The Girl in Centerfield

June 17, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Sports

cntrfieldgrlIn May of 1973, a 12-year-old girl in pigtails from Ypsilanti, Michigan made history by taking on the largest youth sports organization in America.  Carolyn King was simply looking to play baseball when she tried out for a spot in the Ypsilanti American Little League.  She went to the tryouts with her younger brother, and impressed the coaches with her strong throwing arm and her speed.  The coach of the Orioles was looking for a center fielder, and he thought that Carolyn might fit the bill, so he drafted her.  One problem: In 1951, the National Little League organization in Williamsport, Pa., had enacted a rule that specifically said girls were not eligible to play.  National officials felt the sport of baseball was too dangerous for girls, so they decided to restrict their leagues to boys.  The National Little League threatened to pull the local league’s charter if Carolyn played, but the City of Ypsilanti said that if she didn’t play, the league couldn’t use the city’s fields. When she suited up for the Orioles in their first game – making history in the process – the National Little League followed through on its threat to pull the local league’s charter.   That set up a summer of controversy and showdowns in Ypsilanti that strongly divided the community as the case headed to federal court.  It made national headlines in 1973, and landed the story on the evening news. In the middle of it all was a 12-year-old in pigtails who simply wanted to play baseball.  Carolyn’s case and the national uproar it caused prompted National Little League officials to drop their boys-only rule.  In 1974, thanks to Carolyn King, girls became eligible to play Little League baseball.  The Ypsilanti American Little League founded in 1953, is the oldest Little League in Michigan and the first in the world to include a female player

“The Girl in Centerfield,” a feature-length documentary produced by Detroit-based Stunt3 Multimedia, is the story of Carolyn King’s fight to play Little League baseball. Using interviews, stock footage, and re-creation, Stunt3 will weave together the drama of the summer of 1973 when the nation watched as the city of Ypsilanti went head-to-head with Williamsport, Pennsylvania and the institution of Little League Baseball.  The film is scheduled for release in the summer of 2010. On Thursday, July 19, 2010, 7-8:30pm Ypsilanti District Library will premiere the trailer for the documentary and host a personal appearance by Carolyn King Minot. girlgrown-1

Carolyn King Minot being interviewed for”The Girl in Centerfield”

Ypsilanti Ladies, Take The Field!

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Announcements, News, Sports

Eastern Michigan University is offering “Football 101” –  a skills clinic for women Saturday, July 24, 2010 from 10 am-3 pm.  Participants will experience what it’s like to be a player as coaches teach them the importance of different positions and run them through practice drills.  At the end of the day, they will have the basic knowledge and skills needed to enjoy the game of football.

Registration for the event is $30 per person ($15 for EMU students) which includes lunch, a “Football 101” t-shirt, and photo opportunities with Head Coach Ron English.  Each participant will also receive a season ticket to the 2010 EMU Football season.  Additionally, for each Football 101 registration, $5 will be donated to support EMU Volleyball’s “Dig Pink” fundraiser to benefit breast cancer research, which will take place in the fall.  For more information about the EMU Football 101 Skills Clinic, call 734.487.8109 or visit

Wolverines Lead After Day One at EMU Swim Invitational

December 5, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Sports

Thanks to a fast start and equally-fast finish, the No. 19th-ranked University of Michigan women’s swimming and diving team leads after the first day (Friday, Dec. 4) of the Eastern Michigan Invitational, held at the Michael H. Jones Natatorium. The Wolverines won four of the day’s six events, scoring 361 as a team to lead second-place Eastern Michigan by 63 points (298).

Michigan looked in command from the opening gun. Senior Emily Hanson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) gave U-M a first-place finish in the meet’s opening race, the 1,650-yard freestyle, making it her first win in that event this season. Her time of 16:40.53 was good enough to meet NCAA ‘B’ qualifying standards. Sophomores Kristyne Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Megan Craig (Ann Arbor, Mich./Mercy) and freshman Kally Fayhee (North Aurora, Ill./Rosary) finished in sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, earning a total of 36 points for the Wolverines.

The 200-yard butterfly was dominated by U-M seniors Margaret Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Courtney Beyer (Los Altos Hills, Calif./Los Altos) as both earned new season highs in the 200-yard butterfly and finished 1-2, with Kelly earning an NCAA ‘B’ mark. Senior Emily Christy (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring Ford Area Senior) and redshirt senior Lori Morton (Portage, Mich./Central) rounded out the Wolverine contingent, as the quartet combined to score 63 points and occupy four of the top seven places. The Wolverines ended the first day of competition in the 400-yard freestyle, once again taking the top two spots, with the foursome of Kelly, senior Leigh Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), sophomore Alexa Mehesan (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) and K. Cole taking home first place with a time of 3:25.67.

The Wolverines placed four swimmers in the top 11 during the 100-yard freestyle, led by a second-place finish from L. Cole, who narrowly missed out on first by a slim margin of seven one-hundredths of a second. Freshman Katherine Carl (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser) beat her previous career best (55.21) by nearly four seconds, clocking in at 51.76. Despite swimming exhibition, her time was the third-fastest in the event Friday.

Sophomore Liz Johnson (Milford, Mich./Milford) broke away down the stretch of the 200-yard backstroke to earn a first-place finish, with freshman Ashley Cohagen (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) coming in third. Freshman Julia Andracki (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) had the lead down the stretch in the 200-yard breaststroke but could not hold off a late surge from Ana Pena Gonzalez of Wayne State and finished in second at 2:20.72.

Senior diver Stephanie O’Callaghan (Howell, Mich./Howell) secured top honors in the only diving event of the evening, scoring a 581.30 on the three-meter board. Fellow senior Caitlin Dunphy-Daly (Royal Oak, Mich./Rochester) came in fifth (524.80), while redshirt freshman Sarah Suprise (Portage, Mich./Hackett Catholic Central) came in 12th (404.05).

The Wolverines return to Jones Natatorium tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 5) for the conclusion of the EMU Invitational, in search of their seventh straight EMU Invitational title. Competition will begin at 10 a.m. and continue at 6 p.m.

Team Standings (After Day One)

2. Eastern Michigan 298
3. Toledo 233
4. Wayne State 210
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day One)

1,650-yard Freestyle
1. Emily Hanson, U-M 16:40.53#
6. Kally Fayhee, U-M 17:13.39
7. Kristyne Cole, U-M 17:17.49
8. Megan Craig, U-M 17:21.23

200-yard Backstroke
1. Liz Johnson, U-M 2:01.33
3. Ashley Cohagen, U-M 2:03.01
10. Emily Brunemann, U-M 2:10.39
11. Emily Hanson, U-M 2:10.62

100-yard Freestyle
1. Sarah Kowalski, Eastern Michigan 51.06
2. Leigh Cole, U-M 51.13
4. Catherine Nosal, U-M 51.86
6. Alexa Mehesan, U-M 52.27
11. Katrin Vetter, U-M 53.69
Katherine Carl, U-M 51.76
Liz Koselka, U-M 52.77
Mary Grace Godfrey, U-M 53.10
Deirdre Jones, U-M 53.34

200-yard Breaststroke
1. Ana Pena Gonzalez, Wayne State 2:19.85
2. Julia Andracki, U-M 2:20.72
8. Val Barthelemy, U-M 2:25.83
Emily Brunemann, U-M 2:23.05

200-yard Butterfly
1. Margaret Kelly, U-M 1:59.19#
2. Courtney Beyer, U-M 2:02.90
5. Emily Christy, U-M 2:04.66
7. Lori Morton, U-M 2:06.37
Linnea Johnson, U-M 2:05.47
Keenan Koss, U-M 2:06.24
Emily Brunemann, U-M 2:06.35

400-yard Freestyle Relay
1. MICHIGAN, ‘A’ 3:25.67
(Margaret Kelly, Leigh Cole,
Alexa Mehesan, Kristyne Cole)
2. MICHIGAN ‘B’ 3:28.90
(Liz Johnson, Liz Koselka,
Mary Grace Godfrey, Catherine Nosal)
MICHIGAN ‘C’ 3:31.51
(Katrin Vetter, Katherine Carl,
Deirdre Jones, Kally Fayhee)
MICHIGAN ‘D’ 3:34.12
(Linnea Johnson, Megan Craig,
Emily Brunemann, Emily Hanson)

Three-Meter Diving
1. Stephanie O’Callaghan (U-M) 581.30
5. Caitlin Dunphy-Daly (U-M) 524.80
12. Sarah Suprise (U-M) 404.05

# NCAA ‘B’ qualifying standard


• Michigan has won the last six EMU Invitationals.

• Emily Brunemann did not swim the 1,650-yard freestyle, the event in which she won a national title back in 2008. Instead, she swam in the 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard butterfly, all for the first time this season.

• Megan Craig swam the 1,650-yard freestyle for the first time since her sophomore year in high school. She finished in seventh place (17:17.49).

• The EMU Invitational is Michigan’s last swimming event of the calendar year. They return to the pool Jan. 2, 2010, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Copa Coqui.


Michigan Head Coach Jim Richardson
On his team’s performance Friday … “Really solid. For the people who swam at Purdue, we wanted to see if they could swim between their fastest times of the season so far and what they swam at Purdue. That’s been the majority of them. For the people who had more rest, we wanted to see them swim faster than they have all season and how close to lifetime bests they could come. We had a lot of real good swims out there. I am very pleased.”

On the performance from some of the well-rested freshmen and upperclassmen … “I think it shows that they have stayed true to their training. They haven’t let the fact that they haven’t competed take anything away from their preparation. Everyone says it’s the will to win. It’s not — it’s the will to prepare to win. That is the most important thing. They have passed that test with flying colors. We see day in and day out where people are and what they are capable of doing. It is nice to see them step up in somewhat of a pressure situation and do it then. We want these meets to be an accurate reflection of their training.”

On whether his team was sluggish with their times following the two-week break … “I would be disappointed if it were for any reason other than illness or fatigue from academic pressure, which is happening right now. I don’t think we have the kind of people on this team that are fragile like that. You don’t get points for how you feel or how you look. It can be ugly and fast, and that’s okay at times like this. Learning how to get your hand on the wall when you feel good or you feel bad is a real important skill to develop in the pool.”

U-M Senior Emily Hanson
On her first-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle … “It feels really good. Bruno [Emily Brunemann] wasn’t there and she always pushes me. Today gave me an opportunity to see where I was at. I’ve been training real well all season and gotten pretty consistent results. Definitely feels good to get a win.”

On her relationship with Emily Brunemann … “I think this past summer really helped mold our relationship. We spent a lot of time together training day in and day out. We are really close.”

On how her senior year has been going … “I am having an absolute blast. Our team is such a tight-knit group. There’s still a lot left to the season, but I am having a lot of fun.”

U-M Freshman Katherine Carl
On her 100-yard freestyle time … “It was a great time for me. It was my fastest of the season and I’m very happy with that. Training is hard, but I’m definitely getting faster and stronger as the year progresses.”

On her freshman season to this point … “I love it here. The coaches are great, the rest of the girls on the team are awesome. It’s a perfect fit for me.”

U-M Senior Emily Brunemann
On swimming in three events for the first time this season … “It was Stefanie’s [Kerska] choice, actually. She wanted me to work on my strokes for the 400 IM and that was the whole reason for doing it. It was also to give me a little bit of a break from the mile (1,650). I know I was going to have to do a lot of events, but up until this afternoon, I didn’t know which ones. I think I did okay. I am not a backstroker. It is my worst event, but I think I did alright in the other ones.”

On not swimming the 1,650-yard freestyle … “Also Stefanie’s choice. If it were up to me, I probably would be out there because I love the mile. But it’s nice to occasionally get a break.”

Story courtesy of University of Michigan Sports Information.

(Editors Note: If the story seems slanted towards U-M athletes, it is because has called Eastern Michigan University Sports Information Office several times over the past year for EMU sports news and stories, but they haven’t returned our calls.)

Spartan wrestlers pound EMU

December 4, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Sports

The Michigan State wrestling team defeated Eastern Michigan, 26-9, on Thursday (Dec. 3) night to improve to 3-1 on the season. EMU is now 2-1-1 on the year.

“It was an excellent team effort tonight,” said Spartan head coach Tom Minkel. “We had some tough, hard-fought matches, and I think this was the best team effort we’ve had in some time.”

The match started at 174 pounds where Ian Hinton defeated EMU’s Nick Hendrick, 5-1. After a pair of Eagle wins at 184 and 197 pounds, heavyweight Alan O’Donnell put MSU on top, 10-6, when he defeated David Wade, 2-1.

“I was pleased we were able to keep our composure and stay on task early on,” Minkel said. “I feel like we’ve made some good progress in the last couple weeks, and hopefully, we continue to improve.”

The Eagles 18th-ranked Chris Jenkins slashed the MSU lead to 10-9 when he defeated Eric Olanowski at 125 pounds but that would be as close as EMU would get, as the Spartans claimed the night’s final five matches.

No. 1-ranked Franklin Gomez won his 22nd consecutive match at 133 pounds to start the Spartans’ winning streak, followed by freshman Dan Osterman, who registered a major-decision win (15-6) over Andrew Novak at 141 pounds.

“We were all pleased with Danny,” said Minkel. “He is a freshman but wrestles like a seasoned veteran. He stepped up and did what we expected him to do tonight.”

David Cheza (149 pounds), Anthony Jones Jr. (157 pounds) and Kyle Bounds (165 pounds) closed out the meet with wins for MSU.

174 lbs.: Ian Hinton (MSU) dec. Nick Hendrick (EMU), 5-1 MSU 3, EMU 0
184 lbs.: Phillip Joseph (EMU) fall Nick Palmieri (MSU), 1:27 EMU 6, MSU 3
197 lbs.: Josh Lewis (EMU) maj. dec. Tyler Dickenson (MSU), 12-3 MSU 7, EMU 6
HWT: Alan O’Donnell (MSU) dec. David Wade (EMU), 2-1 MSU 10, EMU 6
125 lbs.: No. 18 Chris Jenkins (EMU) dec. Eric Olanowski (MSU), 5-0 MSU 10, EMU 9
133 lbs.: No. 1 Franklin Gomez (MSU) dec. Sean Clair (EMU), 4-2 MSU 13, EMU 9
141 lbs.: Dan Osterman (MSU) maj. dec. Andrew Novak (EMU), 15-6 MSU 17, EMU 9
149 lbs.: David Cheza (MSU) dec. J.J. Johnson (EMU), 6-2 MSU 20, EMU 9
157 lbs.: Anthony Jones Jr. (MSU) dec. Aaron Sulzer (EMU), 5-4 MSU 23, EMU 9
165 lbs.: Kyle Bounds (MSU) dec. Justin Brandel (EMU), 8-2 MSU 26, EMU 9

Story courtesy of Michigan State Sports Information.

(Editors Note: has called EMU Sports Information for news and stories several times over the past year but they haven’t returned our calls.)

Vancil Shuts Out Sliders

August 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

Vancil Shuts Out Sliders

YPSILANTI, MI, August 26, 2009

Preston Vancil bottled up the Sliders hitting Wednesday night for the Florence Freedom as they beat the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti 4-0. Vancil was the story of the night as he only allowed two hits throwing a complete game shutout.

The two Slider hits came from Robbie Knapp in the second inning, and Bryan Bonner in the eighth. Bonners double in the eighth was the only Sliders scoring opportunity as Vancil only allowed one runner in scoring position and three base runners all night.

Jon Haldis did have a solid second start allowing four runs in six innings.

Florence will go for the sweep Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at EMU’s Oestrike Stadium. After this game the Sliders will only have one more home series when Washington Wild Things come into town for a three game set this weekend.

Sliders Drop Doubleheader

August 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

YPSILANTI, MI, August 25, 2009

The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti losing streak has reached a season high five games after they lost both games against the Florence Freedom Tuesday night at EMU’s Oestrike Stadium.

The first game Florence lit up the board with 18 hits and 13 runs to show for. Freedom won 13-3 and jumped on Sliders early to leave no doubt. They scored five runs in the top of the first inning helped by two homers in their first at bats from Justin Pickett and Jay Johnson.

As the night grew Florence lead did as well as they expanded it too 13-1 by the fifth inning. Jimmy Baker did have a mammoth homer in the top of the sixth that gave the Slider fans something to cheer about.

Game two wasn’t that much better, although Midwest didn’t allow as many runs they still fell 4-1. The Sliders had their chances but couldn’t capitalize on big opportunities.

Freedom jumped out to a led early scoring in the first, and in the fourth helped by a monstrous shot by John Welch giving them a 4-0 advantage.

Sliders scored their first run from a double by Jeremy Jones, and doubled in by Byran Bonner.

Midwest had a huge chance to get back in the game in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases and had only one out. Two groundouts later Florence squeaked out of a very tough jam still leading 4-1.

Wednesday Jon Haldis will take the mound to try to stop the Sliders skid. The first pitch will begin at 7:05 p.m. at EMU’s Oestrike Stadium. There are only five more Sliders home games left, as Sunday will be the clubs last home game this season.

Sliders Struggles Continue, Miners Earn Sweep

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

Sliders Struggles Continue, Miners Earn Sweep

MARION- The Southern Illinois Miners didn’t need their third walk-off of the series to earn the sweep against the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. The Sliders fell 7-1 and tied the season high four game losing streak heading back home.

Tuesday’s doubleheader with Florence Freedom will start the last home stand of the season. It will be seven games long. Sunday will be the final Sliders home game in 2009 at EMU’s Oestrike Stadium.

Zack Pace drove in Midwest’s lone run in the eighth inning after the Miners had the game in hand. Nolan Shaffer got the loss and his record falls to 3-5 on the season.

Midwest will enjoy a rare day off Monday to regroup after a tough 1-5 road trip to get there things together for the final home stretch of games. Tuesday’s gates open at 4 p.m. with the first game of the doubleheader starting at 5:05 p.m. The Sliders will play two seven inning games Tuesday night.

More Miner Miracles

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

More Miner Miracles

MARION, ILL, August 23, 2009

Southern Illinois Miners won a remarkable fourth straight game in walk off fashion Saturday night at Rent One Park. The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti came from behind in the ninth to tie the game, but lost it in the 10th inning 5-4.

Midwest scored three runs between the third and fourth innings which was highlighted by a Jonnie Knoble two-run single. Southern Illinois held a 4-3 lead all the way through the eighth inning.

Scott Van Es started for the Sliders and threw six innings allowing four runs and didn’t earn a decision. He gave way to P.J. Zocchi who pitched the 7th, 8th, and 9th allowing only two hits.

The Sliders were down the their last out in the ninth when Robbie Knapp singled driving in Zack Pace to tie the game up, forcing extra innings.

When Zocchi came bout out in the tenth inning he couldn’t record a single out. The leadoff man tripled, which was followed by a walk off single to end the game.

Miners will look to extend their winnings steak to six games and get the sweep against Midwest Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Nolan Schaffer will take the mound for the Sliders.

Miners Walk Off for 3rd Straight Game

August 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

Miners Walk Off for 3rd Straight Game

MARION, ILL, August 22, 2009

The Southern Illinois Miners stole a wild one from the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti in the ninth inning at Rent One Park. Brad Miller hit a walk off hit; it was the Miners third straight walk off and fifth straight win.

Robbie Knapp started the thing off right for the Sliders hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. The Miners tied it in their next at bats.

The game was tied at threes for until the Sliders broke the tie in the eighth inning. Zack Pace doubled, and was doubled in by Joash Brodin. That play gave the Sliders a 4-3 lead late in the game.

Heading into the ninth Midwest kept Jeff Fischer in the game who had thrown three scoreless innings in relief only allow two hits. He let up his third hit to lead off the ninth and was then replaced by closer Arshwin Asjes.

Asjes collected two outs, but loaded the bases for when Miller stepped into the box. Miller then put the ball in the right-center gap between Pace and Clay McCord. Will Block who had three hits on the night, came around to score and end the game.

Saturday Midwest will look to even up the series with the Miners at 8:05 p.m. at Rent One Park.

Sliders Slip 12-9

August 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

Sliders Slip 12-9

EVANSVILLE, IN, August 21, 2009

Evansville took two out of three with the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti after Thursday nights 12-9 at Bosse Field. The Otters jumped out to a 6-0 lead in their first at bat and did not look back holding on to the led the rest of the game.

Midwest didn’t give up though, scoring four runs in the third to try to mount a comeback attempt. The scoring was highlighted by a Jonnie Knoble double, Zack Pace single, and Robbie Knapp single.

Scoring a run third, fourth, and fifth kept the Sliders at an arms length. Otters put up a three spot in the sixth inning, two off Garrett Maines error. After that Evansville could sit on their lead.

Dan Horvath started for Midwest and allowed seven runs in only three innings of work.

The Sliders will head to Southern Illinois to face the Miners in a three game set this weekend. First pitch Friday is at 8:05 EST. p.m.

Tuesday Midwest will host the Florence Freedom in a double header that will begin at EMU’s Oestrike Stadium at 5:05 p.m. The seven game home stand will be the last home games of the season.

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