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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Eagles cage Lions, claim district title, 8-5

Staff Writer
PECOS, Apr. 12, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles didn't have to work very hard to get wins in their first four District 2-4A home softball games. But with the district title on the line in their fifth and final home game on Tuesday, the Eagles went out an earned their victory and their second straight 2-4A crown, by an 8-5 score over the Clint Lions.

The Eagles, who averaged less than five hits and over 12 runs per game in home wins over Fabens, San Elizario, Mountain View and Canutillo, got a couple of gift runs from Clint pitcher Jenny Parada in the third inning on Tuesday. But after falling behind 3-2 in their next at-bat, the Eagles came back with three runs of their own on four hits in the fourth inning, then added three more on three hits in the sixth, after the Lions had cut the lead to 5-4.

Meanwhile, Alexa Marquez pitched out of a couple of jams in the late innings, after Clint got their first two batters on in the fifth inning and after a bases-loaded walk cut the Eagles' lead to one run in the sixth.

"That was good. In spite of our nerves, and the pressure of the district title on the line, we hit the ball," said coach Tammy Walls. Pecos ended up with eight hits in the game, while Clint collected five on the day off Marquez.

"She was nervous, but she settled down and started throwing strikes at the end," said Walls.

"I told her to get the ball in play and let the defense make the plays," she added. "I was proud of our two seniors Val (Gonzales) and Katrina (Quiroz) and the way they played. They were here with us when we were 1-18 (two years ago)."

Neither Marquez nor Parada allowed a hit through the first two innings. Clint got their first one in the third, a one-out bloop single to right by Neddie Almanza, but Lorraine Chavez then lined to center field and Parada struck out to end the inning. Parada then opened the bottom of the inning by throwing 12 balls in her first 13 pitches, to walk the bases loaded.

She came back to strike out Katrina Quiroz, but then walked Ashley Salcido to force home Marquez, and saw Jessica Rodriguez score on Valerie Gonzales' sacrifice fly to center field.

But Clint came right back after Eagles missed turning a double play on Denise Duran in the fourth. Michelle Tullius tripled over the head of Mireya Medrano in left field to make it 2-1, and after she was thrown out at home trying to score on Melissa Arnold's grounder, Yvette Maldonado singled, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch.

Mo Torres then tied the game with an infield hit off Quiroz' glove at shortstop, and Maldonado scored when Salcido was slow to retrieve the ball when it bounced over to second base.

Trailing by one, Rebecca Wein opened the bottom of the inning by getting the Eagles' first hit, a single past Maldonado at third base. After she was forced out at second by Maricela Arenivas, Marquez singled to left, and went all the way to third when the ball got past Torres. That tied the game, and Pecos went ahead to stay when Duran couldn't field Rodriguez' grounder to shortstop. That scored Marquez, and back-to-back singles by Kathy Maldonado and Quiroz followed, making it 5-3.

Clint threatened in their next at bat, when Chavez walked and Parada singled to open the inning. But Gonzales was able to smother a hot shot to third by Duran and step on the base, and did the same on an Amanda Bravo grounder before Marquez got Tullius to tap back to the mound.

In the sixth, three walks and an infield hit by Almanza got the Lions to within one, before Marquez retired Duran on a foul fly out to Medrano. Then in the bottom of the inning, Parada again walked Marquez to lead things off, and after she was forced at second by Rodriguez, saw her reach third on a stolen base an infield hit by Maldonado.

The Eagles then pulled off a double-steal of second and home, when catcher Bravo opted to throw through to second base. Parada then walked Quiroz on four pitches, and Salcido followed with a two-run double to left field, giving the Eagles an 8-4 lead.

Two Pecos errors in the seventh got one of those runs back, but Quiroz was able to keep the Eagles out of trouble by going deep in the hole to field a Tullius grounder, and then forcing out Duran at second base. Marquez ended the game by getting Torres to ground to second base.

The win gave the Eagles their second straight district title, but last season, Pecos and Clint split their two games, with the differing being a loss by the Lions to Mountain View. This year, the Eagles were the team to lose to the Lobos, but Tuesday's win completed a sweep of their season series with the Lions, and lifted their record to 9-1 in District 2-4A and 14-5 on the season.

It also gave Pecos a bye through the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles will play in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs, against either the District 3-4A runner-up or the third place team from District 4-4A in late April, though Walls is hoping to get a practice game in before then.

"I'm going to try and schedule a practice game with Monahans or Fort Stockton," she said. "I know Monahans is the playoffs, so I'll try to get a game there."

Fabens adds to Pecos’ woes with 9-2 win

Staff Writer
PECOS, Apr. 12, 2000 -- A week’s break didn’t change the fortunes of either the Pecos Eagles or the Fabens Wildcats. Now, Eagles’ coach Bubba Williams will be looking for some way to stop his team’s current slide, which has left them in third place in the District 2-4A standings.

The Eagles came back after barely tying last place San Elizario a week ago and were hammered at home by the Fabens Wildcats by a 9-2 score Tuesday night. Catcher Martin Zavala gave Fabens all the runs they would need with a three-run homer off Capi Magana in the first inning, then added a solo shot in the fifth off Josh Casillas, making his first appearance on the mound in two weeks.

“If I knew what to do, I would tell you,” said Williams following the game, which left the Eagles with a 3-2-1 mark in district, a half-game behind the 4-2 Wildcats who started district play with an 0-2 mark. “It was a lack of hitting and fielding, and they hit our pitching, that’s what it was.”

Curveballers Carlos Sanchez and Beto Nunez shut down Pecos on just six hits, with Pecos’ lone runs coming in the third inning off a Mason Abila double and a single by Kevin Bates. That cut Fabens’ lead to 4-2, but the Wildcats immediately answered with three runs in the fourth inning off Capi Magana, who lost for the first time in five decisions this season.

Meanwhile, Fabens collected 11 hits, five for extra bases, though the Wildcats started the game with bloop singles by Fernie Belmonte and Sanchez before Zavala’s first home run, a shot over the center field fence. In the second, Rigo Estrada walked and scored on Mike Ontiveros’ double into left-center field to make it 4-0.

Abila’s double scored Daniel Terrazas, who was running for Magana after he reached on an error by Belmonte at shortstop. But after Bates’ hit Sanchez came back to strike out Alex Garcia and got Luis Salgado to fly to left after walking Casillas.

In the fourth, Fabens got their runs when Estrada singled off the bad at third base and Nunez walked. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch before  Adrian Favela took a 3-2 pitch from Magana and sent it past Ricky Herrera at third base for a two-run single. Herrera then missed the throw back in from Jerry Trujillo, which cost Pecos another run when Belmonte followed with an RBI single to right field.

Zavala’s second home run came after Abila got a late start and couldn’t get to his foul pop-up two pitches earlier, while the Wildcats’ final run came in the seventh and was unearned due to two throwing errors by Salgado at shortstop around a single by Sammy Alvarez.

Overall, Casillas struck out six in three innings of work while allowing four hits in his first mound appearance since being sidelined by tendonitis of the elbow two weeks ago. Along with the loss of pitcher Pifi Montoya, it left Magana as the only other pitcher available who had started a game this season.

The Eagles’ last chance to get back into the game came an inning earlier, when pinch hitter Ivan Guebara doubled and Terrazas was hit by a pitch with none out. But Nunez then fanned Herrera and got Sebero Jaquez to hit a soft liner to Belmonte on a hit-and-run, and he then doubled Terrazas off first base.

Outside of Abila and Bates, who had two hits apiece, Casillas was the only other Eagle starter to get a hit Tuesday, a bloop single in the seventh inning. That had Williams talking about some lineup changes on Friday, when Pecos goes to El Paso Mountain View.

“We’ve got some kids coming back (from last year) who are not getting the job done from one year to another,” he said. “That’s made a big difference, and if I knew what it was, I’d straighten it out. But right now our kids are not hitting the ball and not making the plays.”


Tape shows Knight grabbing player by neck

Associated Press Writer
INDIANAPOLIS, Apr. 12, 2000 - Indiana University officials are convinced of the authenticity of a tape showing basketball coach Bob Knight grabbing a player by the neck during a practice and pushing him backwards.

"Clearly it's an important piece of information as we continue our review," university spokesman Christopher Simpson told The Associated Press.

Two university trustees are investigating the outspoken and controversial coach following recent reports from two former players that he physically abused team members.

Last month, CNN/Sports Illustrated reported former player Neil Reed's allegation that Knight choked him during a 1997 practice. The videotape obtained by CNN/SI, and first aired Tuesday night, shows Knight grabbing a player by the neck, pushing him backward. The player's head appeared to snap backward.

Reed, who left Indiana in 1997, said he is the player on the videotape after watching it for the first time Tuesday.

"I don't need a tape to tell me what happened," he told CNN/SI.

Although Reed told CNN/SI in its March report that two assistant coaches had to separate him and Knight, the videotape reveals no such action.

Instead, it shows Knight releasing Reed and the two walking their separate ways. Reed told CNN/SI on Tuesday he still recalls the incident unfolding that way, even though the footage shows otherwise.

"That's how I remember the thing happening. As far as people coming in between, I remember people coming between us," Reed said.

Current Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich, one of the Indiana assistant coaches Reed said separated him from Knight, has denied the allegation.

The other assistant coach Reed mentioned, Ron Felling, has not spoken about the subject, but one school official believes Felling is the likely source for the videotape CNN/SI obtained. Felling left Indiana's staff in December.

Indiana associate athletic director Steve Downing told The Herald Times of Bloomington, Ind., in today's editions that Felling told him last month that he preserved a tape of the practice in question and was holding it as his "trump card."

Felling was out of town and could not be reached for comment Tuesday, The Herald-Times reported.

Downing told the newspaper he spoke with Knight after CNN/SI contacted university officials Tuesday about the videotape. He said Knight had heard rumors about such a tape and told university officials about it.

Downing said Knight told him he wanted the tape to be shown to a two-man committee investigating the incident.

"He (Knight) just wants to clear the whole thing up," Downing said.

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