Arizona

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Junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens eyes a pitch headed her way. Stephens hit a grand slam in win over UC-Santa Barbara.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

After a challenging Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, Texas (3–2) is ready to impress its home crowd in its first homestand of the season.

The Texas Classic kicks off Friday with five games for the Longhorns over the weekend. Texas’ homestand begins Friday afternoon against IPFW (0–5) and will then face both Wichita State (3–2) and Colorado State (2–3) twice over the rest of the weekend.

Defense is one area Texas will need to work on this weekend. The Longhorns committed nine errors in four games in Arizona, including four in a one-run loss to Stanford, before playing a flawless game to beat No. 16 Arizona State, 9–4.

Since the offenses Texas will face in the tournament aren’t lethal, the pitching staff and defense are expected to come out of this weekend polished and confident.

The main offensive threat on IPFW is junior infielder Emily Olszewski. She collected five hits in 11 at-bats and scored four runs to lead the Mastodons with a .455 batting average at the Mercer Invitational last weekend.

Wichita State’s offense, however, is more electric than that of the Mastodons. Seven Shockers recorded multi-hit games in their first weekend of play at the Getterman Classic, and they are especially good with runners in scoring position.

Junior outfielder Brittany Fortner led the Shockers’ offense with a .471 average, six RBIs and three runs scored. The Missouri Valley Conference named her softball player of the week for her performance in Waco.

Sophomore infielder Haley Hutton, who boasts a .444 average and scored five runs last weekend at the Hotel Encanto Invitational, leads Colorado State, Texas’ last opponent of the weekend. Hutton has a knack for drawing walks, as she recorded nine base-on-balls at the tournament and 33 in the 2014 season.

But the Longhorn shouldn’t have a problem on the mound this weekend after impressive outings by multiple freshmen in Arizona. Freshmen Erica Wright and Kristen Clark earned all three Texas victories, as Wright went 2–1 as a starter and Clark went 1–0 coming out of the bullpen.

Junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens and junior infielder Erin Shireman carry the offense for Texas.

Stephens earned Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Week and National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Player of the Week awards after hitting an impressive .471 and three home runs — two of which were grand slams. She nothced 11 RBIs in Arizona while Shireman added two home runs and seven RBIs while boasting a .462 average.

With four of the five teams Texas facing next weekend ranking in the top 25 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Longhorns will look to knock off the last bit of rust before facing several tough opponents.

After a challenging Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, Texas (3–2) is ready to impress its home crowd in its first homestand of the season.

The Texas Classic kicks off Friday with five games for the Longhorns over the weekend. Texas’ homestand begins Friday afternoon against IPFW (0–5) and will then face both Wichita State (3–2) and Colorado State (2–3) twice over the rest of the weekend.

Defense is one area Texas will need to work on this weekend. The Longhorns committed nine errors in four games in Arizona, including four in a one-run loss to Stanford, before playing a flawless game to beat No. 16 Arizona State, 9–4.

Since the offenses Texas will face in the tournament aren’t lethal, the pitching staff and defense are expected to come out of this weekend polished and confident.

The main offensive threat on IPFW is junior infielder Emily Olszewski. She collected five hits in 11 at-bats and scored four runs to lead the Mastodons with a .455 batting average at the Mercer Invitational last weekend.

Wichita State’s offense, however, is more electric than that of the Mastodons. Seven Shockers recorded multi-hit games in their first weekend of play at the Getterman Classic, and they are especially good with runners in scoring position.

Junior outfielder Brittany Fortner led the Shockers’ offense with a .471 average, six RBIs and three runs scored. The Missouri Valley Conference named her softball player of the week for her performance in Waco.

Sophomore infielder Haley Hutton, who boasts a .444 average and scored five runs last weekend at the Hotel Encanto Invitational, leads Colorado State, Texas’ last opponent of the weekend. Hutton has a knack for drawing walks, as she recorded nine base-on-balls at the tournament and 33 in the 2014 season.

But the Longhorn shouldn’t have a problem on the mound this weekend after impressive outings by multiple freshmen in Arizona. Freshmen Erica Wright and Kristen Clark earned all three Texas victories, as Wright went 2–1 as a starter and Clark went 1–0 coming out of the bullpen.

Junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens and junior infielder Erin Shireman carry the offense for Texas.

Stephens earned Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Week and National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Player of the Week awards after hitting an impressive .471 and three home runs — two of which were grand slams. She nothced 11 RBIs in Arizona while Shireman added two home runs and seven RBIs while boasting a .462 average.

With four of the five teams Texas facing next weekend ranking in the top 25 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Longhorns will look to knock off the last bit of rust before facing several tough opponents.

After winning the “ace” position last year, sophomore Tiarra Davis hopes to build on her freshman performance, when she struck out 176 batters and won the Big 12 Rookie of the Year.
Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

Led by sophomore pitcher Tiarra Davis, who now has a full season under her belt, the Texas pitching staff looks to be a dominant force as they kick off the season Friday in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. 

“We’ve got five [pitchers] that we’re working,” head coach Connie Clark said. “A big staff, we’ll rotate them through, we’ll see what it looks like, but Tiarra brings some really good things to the table.”

As a freshman, Davis recorded a 2.38 ERA, holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average while striking out 176 in 200 innings last season. She wasn’t just a threat in the circle, as she hit .313 with 25 RBIs and 13 runs, ultimately earning her recognition as Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

“I think going off of last year’s season, I have a basis to build on,” Davis said. “I’m really looking forward to the season and what it has to bring.”

Davis, who threw three one-hitters and six complete game shutouts in her freshman year, said she hopes she is ready to step up to the mound for the Longhorns to take them to the next level.

“Coach Clark and I had a number of conversations last year about me believing in myself,” Davis said. “This year, I’m hoping to be the top pitcher in our conference.”

Davis isn’t the only pitcher on the team, however. 

Davis is joined by senior Gabby Smith and sophomore Lauren Slatten as veterans in the rotation. Freshman pitchers Kristen Clark and Erica Wright will debut this spring.

“We’ve got a great freshman, Erica Wright, in the mix who just competes hard,” Clark said. “She’s got that kind of ‘wild thing’ piece going on.”

Joining Kristen Clark and Wright as new additions to the team are shortstop/outfielder Alyssa Angel and catcher/utility Randel Leahy.

“Our freshman class isn’t huge, but they are definitely difference makers,” junior second baseman Stephanie Ceo said. “I truly believe [we have] a great chance to make it all the way this year.”

In the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, Texas is ranked No. 25 going into the season, and the team is projected to finish third in the Big 12. After amassing a 35–23 record last year and capturing the school’s 10th consecutive NCAA tournament bid, the team is looking to make the leap to the next tier and advance beyond regionals. 

“I think this team is very optimistic,” Clark said.

Photo Credit: Mariana Munoz | Daily Texan Staff

A Wake Forest University assistant professor spoke Monday at the College of Liberal Arts Building about how racial tensions impact the passage of welfare programs. 

Hana Brown, who works in Wake Forest’s Department of Sociology, examines in her new book, the racial and political impact of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Brown used a comparison of racial situations in Georgia and Arizona in the early 1990s to show their influence on the passage of the act.       

Within these issues, Brown’s focus was on punitive states, such as Georgia and Arizona, that enforced tougher welfare laws, while Alabama and California laws were more lenient.        

Brown said the issue that led to the passage of the act in Georgia was the state flag. According to Brown, Zell Miller made the issue a priority of his office when he became Georgia’s governor in 1991. Although the flag issue may not appear to relate to welfare programs, Brown said that it raised racial tensions.       

“At the time, more and more people were getting involved in this issue,” Brown said. “People in the African-American community were so outraged that groups of students stood on the steps of the Georgia Capitol burning the state flag. As a result, whites became upset.”        

According to Brown, white people sent letters claiming they lost trust in the governor and were threatening to vote against him. Brown said the letters to the governor were often racially motivated. Eventually, Miller’s philosophy began to shift and he supported more restrictive welfare laws.      

Brown said in the early 1990s, racial issues guided Arizona laws on immigration. According to Brown, the issues of the 1990s led to the passage of Senate Bill 1070 in 2010 in Arizona, a bill that put stricter restrictions on illegal immigration.    

“Arizona had a very similar feeling,” Brown said. “Most of their feelings dealt with the immigration and you could sense the animosity toward Latinos. A feeling was created that those who should be receiving entitlements are whites.”      

As a result of this, Arizona implemented more restricted laws toward its welfare programs.       

Comparing the issues in Arizona and Georgia, Brown said three implications prevail, including public attitude leading to political changes, understanding one’s racial status, and their overall impacts on the welfare states.        

Sociology professor Jennifer Glass said she found it interesting how gender is not an issue in these studies.       

“It is amazing to me that of the issue of gender and even children have not been brought up,” Glass said. “It is fascinating that the people who are involved in these programs were not mentioned in the letters and they are simply ignored.”

Senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman recorded eight kills and a season-high four service aces against Arizona on Friday. Texas also downed Central Florida and Florida A&M at home Saturday.

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

In front of a raucous crowd, No. 2 Texas (7-0) rolled past its competition in its home opening tournament this past weekend.

The Longhorns dominated throughout the tournament, beating No. 21 Arizona, Central Florida and Florida A&M.

“I thought we did a really nice job — we played hard,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We had some really good stretches and a lot of good things to build off of. A lot of players got some playing time. We can evaluate some more in terms of our personnel, so we are excited about it.”

The Longhorns opened the tournament with a sweep against No. 21 Arizona (25-19, 25-21, 25-20). Texas seemed jittery in its home opener, letting the Wildcats keep the first and second sets close. But the Longhorns proved to be too much for Arizona to handle, as they recorded 36 kills and 10 blocks.

Senior middle blocker Khat Bell and senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman led the team with eight kills each. Eckerman also recorded a season-high four service aces. Junior middle blocker Molly McCage led the Longhorns with six blocks.

Although Texas made mistakes early on that kept Arizona in the match, Elliott said he liked the team’s response.

“We didn’t get rattled, and that’s a really good sign for me,” Elliott said. “We had a couple of opportunities to really blow this thing wide open. But overall, first time at home and getting used to this environment, it’s going to happen. But we are still early in the season.”

Texas’ win against the Wildcats marked the Longhorns’ second straight win over a ranked opponent.

“It gives us confidence,” McCage said. “Our mentality is still one game at a time. But I think that we have things to work on, so it’s nice to have this under our belt right now, but we’re still working hard.”

Texas carried over its momentum from Friday night to Saturday as it kept its undefeated record intact with sweeps over Central Florida (25-17, 26-24, 25-9) and Florida A&M (25-18, 25-20, 25-13).

Junior outside hitter Amy Neal led the team with 17 kills and 15 digs. Neal’s second-day performance earned her tournament MVP honors. Alongside Neal, Eckerman recorded 14 kills and six aces, sophomore setter Chloe Collins had 40 assists and junior middle blocker Sara Hattis had nine blocks.

After a well-played weekend, the Longhorns will now direct their focus to their match against No. 12 Nebraska on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

With 11 kills and a career-high nine blocks against No. 10 Florida last weekend, sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu earned herself the Big 12’s Player of the Week honor.

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

After defeating No. 10 Florida last weekend in front of a crowd of nearly 5,000, the No. 2 Longhorns are ready for their home opener Friday in the 26 West Longhorn Classic. 

“We’re really hoping for a really big crowd for this weekend,” sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu said. “It’ll be exciting to show the fans how hard we’ve been working and what we’ve been doing in our gym every day.”

Texas (4-0) spent its first four games on the road, something head coach Jerritt Elliott believes will help the team when it travels during conference play and regionals. Elliott is ready to see how the team reacts at home, however.

“They get super pumped up [at home],” Elliott said. “Those emotions are different than when you’re on the road. I’m hoping they come out focused, but I’m hoping our crowd is behind them and can really give us that extra incentive [to win].”

The Longhorns have used their depth to their advantage so far this season. Ogbogu received Big 12 Player of the Week honors for her performance against Florida, where her 11 kills and a career-high nine blocks set the tone. Freshman libero Cat McCoy posted 20 digs. Senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman, senior middle blocker Khat Bell and junior middle blocker Molly McCage have all also been key to Texas’ early season success.

“We’ve got great balance,” Elliott said. “I like our team spirit. I think we’re playing well together. The way they’re starting to gel is showing us that we have the potential to be pretty good by the end of the year.”

The team will be challenged Friday when they play No. 21 Arizona, who comes to Austin after starting 6-0.

“I’m excited to get tested again against Arizona,” Elliott said. “We still have so much room for improvement. They’ve got a very good team. They’re undefeated. It should be a good matchup for us, and, for me, I want to test our team.”

After Arizona, The Longhorns will take on Central Florida (6-1) and Florida A&M (0-5) in tournament play Saturday afternoon.

“I expect it to be sold out,” McCoy said. “I feel like there’s going to be a lot of high energy. I’m really excited to play in front of our home crowd for once.”

No. 10 LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama

This game is arguably one of the biggest and best rivalries in college football. Since 2000, the Tigers have won five of the last six road games against Alabama and hold more wins over the Crimson Tide than any other team in the nation. But Alabama isn’t currently the No. 1 team in the nation for nothing. With quarterback A.J. McCarron leading the Crimson Tide offense they are averaging 41.2 points and 462.8 yards per game with seven turnovers. LSU’s offense, on the other hand, led by quarterback Zach Mettenberger, has had a similar performance, averaging 40.2 points and 480 yards per game; however, they’ve had 14 turnovers. In this game, the Tigers will have to protect the ball. They’re going to need every offensive minute they can get against Alabama’s solid defense. 

 

Arizona vs. No. 16 UCLA

This matchup of 6-2 Pac-12 teams may be a little misleading. Though their records are equal, UCLA has had a much tougher schedule than Arizona with their only losses coming from elite teams, Stanford and Oregon. Despite these though matchups, the Bruins have still averaged 37.2 points and 462 yards per game. UCLA managed to rebound from those losses and get back to their strong season by winning against Colorado last week. The Wildcats may have had it pretty easy thus far, but they have won three in a row and their offense is averaging a respectable 35.9 points and 463.1 yards per game while committing just eight turnovers this year. UCLA is looking for a spot in the Pac-12 title game, but Arizona has a lot they want to prove.

 

No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 10 Oklahoma

This game was anticipated to be an important Big 12 showdown but turned into more of a Oklahoma shutdown. After a slow start by Baylor, who scored only three points in the first quarter, the Bears woke up and got back to their usual high-powered offensive ways. The Bears went on to score 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, making the score 24-5 going into halftime. The Sooners struggled to keep up in the second half. Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell managed to pull himself together to throw for one touchdown reception in the third quarter, but the Sooners couldn’t come back from the momentum Baylor continued to gain until the clock hit zero. Baylor improved their record to 8-0 an possibly at Top 3 ranking with Oregon losing.

 

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 5 Stanford

Oregon looked like it was about to get shut out since 2007. Stanford forced the Ducks to slow down — something they aren’t used to doing — by using their run game to take time off the clock. The Cardinal’s defensive line got pressure on Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota early and kept the pressure on, disrupting his timing. Stanford outrushed Oregon 141-22 en route to a 17-0 halftime lead, winning in the trenches. The Cardinal held the Ducks scoreless until 10 minutes were left in the fourth quarter. But that touchdown put life back into Oregon’s offense. The Ducks rallied to score two more touchdowns, but after Stanford recovered the final onside kick, Oregon’s fate was sealed in a 26-20 loss to the Cardinal.

The Longhorns have won their last five games and have covered the spread in two of their last three. After an implausibly inconsistent start to the season, Texas is finally beginning to find some semblance of stability. West Virginia is a sneaky tough opponent at home though. The Mountaineers beat Oklahoma State in Morgantown and led Texas Tech by double digits in the second half before losing it in the fourth quarter. Texas can’t afford to get caught looking ahead to the Oklahoma State game next week. This won’t be a blowout, but if the defense continues its improvement under defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, they should be able to cover the relatively small spread of 6.5.

Texas (-6.5) at West Virginia

 

Lock of the Week

UCLA (-1.5) at Arizona        

These two Pac-12 teams have the same record, which is why the line is so close, but UCLA’s two losses have come on the road against two teams in Oregon and Stanford that are currently ranked in the Top 5 of the BCS standings. Arizona has yet to play any of the top Pac-12 teams. The Wildcats have coasted against a mediocre schedule and have lost to the only semi-decent teams they’ve played this season, USC and Washington. The Bruins are much more battle–tested and should win, and if they do, it’ll be by more than the meager 1.5 points needed to cover.

 

Upset Alert

Nevada (+9.5) at Colorado State

Nevada has the worst record between the two at 3-6, but the Wolfpack have played an unusually tough schedule for a Mountain West team. Three of their losses have come against No. 2 Florida State, No. 16 Fresno State, and No. 19 UCLA. Give them some respect for scheduling some tough teams they didn’t have to. I think they’re better than their record indicates and they should be able to beat a high 9.5 point spread.

 

Record: 11-12-1 (.479)

After weeks of speculation on who would replace longtime athletic director DeLoss Dodds, the school has announced that current Arizona State University athletic director Steve Patterson will take the position at Texas.

Here are five things you need to know about the Longhorns’ newest athletic executive.

Connection to Texas                                  

While Patterson, 55, was born and raised in Wisconsin, the athletic director attended UT as an undergraduate student between 1976-1980. In addition, he graduated from UT’s law school in 1984. Patterson’s son, Austin, is also a student at Texas.

Patterson has lived in the Lone Star State on numerous occasions during stints with multiple Houston professional sports teams.

Resume at Arizona State

Patterson is coming to Texas after numerous years with the Sun Devils. He was the chief operating officer for the Sun Devil Athletics and managing director of Sun Devil Sports Group before becoming athletic director. In that position, Patterson was responsible for Arizona State’s athletic business operations, development and stadium operations.

In March 2012 he took the role of vice president of University Athletics and athletic director. There he controlled many major ASU developments. Along with leading a $300 million renovation of the Sun Devil football stadium, Patterson also developed the new site for a baseball stadium and the creation of a 425-acre sports facilities district near the university.

Experience past ASU

While Texas’ new AD has had only limited time at collegiate level athletics, he has worked with four different professional sports teams since 1989. In that year, Patterson became the general manager for the Houston Rockets, where he stayed until 1993. With the Rockets, Patterson was responsible for gathering the franchise’s first NBA Championship team along with hosting the 1989 NBA All-Star game.

After his stint with the Rockets, Patterson became the general manager and chief operating officer of the Houston Aeros hockey team, before joining the Houston Texans in 1997. With the Texans, he helped lead the effort to become an NFL franchise and build Reliant Stadium while also negotiating for Houston to be the home of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

Patterson’s final professional experience before his time in Arizona was as president of the Portland Trail Blazers. While he led only mediocre teams in Oregon, he drafted and started the NBA career of All-Star and former Longhorn LaMarcus Aldridge.

Late addition to the AD race

Last week, Patterson reportedly denied all rumors that he was interested in the role while Texas officials stated they had yet to even interview him or offer him the job. However, after interviewing for the position this past weekend, Patterson emerged as the new frontrunner.

The frontrunner to take over for Dodds, who announced in October that he would retire after 32 years at Texas, was originally current West Virginia AD Oliver Luck. Many expected Luck to be offered the job after interviewing with Texas officials, but Tuesday afternoon he was told that Patterson would be given the offer instead.

Texas responsibilities

Patterson comes to the 40 acres at the same time Texas athletics has taken a plunge from its tall expectations. One of his biggest decisions will be the fate of head football coach Mack Brown and basketball coach Rick Barnes, who have both had diminishing seasons in the past few years.

Meanwhile, Patterson will be a vital part of the decision to build a new basketball arena if the Frank Erwin Center gets torn down as a part of the plans for the new Dell Medical School. In addition, Patterson will be responsible for the largest athletics budget in the nation at more than $160 million.

Quarterback Connor Brewer transfers to Arizona

Former Longhorn quarterback Connor Brewer announced via Twitter Monday night that he had committed to the University of Arizona. Brewer elected to transfer from Texas earlier this month. 

"I have committed to the University of Arizona! So excited to play for Coach Rodriguez," Brewer tweeted Monday night. "More great things to come for this program soon."

According to NCAA transfer rules, Brewer will be required to sit out the 2013 season and will be eligible to play at Arizona starting in 2014. Brewer came to Texas in 2012 from Chaparral High School in Arizona as one of the nation's top quarterbacks. He was a redshirt freshman for Texas and did not play in 2012. 

Texas head coach Mack Brown granted Brewer an unconditional release from his scholarship to allow Brewer to look at possible schools. The unconditional transfer policy at Texas is one of the more permissive policies in college football. Check out last week's story, Transferring unrestricted for horns, for more on the transfer policy at Texas in comparison to other programs in the NCAA.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/sports/2013/07/21/transferring-unrestricted-for-horns

Hump Day

If your goal is to challenge rape culture on your campus and start conversations around mental and sexual health, one thing you ought to avoid is holding a sign that says “You Deserve Rape” and yelling at fellow students.

Yet this is exactly what Dean Saxton — also known as Brother Dean Samuel — decided would be the best way to preach to fellow students at The University of Arizona about rape.

According to the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Saxton is known for preaching on campus against people who are gay, have pre-marital sex, masturbate or have lustful thoughts, telling them they belong in hell. 

Most recently, Saxton preached before the event “Take Back the Night,” a march by students to protest sexual violence against women for April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

“If you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped,” Saxton said in an Arizona Daily Wildcat interview. “I think that girls that dress and act like it, they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”

In a YouTube video posted online, Saxton held up his “You Deserve Rape” sign and literally yelled at women passing by. 

“Those shorts are degrading you slut,” Saxton yelled, saying that a female walking by “deserved rape” because of the length of her shorts. 

Saxton also told female students walking by that “no dad would let their daughter dress like a whore” because “U of A is full of rapists.” 

Although Saxton’s rants are almost unbearable to watch, the multitude of students, including men, who spoke out against Saxton’s bullying and sexist rants shows the willingness of students to stand up against those who perpetuate rape culture.

After phone calls and multiple complaints to the school, University of Arizona spokeswoman Jennifer Fitzenberger released a statement to The Huffington Post, which said, “The University of Arizona does not endorse or condone the message of the campus speaker — in fact, it considers it to be vile and repugnant. However, because universities in particular are bastions for free speech, even when it is offensive, The University of Arizona will uphold the right of this speaker and all others to engage in constitutionally protected speech on its campus. Should the University receive complaints or otherwise become aware of allegations of misconduct that fall outside the realm of constitutionally protected speech, it will investigate and deal with them as appropriate.”

Yet, when his sign was so offensive and sexist and helped perpetuate rape culture and gender-based stereotypes, it is unbelievable that Saxton’s bullying of other students was allowed to continue. 

And despite the myriad of negative reactions he sparked on campus that day and the continued criticism on his Twitter page, Saxton is planning to continue his ranting. On Monday night, he tweeted, “U of A beware you deserve bad things,” and that he plans to continue his preaching on campus Tuesday because his fellow students “deserve judgment.”

Wrong, Saxton. No one deserves to get raped.