Archive - Aug 2011 - Sports Article
PUNXSUTAWNEY â The Punxsutawney Area Community Center's fitness center was on the verge of closing three years ago before it underwent a serious renovation.
"Three years ago, the place was in horrible financial condition, and a new board took over," fitness center manager Leo Johnston said. "Since then, it's doing really well."
Johnston, who is on the community center's board of directors, runs the fitness center by making sure the center is staffed, replacing and maintaining equipment, doing improvements, keeping it clean and taking suggestions from the community.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â The Hemlock View Golf Course held its annual Club Championships last weekend, crowning champions in three different divisions: Men's, women's and seniors'.
Forty-eight club members competed over the weekend despite the warm temperatures and incredibly high humidity.
In the men's division, there were four separate "flights." Which flight a competitor plays in is determined by that particular player's handicap.
All right, last week, I said that even though I should have been ready to talk football, I just wasn't up to it yet. Well, in the past week, things have changed.
Maybe it had something to do with the conclusion of the baseball and softball seasons, culminating with the Little League softball tournament last weekend and the Teener League states.
Or, maybe it had something to do with my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates plummeting from first to third in their division â now nine and 1/2-games behind the first-place Brewers.
With the Groundhog Little League softball tournament and the 15- and 16-year old VFW Teener League All-Star state tournament concluding this past weekend, the book is officially closed on baseball and softball for the summer. Now, Punxsy sports fans and parents can take a breather, but not for too long. Punxsy's fall sports practices begin next week, and regular season games are scheduled to begin Aug. 22. To conclude the summer season, Punxsy went out with a bang, claiming two titles in the three classes it competed in at the GLL softball tournament.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â In the 10-and-under (10U) championship game at the Groundhog Little League softball tournament, the Punxsy Purranhas scored multiple runs in all three trips to the plate and pitcher Grace Aikens pitched a one-hitter propelling the Purranhas to a 10-0 victory over Homer City in four innings in Punxsutawney.
With the win, the Purranhas earned their second consecutive weekend tournament championship after placing first in the Homer City tournament last weekend.
Aikens quickly retired Homer City in the top of the first inning, and Punxsy wasted no time getting on the board.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â Punxsy's 15- and 16-year-old VFW Teener League All- Stars fell to Altoona, 3-2, in the opening round of the losers' bracket at the state tournament Saturday in Huntingdon.
Things looked promising for Punxsy, which jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but Punxsy was only able to manage one hit throughout the final six innings and was eliminated with the loss.
Punxsy manager Mike Klingensmith said he's been around this game long enough to know, "Sometimes, the hits just don't come your way."
This weekend, that was the case for his team.
The Groundhog Little League's softball tournament kicked off Friday night with three Punxsy games at 6 p.m. Kylee Lingenfelter delivers a pitch in the 12U Purranhas loss to Davis Brothers. (Photo by Zak Lantz/The Punxsutawney Spirit)
HUNTINGDON â Despite leading early, Punxsy's 15- and 16-year old VFW Teener League All-Stars fell to West Shore Teener League All-Stars, 9-5, in the opening round of the state tournament Friday afternoon in Huntingdon.
Punxsy will play this morning at 9:30 a.m. against Altoona in the opening round of the losers' bracket.
West Shore was the visiting team and scored one run in the top of the first when Mitch Chapman tripled off Punxsy's starter Jamie Bush and scored on an RBI groundout by Jared Lydon.
Punxsy answered with three runs in the bottom half of the first.
Over the past two weeks, former Punxsutawney Area High School catcher and current Major League Baseball top-prospect Devin Mesoraco has been through his share of ups and downs, both on the field and off.
As a top prospect in the Cincinnatti Reds' system, Mesoraco was highly desired at the MLB trade deadline, but the Reds weren't willing to deal him.
Unfortunately for Mesoraco and his fans, they weren't willing to deal any of the catchers at the Major League level to make room for Mesoraco just yet.
PUNXSUTAWNEY â The Punxsutawney Little League complex will be just as crowded this weekend as it was last weekend, and for a very similar reason.
This time, though, softball will be the sport highlighted instead of baseball, as 20 teams from across the region will play in four different age groups: Under 10, Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16.
Punxsy will be represented in three of the age brackets.