Michael Leighton made 98 saves before Potulny ended the game.
In high school sports, Carbondale handed Blue Ridge its first Lackawanna League softball loss since the 2005 season by pulling out a 4-3 victory.
Blue Ridge's loss in the meeting of softball unbeatens left the Elk Lake girls' track team as the only unbeaten high school team from Susquehanna County and the Mountain View boys' volleyball team as the only other division leader.
Elk Lake took a 6-0 record into Monday's scheduled regular-season finale against Lackawanna Trail, which was tied for second in the Lackawanna League Division III girls' track standings with Blue Ridge at 5-1.
Mountain View was 7-1, one-half match ahead of Lackawanna Trail (6-1) as the teams prepared to meet at Mountain View Tuesday in a Lackawanna League boys' volleyball match.
Abbey Hewitt had eight strikeouts and drove in a run as Montrose moved percentage points ahead of Elk Lake for third place in softball with a 3-1 win. Carbondale is 8-0 to lead the Division 3 standings, followed by Blue Ridge at 7-1, Montrose at 5-3 and Elk Lake at 6-4.
At the Wyalusing Invitational, five county athletes won events in the 20-team track meet.
Cory Poepperling of Montrose was the county's only boys' winner with a pole vault of 13 feet.
Blue Ridge's Allison Hall won the 800 meters in 2:22.14 while teammate Maegan Lewis won the 3200 in 11:42.16.
Elk Lake's Caitie Good won the 200 in 26.64 seconds.
Montrose's Carmen VanNess won the discus with a throw of 100 feet, 2 1/2 inches.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The track and field postseason kicks off Thursday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium with the Jordan Relays.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
Kyle Busch Wins Talladega Cup Race, Talladega, AL – It was another wild finish for Talladega Speedway fans as Kyle Busch came from a lap down to win Sunday’s Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499, after a major, last-lap wreck caused the race to end under caution.
Kyle Busch, winner of Sunday's Talladega race.
“First Jeff (Gordon) and Juan (Montoya) helped push me,” said Busch. “We didn’t have as much power as the 20-car (Tony Stewart), but it was enough. I think this is the first time I’ve finished here without tearing up all the equipment.”
Busch’s teammate, Tony Stewart had a tire go flat during lap 143 of the 188-lap race. As the laps wound down, Stewart was back racing near the front. He attempted to make a hole between several cars, but wound up causing a multi-car pileup.
“I went to the second lane and I thought I was all right, but the hole closed up,” said Stewart. “It was my fault and I’m sorry. When it’s that late in the race, you’ve got to go.”
Juan Montoya was second, followed by Busch’s other teammate, Denny Hamlin.
“The whole race was crazy,” said Hamlin.
David Ragan, Brian Vickers, Travis Kvapil, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Hendrick Motorsports driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had one of the best cars throughout the day, but sustained significant rear end damage in a crash forcing him to pit road for repairs.
The other two Hendrick drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon finished 11th and 12th respectively.
Polesitter Joe Nemechek finished 18th.
Top 10 Chase Contenders after 9 of 36: 1. Burton-1332, 2. Kyle Busch-1325, 3. Earnhardt-1268, 4. Johnson-1251, 5. Hamlin-1248, 6. Harvick-1211, 7. Bowyer-1182, 8. Stewart-1137, 9. Biffle-1124, 10. Edwards-1084.
Meanwhile, the high cost of gasoline might be having an effect on fan attendance. The sale of tickets for Sunday's Aaron's 499 was off about 10 per cent from last year, Talladega Superspeedway President Rick Humphrey said Friday. That's pretty much in line with what other NASCAR tracks are seeing this season as record gas prices are forcing some fans to stay home.
Top 10 Nationwide Series leaders after 10 of 35: 1. Bowyer-1427, 2. Edwards-1400, 3. Kyle Busch-1388, 4. Reutimann-1298, 5. Bliss-1282, 6. Ragan-1274, 7. Keselowski-1252, 8. Leffler-1227, 9. M. Wallace-1173, 10. Hamilton Jr.-1055.
Top 10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders after 5 of 25: 1. Hornaday-775, 2. Crawford-714, 3. Bodine-704, 4. Setzer-666, 5. Benson-666, 6. Kyle Busch-645, 7. Crafton-639, 8. McCumbee-633, 9. Sprague-629, 10. Musgrave-627.
Will Stewart Stay Or Go? Since Sports Illustrated broke the story last week that Tony Stewart would be leaving his current team, Joe Gibbs Racing, there has been lots of speculation about his future.
Stewart’s current contract with JGR runs through 2009, and in a statement, JGR said they expect Stewart to be in the No. 20 for at least that long.
Whether he stays or goes, there are multiple rumors floating around the garage area. During a break in practice last week at Talladega, Stewart gave the news media his version of what is happening.
“We've got multiple offers on the table right now, and there's a couple in particular that really have caught our interest,” said Stewart. “We haven't made a 100 per cent decision yet on what we're going to do, but we're going to look at all the options. And the options are exciting, all the way around.”
Stewart said he has not ruled out staying with JGR, but when he began negotiating a new contract, other teams approached him with new opportunities.
“Right now it's just a matter of figuring out what we want to do, and being smart,” he continued. “We've had a great run at Joe Gibbs Racing. It doesn't mean it's over. We're just going to look at everything that's out there.”
Stewart said a couple of the offers included ownership, and the thought of running his own team appealed to him. Stewart said he has not discussed owning a portion of JGR with owner Joe Gibbs.
“Right now we've not asked to be released out of our contract,” Stewart said. “They know there are other offers on the table and we've said, `What if this is the case? And what if this is presented to us? Is there a possibility we could be released from our contract early?' But we have not asked to be released from our contract.”
Robby Gordon Is 10th In European Rally, Veszprem, Hungary – Robby Gordon spent most of last week in Europe competing in the Central Europe Rally in Hungary and Romania. Gordon experienced bad luck during the last stage of the race after a wheel fell off his Monster Energy Hummer, but he still managed the 10th position.
“We did not meet our overall objective, but this team was strong,” remarked Gordon. “I think the international off-road community know we were here. These are the best race teams in the world, and to go door to door with them says a lot about our program.”
The team loaded up on Thursday and made the drive back to Paris to organize the vehicles and equipment for shipping back to the United States. Gordon flew overnight to Alabama for Sunday’s Talladega race.
New COT For Nationwide Series – Even though there are still kinks to be worked out on the Car of Tomorrow that is being used in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR officials have begun readying a new car for the Nationwide Series. It is scheduled to be introduced sometime in 2009.
“It will probably be in the middle of next year,” said NASCAR V-P of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We will try to do something that is more user-friendly than the schedule they had in the Cup Series.”
Teams will need all the help they can get, because Nationwide teams do not have the size of budgets that the larger Cup teams do. Some team owners are worried about costs, and some say they will need an entire year’s notice in phasing out the inventory of current cars while building new ones.
Cup teams are still trying to figure out the new car. Some of the best Cup teams have not been consistent, and given their smaller budgets, this has some Nationwide teams worried.
“I think the teams that run only Nationwide races are going to struggle the most,” said Kertus Davis, driver of the No. 01 Davis Motorsports Chevrolet. “Small teams don’t have engineering and technical facilities to deal with new setups and handling characteristics.
“I think it will take longer for some teams to learn the new car’s intricacies. If you’re good one week and bad the next, will you blame the car, the setup, or the driver?
“It’s going to take longer to figure out how it’s going to handle than our present car. That means extra dollars added to the payroll.”
NASCAR has had all four of the manufacturer’s cars in the wind tunnel at least twice. The goal is to get the aerodynamics equal among all four makes before its introduction.
Next Week: Mark Martin’s Racing Career.
The Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams have night races at the 0.75-mile Richmond Raceway. The Craftsman Trucks don’t see action again until May 16.
Friday, May 2: Nationwide Series Lipton 250, 7 p.m. TV: ESPN2.
Saturday, May 3: Sprint Cup Crown Royal 400, 7 p.m. TV: Fox.
Racing Trivia Question: Jeremy Mayfield is out as the driver of the No. 70 Cup car. Who replaced him?
Last Week’s Question: What was Harry Gant’s nickname? Answer: Gant was often referred to as the “Skoal Bandit.”
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
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