COVID-19 opens way for educational reform, technology acceleration: Nadiem

first_imgMcKinsey & Co. Education Practice chief Li-Kai Chen said it was important to harness technology to scale up access and redefine teachers’ roles. She said that teachers should be integrated with technology to enhance access and quality.“[It shouldn’t be] one device for every child but low-cost solutions to support group learning. Teachers must also be learning navigators to help students adapt to remote learning,” Chen said.Nadiem acknowledged that remote learning could have negative impacts on younger students if it was not addressed properly, such as a lack of emotional and empathetic connection with teachers and fellow students.The minister reasserted his commitment to improving the quality of teachers in the coming years amid the challenges of COVID-19.“If you put great people in the right position in the education system, learning outcomes will improve. It’s also important to have educational leaders in schools. A principal must be a pedagogical leader instead of the administrator of the educational system.”Technology, Nadiem added, could be used to lighten the burden of administrative matters on teachers so that they could dedicate more time and energy to teaching and selecting the most suitable curriculum.The minister said peer-to-peer mentoring and training for teachers was an important method to build teachers’ capacity.Read also: Government to revamp student assessment to improve PISA scoresChen said the intervention necessary in countries with poor educational performance was the improvement of basic literacy and numeracy, rather than promoting peer-to-peer learning for teachers.Indonesia’s educational performance is categorized as poor according to the triennial 2018 OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures the ability of 15-year-olds in science, reading and mathematics.Out of 79 countries, Indonesia ranked 73rd in mathematics, 74th in reading and 71st in science, far below other ASEAN member states, including Singapore, which scored second-highest after China in all three subjects.Chen said such performance could be improved by providing motivation and skill scaffolding for low-skilled teachers, improving schools’ infrastructure and raising students’ attendance.Topics : He added that the pandemic had forced policymakers to work harder to address inequality gaps. During the pandemic, students living in rural areas and those from low-income families have struggled to access and afford the hardware and internet access necessary to participate in online classes.A survey launched by SMERU in July showed that teachers in villages, especially outside Java, needed to visit their students’ homes to give and collect homework because of a lack of internet access.Read also: Teachers go extra mile to teach students as schools remain close“The agenda of digitalizing schools to level the playing field in areas that may not have access has now been accelerated, as well as the redistribution of good teachers and the adoption of technology as a tool to enhance the capability of teachers, parents and students,” the minister said. While it has taken a toll on students and their learning outcomes, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented opportunities for educational reform thanks to the acceleration on technology use, Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim has said.Speaking at the Yidan Prize Asia Pacific Conference held by Chinese education foundation Yidan Prize on Wednesday, the minister said the health crisis had caused some positive transformations, including parents’ increased participation in their children’s education.“We have never seen such a level of forced adaptation as when parents and teachers stumbled across learning how to use the technology. We’ve also never seen the number of parents who realize what a curriculum is, what homework is or how difficult it is to teach your children,” said Nadiem.last_img read more

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Snow Squalls Expected to Affect Wednesday Thanksgiving Travel

first_img November 20, 2018 Holidays,  Press Release,  Public Safety,  Transportation,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration warned that all Pennsylvania travelers and commuters should be aware of and prepared for snow squalls forecast for much of the state tomorrow afternoon until 6 p.m.“Safety is my priority and with snow squalls potentially affecting much of the state tomorrow afternoon, we advise travelers to check weather forecasts and make travel plans accordingly to try and avoid travel when squalls may occur,” Governor Tom Wolf said.The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, PennDOT, and the Pennsylvania State Police offer these winter weather driving tips:Monitor weather forecasts and www.511PA.com, PennDOT’s 24-hour, seven days-a-week travel information center.Slow down while driving when snow is falling and always wear a seat belt. Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicles you are following.During squalls or whiteouts, do not stop on the roadway. Come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible or when there is a safe area to do so.After you are stopped safely off of the roadway, turn on your four-way flashers and stay with your vehicle.PennDOT is prepared, with plow trucks and other equipment ready. Salt, anti-skid and other materials are in good supply. Crews will be working around the clock if necessary to keep roads safe and passable. But remember that squalls happen suddenly and can severely limit visibility.Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning. Motorists should leave plenty of space – six car lengths – when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials.While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 850 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should consider special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.PennDOT and PMEA also remind citizens that downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available at Ready.PA.gov.For more information on winter driving and PennDOT operations, visit www.penndot.gov/winter.“We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday,” Gov. Wolf said. “So, please make the necessary plans to get to your destination safely.” SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Snow Squalls Expected to Affect Wednesday Thanksgiving Travellast_img read more

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The suburbs where people refuse to leave

first_imgThe median house price in Cannon Hill has increased 13.3 per cent in just five years, with values jumping from $482,500 in 2009 to $745,000 today, according to the latest CoreLogic Market Trends report.Robyn Dallas, a human resources manager originally from Bowen, sold 60 Shelley St at Cannon Hill in July, and bought 60 Grenade St, also at Cannon Hill, with her partner, Kevin Donaghy, from Toowoomba, that same month. Mr Donaghy also sold his apartment in Coorparoo. Robyn Dallas and her partner Kevin Donaghy have bought back into Cannon Hill and are pictured with the children Neve Donaghy (7), Harriett (9) and Noah Dallas (10). Picture AAPimage/David Clark“We ended up here (Brisbane) about five years ago and were lucky as we knew people in (the neighbouring suburb of) Morningside so we knew we wanted to be close by,” Ms Dallas said. “I also wanted to get back in to the (housing) market so I bought an ugly duckling and did a seven week reno on it.“I knew the value of the land so we were there for three years before selling it … we were just bursting at the seams.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoBut the couple, whose children go to school in the local area, were always keen to stay within the 4170 postcode, in particular Cannon Hill. The family had been living nearby but when their previous house became to small for their needs, they just found one bigger close by. Picture AAPimage/David ClarkMs Dallas said everything they needed was close by, and they enjoyed the community feel.“People know your coffee order here,” she said, adding she could also see further price growth to come.Place Bulimba agent Meagan Muir, who sold the couple their new home, said the trend towards people buying multiple times in the one area was a common one, especially in Cannon Hill.“What we are seeing is the older families who have raised their kids now selling up and the next generation moving in,” she said.“In many cases, those families have held on to their homes for decades and the new families are already living in the area, have kids at school in the catchment, and want that value for money but also the bigger blocks.”REA Group’s chief economist Nerida Conisbee said while it was nice to dream, it was often tough to upgrade from an affordable suburb to a blue-chip one without some serious cash, and buyers often did not want to leave anyway. REA chief economist Nerida Conisbee“People tend to buy in to areas they know,” she said. “Often they buy their first house in an area and are happy to do the work.“Then they have a family and might upgrade to a bigger house, but they often don’t go very far.“Anecdotally, people just don’t tend to move east to west, or north to south.“They want to stay within the areas they know, close to their networks, and the ones that have done very well are those that have bought in suburbs where gentrification has occurred, or is occurring.”Mr Walker said location really was everything in the property market, and for many people that did not mean moving to a suburb in the million-dollar club.“Location, at the end of the day, is more about community, and people feeling safe at home at night, knowing and connecting with the people around them,” he said.He said expected the next report to show new suburbs entering the mix, but the same key factors driving demand.“It is very circular. People chasing affordability, the great Australian dream, to settle down,” he said.“The suburbs that may not have appealed a decade ago are coming in to their own and changing.“The next generation of buyers need to look past any stigmas and see the potential.” RANK / ABS SA2 / % WHO RE-BUY INTO SAME AREA Chermside is home to the behemoth, Westfield Chermside shopping centre. Picture AAP/David ClarkThe median house sales price for Chermside is $585,000, and for units, it is $390,000, according to the latest CoreLogic Market Trends report.The third most popular statistical division is Capalaba, with 61 per cent of sellers buying back in to the same area. Here, the median price is $500,000 for houses and $310,000 for unit.“Not surprisingly, the top 10 suburbs are generally located in the middle and outer Brisbane rings where prices are more affordable,” the report found. For sale: 12 NAVUA ST STRATHPINE“This result confirms that affordability plays a strong part in whether people re-buy into the same area.”Other popular areas include Nundah (59 per cent), Forest Lake-Doolandella (58%), Strathpine-Brendale (58%), Cannon Hill (57%), Inala-Richlands (57%), The Gap (56%) and Sandgate-Shorncliffe (56%). FOR SALE: 23 BARTON ST SANDGATEThe report said the results showed that lifestyle factors and green spaces were also popular drawcards.*** MOST POPULAR AREAS FOR MULTIPLE PROPERTY BUYERS Percentage of homes sold for profit in Brisbane tipped to rise 1. Rocklea-Acacia : 64%2. Chermside : 63%3. Capalaba : 61%4. Nundah : 59%5. Forest Lake-Doolandella : 58%6. Strathpine-Brendale : 58%7. Cannon Hill : 57%8. Inala-Richlands : 57%9. The Gap : 56%10. Sandgate-Shorncliffe: 56%(Proportion of property purchases that occurred in the same area from buyers that have historically bought between 2 and five properties. Source: Place Advisory)***Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker said it was a mix of people who chose to stay in an area – from those who have a primary residence and an investment, to buyers who have upgraded within the same area. Lachlan Walker of Place Advisory“Affordability is a big factor, but so is lifestyle and community,” he said. “Many of the suburbs are going through, or have gone through, substantial change, and are growth suburbs where renewal is occurring.”Mr Walker said the suburbs were also strongly “family-focused and driven” and, for many buyers, that was a key motivation to stay or invest for the future.He said schools, sporting clubs, community groups and the culture and feel of a community often had a bigger influence than keeping up with the Joneses.“Look at places like Cannon Hill, which has gone through substantial change in just a few years,” he said.“There are many millennial buyers and families moving in, renovating or building, and then doing it again, all within the same area.“And many have ties to the community, and are moving back.” The suburbs where residents hold onto property the longest. Source: CoreLogic Market Trends — September – Suburb/Median House Price/ Hold Period (years) Most affordable suburbs within an hour of Brisbane Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59They are the suburbs where sellers don’t think twice about flipping one home and buying another down the street, or just few blocks away.Or buying two, three or more properties.New research by Place Advisory has uncovered the statistical areas where buyers are more likely to sell up only to “re-buy” back in to the same area, or buy multiple properties, and the results may surprise you.Topping the list is the ABS statistical area of Rocklea-Acacia Ridge (SA2), which also takes in Archerfield.According to the Place data, 64 per cent of people buy back in to the area after selling up, or have purchased more than one property.Chermside comes in a close second, with 63 per cent of people selling and buying in the same area. MORE NEWS: What NOT to do when it comes time to sell BRISBANE’S MOST TIGHTLY HELD SUBURBS RIGHT NOWlast_img read more

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2 men injured in Mansilingan road mishap

first_imgAccording to police investigators, the motorcycle driven by Tuason collided with the motorcycle driven by Villanueva around 5:10 p.m. on July 4. Police identified them as Ricky Tuason, 35, of Barangay Dulao, Bago City and Dennis Villanueva, 31, of Barangay 3, Kabankalan City. They both sustained body injuries, a police report showed. Villanueva was brought to the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center while Tuason was taken to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in this city./PNcenter_img BACOLOD City – Two persons were hurt in a road accident in Barangay Mansilingan.last_img read more

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Bulldogs Tennis Team Advances On Individual EIAC Meet

first_imgThe Batesville Boys Varsity Tennis team competed in the first round of EIAC individual tourney on Thursday. All five spots were winners and will advacne to the semi-finals on Saturday at 9 AM.#1 Singles- Beau Brown defeated Garrett Crowe (Franklin Co.) 6-0, 6-0#2 Singles- Blake Walsman defeated Barnachea (Lawrenceburg) 6-0, 6-0#3 Singles- Ben Schwettman defeated Cole Carmony (Rushville) 6-0, 6-0#1 Doubles- Spencer Rose and Matthew Taylor defeated Ryan Howell/Brett Upton (South Dearborn) 6-3, 6-4#2 Doubles- Paul Ritter and Harsh Patel defeated Phil Stenger and Connor Paul 6-1, 6-3The semi-finals will begin at 9:00 AM on Saturday at Greensburg and the finals will follow.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Mike McKinney.last_img read more

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Woman banned from Disney after attacking driver over a cigarette

first_imgShe has since been arrested and is facing charges of battery on an officer and disorderly intoxication. As of Monday, McMillion did not have legal representation despite records showing she requested a public defender. A 53-year-old Florida woman has been banned from Disney for life after she reportedly attacked a cab driver who denied her a cigarette while she was at the resort.Ellen McMillion of Brandon, Florida was arrested Thursday of last week, just outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.According to the report, McMillion asked the taxi driver for a cigarette and when he said he did not have one, she began slapping the driver. A deputy witnessed the incident and intervened, however, McMillion began kicking him.Deputies also reported that McMillion was slurring her words, and they detected a strong odor of alcohol..@OrangeCoSheriff deputies say this woman, 53 yr old Ellen McMillion of Brandon has been banned from Disney World for LIFE. She was arrested there last week after deputies say she was drunk and repeatedly slapped a cab driver and kicked a deputy pic.twitter.com/fXLURcNPNr— Amanda Dukes (@AmandaDukesWESH) September 9, 2019last_img read more

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Wilder knocks out Luis Ortiz to defend WBC world title in Las Vegas

first_imgDEONTAY Wilder defended his WBC world heavyweight title for the 10th time with a stunning knockout after being out-boxed by Luis Ortiz for six rounds.The American looked set to see his world-title reign end just short of five years as Ortiz picked him apart for half of their Las Vegas rematch.But in the seventh round, Wilder’s devastating right hand left Ortiz stunned and beaten on the canvas.“I found my measurement, seen the shot and took it,” said Wilder, 34.“We have Tyson Fury the rematch next. It’s set to be done in February so we will see how that goes and then after that I am looking for a unification bout.“The heavyweight division is too small to have so many belts lingering around, there should be one champion and I think I am the perfect man for that job.”Ortiz, 40, made it to his feet but could not beat the 10 count and was left with a look of shock on his face, because Wilder had barely thrown a combination or landed a punch of significance.The defeated Cuban was left beating the ropes with his fists in frustration after bamboozling Wilder with feints and footwork, while boxing at the kind of pace he looked capable of maintaining.He found repeated joy from his tricky southpaw stance with the left hand and after landing on Wilder in the fourth, the champion beat his chest with both hands because he clearly knew he was second best.Some will ask questions as to how flat Wilder looked for six rounds but he has built a reputation as one of the most destructive punchers in boxing history and his straight right hand thrilled those ringside at the MGM Grand.With this success he moved level with Muhammad Ali in recording 10 straight title defences. Only Tommy Burns (11), Vitali Klitschko (11), Wladimir Klitschko (18), Larry Holmes (20) and Joe Louis (25) have managed to defend the heavyweight crown more times in a row.His 42nd win in 43 bouts will also take Wilder past five years as world heavyweight champion having secured the title by beating Bermane Stiverne in January 2015.Fury almost fell to the same power as Ortiz 12 rounds into his Los Angeles draw with Wilder in December. This latest knockout again adds to the mystery around how the Briton got to his feet.If they do fight on the slated date of 22 February, Fury will get the chance to become a two-time world heavyweight champion.His trainer Ben Davison was ringside to see Wilder keep hope of that fixture alive but this win once again underlined he holds the kind of ferocious power that ensures he can never be written off.(BBC Sport)last_img read more

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Dougherty: Clemson game gives Long chance to start solidifying spot

first_imgAJ Long has packed a lot of firsts into a two-week stretch and his next one could be the most important of them all.His first college appearance yielded his first touchdown pass in a loss to then-No. 1 Florida State on Oct. 11. His first start brought his first touchdown run and collegiate win in Syracuse’s 30-7 blowout of Wake Forest last weekend. Each injects a little more life into a team clawing out of early-season irrelevancy. And now Long has a chance to transform the guarded optimism that accompanies a true freshman into a more solidified spot.SU (3-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) travels to No. 21 Clemson (5-2, 4-1) on Saturday, which will be Long’s first real test as a starter and first opportunity to make a marquee victory his own.  A win against the Tigers looks a bit more attainable after their narrow 17-13 win over Boston College last week, and would push Long from Syracuse’s freshman quarterback to Syracuse’s quarterback. “It’s a dream that I’ve accomplished,” Long said before the Wake Forest game. “At the same time, I know it’s not my team. I wouldn’t be in this situation had Terrel (Hunt) not got hurt. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“So now it’s play as well as you possibly can and, hopefully, when this is over, it’s a competition and it’s not just you sit back on the end of the bench.”Long’s unflappable confidence as a quarterback makes him an enigmatic mix of mature and immature.In the Orange’s 18-point loss to the Seminoles two weeks ago, Long threw two touchdown passes to fellow freshman Steve Ishmael. The first ended a touchdown drought of more than 100 minutes for the Syracuse offense and together, the two scores were the most any Orange quarterback had thrown for in a single game all year.He also threw two interceptions in the game, then stood in front of reporters and proclaimed that “Syracuse football is back” and that the Orange would go to an ACC championship in the next four years.“Why should we ever take it as a negative if he’s doing what he’s supposed to and he knows what he’s supposed to do?” said Ace Long, AJ’s father, of his son’s confidence.It’s derived from an underdog mentality, which has Long turning his 6-foot frame into a strength and anyone doubting that into a positive influence. It surfaces in the way he escapes broken pockets to throw into tight spaces and when he smiles at doubts about his stature or play. When he was a 5-foot-3 seventh-grader, he didn’t know if Division I football was a feasible goal. But his friends and teammates called him “the Joker” because he let out a high-pitched cackle whenever he made a good play.As he grew into his frame in high school, there were more chances to laugh and more reasons to believe he’d end up leading a big-conference offense.After choosing SU he started rallying together the Class of 2014 — one of the program’s best in recent years — and said he was “gunning to be the starter” when he arrived on campus last January. That didn’t sit well with Hunt, the incumbent starter. But as Hunt sits with a broken fibula, Long’s opportunity grows every week. “Right now, he’s our quarterback. He was really sharp with where he was going with the ball,” offensive coordinator Tim Lester said after the Wake Forest win. “It’s only the second game, but we’re in a situation where if he’s the guy that’s out there, I expect him to play to our level.”The fact that Long’s a stopgap replacement will hang over him until he proves to be more. The win at Wake Forest didn’t push him any closer or further away from doing so, but performing against Vic Beasley and Clemson’s heralded defensive front could have a lasting effect.If any SU quarterback is going to march into Death Valley and give the Orange a chance to win, it’s the one with 38 career completions and no reason to believe he’ll fail.“I really hope that after this season that I’ll be able to push in a competition with Hunt,” Long said. ” … Everywhere you go, your job is to be the guy. There’s nowhere that you want to go and sit behind somebody, so that’s all I’m trying to do.”He can’t put himself in that position with one or two games, but a big game in Death Valley could go a long way. Comments Published on October 22, 2014 at 12:26 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Trojans start season off strong

first_imgDon’t be fooled — it was a great weekend at Dedeaux Field.Baseball was finally back, and despite off-and-on showers, all six scheduled games of the USC baseball tournament were officially completed.Though everything didn’t go as planned, the Trojans (2-1) managed to make the championship game, but fell short to North Carolina 11-7.“They’re a top-20 program almost every year,” said junior third baseman Ricky Oropesa. “But we showed that we can hang with them.”The Tar Heels (4-0) got on the board first with a pair of runs in the second. A perfectly executed hit-and-run put runners at the corners with one down, and right fielder Seth Baldwin delivered a bases-clearing triple off the wall in right-center field.The Trojans left the bases loaded in the third, but again mounted a rally in the fourth. A single by junior center fielder Alex Sherrod, and a double over the head of Tar Heels center fielder Chaz Frank by senior second baseman Joe De Pinto put runners at second and third with no outs.But junior designated hitter Brandon Garcia struck out and junior right fielder Mike Greco flied to center, meaning it was all up to freshman catcher Jake Hernandez, making his Trojan debut.“It’s exciting,” Hernandez said. “It’s hard to keep your composure, but I felt good.”And did he feel good — Hernandez promptly stepped up with a two-run double, and senior left fielder Matt Hart followed with a single through the left side, plating Hernandez and giving the Trojans a 3-2 lead.But North Carolina came back with four runs in the second. A hit batsman, a pair of doubles and a single led to two runs and chased senior starting pitcher Logan Odam from the game.With zero outs and runners at the corners, Cruz handed the ball to freshman lefty Kyle Richter for his Trojan debut.“He has our uniform on,” Cruz said of Richter. “Everybody in our dugout that has our uniform on I’m gonna trust.”Richter allowed the two runners to score, but settled down and got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a strikeout and a flyout.The Tar Heels tacked on another in the top of the sixth to make it 7-3, but in the bottom of the inning the Trojans came roaring back.Singles by De Pinto, Garcia and Hernandez loaded the bases with one out. With two outs, freshman shortstop James Roberts was hit by a pitch to plate one, and up stepped the preseason all-American Oropesa.“I’m not trying to hit a [home run] every at-bat,” Oropesa said. “I’m just trying to help the team out, get a double here and get some RBIs.”With the bases juiced and the count full, Oropesa lined a bases clearing double down the right field line to tie the game at seven.Carolina would push one run across in the seventh, but the number could have easily been more. With Tar Heels on second and third with two out, coach Cruz elected to walk switch-hitting shortstop Levi Michael to load the bases, and junior pitcher Chad Smith got Tar Heels catcher Jacob Stallings to ground to third to end the threat.USC’s best chance to tie came in the eight, when they put runners at the corners with one out for Oropesa, who battled before finally striking out on a 3-2 curveball.Junior first basemen Matt Foat momentarily electrified the crowd at Dedeaux Field by lofting a long ball that had all the looks of a go-ahead, three-run homer, but was ultimately caught on the warning track in right.Carolina busted it open in the top of the ninth when second baseman Tommy Cole hit a two-run triple down the right field line and then proceeded to score on a wild pitch to give the Tar Heels their final 11-7 lead.The Trojans went quietly in the bottom half of the inning to take their first loss of the season.“The top of the ninth was a little deflating,” Cruz said. “But we’re not gonna let any situation get us down. We’re gonna keep competing and play the next pitch. And we did that all weekend.”The Trojans certainly started the season on the right track by sweeping an opening day doubleheader against Missouri and Cal Poly Pomona.Facing Missouri bright and early at 10 a.m., the Trojans struck first in the second, when De Pinto led off with a single to left. Sherrod then slapped a grounder that bounced off the glove of Tigers first baseman Dane Opel and over the fence for a ground rule double.  Greco knocked home the Trojans first run of the season with an RBI single to left. After sophomore right fielder Alex Glenn was hit by a pitch, junior leftfielder Garret Houts knocked in a pair with a single to right to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead.USC added some padding with a pair of two-out runs in the fourth. Roberts walked and Houts reached on an infield single.  Then junior catcher Kevin Roundtree flied to center, but Mizzou center fielder Brannon Champagne dropped it, allowing two runs to score.The Tigers got on the board with three RBI doubles in the fifth, knocking junior Trojan starter Andrew Triggs from the game after 4 2/3 innings pitched.  Senior pitcher Chirs Mezger came in and delivered one-and-one-third scoreless innings to earn the first win of the season for the Trojans.USC added three more in the eighth and the bullpen combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings to preserve the Trojans first victory of the season.The late game against Cal Poly was far more interesting. As was joked in the press box after the game, you could credit Johnson with the loss, Wood with the win and rain with the save.When the game was officially over, the scoreboard read 8-5 in favor of the Cal Poly Mustangs.  Officially, it will go in the books as a 5-2 USC win.In the second game of a Saturday doubleheader, the Trojans lead 5-2 after five innings when the game was stopped for rain for the first time.  After 45 minutes the game resumed in the top of the sixth, and the Mustangs jumped all over the USC bullpen for six runs.  Before the Trojans could even get out of the inning, the rain started up again, and the tarp was brought back on.  When the game was stopped, Cal Poly led 8-5 with two out in the top of the sixth.  However, if the game could not be resumed, by rule the final score would revert back to the last completed inning — that was the fifth inning, after which the Trojans led 5-2.They tried to play, however. The tarp was brought off, new dirt was poured, but the field was simply too wet to safely continue playing.  After much discussion between the two coaches and the umpires, the decision was made.  The game was called off, and the Trojans walked away with a rather unconventional 5-2 win to start off their season 2-0.“They made the right decision,” Cruz said. “You don’t want somebody to get hurt out there.”Of course, Cruz had a rather vested interest in the game being called, but said he wasn’t pushy about it.“I tried to stay away from the umpires and just let them make their decision,” Cruz said. “I didn’t want to seem imposing, but remember we still had four at-bats left. That game was far from over.”Junior transfer pitcher Austin Wood — a former fourth round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays — pitched all five innings that counted, giving up two earned and walking just one alongside eight strikeouts to earn his first win as a Trojan.“It felt great,” Wood said. “My first time pitching out here, I was pretty excited the first few innings, but I settled down.”Equipped with a mid-90’s heater, an 80 mph changeup and a sharp curve, the Mustangs were simply no match.“Woody was great,” Sherrod said.  “He would blow it by people and then drop the velocity 15-20 miles per hour on them with the change.  And that’s not even mentioning the curve.  It was great to watch.”USC struck for four in the first, all with two outs.  Sherrod got the rally started with a single to left, scoring Glenn from third and moving Foat up to second. De Pinto followed with another single scoring Foat, and Roundtree loaded the bases with an infield single. Garcia then came through with the bases loaded knock, plating Sherrod and De Pinto.Cal Poly got back two in the third with a pair of two out RBI singles by J.J. Thompson and Bobby Crocker.  With runners at the corners the Mustangs were threatening a big inning, but Wood induced Mike Miller into a groundout.  After that, Wood settled into a real grove. He allowed just one base runner over the final three innings and struck out the side in the fifth.By contrast, the Trojans threatened every inning, but could only manage to push one more across. With one out in the bottom of the third, Oropesa slammed a ball off the base of the wall in right-center.  He advanced to third on a Foat single and scored on Sherrod’s sacrifice fly to center.However, runners stranded were a problem for the Trojans throughout the weekend.  They left 10 on against Carolina, and two on in each of the first four innings against Cal Poly, as well as one in the fifth.  Against Missouri, they left at least one on in seven of their eight innings, including the bases loaded in the seventh.“It’s a bittersweet stat,” Cruz said. “Because it means you’re getting runners on.  But obviously the goal is to get them in as well. We just gotta trust the guy behind you, because you can’t get them all in at once.”With the Trojans off to a good start, Oropesa believes the team did well, but there is still room for growth.“Overall, a successful weekend, he said. “We competed and we just gotta keep working hard.”The Trojans travel inland to take on UC Riverside on Tuesday, and will spend next weekend in Houston visiting No. 15 Rice.last_img read more

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Softball: Freshman pitcher standout, Kaitlyn Menz, brings success to veteran team

first_imgEver since Ray Kinsella turned his corn field in Iowa into a baseball field in the movie Field of Dreams, people just associate the state of Iowa with the field, the bases and the diamond. The University of Wisconsin Badgers softball team is a big fan of Iowa because it produced their next star pitcher.Freshman pitcher for Wisconsin, Kaitlyn Menz, has already made major contributions to the team in this young season, helping the Badgers to a 15-2 record — the best start in program history.The Badgers have started a new trend of having Iowa natives on their team. Menz, from Waukee, Iowa, is one of six players on the roster from the Hawkeye State. For her, Wisconsin’s welcoming atmosphere and people were the deciding factor when it came to picking a school to continue her pitching career. Also, having five other Iowans on the team didn’t hurt.Softball: Badger softball looks to improve on 12-2 recordThe preconference cross country travel continues for the Wisconsin Badgers softball team this weekend as they head south to Houston Read…“I decided to come to Wisconsin because when I first walked on campus, it just felt like home,” Menz said. “I also came for the people, the coaches were awesome and I had met a lot of girls on the team already and they were awesome as well.”Appearing in 10 games this season, Menz had a record of 8-2 and a 1.10 ERA going into March 6. Seven of those appearances were complete games and of those seven three were shutouts. Menz has logged more innings than all other Wisconsin pitchers combined with 63.2. Opposing batters hit a measly .215, going 53-for-246.On a team with four pitchers, including junior Mariah Watts and senior Kirsten Stevens, Menz has seen the most action on the field. Menz and Stevens have been sharing the majority of starts with Menz receiving 10 starts and Stevens getting five. Menz was told she would have an influence on this team’s success, but never pictured it would be to this degree.“I did not know what my role on the team would be,” Menz said. “Coach [Yvette] Healy said that I would make an immediate impact. I did not know necessarily what that meant until I knew I’d be pitching all the games that I am.”Following a rough 2015 campaign, the Wisconsin softball team is having a great bounce-back season, as they currently boast a 27-21-1 record.Marissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldHealy, who is entering her seventh year as head coach at Wisconsin, takes on the task of recruiting high school players and knows it is not a guarantee every player will perform to expectations.The Badgers should have high hopes for the NCAA tournament with young players like Menz playing at such a high level“We’re thrilled,” Healy said. “She’s done a great job as a freshman with all the challenges of being a Wisconsin student-athlete and to perform at such a high level right out of the gates.”Menz did indeed perform immediately. After the first five games of the season, Menz possessed a 4-0 record with an immaculate ERA of .28 after surrendering a single run in 27 innings. This stretch featured three complete games, two of which went into extra innings. One of those extra inning wins came against the then-No. 20 University of South Florida Bulls.When pitching as a freshman for a Division I school, feelings of anxiety can easily creep into a young player’s mindset. Menz has yet to allow the pressure to affect her play and Healy sees that as one of the strongest facets of her game.Softball: Wisconsin outscores opponents 35-7 during weekend sweepRain was the only thing that could stop the Badgers’ bats this weekend in Houston. The University of Wisconsin softball team Read…“She’s just a solid kid,” Healy said. “She’s got a great temperament. She doesn’t get rattled, stays calm and composed. To see that from a freshman just gives you a lot of excitement for the future.”Three hours away from Menz’s hometown is a town by the name of Bettendorf, Iowa. This town was home to Chloe Miller, Menz’s catcher. Miller is now playing in her senior year for Wisconsin and leads the team in nearly every statistic offensively. In this season, she has also served as a leader for Menz as she gets a taste of collegiate softball.“She is the catcher behind the plate for me and my battery,” Healy said. “She’s an all-around good athlete and a leader on and off the field.”Wisconsin’s top two starters, Menz and Stevens have a combined ERA of .85. When facing both Menz and Stevens, opposing hit with only .209 average. The solid pitching Menz leads does well to compliment the Badgers’ strong hitting as Wisconsin outscores their opponents 101-33. This winning combination will be interesting to watch down the stretch and into May.last_img read more

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