Baylee Douglass and Jessica Heese rekindle childhood bond as Syracuse transfers

first_imgBaylee Douglass stood in the circle and watched as her best friend, Jessica Heese, entered the batter’s box. Earlier in the game, Heese knocked a home run off the starting pitcher. When Douglas took the circle, Lynn, her father, told her to hit Heese with a changeup to avoid pitching to her. After Heese drew a full count, Douglass drilled Heese with a fastball.“Jess turned around at me and looked at me and threw the bat at me,” Lynn said of the summer league game, “I was like ‘I told her to hit you with a changeup.’”Douglass and Heese spark each other. And for the first time in two years, they’re teammates at Syracuse (6-3). Through seven games, Heese is batting .273 with two RBIs. Though Douglass has struggled, allowing nine earned runs in just over seven innings, she remains in the rotation. They are two of four transfers Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch signed this year.Douglass played two years at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, where she earned Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year honors in 2015. As a sophomore, she won 18 games with a 1.85 earned run average. Heese, meanwhile, finished 2016 at Southern Illinois-Carbondale with 27 RBIs and third in the Missouri Valley Conference with 14 doubles.The competition between the two in high school turned into motivation and brought them closer. Douglass would often stay with Heese for several days at a time after making the near three-hour drive to Kansas City. Heese’s mother, Stephanie, said she barely knew that they were there. She said they were always out playing softball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Baylee would pitch, and Jessica would hit,” she said. “And they’d bring whoever else they could with them.”Stephanie Heese remembered a tournament in which the pair played during high school. One cold morning in Athens, Georgia, they were playing against a team with a lot of future Power 5 players.Douglass shut the opposition down. Hitters didn’t figure her out until it was basically over. Offensively, Heese ripped a triple down the right field line against an Alabama-bound pitcher. Yet both Douglass and Heese landed in mid-majors, where they continued to face each other during the regular season.Besides the annual matchup against each other, the competition of mid-majors wasn’t enough. Douglass ripped through batters en route to a 2.04 ERA and Heese finished second on the team in RBIs and fourth in SIU history in single-season doubles. But both players realized their only chance at legitimate competition was to leave, with Douglass saying she urged Hesse to transfer.Heese and Douglass moved across the country and found a home in Syracuse, where Heese starts in the outfield and Douglass pitches. On and off the field, the roommates stick by each other’s sides, whether on trips to Wal-Mart or dinner dates.“We go on more dates than her and her actual boyfriend do,” Heese said.Still, their competitiveness shines through. At summer ball, Heese would take more attempts hitting off of Douglass than anyone else, and she brought that to college. The loser does dishes. As fierce as they may be, the two are each other’s strongest support systems.“It’s just fun having my best friend playing with me again,” Heese said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 21, 2017 at 12:09 am Contact Matt: [email protected]last_img read more


3rd annual Flourish Media Conference bridging entrepreneurship, media, and diversity…

first_imgFlourish Media Conference (FMC) is celebrating its 3rd annual women’s conference and has partnered with Magic City Center and Thriver Lifestyle to bring more partnership and funding opportunities for women of color entrepreneurs and business owners. This two-day conference on February 22-23, 2019, has grown bigger each year and continually works to close the gap and address the issues of income inequality, education and innovation as it relates to women of color businesses. FMC’s social media reach numbered at over 1.6 million impressions in 2018 and continue to increase each year.Behind the LeafOne of the key differentiators of FMC is their 501(c)(3) beneficiary charity, Behind The Leaf, which helps minority and low-income women see small business ownership as a viable opportunity for economic advancement by offering accessible educational products, workshops, and networking events. Attendees are entered to win scholarship packages that include the following; monetary business scholarship up to $1500, web hosting, contact management tools, project management tools, subsidized time with an accountant, subsidized time with lawyer, personalized marketing material and a free buddy pass to the 2020 Flourish Media Conference.Connects women with investorsThis 3rd annual conference addresses one driving effort: connecting women with willing investors. VIPs will have the opportunity to LIVE PITCH to investors for the chance to walk away with up to millions of dollars for their ventures.Past keynote speakers include Radio Host & On-Air Personality Felisha Monet of 99 Jams, Editor Talia Oliver of The Shade Room, credited with changing the landscape of journalism for its ability to draw in 8 million social followers and reach 94 million viewers. This year, FMC speakers include Wellness Expert, Candy Calderon, Writer Ty Alexander, Soul Brand Therapist Whitney Mullings, Attorney Rosezena Piece, America’s Top 20 African American Interior Designer Tonya Cromer, and many more!SpeakersDr. Shanequa Fleming – Executive CoachDominique Clark – Relationship ExpertMorgan Owens – Curvy Cardio Owner & AuthorAdria Hookes – Business CoachChandra Brooks – AuthorCindy Montgenie – Fortune 50 Tech Executive Ana Santos – AccountantAngel Suttle – Radio HostMilan Mobley – CEO, UnmanagmentKim Bullox – Lifestyle & Abundance CoachFlorence Gaspard – Director of Entrepreneurship, Black Professional NetworkKristen Pope – Award-Winning Journalist Michelby Whitehead – WriterRegan Farley – Public RelationsThe Doyenne – Entrepreneurs Kamilah Jolly – Business LawyerVirginia Jimenez – Transformational Love CoachEnid Nolasco – Witchcraft Branding OwnerLakisha Grant – Author & Business OwnerLauren Woulard – Communications Professional & more to be announced!last_img read more


Young Boyz drawn in ‘Group of Death’

first_imgNational Under-17 coach Andrew Edwards says the young Reggae Boyz face a daunting task if they intend to get something from their games against USA or Mexico and advance from what he calls the ‘group of death’ at the CONCACAF Under-17 championship to be staged in Panama in April and May. At the draw in Panama on Tuesday, the Jamaicans were placed in Group C alongside Mexico, USA and El Salvador. Group A contains the host, Panama, Honduras, Curacao and Haiti; while Group B will be contested by Costa Rica, Canada, Cuba and Suriname. On April 23, Jamaica open their campaign against USA, who defeated them 3-0 and 4-0 in friendlies in November. They then take on El Salvador in their second game on April 26, before closing off against Mexico on April 29. Edwards admits that his team faces a tough challenge, but thinks the Boyz can achieve their objectives with the right effort. “This is easily the group of death; a very difficult group and one in which we will have to perform above and beyond anything we have done to get something out of those two games. “Being drawn alongside CONCACAF powerhouses Mexico and USA is certainly a very daunting task, and it will make our passage to (qualifying for) the FIFA World Cup much more difficult if we can be successful,” Edwards said. Despite convincing losses to USA in their friendly games in November, Edwards believes the team will be competitive and says they will be targeting the Americans in their opening match. “This is football, and we have the capacity to develop our team sufficiently to create a few surprises, and definitely, we will be targeting the first game against the USA. We recently lost two practice matches to that team, but we will go in (to game against them) in a very determined and focused way to get a positive result and try to propel ourselves forward from there,” he said. Meanwhile, in an effort to give the team more competitive matches, a structure was designed for the tournament, which will see the top two teams from each group advancing to the Classification Stage. In this stage, the teams will be placed in two groups of three and will play on a round-robin basis. The top four teams from this round will qualify as CONCACAF’s representatives at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, while the top two teams from each classification group will play a final on May 7. FEW SURPRISESlast_img read more


Messi and Aguero in Argentina Copa America squad

first_img0Shares0000Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero have scored 104 interational goals between them © AFP/File / JUAN MABROMATABuenos Aires, Argentina, May 21 – Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and the returning Sergio Aguero headed the 23-man Copa America squad announced by Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on Tuesday.Paris Saint Germain winger Angel Di Maria was also included but there was no place for striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at Chelsea from Juventus. “These are the best players in an important time for the national team,” said Scaloni ahead of the tournament hosted by Brazil, which begins on June 14.Argentina will play in Group B alongside Colombia, Paraguay and guests Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts and current Asian champions.Messi, who only returned to the Argentina squad in March after an eight-month absence following the World Cup in Russia, will turn 32 during the competition.Di Maria, like Messi, made his post-World Cup return in March ahead of friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco, but Manchester City’s Aguero had not been called up since Argentina’s 4-3 last 16 defeat to eventual champions France in Russia.Another high-profile omission was Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi, who has been left out of the Italian team’s line-up for the last two months over a dispute regarding a contract renewal.“Keeping everyone happy is difficult,” admitted Scaloni, who said he’d had “doubts right until the end” over the final squad make-up.Argentina have not won the Copa America, or any major international tournament, since 1993, losing in the final in four of the last five editions of the continental showpiece.Squad: Goalkeepers: Agustin Marchesin (America Mexico/MEX), Franco Armani (River Plate), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors)Defenders: German Pezzela (Fiorentina/ITA), Juan Foyth (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City/ENG), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax/NED), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Renzo Saravia (Racing Club), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal/ESP), Milton Casco (River Plate)Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria (both Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Guido Rodriguez (America Mexico/MEX), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis/ESP), Roberto Pereyra (Watford/ENG), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese/ITA), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate)Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/ENG), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/ITA), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/ITA), Matias Suarez (River Plate)0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more