Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekend Preview

The second full weekend of spring sets up the first full weekend of Centennial Conference competition. Big games are on tap on the diamond, the turf and the courts, while the golf and track teams are also involved in big events.

Ursinus at Johns Hopkins (Baseball)
The series between the Bears (1-0 CC, 9-5-1) and the Blue Jays (1-0, 8-7) is renewed for the 56th year with Hopkins holding a 65-21 all-time lead with victories in the last six contests. The doubleheader pits the two winningest coaches in Conference games in Centennial history - Ursinus' Brian Thomas (180-91 entering Friday) and Hopkins' Bob Babb (218-51-1 entering Friday). Something has to give in this one, as the Jays lead the Conference with a .399 team batting average, while the Bears top the loop in team ERA (3.44).

McDaniel Spring Invitational (Men's Golf)
It's the unofficial tuneup for the Conference championship at The Bridges GC in Abbottstown, Pa. Franklin & Marshall posted the lowest team stroke average during the fall (305.4), while Muhlenberg (311.9) and defending champion McDaniel (314.9) were second and third. Medalist honors could come down to a battle between Dickinson's Joey Goldstein (75.5 fall avg), F&M's Andrew Woods (75.7), McDaniel's Paul Kovalcheck (76.4) and Muhlenberg's Zachary Oyer (77.0).

Haverford at Washington (Men's Lacrosse)
The #14 Black Squirrels (2-0, 6-2) and the #8 Shoremen (3-0, 8-1) meet for the 20th time since 1990 with Haverford looking for its first-ever victory in the series. In the last meeting in Chestertown in 2007, Washington needed four overtimes to dispatch the scrappy Fords - the closest margin in the series history. Two of the CC's top attackmen will be on display in Haverford's Max Hjelm (22-2-24) and Washington's Jimmy Kielek (17-19-36).

Dickinson at Haverford (Women's Lacrosse)
The 20th ranked Red Devils (2-0, 6-2) travel to the Main Line to take on the surprising Fords (1-1, 7-1). Dickinson has won five straight in the series to take an 8-7 advantage since 1994. Haverford's last triumph was a 17-6 victory at home in 2003. Keep an eye on this matchup - the Fords' Josie Ferri (33-5-38) versus the Devils' Ana Sokol (3rd in CC with 13 caused turnovers).

Haverford at Gettysburg (Softball)
The Fords (2-0, 9-3) and the Bullets (1-1, 15-5) meet in a battle between two of the CC's top teams. Gettysburg holds a 20-4 lead in the series, but Haverford swept the 2008 twinbill, 7-2 and 4-2. The Fords (.305) and Bullets (.296) are 2-3 in the Conference in team batting average, while none of the likely starting pitchers - Becky Garibotto (1-1, 1.77) and Lisa Karmel (2-2, 1.79) from Haverford nor Beth McCullough (8-1, 1.75) and Kristy Rubino (6-4, 1.79) of Gettysburg - have an ERA above 1.80.


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