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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Thursday, May 26, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 7A Amanda Molina takes water out to football players. SPORTS COMING FRIDAY Waiting for results How SY teams fared in today’s playoffs. Herald-Zeitung To have your sports event publicized, contact Will Wright at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] THE DAILY El T-I-C-K E-T B Rangers In Laredo SVbaseballer play Laredo Alexander in first game of5A regional semifinal Time: 4:30 p.m. SVvs. O’Connor Rangers face the Lady Panthers in Class 5A Region IV softball final Time: 7:30 p.m. Suns at Spurs Up 2-0 in NM Western Conference finals, San Antonio hosts Phoenix Time: 8 pm. (ESPN;WOAI-AM 1200) MNMNM Mi * Iii    RI    «Rangers seeking playoff double-double Baseballer seek another quick start vs. Bulldogs By Will Wright Sports Editor LAREDO — This soon into spring, the afternoon heat is already scorching this border city. And while the Alexander Bulldogs hope to use tile near-100 degree heat to their advantage in tonight’s baseball playoff against Smithson Valley, the Rangers hope to open yet another series with some heat of their own. lumping out on top has been the Rangers’ trademark thus far in the Class 5A playoffs. Smithson Valley has outscored three opponents 17-1 in the first two innings of their last three series openers. “When we get on top we play Ranger baseball,’’ second baseman Reagan Moczygem-ba said. “We’re more comfortable. It makes things a little easier.” That trend is what the Rangers (25-7) hope to continue when they face the Bulldogs (21-9) in the first game of their best-of-three regional semifinal series, which begins at 4:30 p.m. at United South High School. In two-game sweeps of SA Southwest, SA Taft and Corpus Christi Carroll, Smithson Valley has jumped out big before coasting to wins in the first game. That will be a little tougher today, especially in a late afternoon game on the road. “I’d like to get out on them early," Smithson Valley coach George Proctor said. “I think they’re going to come out fired up on us. The first game is going to be down there, and they’re going to have a lot of people jumping around. “They always hear that the teams from the Valley can’t beat the teams up here. They See BASEBALL, Page 8A Spurs thrashing Suns 17 area players named to 27-4A baseball teams PHOENIX (AP) — What the San Antonio Spurs are doing to the Phoenix Suns could be described as a rite of passage. To Phoenix, it feels more like hazing. The Suns have taken decent leads into the fourth quarter of the first two games of the Western Conference finals, then made more than half their shots the rest of the way—and lost both times. With a roster filled with former NBA champions, the Spurs have shot even better down the stretch. They’ve made clutch plays while preventing Phoenix’s playoff novices from doing the same, earning a commanding 2-0 lead with the best-of-seven series headed to San Antonio. “They’re a veteran team,” lamented Suns star Amare Stoudemire. “They’ve been there, done that.” It’s called experience, and the Spurs are loaded with it. The biggest shots in their 111-108 victory in Game 2 Tuesday night came from Robert Horry and Manu Gino-bili. Horry has won five championships, the most among active players. Ginobili lias one, plus played for titles in Italy and selections, with infielder Ricky Gomez and hurler Ben Nelson receiving honorable mention. New Braunfels, which ended the season 15-12 and finished out of the playoffs, had nine players selected, including four on the first team. Ryan McGinley, who finished 6-3 with 55 strikeouts and a 2.04 earned run average, was a unanimous selection at pitcher, as was Evan Weese as designated hitter. Weese hit .319 with five doubles and eight RBIs for the Unicorns. Also on the first team were Unicorns Jeremy Erben, at second base, and Blaine Witek in the outfield. Erben led New Braunfels with a .351 average, adding two home runs and 19 RBIs. Before injuring his shoulder midway through the season, Erben had been the Unicorns’ top pitcher with 47 strikeouts over 25 2/3 innings and a 0.82 ERA. Witek batted .241 this season with seven doubles, two triples and 12 See 27-4A, Page 8A NBA PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS. PHOENIX SUNS (Radio: WOAI AM 1200) Sunday San Antonio 121, Phoenix 114 Tuesday San Antonio 111, Phoenix 108; Spurs lead series 2-0 Saturday Phoenix at San Antonio, 8 p.m. (ESPN) Monday, May 30 Phoenix at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m. (ABC) Wednesday, June 1 San Antonio at Phoenix, 8 p.m. (ESPN), if necessary Friday, June 3 Phoenix at San Antonio, 8 p.m. (ESPN), if necessary Sunday, June 5 San Antonio at Phoenix, 7:30 p.m. (ABC), if necessary won Olympic gold in Athens with Argentina’s national team. San Antonio also got fourth-quarter boosts from Tim Duncan, the MVP of both NBA See SPURS, Page 8A MANDY REARY/Herald-ZeitungCanyon freshman centerfielder J.R Ramirez was a unanimous selection as the District 27-4A baseball Newcomer of the Year. Complete list on Page 8A. By Will Wright Sports Editor New Braunfels and Canyon totaled 17 players on all-District 27-4A baseball teams released Tuesday. Canyon freshman outfielder J.R Ramirez was named the district’s Newcomer of the Year in the balloting of the league’s six coaches. Ramirez batted .538 for die Cougars and was a unanimous elite team pick along with teammate and catcher Cameron Henk. I lenk, a junior, batted .395 for the loop’s third-place team this season. The Cougars, who finished 15-9 after bowing to Medina Valley in the bidistrict round of the Class 4A playoffs, saw eight members on the first and second teams and as honorable mention. Also named to the first team from Canyon was junior pitcher Jerris Springfield, who was 6-3 this season. Second baseman Michael Tabler, shortstop Shawn Thompson and outfielder Matt Schumann were second-team SV freshmen in memorable softball season By Will Wright Sports Editor SAN ANTONIO — Smithson Valley’s young lions would love nothing more than to continue what’s usually an annual event for the Rangers — a trip to the UIL state softball tournament. “Hopefully we’ll have three more years of going to state, but this year is special because it’s my first year,” said centerfielder Brittany Arredondo, one of three Smithson Valley freshmen. “But we’ll have to get past the team that’s ahead of us.” That team — San Antonio O’Connor — is the only obstacle in Smithson Valley’s path to state. And the Lady Panthers (28-7), behind ace Margo Hardt, will be out to avenge a 3-2 loss to the Rangers earlier this year when the teams meet in the 5A-Region IV final today at the SAISD Spring Sports Complex. In Wayne Daigle’s eight previous seasons coaching the team, playing in Austin in early June has figured into his travel plans four times. This time, he believes the Rangers have the formula to get there after a year’s absence. “This is one of my special teams. We’ve had eight real good seasons, but this team is special,” he said. “Win, lose or draw Thursday, this is special. They have played aTa higher level longer than any team I’ve had.” Smithson Valley (28-4), in Daigle’s view, has been “untouchable" in the last two-plus months. It has only lost once since a 2-1 loss to SA Churchill on March 8, by the same score to Corpus Christi Moody in the second game of their regional quarterfinal series two weeks ago. After playoff victories over Corpus Christi Carroll, Moody and Brownsville Porter last week, the 26-5A champion Rangers are 17-1 in their last 18 games. In addition to veteran threats in junior pitcher Taryn Munoz (22-4), third baseman Brooke LaRue, second baseman Candace Gillespie and shortstop Jessica Romero — all seniors, the Smithson Valley freshmen have been anything but green this season. Arredondo and fellow outfielders Smithson Valley freshman softballersTiffany Ward, center, and Brittany Arredondo, right, receive congrat ulations from shortstop Jessica Romero, left, during the Rangers' 5-0 victory over Brownsville Porter in last week's Class 5A regional semifinal.The Rangers will play SA O'Connor in the Region IV final today. Megan Turk and Tiffany Ward are excited about being a part of the Smithson Valley program and its success so early in their high school careers. “Its a lot of fun. Our coaches know when to get down on us, and they know when to have fun,” Turk said. “Our practices are a lot of fun when we do well. We all work hard, but its fun.” Turk said she has learned one basic lesson this spring. “Its not all about winning. Its about doing your best and going as hard as you can all of the time, no matter what happens,” she said. Ward said she has also learned a lot under Daigle and his wife, Pisa, who with Nathan Braun serves as assistant coaches. “ The Daigles have been doing this so long and you learn so much from them. I’m going to take what I learn into life,” she said. “This means so much to me because in the past the most freshmen the Daigles have had were two, and this year we have three. Knowing that I’m one of the three makes me feel great.” Daigle said the blend of youth and experience has produced the best results he’s had at Smithson Valley. “I don’t think that many people thought we would (contend) because we were so young going in, but we’ve had good leadership and had the freshmen step up,” he said. The ultimate test for this team will come tonight. In their only game against the Panthers Feb. 22, the Rangers rapped seven hits to beat Hardt (24-6). But the Panthers’ ace has been overpowering in her last two starts — two one-hit efforts in 3-1 and 9-1 wins over Edinburg North. “ This pitcher we’re facing will be one of the best we’ve faced. I ler and See SOFTBALL, Page 8A STATE PLAYOFFS SOFTBALL CLASS 5A-REGION IV FINAL Smithson Valley (28-4) vs. SA O'Connor (28-7), 7:30 p.m. today, SAISD Spring Sports Complex Getting there:Take Interstate 35 south through downtown San Antonio to theTheo Avenue/Malone Avenue exit.Take the turnaround, then first right into the complex.Tickets: $4 adults; $2 students. BASEBALL CLASS 5A-REGION IV SEMIFINAL (best-of-three series) Smithson Valley (25-7) vs. Laredo Alexander (21-9) Today: 4:30 p.m. at Laredo United Friday: 5 p.m. Blossom Athletic Center (third game to follow, if necessary) ;