Cox's Corner

 

Cox's Corner: Former Eagles Softball Standout Still Playing The Game

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Former Bridgewater College softball standout Caity Butler will be playing for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes next week in Phoenix, Ariz., against the national Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team.

The FCA team features former college players and Olympians.

Butler left Bridgewater as one of the program’s top players. She posted a career batting average of .365 and finished with 23 homers, 35 doubles and 143 RBIs. She ranks third on the career list in both homers and RBIs.

A 2010 graduate, Butler was a three-time, All-ODAC first-team selection. She was a two-time All-Atlantic Region first-team pick and in 2007 she was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America team as the designated player.

The national Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans. The players on the team are athletic young men who were severely injured while serving our country while in the military. The injuries resulted in amputation and through rigorous and extensive rehabilitation these men have once again become competitive athletes.

Now, their playing equipment includes much more than bats and balls. These players now have prosthetic legs and arms to help them return to the playing field. That, along with perseverance and attitude, has helped them return to competition.

FLYNN HEADS WEST: This weekend, Bridgewater cross country coach Brian Flynn will travel across the country to run in the California International Marathon (CIM).

The race was founded in 1983 to bring a world-class event to the Sacramento area. The course provides runners with a very fast, point-to-point, net-downhill marathon with a spectacular finish in front of the California State Capitol.

An estimated 9,000 runners are expected for this year’s event. The CIM is certified and sanctioned by USATF (USA Track & Field) and therefore is a Boston Marathon qualifier.

BASKETBALL UPDATE: Action on the hardwood was limited this past week as the teams took a break for Thanksgiving.

The men’s team did make a trip to New Jersey for an afternoon game on the day before Thanksgiving and picked up a solid 78-68 victory over The College of New Jersey to improve to 2-1 on the season.

The Eagles led by two at the half before taking control of the game in the second half, building the lead to 18 points late in the game.

“I was really pleased with our focus on the trip,” head coach Don Burgess said. “Our guys see their buddies packing up to go home on Tuesday and they have to go the gym for practice. And then we leave Tuesday night for a five-hour trip to play a game. That’s not an easy road trip and we were going to play a pretty good team.”

Burgess felt like both teams struggled during the first half. “Both teams had to fight through a first-half lull. At halftime, I told the guys we had to remember we were on a business trip. Go out and take care of business in the second half and we’ll head home for a happy Thanksgiving.”

The Eagles did just that as they pulled away in the final 20 minutes,

“Our defensive intensity picked up in the second half,” Burgess said. “We got a couple deflections, got a couple steals and that led to some easy buckets.”

Junior forward Ed Reddick scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead the Eagles to the victory. “When you pick things up on defense and it leads to easy baskets, the game becomes fun and guys become more active at both ends of the court. Ed became more active in the post and he made some tough shots.”

The Eagles open conference play Wednesday evening when they travel to Randolph College. The WildCats defeated the Eagles twice a year ago, each time rallying from large deficits.

“You know Randolph is going to be a tough, hard-nosed team,” Burgess said. “Coach (Clay) Nunley will have his team prepared. They’re a team that’s not going to beat themselves.

“We will have to stay disciplined with our defensive principles,” Burgess added. “Hopefully our defense will lead to some easy baskets at the offensive end. Against Randolph, you need to find a way to get some easy buckets and you’re going to have to hit some shots from the perimeter. Randolph’s half-court defense is very good. They like to make you grind it out on every possession.”

The women are back in action tonight for a conference matchup against Randolph-Macon’s high-octane offense.

The Yellow Jackets rank fourth in Division III, averaging more than 94 points per game. They are 6-0 overall and ranked No. 18 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll.

Randolph-Macon boasts three of the top four scorers in the ODAC. Those three have combined to average 61 points per contest. There are 107 Division III teams in the country averaging less points than the Yellow Jackets trio.

Division I transfer Taylor Huber leads the way with 24 points per game. Sarah Parsons averages 20 points and Katie Anderson scores 17.2 points per contest.

The Eagles are coming off an impressive victory over Guilford. The Eagles led the Quakers 39-20 at the break and held on for the 63-54 victory.

Senior Holly Morgan scored 18 points and got plenty of help from first-year forward Heather Cantrell. Cantrell hit her first seven shots, mostly from the 15-foot range and recorded her first career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Check back later this season for all the stats and a full recap of tonight’s game.

The women will return to action Friday night with a road trip to Lynchburg College.