May 26, 2011
Congratulations to our Southern Miss baseball team and Coach Scott Berry for earning a share of the C-USA regular season title. It's only the second time in C-USA history that the Golden Eagles have earned a regular season baseball title. The last three years of Southern Miss baseball has been its best in history, delivering a College World Series appearance (2009), a C-USA regular season title (2011), a tournament title (2010) and three NCAA Regional appearances (2009,10,11).
In addition to the title, Coach Berry was named the C-USA Coach of the Year; Todd McInnis was named the league Pitcher of the Year; and five Golden Eagles were named to the first team all-C-USA team; which included McInnis, B. A. Vollmuth, Marc Bourgeois, Tyler Koelling and Geoffrey Thomas. Adam Doleac and Collin Cargill were named to the second team and Jared Bales captured all-freshman team honors. Koelling, who led the Eagles in hitting, was also named the Collegiate Player of the Year in Mississippi, earning the prestigious Boo Feriss Award.
The Golden Eagles, with a record of 39-15 after their 6-1 defeat of Tulane last night at the C-USA Baseball Tournament in Pearl, MS, will face Houston tonight and East Carolina on Friday night. The winner of the pool will play in the championship game Saturday night at 7 pm at Trustmark Park. The Eagles should have clinched another NCAA Regional, their ninth consecutive and the possibility of hosting in Hattiesburg still exits.
Coach Kevin Stephen's Southern Miss track team has qualified a record number of 14 individuals to participate in the NCAA East Round of the NCAA Championships. The women include Chastity Riggien, Tori Bowie, Ganna Demydova, KeAirra Jones, Rachel Polk, Jessica Bussey, Brianna Crockett and Sarah Omotoya.
The women finished 13th in the nation in the NCAA Indoor Track Championships as Tori Bowie, became the first Southern Miss athlete to win an individual national track and field title when she won the long jump.
Another national honor went out to Southern Miss freshman women's golfer Lauren Judson, who was named the 2011 National Golf Coaches Association Kim Moore Spirit Award winner. Despite dealing with the loss of her parents in a plane crash after watching her play in the Memphis Women's Intercollegiate last October, Judson competed in 14 rounds during the year. The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great sprit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges. Congratulations to Lauren.
On a personal note, my daughter Brittney presented my wife Gayle and I twin grandchildren on Tuesday, May 24. Mackinzie and Landon Borbash became our eighth and ninth grandchildren.
Needless to say, it has been a great week for Southern Miss athletics and the Giannini family!