Sunday, February 22, 2009

LBSU Softball Wins Two Behind Ace Pitching

Story by Mike Guardabascio

Behind a pair of strong performances in the circle, the Long Beach State softball team (6-7) bounced back from an 0-2 start at the University of San Diego Tournament to defeat the host Toreros, 1-0, and Boise State, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon.

Against The Toreros

In her first collegiate start, freshman Taylor Petty tossed a one-hit, complete-game shutout against USD. Petty struck out a season-high eight batters as she improved to 2-0 on the season. Junior Ashley Weber led the 49er offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Classmate Kristen Pocock also doubled, while freshman Megan Denio scored the game-winning run for The Beach.

Long Beach State put runners on base in three of the first four innings but was unable to push a run across until the bottom of the fifth. Denio led off with a pinch-hit infield single and senior Brianna Goad followed with a walk. Senior Danielle Linke then flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to advance a speedy Denio to third base. Weber singled in the 49ers' next at bat to score Denio for what ended up being the game-winner.

Petty retired USD (1-6) in order in all but two innings, allowing just two Toreros to reach base with a hit and a walk.

Against Boise State

In the nightcap, Long Beach State avenged an earlier loss to Boise State as the 49ers topped the Broncos, 3-1. Sophomore Brooke Turner (4-3) threw the second one-hitter of the day, allowing one unearned run while striking out seven.

Senior Danielle Linke led a trio of 49ers who recorded multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Senior Jonae Perez was also 2-for-3 with a run scored and classmate Jennifer Griffin connected for two hits and an RBI. Long Beach State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Perez led off with a single before junior Ashley Levine was hit by a pitch. With one out, senior Brianna Goad moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt, setting up a two-run single by Linke.

The Broncos (3-5) responded in the next half inning as Lexi Straton opened with a bunt single. Straton was able to make her way to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundball before she came around to score on an error by Griffin. The Beach added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when junior Ashley Weber started a two-out rally with a single up the middle. Griffin then drove in Weber with a double to left field.

Long Beach State closes out action at the USD Tournament tomorrow when it takes on Colorado State at noon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Labour welfare adviser defects

The architect of Labour's controversial welfare reform programme is to join the Conservative party, it has been reported.

In a serious blow to the government's welfare credentials, David Freud has reportedly resigned in order to become a Tory frontbench spokesman.

He is expected to be given a peerage and named shadow welfare minister by David Cameron next week.

A source told the Guardian: "David and George [Osborne] have been talking to him a lot about the economy, but also obviously about welfare